Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Forecast, December 2007
Compliments of Mosquito Creek Outdoors in Apopka Florida
It is hard to fathom the thought of how quickly the holiday season has arrived. Life on the lagoon coast of Florida definitely has its advantages in regards to the outdoors and fishing, warmer weather, year round angling, quality fish, and oh yes, quality times on the water enjoying life. It is once again time to reflect back on our many blessings, and to look forward to what December has to offer.
Like November, December is a great month for fishing, but the impact of passing cold fronts on water temperatures and sea conditions can be the difference between going fishing, and raking the yard. The influence and intensity of winter fronts is unpredictable, so break out your winter shorts in preparation of cooler days to come, and keep you boat and tackle in top shape ready to take advantage of the nice days between fronts.
Around and in the inlet passes of Ponce De Leon, Port Canaveral, and Sebastian, concentrations of breeder redfish will remain, steady feeding during periods of slack and falling tide. At both Sebastian and Ponce inlets, target these fish outside the inlet passes on the falling tide in areas of bird and bait activity. In Port Canaveral, work the edges of the buoy line bouncing bait off the bottom. These over sized redfish will hit on artificial baits, but I find live pinfish, pigfish or finger mullet to be a more productive. Remember, these oversized reds are exciting to catch, but they are breeders, so please step up your tackle size and handle and release them with care.
Snook fishing will also remain steady as long as the water temperatures stay warm, with Sebastian Inlet proving to be the prime location. It is best to target inlet linesiders during periods of slack tide drift fishing live pigfish, pinfish, or croakers at night in the channel under the A1A Bridge. This style of angling can be quite rewarding when the bite is on, but it can also be very challenging due to the number of anglers competing for the same action. Snook season ends December 15th, so if you enjoy those tasty filets, your time is limited.
Flounder is another notable species worth mentioning when speaking of inlet fishing. Depending on surf and lagoon temperatures, the flounder migration can stretch into December, with stragglers filtering through the passes all month.
Along the beaches, look for pompano to begin moving off the inshore flats to the deeper troughs along the beach is search of sand fleas (mole crabs) their favorite winter food. Also look for schools of bluefish and Spanish mackerel shadowing pods of glass minnows and other bait is the surf. To target both blues and Spanish, watch for birds working bait pods, and through small jigs like the RipTide Swimming Mullet and spoons with a fast retrieval to avoid cutoffs.
When the seas permit it, look for solid concentrations of kings holding on the shallow reefs and wrecks in 60 to 100 feet of water. Several prime locations to target kings in December are the north end of Pelican Flats and 8A reef. The kingfish bite should remain steady as long as the water temperature stays above 74 degrees. To target these fish, slow troll live bait if you can find it, or troll dead Spanish sardines or cigar minnows. When near-shore water temperatures approach the 70-degree mark, look for tripletail and cobia to begin to show up on the Port Canaveral buoy line and the near-shore water off the beaches and the bight of the Cape. These fish normally hold to structure such as floating weeds and other debris, but they also have a tendency to free swim on the surface once the sun warms the water.
Offshore, December is one of the best times to catch grouper, snapper, and amberjacks, targeting bottom structure in the 21 to 27 fathom range. Additionally, dolphin, wahoo, and an occasional sailfish are quality targets in areas of color changes, rips, and weed lines.
Inshore, both redfish and sea trout will remain in the skinny water as long as the water temperatures stay in the 70-degree range. Inshore fishing is best once the sun warms the water a bit, so sleep in and enjoy a good cup of coffee before heading to the ramp. Fish in protected areas and sunny spots, and look for fish to be holding in sand pockets until the sun gets overhead. Now is also the time of year to target tailing black drum in the Banana River Lagoon No Motor Zone. If you have never seen black drum tailing on the shallow flats before, it is worth the long hard paddle into the No-Motor Zone.
Last but not lease, look for the American and hickory shad runs to commence on the upper Saint Johns River near the end of the month, and intensifying in January and February. Shad fishing is one of the most overlooked fisheries in Florida, and a fun fish to catch on both fly and light tackle gear.
In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who fished and worked with me in 2007 for your business and friendship, and I am looking forward to spending more time on the water with you in 2008. Also, now is the time to purchase your 2008 gift certificates at and receive 50.00 dollars off of the standard rate by either replying to this news letter or calling my toll free number at 866-790-8081, so purchase a charter in advance for yourself or that certain someone close to your heart, and go fishing with them.
Man I love this job!
As always, if you have any questions or just need information, please contact me.
Happy Holidays, and good luck and good fishing,
Captain Tom Van Horn
Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters
407-416-1187 on the water
866-790-8081 toll free
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