About time to put a wrap on 2012 and welcome in 2013. Colder weather has been a mainstay over the past 2-3 weeks. Regardless of weather, fishing is always good in Florida. In fact, the colder the better this time of year (extreme cold weather typically yields days with insane numbers of caught fish). December and January are generally the best “catching” months of the year. We generally average anywhere from 10-40 fish per day, and around the hard cold snaps, we’ll see days of 50-100 fish. As of late, water temperatures have coolded considerably and it has turned the water really clear in much of the region I fish. Sight fishing is really good and we are seeing schools of 25-50 redfish on a regular basis as well as numerous giant gator trout laid up in the shallows. Water levels are average for this time of year, so the huge schools of fish haven’t yet formed. We’re also seeing a few schools of black drum and finding increasing numbers of flounder in shallow sandy areas. Fair numbers of snook are starting to move into the remote backwaters, which means we might have some decent fishing for them this winter following a few very, very lean years after the last big freeze.
Redfish fishing has been excellent as of late. Fishing for redfish will be good throughout the Mosquito Lagoon, North Indian River Lagoon and the creeks near Ponce Inlet. We’re finding small schools singles/doubles scattered over shallow grass flats on warmer days and on creek edges/holes around cold snaps. Average days lately have ranged from 5-15+ redfish. Shrimp and live mullet are top live bait choices. Lures like Aqua Dream spoons, soft plastic swimbaits, plugs, and DOA shrimp have also worked well. Fly fisherman have found success using a redfish blossom or a slider pattern.
It’s also time for some of the best Speckled Trout fishing of the year. Not in terms of catching great numbers, but in terms of catching giant gator trout approaching 10lb’s or better. Colder weather moves these giant trout into the shallow waters to warm up as well as follow baitfish. This is one of the best times of year for sight casting 8-10lbr’s, a world class fish. We’ve caught several trout in the 4-7lb range over the past couple weeks, and have had chances at some giants up to 12lbs. Live shrimp and mullet, DOA shrimp, and lightweight soft plastic jerkbaits are all great tools for big trout. Only problem is these fish are extremely wary and a big on the lethargic side so catching can be tough at times.
A few schools of Black Drum are showing up on the shallow flats. More and more will continue to show up as we get closer to their spring spawn. They are considerably easy to catch; shrimp, cut crabs, as well as lures that imitate those will work. Flounder action continues to be good in the backwaters of Oak Hill, Edgewater, and New Smyna Beach. Creek mouths, sand bars, docks and sea walls along the ICW and adjacent to it will hold the majority of fish. Fair nubers of Snook are moving into the remote backwaters to ride out the colder winter months. Numbers are still way off what they used to be before the last big freeze, but we might have some decent fishing for them over the next few months.
I have open dates in December and January, but things always get busy around the holidays. Don’t forget these next couple months can be the best catching months of the year. As always short notice trips are available if I have the date open. Call or email to secure a reservation. 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.