Discover New Smyrna
New Smyrna Beach's fishing is as colorful and exciting as its history!
Evidence points to aboriginal populations on Florida's east coast as early as 2000 BC. Centuries of oyster feasts contributed to an estimated 33,000 cubic yards of shells covering 2 acres and about 50 feet high at the historic Turtle Mound, located 8 miles south of New Smyrna Beach on A1A. It is the largest, and one of many found in this region.
By 1769, Dr. Andrew Turnbull, a Scot, had recruited 200 Greeks, 110 Italians and 1190 Minorcans to homestead his royal land grant of 101,000 acres where present New Smyrna Beach now stands. He named the colony "New Smyrna" after his wife's birthplace in Smyrna, Turkey. Shortages, mosquitoes and disease led to the failure of that colony ten years later. Turnbull started a second outpost on yet another shell mound on the mainland but only got as far as the "coquina" block foundation. The foundation to that structure can be seen today at the corner of Julia and North Riverside Drive, a short distance from FishStock activities.
Throughout its history, the rough New Smyrna settlement saw the depredations of the wars between Spanish, British, the native Seminoles and Union and Confederate troops. Its identity changed as often as the state itself. The Spanish briefly gained control of the New Smyrna area by swapping the Bahamas for Florida in 1783, then they sold it to the new United States in 1819. An "elegant" hotel built on the original Turnbull foundation was shelled to oblivion by Union sailors. After the Civil War, a hotelier named Sheldon rebuilt that hotel which served as the local "shopping center" until 1896. Throughout the 1800's, military necessity caused the construction of several roads; one road led from St.Augustine in the north to the New Smyrna stone wharf. Later, two more were added from Forth Mellon on Lake Monroe to the south, where steamboats offloaded their commerce and where Sanford now thrives.
With the Civil War behind them, railroad and steamboat transportation spurred development of sleepy little New Smyrna. Asearly as 1835, settlers Kemble, Depeyster and Cruger from New Yorkbuilt a sugar mill near town to process the sugar cane of nearby plantations. The mill ruins are preserved for viewing today just off Route 44 and Old Mission Road.
In March of 1887, small, local railroad companies from Blue Spring,Orange City and Atlantic Railroad reached New Smyrna, bringing steady growth. The city was formally incorporated in 1903 and it became a regular vacation spot for Orlando, Deland and Enterprise families in search of a beachside retreat. Between 1900 and 1920,the town grew 400% by adding churches and many businesses.
The 20's were rough on the local orange groves and after the stock market crash of 1929 almost one-fourth of all Floridians were on relief. The war years with limited travel gave way to unprecedented development both in small beachside developments and high risetowers.
A CASUAL, BEACHFRONT LIFESTYLE
New Smyrna Beach has quietly grown to its current population of approximately 17,500 while Daytona has attracted the glitter and crowds. The city proper measures approximately 19.5 square miles including its 13.2 miles of beachfront. Turtle Mound and the southern end of A1A blend right into the additional 22 miles of Canaveral National Seashore Park. New Smyrna's downtown has seen a tasteful renewal. Tight control of beach traffic and protection ofnesting sea turtles helps maintain the natural beauty that is New Smyrna. Along A1A, Route 44 West and U.S.1, shopping centers serveabout every commercial need.
New Smyrna Beach is perfect for surfing, and it has enjoyed a long history of outstanding surfing and surfing events. Local surf shops like Inlet Charley's, Quiet Flight, Nichols and Red Dog are favorite hangouts and provide local surf reports as well as the best boards and equipment to enjoy this activity.
Parks built near natural springs provide a day of fun and adventure. Swimming with manatees during the cooler parts of the year is a common escape. Sky divers and hot air balloonists alsouse this area to enjoy their aerial pursuits. Historic St.Augustine, the oldest city in the U.S., is an hour drive north and provides an enjoyable day of sightseeing. Racing enthusiasts will find Daytona's International Speedway an exciting destination.
If you feel like exploring, try visiting the Turtle Mounds, Turnbull Ruins, the Sugar Mill Ruins, Ponce de Leon Lighthouse or Canaveral Seashore State Park
Today, New Smyrna is a modern city with a great heritage. Historical sites and remains have been preserved and incorporated into the city's character. Canals that were constructed in Turnbull's day are still in use today. For escape and excitement, residents visit nearby attractions in Orlando and Cape Canaveral to the south and Daytona and Jacksonville to the north, all within an easy one hour drive.
ART and CULTURE
New Smyrna Beach is one of the top cities in the United States for art. Home of the Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna has several art shows during the year, including the annual juried Images Art Festival. Galleries in New Smyrna Beach include Arts on Douglas, Artist Workshop Gallery, Harris House and the Little Theater, which offers live performances most of the year. The Atlantic Center for the Arts, located just north of the municipal airport, provides artists of all disciplines meeting and gallery space and the opportunity to work with masters in a secluded residential program.
Live, breakout performances by the London Symphony Orchestra add to the list of cultural arts activities. The orchestra visits our area every other year. An annual jazz festival featuring world-renowned jazz artists is held at Riverside Park each spring.
Dining in New Smyrna Beach is never boring. From the famous America hot dog to the most tantalizing mouth watering steak and lobster, dining in New Smyrna Beach is a highlight of anyone's vacation. Fresher seafood just cannot be found.
There are more than 450 quaint restaurants and cozy bars located along Flagler Avenue on the beach and within a thirty minute drive of downtown. Everything from fast food drive-ins to elegant dining featuring traditional, Italian, Mexican and Chinese fare awaits you. Feel like sampling the local fare? Try Norwoods or the Riverview for fun, but be sure to call ahead for reservations. Some places have late night entertainment but if you prefer more variety, you can find night-life alive and well in neighboring Daytona and Orlando. For the romantic or the star-gazers, nothing compares to a late-night walk on the wide, moonlit beach.
Marinas along the north causeway and in downtown are convenient to FishStock. Ramp access to the Indian River and scores of fine riverfront dining spots make New Smyrna a prime fishing destination. You can launch from the New Smyrna Beach Public Boat Ramp on Washington Street next to FishStock and in a half an hour, you can be in the Atlantic where everything from dolphin,wahoo and billfish await you. If your boat requires a lift, use the Fishin Cove or Smyrna Marina on Riverside Drive, the Inlet Cove Marina in Daytona Beach or head over to the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse Marina, which offers a picturesque backdrop for your outing. For light tackle action, head south on the Intracoastal Waterway to discover the backwaters of Mosquito Lagoon where you can get lost in some world-renowned shallow water fishing for trophy reds and trout. As always, check with the local tackle shops and captains for what's biting on what rigs. If you're seriously considering a fishing trip while taking in FishStock, here are some suggestions.
Out of Ponce Inlet, anglers find good numbers of dolphin in the 5-to 10-pound range starting at about the 180-foot mark. Sailfish and wahoo action remain good in the 220- to 300-foot zones. Amberjack, red snapper, and gag grouper hit live pinfish on the 21 and 28 Fathom ridges and on most of the wrecks in these same depths.
Flounder, jack crevalle, bluefish and pompano hit live shrimp, finger mullet and mud minnows at the inlet and along the beaches. Black drum to 10 pounds and sheepshead to 4 pounds feed on fiddler crabs and oysters around area bridges. Redfish, black grouper, speckled trout, tarpon, triple tail, snook, spots and Spanish mackerel are just a few of the species found in the Intracoastal Waterway and the Mosquito Lagoon. They can be taken year round on light tackle, using live bait or artificial lures and with a flyrod using a medium tippet and a chartreuse clouser.
2007 Bonnier Corporation
- Published on 06/06/2003