Boat of the Month
Captain Daniel Ballard
For our next feature, we're heading down to New Smyrna Beach & hopping aboard Holy Smokes Fishing Charters, helmed by Captain Daniel Ballard. You're sure to have a blast exploring the amazing fishing we have out of Ponce Inlet, an area well known for its diverse fishery, both inshore and offshore. 'Rare' or not, it's certainly well stocked, providing well sought after fish such as kingfish, cobia, mahi, and sailfish while strategically avoiding the areas plague fish (red snapper & sharks). This company will provide an unforgettable experience you're sure to remember for years to come.
Captain Daniel, a Florida native with roots in St. Augustine, spent his life fishing and working in the waters he now calls home. Though he is based out of New Smyrna he is no stranger to the areas other ports, and operates with a 'have boat.. will travel' mindset which continues to afford him ample opportunity to further his expertise. Once a lifeguard, Captain Daniel now spends his days alternating lifestyles; from fighting fires in central Florida's Mecca, to scratching off bucket list fish in the deep blue. After nearly 15 years at the helm, he has dialed in his routine and looks forward to being able to share his love for the water with everyone that steps aboard.
The vessel, a 25' Classic Mako center console with a deep V hull ensures a smooth ride, and can comfortably accommodate up to 4 anglers. Powered by a state of the art Yamaha 300 Saltwater Series, she features an enclosed transom giving you more fishing space at the stern. Loaded with RayMarine electronics, a 1K transducer, and Sirius XM satellite weather & radio, she is stocked with all necessary fishing & safety equipment. From her downriggers & outriggers, to her large live bait well and stocked yetis, she is fully prepped for whatever your day may hold.
'The snap from the outrigger.. and then the reel screaming, you just never know what you'll get!" While trolling for Mahi is firmly a planted at the top of his list, Captain Daniel balances it off with sheepshead fishing inshore. Likening fishing to Captaincy itself, he notes that each day is a different opportunity and each new person is a fresh experience, brimming with excitement. Captain Daniel is quick to attribute his career choice to his brother, who is also a charter Captain back in St. Augustine, explaining if it were not for his inspiration he wouldn't be where he is today. This is a commonality we see a lot here.. professional fishing is most certainly a family affair. It is willfully accepted throughout the generations despite societies pressure away from it.. and as it ages, it does not grow old or tire.
Specializing in deep water trolling & bottom fishing, Holy Smokes Fishing Charter is no stranger to inshore fishing. All bait, tackle and licensing is provided at no additional cost.
Trips aboard Holy Smokes Fishing Charters include a 4 HR inshore and 6/8/10/12 HR offshore fishing trips.