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Dec 1, 2017 Fishing Report Fishing Report Archives

Courtesy of

Coastal Angler Magazine

OFF SHORE FISHING

FORECAST BY: Capt. Scott Fawcett

It’s been extremely windy, rainy and rough this past year and if this December is anything like most, I’m sure that it’s going to continue. But there is a silver lining, the northwest winds, bigger swells and colder temperatures push large numbers of sailfish, dolphin, blackfin tuna and wahoo down our coastline.

This is another one of my favorite times of year to fish here. I love trolling dead ballyhoo while using dredges to attract the fish closer to the boat. ‘Tis the season to pull a spread focusing more towards sailfish and dolphin using small naked ballyhoo rigged on circle hooks and maybe a big bait in the short rigger if it’s not too windy. I also like pulling a squid chain on the other side of the spread when we can.

If targeting wahoo while we’re still targeting the sails and mahi, I normally sacrifice a flatline and the second dredge and put a planer or one of our Canon 10TS downriggers down with double-hooked mullet or ballyhoo and a Scylla Lure over top of it. Try to fish it just above the thermocline, and if you happen to have the same downrigger, there is a cycle function, I definitely recommend using it.

This time of year, the fish typically travel down our reef systems and 85, 135, and 175 feet traditionally seem to be pretty good depths to look for edges and bait to fish on. Obviously, there are no fences out there and if conditions are right inshore or offshore of those areas, there’s a good possibility of capitalizing there.

Live bait has been pretty easy to catch lately and there is a boat selling it at the mouth of the Pocket again. it’s a great time of year to fish it. Slow trolling, drifting, or kite fishing will all work well, especially when you have one of those holographic stripteaser dredges drifting along with you. Just make sure you’ve got your Costa Sunglasses on so you can see the fish when they fire in there, that’s my favorite part.

The water has been extremely warm this year and I expect bottom fishing and cobia fishing to continue and be pretty good as well. Check out Capt. Rocky’s report to find out more about that.

FROM THE SHORE FISHING

FORECAST BY: Jayson Arman

Beach fishing in December is when things start to pick up for the pompano fisherman. Northeast winds and cold fronts will push good numbers of pompano and other species down the coast of South Florida. The land fisherman wants to look for clean water and normally an outgoing tide, using baits like sand fleas, clams, fish bites and fresh dead shrimp. Look for different beaches that have multiple waves breaking at different distances off the beach, which will indicate that there is a lot of contour to the bottom at that spot.

Fishing in the Indian River should get very good in the shallow waters. With more cold fronts approaching, the sun will heat up the shallows quicker and some of the predator fish will come up in the shallows as the sun rises looking for baitfish, so getting out early in the morning is not always very important in December. Not to mention, I’ve had some of my best success catching redfish in the middle of the day in December. Throwing lures like the Bass Assassin Sea Shad in the Mudbug color will get you plenty of redfish. If the water is very calm, you might have to slow your approach down and throw a D.O.A. Shrimp in the clear and gold or clear and red color and fish very slow. When you feel the THUMP, set the hook and hold on tight. Adding a rattle to your rubber baits will increase your odds from having a good day or having a great day!

When you are on the flats and you see the pelicans diving, pay very close attention to how they are diving. If the pelicans are diving and they come up very quickly, they are probably diving on mullet. If they are diving and keeping their bill in the water that means they are diving on smaller minnows or greenies. this will also help you determine on what size lure you should be using. I’ve observed an angler making a very small change and instantly start catching better fish. Always try to learn something when you are out fishing. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Fishing is something you can almost never master and that’s what makes it so much fun—the unknown on every single fishing trip. So, don’t forget to always have fun and pick up new tips and strategies along the way.

Now until Christmas Eve, I will be offering a buy one, get one gift certificate for two anglers to go on one fishing trip for the cost of a $100. I supply everything for you and give you four different location options. If this is something that sounds interesting to you, contact me by phone or email me anytime!

