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Understanding Fresh Water vs. Salt Water in Our Area

Located between the Atlantic Ocean and Indian River (which is part of a 3,000 mile Intracoastal water system), New Smyrna Beach is a fisherman’s dream. While the angling options are endless both inshore and off, the lines between fresh water and salt water can become a little blurred here.

On the northern end, you’ll find Ponce Inlet – providing deep water access. Off shore, you’ll find tuna, dolphin, wahoo, kingfish, sailfish and blue marlin galore! There is also approximately 35 miles of shoreline access and public docks for casual anglers looking to cast a line.

The Indian River Lagoon system is fed by fresh water streams, but is connected to several inlets that are tidal. It’s actually not a river at all, but a saltwater sound comprised of three waterways that stretch 156 miles. Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River are influenced by tides, but only in certain areas, and the Banana River – which is an offshoot of the Indian River – has no tidal flow at all. All three, however, produce record numbers of redfish and trout! Oysters cover a large portion of the bottom. Clams and shrimp are also prevalent, and the bream and black bass fishing is excellent. It’s also a mecca for trout, snook, reds, flounder, black drum and tarpon that can reach 50-100 pounds!

Florida has been deemed the “Bass Fishing Capital of the World,” and for good reason. Most of that reason is the St. John’s River. Freshwater fish such as largemouth bass are found in huge numbers here, but they won’t migrate too far south because the salt content within the water is too high. No worries though, because the Ocklawaha River – the largest tributary along the St. John – empties vast amounts of pure fresh water into the system, diluting the salt content.

The moral of the story is, no matter the salt content, the fishing is unbeatable here. Come enjoy the bounty of the waters of the New Smyrna Beach area. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget!