December Fishing Forecast
Captain Jim Britton
Gather up your fiddler crabs, clams, oysters, or shrimp – December will be a great month for targeting large sheepshead. To catch these “striped bandits” try fishing deeper areas with plenty of submerged structure (oysters, rocks, or anything else which encourages crustacean growth). Use a small stout live bait hook and just enough weight to hold your favorite bait on the bottom. Another tried and true tactic, for attracting sheepshead, is to pull your boat up to a bridge or dock and scrape the barnacles and other small crustaceans off the pilings. Once you have created a chum slick drop down a bait and be ready for the bite! Other inshore fair, in December, will be an increased number of sea trout and bluefish in the drop-offs along the Intracoastal Waterway. For these fish try free lining a shrimp along current breaks caused by a significant change in water depth. Also, check out your favorite flat for sight fishing opportunities for schooling redfish and black drum.
In the surf, anglers can expect the whiting bite to continue. Also be on the look out for increased numbers of flounder, redfish, black drum and sheepshead. Sea Trout and their cousin, weakfish, will be caught using hard plastic baits as well.
Offshore anglers should take advantage of days with light winds to get out to the near shore wrecks or reefs to target amberjack, cobia, and triggerfish. Also if weather allows, traveling a little farther should produce some grouper in the 80 to 100 foot range. A trip to the ledge will still see anglers rewarded with wahoo, dolphin, and black fin tuna.
During this holiday season remember those less fortunate and help when and where you can by donating your time, money, or even just some kind words and a helping hand. Tight lines and hopefully everyone will fish their way into the New Year!