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December Brings Some Great Fishing And Family Times

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On: Fri, Nov 28, 2014 at 9:11AM | By: Captain Sergio Atanes

Brent Hurst displays his fine Trout

December has many meanings for each one of us, family time with our relatives, the kids are home from college, a good time to bond with old friends. Christmas is also a time to thank God for our health, family, and giving us such a great country we live in with freedom.

Now having said all of this, December brings many surprises to anglers of Tampa Bay, and it all depends on the weather. If it’s a warm month, we can count on large schools of Redfish around the many mangrove islands and Trout on the shallow flats. A warm month can keep many species such as Mackerel and Cobia, which are usually gone by mid-November, in our bay waters.

A cold December is all a different story. Look for big Trout on the edges of channels and pot holes on the deeper flats. First bait of choice is a medium live shrimp with a 2/0 circle hook tied to a 15-pound test fluorocarbon lead. Water gets crystal clear with cold weather and Mr. Trout is one smart fish. Free line the shrimp along the edges of the pot holes on flats allowing it to drift from grass to sandy areas. If fishing along the channels I prefer to use a small split shot to the bait closer to the bottom and slowly retrieve it along the bottom to the top of the channel.

Casting jigs towards the shoreline parallel to the dock and bounce it along the bottom until you reach the front of the dock can and will produce some nice catches of Redfish and Flounder besides Trout. Continue this method on both sides of the dock going from one dock to another, as this allows you to cover the entire area. Once you get a hit, work that dock for while.

Snook would have made their way up the rivers and creeks looking for warmer water. Remember that Snook slow down on their bite this time of year, so cut bait works great on the bottom. Live medium shrimp with the tail cut off is another great bait to use. I prefer once again to use a small split shot to keep the bait on the bottom and in many cases I will work the shrimp along the edges of the river or creek bed where the Snook are most likely to be waiting for food.

Warm water outflow from the different power plants will be another heaven for Snook, Cobia, Trout and Sharks. The best time to fish the outflow is just before sunrise to about 11 am. As the sun gets higher in the sky the fish tend to move to the mouth of the hot water outflow, so I suggest you start as close as you can to the outflow and work your way through the channel as the sun rises.

Sheepshead will be making their entry into Tampa Bay to spawn as the water temperature drops, and this I will cover on next month’s issue.

Good fishing and tight lines.

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