There is a nasty rumor swirling that the authorities in their infinite wisdom will soon close the Tomoka River Bridge on North Beach Street to fishing.
As long as anyone can remember, that span has been a favorite for land- bound anglers.
The last time I fished there, I met two men from DeLand who told me that is the only place they fish. Please let the folks at Tomoka State Park and the County Council know if you want the bridge to remain a fishing spot.
On the upside, New Smyrna Beach will soon begin construction on boat ramps at the old Swoope power plant across from the airport. It is intended to relieve the pressure from the ramps on the north causeway, but I believe it will be a better boon to the Ponce Inlet launch area. When it is completed next year, it will give us another way to get to the inlet. Water quality in the Northern Mosquito Lagoon is still in bad shape. The yellowish algae bloom that has occurred this summer is the worst in recent memory and may result in the loss of much of the important sea grass beds. Due to the bloom, the fishing has been way off this summer and some of the old timers think it may not return for a long time. The water in the Halifax is exceptionally clear for this time of year. The usual summer algae bloom has not happened there.
Wading last week, I could see bottom in 3 feet of water. That seldom happens in hot weather.
This summer has been the best for Halifax River sea trout in some time. It seems that all of those undersized we have been throwing back for the past few years have finally grown.
Trout there are averaging from 16 to 20 inches and are plentiful. Just about everyone I speak with report good catches.
Flounder are still around, and while this year could not possibly match the last, it has still been pretty darn good.
At this writing, I have caught 56 flounder since mid-March. I have to say this summer's flounder have been a nice size. Fish more than 20 inches have been common and averaging around 17 inches.
Shrimp are still flowing down the center of the Halifax, but timing is everything. Not long ago, I netted an Asian shrimp as part of my catch. I caught it just north of Granada in Ormond Beach and when I notified the state, they told me that is as north as they have come. If you catch an Asian (tiger) shrimp the state wants to know. Measure it and snap a photo, if you can then email to askfwc.com.
Spent the morning recently with 27 kids at the Casements Enviro Camp. That, my friends, is a wild time. Twenty-seven youngsters from ages 5 to 8 fishing at once? Oh my! Lots of squealing, a little crying and many questions.
The star of the show was the puffer fish caught by Jai Wan Rij of Ormond Beach, but a close second was the eel caught by Antonio Nogueiro, also of Ormond. Charlie Freeman caught the most, while Lucy Purvis lost a huge redfish. One little girl screamed for help because she had caught one, but when I went over, it turned out to be the shrimp I had put on her hook for bait. How did the catfish get its name? Did the eel shock me when I took it off of the hook? When I asked one kid where he lived, he told me Florida. No use giving up too much information, I suppose.
If you think fishing is boring, take a few kids out and watch what goes on. Thanks to Siobhan Daly and her staff for the great job with the tiny anglers.
Dan Smith has fished the waters of Volusia County for more than 40 years. Email questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. His book, "I Swear the Snook Drowned," is available for $10.95 at (386) 441-7793.