Daytona Beach Fishing Charters
with Captain John Schmidt


Halifax River to Ponce Inlet

Captain John specializes in inshore, backcountry fishing trips near Daytona Beach, Florida. These are brackish waters with saltwater species including Sharks!

Inshore Fishing Trips
4 hour $350
6 hour $450
8 hour $550

Prices are for 2 people
$50 each additional person
Maximum 6 people

Includes everything you need to fish: fishing licenses, tackle, bait, ice, fish cleaning, etc.

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Our inshore fishing trips begin just minutes from downtown Daytona Beach.

Where We Fish
The areas we fish includes the Halifax River, the Intracoastal Waterway, Ponce Inlet, Spruce Creek and New Smyrna Creek. These inshore fishing hotspots are all just south of Daytona Beach. The ride from downtown Daytona Beach to any of Captain John's favorite launch locations is about 10 to 20 minutes. Captain John will meet you at a convenient public boat ramp near Daytona Beach with plenty of parking available. The public boat ramps he uses are all between 6 and 14 miles from Daytona Beach.

For Maps to Boat Ramps see:
Boat Launches page

The Fish
The brackish waters of the lower Halifax River basin and the coastal marshes near Ponce Inlet and New Smyrna Beach are home to a huge variety of species. These fishing grounds are home base for Captain John and Floating Time Charters!

The species we target on our inshore fishing charters include: Redfish, Snook, Spotted Sea Trout, Pompano, Tarpon, Mangrove Snapper, Flounder, Sheepshead and Black Drum. Because of the proximity to Ponce Inlet and the Atlantic Ocean, there are also plenty of saltwater species available that are usually associated with nearshore or offshore fishing including: Sharks, Barracudas and Spanish Mackerel.

The Halifax River
The Halifax is a coastal river running north to south parallel with the Atlantic Ocean. The river begins in the northeast corner of Volusia County (where Daytona Beach is located) and flows slowly southwardly for 25 miles until it empties into the Atlantic Ocean at Ponce Inlet. The narrow land between the Halifax River and the Atlantic Ocean is a virtual barrier island. This is where the beaches are located.

The Halifax River is only 25 miles long yet it runs through some of the most pristine wetlands in Central Florida. The central portion of the river including Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach and Port Orange are largely developed but the northern and southern sections of the Halifax River are largely untouched natural wetlands, estuaries and streams that feed the Halifax.

The Halifax River is part of the east coast Intracoastal Waterway system. The mouth of the Halifax River is at Ponce Inlet where it runs directly into the Atlantic Ocean. However, the Intracoastal Waterway continues on south of Ponce Inlet to the town New Smyrna Beach and down along the coast. The rich wetlands and estuaries also continue past Ponce Inlet to the town of New Smyrna Beach. Here, adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway are pristine mangrove marshes and streams such as New Smyrna Creek.

Captain John's inshore fishing charters take anglers fishing in the pristine southern section of the Halifax River basin south of Daytona Beach and along the Intracoastal Waterway and the adjoining mangrove marshes between Ponce Inlet and New Smyrna Beach.

Views of the Halifax River
Above: View at Spruce Creek
Below: View at Ponce Inlet

More about the Halifax River
History, Geography and Wildlife

Fishing on the Halifax River is a journey back through time. From the modern condominiums that line the banks of the Halifax River at Daytona Beach to the primeaval subtropical creeks that are its tributaries, the Halifax River showcases the best of both modern development in Florida and untouched nature.

The Halifax River is one of the first rivers in the country to be explored by European explorers. The Halifax River area had been settled by native americans for nearly 7,000 years when the first Spanish explorers arrived in 1569. Led by Captain Antonio de Prado, the Spanish found the Halifax River pristine and virtually untouched by humans. They found dolphins and manatees swimming in the same beautiful waters that the local tribes, such as the Timucua Indians, used for fishing.

To many of the early Spanish explorers, such as Ponce de Leon, the lush, subtropical wilderness of this part of Florida had convinced them that they had found the long lost Paradise of the Bible! (referring to Florida as 'Paradise' goes back a long way!). For nearly 300 years, the Halifax River and the rest of Florida would remain much as it was when the Timucua Indians and the Spanish explorers first arrived, unspoiled and home to endless exotic flora and wildlife (and great fishing!).

The Halifax River Today. Today, many portions of the Halifax River and its wetlands are still untouched and look much like they did when the Spanish first arrived and the Timucua Indians were the only inhabitants fishing the local waters. The same fish species that the Timucua Indians were fishing for centuries ago still thrive in the Halifax River. The redfish, seatrout, snook and tarpon are plentiful enough today to make the Daytona Beach area a major center for fishing charters in Florida. The dolphins and manatees are abundant enough in the Halifax River to make boat tours of the Halifax thrilling for anyone seeking the 'Real Florida'.

The Halifax River at Daytona Beach is the most developed portion of the river. The shores of the Halifax River at Daytona Beach are lined with landscaped homes and condominiums. Even with development, the miles of green shorelines and numerous docks provide habitat for many fish species. Dolphins and the fish that support them are still abundant here and can be seen from the bridges over the Halifax River at Daytona Beach.

A Fisherman's Paradise! Beyond Ormond Beach to the north of Daytona Beach and beyond Port Orange to the south, the developed shorelines of the Halifax River soon give way to the natural beauty of untouched Florida wetlands! The northern portion of the Halifax River, towards its source north of Ormond Beach, consists of aquatic preserves including the Tomoka Marsh Aquatic Preserve and three Florida State Parks. The Halifax River begins here at the confluence of the Tomoka River, Bulow Creek and Halifax Creek, three lush subtropical streams. The state parks surround and protect the area from development. The fishing is good here and the area is home to a large manatee population.

The southern portion of the Halifax River, towards its mouth at Ponce Inlet south of Port Orange, also encompasses a large region of untouched Florida wetlands. Here, the wild marshes, streams and estuaries of the Halifax River Basin extend south even beyond the mouth of the Halifax at Ponce Inlet to New Smyrna Beach. South of the Halifax River the Intracoastal Waterway also continues to New Smyrna Beach and beyond. The Intracoastal Waterway gives Daytona Beach fishing charter captains like Captain John further access to these unspoiled wetlands that extend to New Smyrna Beach. The fishing is great here with an enormous variety of saltwater species. Dolphins and manatees are plentiful!

A Wildlife Paradise! When a family goes fishing, no matter how good the fishing is, it always helps to have some beautiful scenery and especially exciting wildlife to see. There's nothing more exciting for a family vacationing in Florida than to see wild dolphins and manatees from a boat while on a fishing trip! The Halifax River basin is home to a large population of dolphins. The dolphins are fishing too and they find plenty to eat!

There are so many manatees in the Halifax River basin that the river is designated as a Manatee Sanctuary. Several of the major tributaries of the Halifax River, the beautiful Tomoka River, Strickland Creek, Thomson Creek and Dodson Creek are also all designated as part of a Manatee Sanctuary.

In the Halifax River and its tributaries, waterbirds fishing for a meal are everywhere from pelicans to blue herons. Even rare species such as the bald eagle and the wood stork are found here.

There's everything a family needs for a great day fishing and more on a Daytona Beach inshore fishing charter with Captain John!

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Daytona Beach, Florida
Fishing Charters
with Captain John Schmidt


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