Indian River - Florida
Bait your own hook. Clean your own fish. Tell your own lies.
Indian Mound Fish Camp - Indian River, Florida
We knew we'd found something special when we were greeted at our campsite by dolphins in our "backyard." Indian Mound Fish Camp is a little campground that sits right along the Indian River south of New Smyrna Beach, Florida. A mix of brackish and salty water, it is known as the most diverse waterway in North America and the "Redfish Capital of the World." Simply put, the fishing here is phenomenal. The kids spent HOURS upon HOURS fishing these waters and pulled out so many different species of fish, rays, and crabs that we all had a fully Floridian education here. To the best of my recollection, the kids caught:
- Mangrove Snapper
- Red Snapper
- Sail Catfish, "Sail Cat"
- Spot Fish
- Sailer's Select
- Blue Crab
- Toad Fish
- Puffer Fish
- Red Fish
The campsite has its own bait shop which sells fresh shrimp, mullet, sand fleas, etc. The kids were so excited about fishing that many mornings they beat the sun up so they could get their lines in the water early. When they tired of waking up before the sun, we took up night fishing for sail catfish.
Our neighbors go out shrimping on their boats almost every evening and often share the shrimp and shrimp heads with the boys for bait.
We've met some of the kindest and most generous people here at the campground. We LOVED our neighbors - Doug & Janet, and enjoyed sitting outside chatting with them everyday. They happily shared fishing tips, bait, hooks, and so much more with the kids. They even took us out on their boat for some fishing adventures on the river. Raymond went out fishing with the guys and caught a 23" redfish. Another neighbor gifted Harper her own fishing pole (which she proudly used to reel in the biggest stingray.) Another neighbor let the boys borrow kayaks to go fishing. The people here are amazing and remind us of all the good in the world!
An extraordinary variety of birds frequent the campground also. I loved watching the enormous white pelicans float up and down the river. Many of the birds dive right into the water after fish, making a huge splash. The kids spotted a manatee off the dock one day, but Ray and I missed it! We've heard that manatees are often all over these waters.
This definitely wasn't the fanciest campground we've been to, or had the most amenities. All of that didn't matter here - the nature, the setting and the people totally make the place. The owners run the bait shop and treat everyone like friends. You can read more about the campground HERE.
We fell in love with the Indian River and hope to return again very soon!
Our video shows some of our epic fishing adventures on the Indian River.