Well we’re into December now and we’ve just had our first real cold front of the season in the last week. Air temperatures dropped to around 60, water temps in the backcountry got into the high 60s – not too cold. We like for this to happen in the winter as the cooler water brings in more oxygen and life and can really spark up the fishing. Before the front the fishing was really good for snook in the backcountry and redfish were making their presence known as well. Live pilchards have still been key for snook fishing, and are still readily available most days. Since the cold I’ve been back there a few times and fishing still been fairly good though it seems fish have really moved around. Places where I was able to fish for an hour or more and catch lots of fish I am now only catching a couple and having to keep picking and moving. Not a bad thing, just a lot more moving around. We still got multiple nice snook last week, and a handful of redfish. Today we went out front to the patch reefs. The action was heavy with a lot of mangrove and yellowtail snappers. We got a few groupers and mutton snappers off the bottom on live pilchards, including a keeper red grouper of 22 inches. We also got a handful of porgies and bar jacks. Not too shabby for a half day trip. The spanish mackerel have started to get more and more consistent, we will start targetting them a lot over the next couple months. Some larger seatrout also start to get into the runoffs along with redfish and snook. It’s a great time of year to fish here in Islamorada in December! After christmas things really start to get busy, though I have some open days between now and then if your looking to get out. Full days are best for the deeper everglades stuff, and on the nicer days the gulf can be a unique trip with the mackerels, cobias, tripletails, goliath grouper, etc… Half days as stated patch fishing is a good bet, trout fishing in the backcountry, or mackerel fishing in the bay. Let’s go fishing!
Capt. Rick Stanczyk