Brad Helms from New Smyrna Beach landed on the jumbo shrimp in Oak Hill.
March is wake up month in the world of big shrimping. The run has started in Volusia County albeit 4 weeks late. Brevard is hit and miss, the hot spots are hovering at “Get ready, get set….” but not quite hit the “go.” They are just on the cusp, but all indications are they will have a season as well. Brevard lagged behind Volusia last year, so this is not of any concern. The place to be is Oak Hill the last couple of months, but perhaps March will be the month of consistency for Brevard. The sizes of the Oak Hill shrimp are impressive. January-March requires more skill then the Late March to May run when we are inundated with a bazillion dinks (under 4 inches). Typically you cannot pull a bucket without a high percentage of dinks and smalls. But January, the full pull bell has rung for several who employed proper light set techniques, and could blast the catfish off their lights using high tech MacDaddy lights.
The catfish and bait fish remain a big problem for the 3rd season, and this is as a result of warm waters. Nuisance fish hover over your lights choking the light into blackness. This problem interferes with your visibility and this interference is what is causing lower pulls for boaters. The sizes in Oak Hill are dependent on your skill level and ability to blow the big ones up into the upper water column using light. Personally, I am seeing Volusia County buckets of 5-7” inch, and seeing buckets 4-6 inches with high majority small to medium.
The tides decide where anglers choose their locations. If they want an earlier tide, go North towards Edgewater. The favorite place remains Oak Hill from the ramp area all the way down passed Lopez to CM 9a. FWC spent the entire weekend pulling boats over doing full inspections. We have not seen this in nearly a decade. They skipped very few boats. Titusville pier is off to a slow start but that can change any day, you have to go to know.
The Brevard hot spots like Rail Road Bridge are hit or miss but the locals are saying the run is still at its beginning stages. They predict the run will be fully developed this month, so monitor the intel daily. Reports from Melbourne indicate a lack of shrimp. Remember, Volusia County is boater country only and it is tide driven. Brevard is wind driven and is suited for boaters, trappers or plank warriors. Shrimp reports change daily as the amount of moon showing/winds changes daily. The currents go in 30 day cycles and daily they are either in a pattern of getting stronger for the week or getting weaker for the week. Shrimping in Volusia is an outgoing tide sport. I have computed the tides for you for 6 months at LeeNoga.com for Volusia, for all the hot spots. This month you will be able to catch shrimp in Volusia on the beginning of the incoming tide. March is normally where the sizes start to get smaller towards the end of the month, so get out there and fill your freezer.