Just a couple weeks left in 2013! Everyone always asks when is the best time to fish here? Well, that time is upon us. The next two months produce the most numbers of fish caught per day. 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. Passing cold fronts push fish into predictable spots. As water levels drop, it condenses them even further. Our main targets this time of year are redfish, speckled trout, black drum and snook. Sight fishing is possible in much of the Mosquito Lagoon and backwater creeks around the Ponce Inlet area with clean, clear water. Things are a bit dirtier in the North Indian River Lagoon but that area should clean up over the next month or so.
Redfish fishing has been good in the Mosquito Lagoon and along creek shorelines in areas near Ponce Inlet. As water levels fall over the next few weeks and colder weather becomes more consistent, we will find our famed schools of 100-300 redfish around these areas. Lately we’ve been finding numerous small groups of 5-20 redfish tailing on shallow grass flats and holding on oyster bars. Catching has been getting more consistent each week with most days getting 5-10 redfish to the boat. Live shrimp, mullet, and cut crab have been good live bait options. When throwing lures we’ve done well with Aqua Dream spoons, small swimbaits, and DOA shrimp. Expect catching to increase dramatically as we approach the first of the year with many days seeing 10-25 redfish to the boat.
From now through the spring it doesn’t get any better for catching monster trophy Speckled Trout. We’ll see dozens of big trout this time of year, with several in the 8-10+lb range. These big trout are moving from deeper edges up onto shallow flats to lay up in potholes in the shallows of the Lagoons and in the shallow sand shelfs in the creeks around Ponce Inlet. A live finger mullet is the best chance to score on these trophy size trout. Sometimes we can get them on small soft plastics, swimbaits, and suspending plugs, but it’s often tough sledding with limited catching throwing lures.
Snook fishing is good and looks to be the best year since the freeze we had in 2009. Most of our catching is with fish in the 12-25” range. It hasn’t gotten cold enough to push them into their deep winter time holes, but they seem to be loaded up on deep edges near or adjacent to those areas. I spent one day this week checking one area...we landed 6 snook up to 24” with a few more shaking free and several others rolling on a lure but missing. Snook fishing for us is at it’s peak from now through the first part of March. We catch them on DOA shrimp, small swimbaits, Mirrolure plugs, and live shrimp.
A few schools of Black Drum have shown up on the shallow flats in Mosquito Lagoon. More will continue to show up as we get closer to their early spring spawn. They are considerably easy to catch; shrimp, cut crabs, as well as lures that imitate those will work. We should see some really big ones around 20+lbs show up after the first of the year.
I have a few dates left for December. January has been booking quickly so I only have about half the month left open. If you want to take advantage of some of our best catching of the year during the next 2 months, be sure to get on the calendar now. Short notice trips are available if I have the date open. Call or email to secure a date. Read my fishing charter page to view the top reasons why you should book your trip with me today. I look forward to fishing with you soon…386-212-4931.