[This area is a paradise for nature enthusiasts, surfers, beachcombers and, most importantly, fishermen.]
While beachside communities might seemingly be a dime a dozen along Florida’s expansive coastline, the truth is, the quiet, laid-back aspects of these salty settlements are getting harder and harder to come by. Among those towns claiming oceanfront real estate, few have the allure and charm of New Smyrna Beach. This area is a paradise for nature enthusiasts, surfers, beachcombers and, most importantly, fishermen. The inshore, nearshore and offshore waters provide recreational anglers a wealth of opportunities to experience a fishery that’s second to none. Whether your angling palate is attuned to the pelagic species such as tuna, dolphin, wahoo, kingfish, sailfish and blue marlin that swim in warm offshore waters, or your preferred quarry comprises the redfish and seatrout living in the skinny waters of the Indian River Lagoon system, New Smyrna Beach has it.
Year-round, outstanding fishing can be had along Florida’s coast, but come springtime, the offshore waters of New Smyrna really come to life. One of the true beauties of this fishery is the sheer variety of species that anglers have the chance to encounter in a single day. Dolphin, tuna, kingfish, wahoo, sailfish and even blue marlin could potentially crash your spread at any given moment. Tournament angler Eric Seidelman grew up fishing in the area and is no stranger to how productive these waters can be. “I think it’s one of the best fisheries around because there’s just so much structure out there. If you fish at all, you know that bait naturally holds around structure — and where there is bait, you’ll likely find predatory fish. Yeah, sure, we have to run a little bit farther than people down south to get these fish but once you’re out there, in my opinion, it is a better fishery.”
Trolling is by far the most common tactic used in bluewater fishing, and Seidelman’s recipe for success is pretty straightforward. “Basically what I do and what many other guys do is to look for upwells and downwells. If I’m seeing an area with a downwell, I automatically know that the fish will likely be down deep because that’s where the bait is going to be. Conversely, if there’s an upwell, I’ll know I need to shift gears and pull a spread closer to or on the surface because again, that’s where the bait is going to be.”
For those who really want to fish the blue water, the Gulf Stream has massive yellowfin tuna.