December is here and cooler temps have begun to make an appearance. Love this time of the year for it’s beautiful blue bird skies, comfortable temperatures, and great fishing! Here’s what you need to know to get on the bite!
Crappie, or as many like to call them, Specks, have been caught in good numbers in the St. John’s River and local Central Florida lakes. Fish can be caught on artificial baits such as a beetle spin, small curly tail jigs, or mini rattle traps while trolling with your trolling motor. This method allows you to deploy multiple lures and cover different depths and more water faster. Don’t forget to mark the spot where you get hits so that you can circle around and hit that same area again. Another effective way of catching specks is by using minnows rigged with a small hook, size 8 or 10, with a split shot weight or rigged using a 1/16 oz jighead.
Trout and redfish have been schooling up and rooting through out the Mosquito Lagoon. As you work the flats, move slowly and quietly, scanning the area for tails and pushes. Also be on the look out for low fly or hovering seagulls. This is a sure sign that fish are feeding nearby. Redfish have been in schools of 20 plus fish devouring shrimp. We have been witnessing large numbers of shrimp scurrying across the surface through out the flats trying to avoid hungry predators. My lure of choice has been a soft plastic jerk bait, specifically the FlatsHQ Flats Jerks in white, gold or new penny. All have been effective on both Reds and Trout. Live Shrimp or baits that mimic shrimp such as a DOA Shrimp or Berkley Gulp, will also get the job done. Black Drum have schooled up and are moving across tiger shoals. Look for large pushes and tails and be sure to have some live shrimp on board to get you that bite!
Fly Fishing: This month’s patterns are simple, Sliders. A Borski Slider has been the fly of choice for my Anglers. pOG Flies has a nice variety but my favorite has been in the orange and yellow patterns. It pops in our dirty water and has provided the action we all are looking for on the fly!
Pro Tip: This week’s Pro Tip is all about sunglasses. One of my most used, must have tools for a successful day on the water are my sunglasses. Regardless of brand, one thing that you can do to make your valuable sunglasses and lenses last considerably longer is all in how you clean them. It happens, you release a fish and get a light splash in the face, or you’re running in some nasty, choppy, windy conditions and inevitably you get some spray or mist on your lenses. The last thing you want to do is wipe your glasses with a towel or t-shirt. And the reason for this is because the salt residue on your lenses can actually scratch your lenses and create a hazy, blurred vision. Instead you have a few options that will not damage your lenses. First, and the cheapest option would be to grab a bottle of water and use the freshwater to wash them down followed by a wiping with a clean microfiber towel. Most sunglasses come with a small packable microfiber towel. A second option would be to purchase liquid lens cleaner, such has Mo Henry’s Lens Cleaner, which comes in a spray bottle or Pre-Packaged Lens cleaner wipes made by Zeiss. Both are fairly inexpensive, available online and will keep your glasses clean with out the fear of scratches.
Tight Lines Y’all ,
Capt. Jonathan Moss
Go Castaway Fishing Charters