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I Love microskiff.com!
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Moving to the Ormond Beach area later this year. Can anyone recommend a good guide for flats or inshore fishing? I know nothing of the area water wise. It's been over 20 years since I've been on the water there and that was just a cruise around the Intercoastal.

What kind of species can I expect around there? I'm hoping for snapper, trout, snook, reds, and sheepheads.

I've got a flats boat now, but am gonna sell it before I move. Looking to downsize and get skinnier. Grew up here in S Fl and have lived in the Keys the last 20 years. I've got plenty of experience fishing saltwater, but not much in freshwater. I figure I'll have the best of both worlds, with lakes and rivers up there, along with the saltwater areas I'll be near. I'd like to get into some freshwater fishing too, but will mainly be fishing saltwater. So I'm curious; should I stay with a fiberglass skiff or can I get away with a jon boat or aluminum skiff? Only downside to an aluminum, that I know of (aside from corrosion after years in salt), is they're louder and can scare fish you're stalking.

Disclaimer: Mods, please move this thread if I've posted in the wrong forum.
 
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We moved just north of there to Flagler Beach a little over a year ago. Really love the area but I have definitely been struggling with figuring out the fishing and consistently catching. You can expect to find good fishing for Redfish, Speckled Trout, Snook, Flounder, Mangrove Snapper, Drum, and Sheepshead. In addition to those I've caught Sailcats, Bluefish, Jacks, and even Spanish Mackerel, but no Tarpon yet although those are definitely around. Further south toward Ponce Inlet you will find a few more species. If you fish up the Tomoka further from the ICW you can get in to Largemouth Bass.
I too have been looking at hiring a guide for some help. I posted a question not long ago regarding how to find a guide who can teach you how to best fish the area, knowing that you are local, without the guide worrying about showing “his secret spots”, and you not worrying about then having to avoid those spots in the future even if you had already been fishing them...
What kind of flats boat do you currently own? You may want to fish it for a while to better learn the area and then determine what will best fit your needs. You will be closer to Ponce InLet than I am, and your boat may be adequate for fishing the jetties (Bull reds in the summer) and near shore around there. If you go too skinny or with a small aluminum Jon boat then you would give up that option.
I had some members give good recommendations for guides near me but haven’t yet made the move, so I can’t offer any advice for that yet. When you get to the area though you are more than welcome to tag me and get out in my boat so you can check out the area.
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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Currently have a Ranger 191 Cayman. Don't want to drag it up when I make the move and the extra funds will come in handy. I'm not sure how long it would be before I could even get on the water with trying to set down roots in the area. The boat would most likely sit. I'd rather sell her now.
 

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The Tomoka Basin will be my primary fishing area as I'll be living somewhere near the Bulow Creek State Park. On the other hand, I may get back into mudding and spend awhile riding ATVs and going to mud events near there. That's another reason I'm gonna sell the boat.
 

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The Tomoka Basin will be my primary fishing area as I'll be living somewhere near the Bulow Creek State Park. On the other hand, I may get back into mudding and spend awhile riding ATVs and going to mud events near there. That's another reason I'm gonna sell the boat.
That’s a very nice area. Our house is on the ICW about 6 miles north of Tomoka but I’ve only fished the basin a few times. So far I’ve concentrated on the High Bridge area and north, but will be working south this year.
 

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Lowcountry Degen
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Check with Capt. Eric Greenstein. I think his website is www.fishtomoka.com or something along those lines. He's a super nice guy and seems to have a pretty good handle on the fishery. I fished with him a few summers ago and got into the snook and baby tarpon pretty good.
 

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I Love Skinny Water
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You dont seem that keen on fishing. So why a guide
 

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X2 on what Bryson said about Eric. AT Tomoka State park they also rent kayaks and maybe small boats. There is lots of good fishing around Tomoka and also in an area called High Bridge. Good luck with the move.

