On a gorgeous afternoon, I made my way south to the Riverbreeze Park and boat ramps in Oak Hill.

That little community remains one of the few unspoiled fishing communities in the state. As I motored south it was fun to see the people staying in the packed campgrounds all outside enjoying the great weather. Grills were sending up the pleasant aroma of seasoned and charred meats and at least one propane fryer was cooking fish.

I was there early to try for some shrimp, but was allowing myself enough time to get in a bit of trout fishing. Turning east at marker 75 put me in familiar waters that usually hold sea trout and big red drum. The tide was just beginning to go out and, after I figured out the drift, I just sat back to cast and let my 17-foot Polar take its head.

First up I had a feisty little blue fish hit. Sort of unusual to catch a blue on such a shallow flat. As as rule they prefer deeper water. After releasing that one I had to change my soft jig tail due to the mangling the bluefish gave it.

As the boat drifted, I watched for any sign of larger fish, but saw nothing. So, after a half hour or so I headed back to the Indian River. I threw my lure around the big pink house and then the sea wall south of it, but nothing happened.

Drifting north put me on a row of private boat docks and there I managed a small jack, but could find no trout. Lots of boats in the river and I knew many were there to shrimp the outgoing tide once darkness fell.

Now I was growing tired of casting without much to show for it so I decided to troll. My 50-horse Suzuki began to idle up the river and I let down a line with a silver and black diving plug and my chartreuse shrimp tail jig on another.

Evening was fast approaching and, with that, the trout began to hit the plug. Just small ones but enough to entertain me as I waited for dark. Spotted sea trout in the 14-inch range were hitting. Too small to keep, but good company none the less.

After I caught and released four, I began to notice folks setting up for shrimp dipping. People were busy dropping their anchors and getting their submersible lights in the water. I drove south to Lopez Fish Camp and could see that was the preferred area to try for those tasty crustaceans. Four boats were anchored there with two being pontoons with families aboard. All out for a night of fun with a shrimp boil as their goal.

When night fell, I was right with them and had my lights down and net at the ready. After about an hour I began to grow impatient at the lack of action and headed back north. Just north of Indian Mound Fish Camp I saw a small boat that seemed to be dipping some shrimp, so I anchored up. The river narrows there causing the current to run stronger and, sure enough, the action did pick up.

As it turned out it was not a great run that evening and I doubt anyone made their full pull, but I came home with around four pounds and was happy with that. It had been a beautiful, warm March evening and I had caught a few fish and some shrimp. Isn't Florida a wonderful place?

Dan Smith has fished the waters of Volusia County for more than 40 years. Email questions and comments to fishwdan@att.net. His book, “I Swear the Snook Drowned,” is available for purchase for $10.95 at (386) 441-7793.

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