Skip to main content

Coastal Angler December/January Report

By January 9, 2015March 1st, 2018Fishing Reports

The bite in December reminded me of something akin to a roller coaster ride… plenty of ups and downs with very little action in between.

On the downside…

The triple tail action has been less than one would expect for this time of year. We have been able to find a few here and there, however they have all been on the small side. I have yet to see any big bruisers hangin’ under buoys, but am hopeful that they will make an appearance soon.

The trout bite began with a bang in December. We were getting into some nice schools along the beaches which lulled me into thinking that we would be seeing plenty of those snaggle-toothed critters moving into the back once the water temps cooled a bit more. Although we have been getting into a few, the fact of the matter is the trout seem to have other plans. Fingers crossed that this will change in short order!

Redfish are definitely around, just not in the numbers I’ve seen in years past. This bite has been somewhat inconsistent as well.  I’ve been seeing more in the deeper holes of feeder and tidal creeks. If you can find ‘em they will gladly eat a nice shrimp or cut bait.

On the upside…

The winter Snook bite has been better than average for this time of year. We have still been getting plenty of Snook action, especially along shorelines and points that are getting a steady flow of water on the incoming tide. With our most recent cool down I expect that these guys will start moving further back into the estuary in search of the warmer waters created by the suns warming rays as they hit the dark and mottled bottoms that are prevalent throughout these areas. I’ve found that the magic number for finding areas with plenty of active Snook is 72 degrees.

The Pompano fishing has been as good if not better than expected. Fishing clean water on an incoming tide with the standard shrimp tipped Pompano jig is always the best bet for getting the maximum amount of hook-ups. I expect this bite will continue to be consistent throughout most of the season.

The Bonita have been ravenous on the outside! During those days when conditions are ripe for running off the beach, there have been plenty of opportunities to get into some larger fish bustin’ on the huge schools of glass minnows that have accumulated about a half mile off of the beaches. This action should continue throughout January, as long as the bait remains.

If you want to avoid the ups and downs of winter fishing, and have the flexibility to do so, always try to plan your trips according to when that next front is going to push through. Your best bite will almost always occur post front. If you can’t get out post front, then expect that it will take a few days for the fishery to recover once a front blows through… so plan accordingly.

Geoff Crouse

Capt. Geoff is a full-time fishing guide in Naples, FL and specializes in light tackle and fly fishing adventures.