 

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You dont seem that keen on fishing. So why a guide
I've been a fisherman all my life. I will still fish, just unsure how often I'll be able to; if at all. I'd like a guide to learn the waters some without finding out things the hard way first. Next boat I buy, will be brand new built the way I want, or completely restored to what I want. I don't want to do major damage because I decided to learn the waters myself. I don't know if the area has oyster beds to watch out for, rocky areas to watch out for, or things of that nature. Maybe oyster beds are more of a west coast thing? I literally have no idea being as I've really only fished Biscayne Bay and south to Islamorada, or west to the Glades, my entire life. Used to cross to the Bahamas as a kid, and fished a lil' bit in Ft. Pierce when my cousin was growing up there, but those times were well over 20 years ago. As mentioned; I did cruise through the Intercoastal in that area once, but that was well over 20 years ago also. Other than that, I know nothing of Fl's northern east coast.
 

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Eric is the way to go if your wanting to learn the Ormond waters. The entrances to the tomoka basin have changed quite a bit. Fishing in there is very hit or miss these last couple years IMO, but is always a beautiful and fun place to target tarpon and snook. Also, you don't really have to have a 6 inch draft to fish the basin or tomoka river. Your Ranger would probably be good. Now if your wanting to venture back in the high bridge area, that's another story. Good luck!
 

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I live in the Highbridge/Tomoka basin area and fish quite a bit. Feel free to contact me when you move up and we can get together and show you some paths to run in. The water is very turbid making seeing the shallows next to impossible. It really takes local knowledge and an understanding that you will go thru a few props.

I mainly catch redfish and sea trout.

Louis
[email protected]
 

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Definitely lots of oyster beds in the backwaters. And like Louis says above, tough to see bottom. I was really glad I didn’t buy a brand new boat last year. I don’t run over idle speed in the backwaters but continue to “find” oyster beds even when standing up front using the electric...
 

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As far as a boat goes you’ll want a bow mounted trolling motor. A push pole to get out of water too shallow for the trolling motor and the gas engine must be able to be easily tilted up.

You won’t see tailing fish so if you’re using artificial you’ll do a lot of casting. Braided line is a must and a 3000 series reels perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
That's really the only thing I remembered about the waters up that way, how unclear they are compared to what I'm used to. That and the island that has the Native American statues on it. I think that's what they were, anyways. Like I said, it's been over 20 years since I've been there.

I'm sure the Ranger would be fine, but I've had my fun with her. I'd like to downsize as I'm no longer taking 4 or 5 people to the sandbar. I mainly fish/boat alone. Strongly considering a Dolphin Super Skiff as my next boat. Not the skinniest tps, but also not an all out, high-dollar skiff. Furthermore, I could still easily use that as a freshwater bass boat if I don't end up in an aluminum skiff. I'll be implementing the KISS method. Standard options, trailer, 70 Yamaha. Any electronics, or add-ons, I'll be shopping around for; ie: tm, pp, stereo, gps, etc.
 

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Sounds like you'll be more in the high bridge area. I would not want to venture out in the mud flats with the rangers 10-12" draft?. Lots of hidden oyster beds and such. Been back there a few times and it's easy to get lost but lots of fun as well.

However if your just fishing/boating the basin and tomoka river, heck even the Halifax and inlet jetties the ranger would be just fine.

I fish the tomoka basin/river 2-4 times per week. I catch fish every time just fishing the creek mouths and running up the cuts during high tides and fishing structures during peak current. I usually catch at least one monster red or black drum with plenty of sheeps head, trout and occasional tarpon and flounder, but mostly redfish and black drum and snook for me.

Most of this area is local knowledge that most don't want to give up. With a little seat time you'll figure it out real quick. No need for a boat that drafts in 4-6" of water unless you want to hit the mud flats. I have a gheenoe and I spend 75% of my time bank fishing in 3-4' of water but can get low if I get bored or change of pace.
 
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