DECEMBER, 2019 Fishing Report

November fishing was good, and December usually provides more of the same. The water temperatures are in the mid 60’s and the fish are chewing. The speckled trout bite has been exceptional on float rigs and live shrimp. Topwater and lipped diving plugs will usually result in larger trout. Yellowmouth trout should fire up this month, and will be caught deeper in the water column than their spotted cousins.
Sheepshead should continue to bite well on fiddler crabs this month. They are challenging to catch due to their subtle bite, which feels more like a “pressure” than a “nibble.” They fight well and are exceptional table fare. The black drum fishing has picked up along the St Johns River jetties and the ICW creeks. Redfish are in the river, along the jetties, and in the ICW and its tributaries. Smaller rat reds are plentiful in the creeks. Some bull reds are still in the deep river. As the water cools, most of them will move offshore.
You may catch the occasional flounder, but most have moved offshore for the winter. Surf fishing has been very good recently, especially for the good eating pompano and whiting. Bluefish, reds, and drum are also common catches from the sand. Fish on calmer days when the water is clear.
The weather plays a major role in both boat and surf fishing here on the First Coast. If you pick your days between the northeasters and cold fronts, the fishing can often be spectacular in December!
CAPT Bob Cosby