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December is here and what a wonderful start to winter in West Central Florida. Cool jacket weather in the mornings, and warm enough for shorts in the afternoon. Hope this weather trend continues until summer. The weather can be one of the biggest hurdles to cross when fishing in the winter months. If it’s too cold fish usually will not feed and if it’s too windy it makes it very hard for us to get out and find fish either by boat or from shore. Consistent water temperature is the key. The rapid change in water temperature seems to be a big factor for when fish decide to feed or not to feed. One rule of thumb is to look for consistent water temperatures over a period of time.
Spanish mackerel are all but gone. These fish migrate south. Expect to see them return in late February.
Trout will be in the deeper grass flats and some of the deeper spots of the Alafia, Manatee and Little Manatee Rivers. Live shrimp, scalled sardines are an excellent choice if using live bait. I like to use artificial baits for trout. My favorite is a DOA shrimp. It works well this time of year because you can fish it with a very slow retrieve or you can use it under a Cajon Thunder popping cork just as you would a live shrimp. Trout season is open year round in the Southern region of Florida.
Redfish is my pick for the month. Fish near the many oyster bars that fill the back country of Tampa Bay or along the mangrove shore line of cannels and river banks. Try using a pin fish under a bobber or one of the many artificial types of bait available at the local tackle shops.
Snook have begun moving into the rivers and deeper waters of Tampa Bay. Snook seek out warmer water in the local area such as spring feed rivers, power plants with warm water run off or deep spots that hold warmth as the surface water cools. Please remember, snook season closed December 1 on the west coast of Florida.
If you can, get out and enjoy this great place we live in. The Southshore has some of the best fishing Florida has to offer but remember it’s not the number of fish you put in the fish box that makes a successful trip. Measure you’re fishing success by the number of smiles you receive by going fishing.
Be safe out there.
Capt. Danny Guarino
D.R. Guarino Charters
|December 2014 Fishing Forecast|
|November 2014 Fishing Forecast and Report|
|October 2014 Fishing Forecast|
|September 2014 fishing Forecast|
|August 2014 Fishing ForeCast|