INSHORE/NEARSHORE FISHING

FORECAST BY: Capt. John Young

There’s plenty of fish to be caught in December. Winds will be picking up out of the north with temps dropping, which will make fishing a little bit challenging at times. Stay on the leeward side of the shoreline for wind protection and you will be fine. In the surf, bluefish will be feeding on anything that moves and can be caught with Krocodile spoons or noisy topwater Chuggers. For sport or meat, the blues will give you a good fight, but watch their teeth chompers. The main concentration of Spanish macs will be down around Peck Lake and riding the incoming tide into the river. A fast retrieve with a green jig on 60-pound leader will do the trick filling up the box if that’s what you desire. Try drifting the Sailfish Point flats for pompano and the edges of the channel heading up to the Twenty-Five Cent Bridge. Goofy jigs in yellow or pink bounced right off the bottom will get their attention. A couple good cold fronts should move the flounder into the inlet and river. A simple rig to use is a live finger mullet on a jig head around channel edges and points of land. The black drum, sheepshead and croaker bite is hot around the bridges and inlet. Shrimp tipped jigs or small crabs pinned on a jig head near the bridge pilings and over the rocky bottom around the inlet is the ticket. Snook season is closed but you can still fish for them. If the water stays in the 70s, the fish will feed. Snook will get lock jaw in cold water but if you put a bait in front of their nose they will eat it.

I have been writing this forecast since 2009 and it is time to take a break to let somebody new take over.  It has been a pleasure writing the articles and meeting new people. The fishing community on the Treasure Coast are all highly rated anglers and outdoorsman and I wish all of you the best in the new year. Aloha and good luck.

DEEP SEA FISHING

FORECAST BY: Capt. Rocky Carbia

Holiday excitement will clamor inside the souls of all in December. Like many gifts under a decorated tree, a multitude of saltwater fish species will wait just below the choppy surface, and avail themselves as trophy saltwater presents to the offshore anglers of this month. A steady procession of cold fronts will produce “fresh” winds that will in turn rough up the ocean, and oxygenate the near coastal waters, from the northwest, northeast and east. Fish will be active, on the move, and hungry across the entire offshore playing field.

King mackerel, mahi, snapper, and grouper will be the preferred targets of captains and crews plying the waters from 50 to 150 feet as choppy and rough ocean conditions will dictate strategies and force boats to “fish for position” by steering towards wave conditions that will offer the path of least resistance to a fishing spot and create the opportunity for a more comfortable ride home after the fishing day is done. “Fishing for position” will be key this month, as it will allow boats to fish marginal conditions on what is typically a rough ocean during December.

Natural and artificial reefs that are positioned just east and northeast of the St. Lucie Inlet by three to four nautical miles will be a go to fishing zone for all species this month, especially mutton and lane snapper. Lane snapper will congregate in large schools at the base of these reefs and will be caught on 30- to 50-pound tackle, using all types of cut bait, presented on 3/0 to 5/0 size hooks.

While several of these reefs will lend themselves to a “drifting strategy”, fishing from an anchored boat will be the more preferable strategy, as the majority of these reefs are relatively small in size, moreover, steep December waves will make a drifting strategy dicey and prohibitive. Have a good anchor, with a sizeable amount of chain, and rode (anchor line) to increase one`s potential for success.

December will be the final month to be able to catch and keep grouper before a seasonal closure goes into effect January 1st. With this in mind, holiday meat hunters will try to make good on their grouper grabbing skills, which will include fishing heavy tackle over naturally occurring reefs in 100 to 150 feet of water. The Eight Mile Reef, east to northeast of Salerno, will be the best zone to find bruiser gag and red grouper. Live baits and large cut baits will provoke the best grouper bites in 140 feet of water, over top of these reef areas.

The anglers of December will hope for stockings stuffed with fishing tackle and dream of freshly caught filets in Ziploc bags.  So, in December, keep a close eye on the offshore weather to determine a user-friendly window and realize your fishing visions on our near coastal waters.  Happy Holidays to all!

 
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