This past two weeks, anglers have been able to enjoy some great fishing. The second half of December was quite mild, allowing water temps to creep back up to mid to upper 60's. This allowed many fish to reappear from our fall migrations.
Water visibility was clear enough for anglers to capitalize on some decent gag grouper trolling. Giant plugs are what most prefer. They are designed with oversized lips to travel as deep as possible. The large lipped plugs, often called 25 or 30 are the most effective. These numbers are labeled on boxes when purchased. The shiny chrome and gold colors have always
been my favorite. Using braided line cuts through the water better than monofilament, allowing you to get the lure closer to the bottom. Simply lowering it back until it bumps the bottom, then take two or three cranks on the reel, and you are trolling for grouper. Adjust your speed anywhere from 3 to 6 mph will entice the fish to bite. These lures work best in depth from 20 to 40 feet of water.
Kingfish reappeared this past two weeks as well. Captains were catching them off Egmont, Johns pass and Clearwater. Many areas anglers able to limit out in our matter of minutes. The Fish were scattered, but once located, they were eager to take about any bait presented.
With this new year, some of the lowest temperatures are predicted. Expect everything to be a mess for a bit. Water temps will plummet, winds will be high, causing muddy conditions. Who knows what it'll be like in 3 or four weeks. A warming trend could soon be in our future allowing more great action again. For now, winter has truly arrived in Florida. Happy new year to all.