My first trip up to Bing’s Landing in a while found me a guest of fishing buddy Norm Echelberry.
We had met at dawn at the Salty Dawg outfitters at High Bridge, but decided to go north when a dark thunderhead loomed. The boat ramp at Bing’s was in good shape and seemed none the worse for wear after the recent hurricane. The water was darker than expected due to the heavy spring rains.
Norm piloted the Echelberry’s neat little Key West north a couple miles where we turned into the wide bay fronting The Princess Place Preserve State Park. Over the years that area has provided me with quite a few flounders and this time would be no exception.
Norm landed a small one right away on cut bait. Drifting back toward the river on the outgoing tide I managed to jig up a good keeper sea trout.
Before we knew it, a big black cloud appeared and began to sprinkle us, but it was hot and the rain was almost welcome. Moving back south, we decided to give it a try behind the spoil islands. On this day there was quite a few fishermen out, but as far as I could tell, no one was doing much of anything.
If you have never fished that area, I can tell you there is no end to places to fish. Many square miles of sand bars, oyster beds and mangrove islands extend from the river to the west. I can tell you now, though, if you don’t know the area, you will have a tough time boating there. There is little deep water and a channel may consist of an extra six inches. In that respect it is much like Mosquito Lagoon to the south. The water there is of a good quality and the oysters and clams are living and thriving.
If you have never fished there you should definitely try it. First you might want to contact The Flagler Sportsfishing Club for those good folks know that area better than anyone. The club is a large, active one and they can give you some pointers. Over the years I have had many successful trips there, but I must confess when it comes to the navigation of that area I am a novice.
Moving way west, I took us to a place where I have caught several nice red drum and almost immediately Norm landed a small one. That would be our total for the day as another larger thunderhead chased us to the boat ramp.
Not a productive morning, but with a flounder, trout and red, I guess you could say we had an inshore grandslam. Not a large one, but a slam just the same.
Fishing around Princess Place is always awe inspiring due to the sheer beauty of that area. You can’t lose by going there. Bing’s Landing is about 10 miles north of Flagler Beach and just south of Marineland. This is a place where you can get lost and fish all day without ever seeing another boat and, in all my trips there, I have never been skunked. As you drive north in The Hammock, look for the pizza sign on your right. The boat ramps are across the street.
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 purchase for $10.95 at (386) 441-7793.