Only a few weeks away from Christmas and the start of 2012. Cooler temperatures have taken a firm grip on our weather and the fish are in their winter transition mode. The beautiful thing about fishing in Florida is it’s always a good time to go; there’s always somewhere to fish and something to catch regardless of the weather. We have entered the time of year though that allows for the most catching per day. This month we can be catching anywhere from 10-40 fish per day. The colder the better. January is usually the top catching month of the year, with days of 50+ fish occuring on a regular basis. But for December, water clarity has cleared considerably lately allowing for excellent sight casting. It hasn’t gotten cold enough for massive winter schools of fish to form, but that usually happens during the later part of this month. Our top targets for December heading into January arer redfish, speckled trout, black drum, flounder and some occassional snook. Depending on the weather we could be catching anywhere from 5-30 or more of each per day.
Redfish fishing has been excellent as of late. It’s our number one opportunity in the Mosquito Lagoon, Indian River, and creeks near Ponce Inlet. All our redfish are shadowing the big finger mullet schools. Find baitfish and you’ll find redfish in the mix too. Average days for catching has been 5-20+ reds. What we are used to catch them has varied widely. Most fish are coming on live mullet, while sight casters are doing fine with live shrimp. If we throw lures it’s been spoons, DOA shrimp or soft plastic jerkbaits. Fly fisherman have done really well on my cab fly or a Borski slider.
It’s no surprise the Speckled Trout are following the big finger mullet schools either. With the cleaner water we’re also finding a lot of big gator trout laid up in sand spots around cold snaps. This is perhaps one of the best times of year for sight casting 8-10lbr’s, a world class fish. Live shrimp, DOA shrimp, soft plastic jerkbaits are all great sight casting tools for big trout...but they are so wary it can ben tough. We’ll catch more trout free-lining mullet around the bait pods or right in beside schooling redfish. Trout season is still closed and won’t reopen until January, so it’s still catch and release. Fly anglers lucky enough to throw a fly to a laid up gator trout will have luck on seaducers and gurglers. Typically we aren’t going for numbers in terms of catching trout in the winter, it’s all about catching the trophies!
The Flounder bite continues to be good in all the backwaters around Ponce Inlet. These fish are migrating towards the Inlet itself so creek mouths, sand bars, docks and seawalls on the ICW, and bays adjacent to the ICW will hold the majority of the fish. Mullet and mud minnows are the preferred baits of choice. Free line them or peg them on a jighead when fishing deeper water. You can also drag a live shrimp pegged on a jig along the bottom. Black Drum are showing up in more brackish areas of the Lagoon and NIRL. Shrimp are blue crab equal guaranteed catching on a less than smart fish.
I have some dates remaining in December but the holidays are filling quickly. January dates are starting to fill and it’s probably the best catching month of the year. Give me a call now to check my availability and reserve/book a date. Short notice trips are accepted if I have a date available. Read my fishing charter page to view the top reasons why you should book your trip with me today. Read my fishing report archive to review write-ups from the past several years. I look forward to fishing with you soon…386-212-4931.