We've been experiencing numerous days with blustery winds related to cold fronts. Anglers can still get some good action in between the rough weather days. Timing your outing between the unruly weather is key. We normally inform clients ahead of time, During this month of December, they have a 50 /50 chance of getting out. Water temperatures have not plummeted to the low sixties yet, so we still have multiple migrations of fish in the area.
Kingfish and Spanish mackerel are still being caught by anglers trolling cleaner water conditions between fronts. Water depths of 30 to 60 feet of water seem to be the most productive depths to troll at this time. A few rogue kings are still being landed off the beaches by anglers using live baits. The mullet spawn has starting to take place, so expect to see a few giant kings caught around these schools as they head offshore. If the weather stays mild, bigger kings will often follow them back to shore after they spawn. Gag grouper have also made a decent comeback this fall migration as well. They can can tolerate colder water temperatures dipping into the lower sixties, allowing fisherman to capitalize on the few weeks of open season. Both live and dead baits have been productive with most anglers working the depths of 40 plus feet of water.
Triple tail can be found loitering around the many stone crab buoys that dot the gulf at this time. A free-lined live shrimp is about the best bait to present to these fish , since they are often found floating beneath the buoys. If they dont bite the first cast, keep tossing into their line of site. You can often hear a loud pop sound when the engulf the shrimp, due to their sturdy jaw structure. Lighter tackle is also an important variable . Numerous anglers are starting to hunt hog snappers with good results. If you can get out in the gulf between fronts , there is plenty of action. Again shrimp is the best bait for a consistent bite from these fish. Small crabs can also be quite effective for bait too.