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December Fishing Forecast

I know that it’s no Alaskan winter, but for the fish of Florida Bay, it’s time to find warmer waters.   As the cold fronts approach more frequently so does the periods of windy weather.  But, look at it as opportunities instead of a pain in the you-know-what.   Use those windy days to go out and find new honey-holes and do some exploring.   The days between fronts will provide us with some of the best fishing days of the year. 

Despite the cold and windy conditions, fishing will remain very good in the backcountry.  Snook fishing should remain good throughout the bay until water temperatures drop below 70 degrees.  At this point many of the snook will make their annual journey into the backcountry creeks and bays where the water temperatures remain more consistent throughout the winter.  The windy conditions make it difficult to pole the flats for snook this time of year so make an adjustment to your technique to find these linesiders.  On those windy days, drop the anchor in a creek or channel where the mullet are moving through and it’s almost a guarantee that the snook won’t be far away.  If you are using live bait, throw out a few freebies every now and then to keep the fish biting.  It helps to stun the freebies by squeezing them to keep the bait in the general area of where you are fishing.   If you prefer artificials, remember to work baits slower during those cold days as the fish will become more lethargic and less aggressive. 

The trout bite in the bays around Flamingo will continue to improve as the water temps drop.  Find the grass beds and you will find the schools of trout ranging from 12” to over 25”.   Shutdown the boat on the upwind side of the flat and drift across while casting Cajun Thunder popping corks with a HookUp Lure and Berkley Gulp shrimp.  On the windy days drifting can be difficult as the boats moves too fast for anglers.  But, consider using a drift sock to slow the boats speed allowing you too get more time in the productive areas.  Once you get a few bites, quietly drop the Power-pole or anchor to stop the boat.   This will allow you to work the area thoroughly.   When bite slows, go back to drifting until you find another school of fish.   If you don’t find any trout in the basins on those cold mornings, stake-off in one of the deep channels around Flamingo and bounce some baits off the bottom.  Don’t forget that Trout season is closed through December so handle these fish with care and get them back in the water quickly.  The best way to handle trout is by wetting your hands and just grabbing the fish from the water instead of using a net.  This will protect their slime coating that prevents disease from penetrating their delicate scales.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year as we get ready to enter 2012!

'Til next time, Tight Lines and Light Winds…….

Captain Lain