Merry Christmas to all the fisherman out there and a very happy New Year!
Fishing in the Naples and Marco area waters has been surprisingly good all things considered. The water temperatures have been doing a lot of yo-yoing which usually means pretty poor fishing. Well not so much the case for December. We are still catching good Bass and some Peacocks in the Canals. In the Saltwater; bait fishing is producing some Snook action and the jig fisherman are putting together some catches of Whiting, Pompano, and Sea trout. Of course the other species like ladyfish and jacks are around. Oh I forgot to mention Redfish, well it has been a while since I caught one of any size. A few small ones in the creeks but the larger ones are hard to come by this year. I cringe when someone wants to fish for them, they have been difficult to say the least. This weeks cold may be the last straw for bait though. We are going to see low 40’s again and this might end our bait fishing for the year. If it does not get cold then we will still be fishing for Snook with White bait. Water temps are back and forth from 60 degrees to 70 degrees. If it stays north of 65 expect continued success with bait. If it drops below get out the jigs and start hitting the holes this week. Fly fisherman get out hose weighted flies are go out and fish the night.
Next months fishing is still up in the air. As cold as it has been this month, I would expect next month to be a little short of miserable. The problem with South Florida winters are you never no what you are going to get until it happens. The weather people are still calling for colder than normal but I do not trust the weather men as far as I can throw them. Hopefully it will not get too cold and the fishing stay similar to what we have been experiencing in December. If it gets cold; then like always you need to stock up on jigs and get some shrimp to tip them, find some holes along the Intercoastal or in the channels along the flats. The most important thing is to slow down. The reason most fisherman only catch Ladyfish in the winter is that they are working to fast. There is a fine line from dragging the bottom and catching catfish to fishing to fast and catching only ladyfish. Experiment with different rates of retrieve and you will find the one that gets the Trout, Whiting, and Pompano. You might even surprise yourself and catch something really cool like a Permit or what we caught a couple of days ago a beautiful Mutton Snapper. You just never no when you are jigging hole in the channel. Night fishing for Snook in the lights should continue to be good just a little chillier. Creek fishing for the little ones will still be a viable alternative for fly fisherman. Downsize the equipment and it will still be fun. 3 and 4 weights are a blast with the little ones. Well hope everyone has a wonderful and prosperous New year and the fishing comes up Roses for all. Roan z.