December Fishing Report
As 2018 comes to an end we can take the year out with some excellent fishing around Tampa Bay. This month is a busy one for most as Christmas is right around the corner, but fishing should not be overlooked.
December is the month that Snook Trout and Redfish commit to their winter homes. As water temperature dips into the low 60s you will see these fish use deeper canals and creeks as refuge. Targeting the rivers and residential areas will be areas of interest for anglers. The key will be finding Greenbacks. Bait moves to deeper water this time of year and can be a bit challenging but when found you can expect to have some great days of fishing.
With cooler water comes clear water so I tend to downsize my leader to 30lb and 1/0 circle hooks. Snook fishing is on fire on the east side of the bay around areas like the Alafia and Little Manatee rivers. You can expect to catch plenty of fish this time of month as they feed frequent and get aggressive. Trout fishing also picks up with the cooler water as the creek mouth, Oyster Bars and Rivers all will produce quality fish. You will find some redfish in the mix of catching Snook and Reds.
On those cold but calm days its always a good option to look at doing some bottom fishing for Sheepshead inside Tampa Bay. The bay is loaded with big schools of Sheepshead that live around the wrecks that are throughout the bay. Structure and ledges typically host home to the big Sheepshead.
Another great option is to use artificial baits. These work for all the inshore species mentioned above but My favorite fish would have to be Trout. Bait choice for me would have to be the Zman paddlerz or Minnowz baits matched with a 1/8 to ¼ once jig head. A benefit to using artificial baits on your Tampa fishing charters would have to be the amount of area you can cover on a flat. It’s a blast catching fish on artificial baits while fishing Tampa Bay and everyone should try it.
The key is to fish on the good days and around the cold fronts. On days you can’t find bait don’t be afraid to use shrimp or even artificial baits as a second option. Tight lines lets go do some fishing.