December Fishing Report

The holidays are almost here so give yourself the present of a day on the water. Local residents and out-of-town visitors alike can enjoy first-class seasonal fishing in the waters near Lands End Marina.

Cooler Water Temps Mean Changing your Game Plan

Fish are cold-blooded, and as the year draws to a close and the water in the Bay continues to cool, they start looking for sources of warmth. The discharge pumps at the Big Bend power plant, as well as other power plants on the bay are some of the best local hideouts for heat-seeking fish. A wide variety of local fish species congregate in the 70+ degree water that flows out of the plant.

Warm fish are active fish. They feed more often, fight harder and take bait consistently. Some of the more common fish caught around the plants include Cobia, Jacks, Trout and Spanish mackerel. Use live bait for the best results. Try a shrimp below a popping cork or free line one with a split shot for just enough weight to get it down in the water column, this way you can catch anything that swims by.

Cold water also drives big grouper inshore, as they seek warmer shallow water. December is a great month for landing grouper, but that doesn’t mean you can keep them. Grouper season goes in and out, so always check the local rules and regulations before you put one in the cooler.

Wintertime Staples

  • Sheepshead – Look for sheepshead schooling around bridge pilings and radio towers. Scrape the barnacles off the pilings to start them feeding, then present a bait with the lightest weight possible. Live bait is the best bet. Try barnacles, shrimp or fiddler crabs.
  • Black Drum – Black drum are big fish and they like cold water. As the season wears on their numbers will continue to increase. Black drum bite on both artificial grubs and live bait, especially crabs and shrimp.
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