By: Capt. Greg Poland
The backcountry of the Florida Keys is renowned for its world-class fishing year-round, but there’s something magical about the month of December. As winter sets in across the northern parts of the United States, the Florida Keys become a warm and inviting sanctuary for anglers seeking a respite from the cold. The waters of Florida Bay are teeming with a wide variety of fish species year-round, making it a diverse and exciting destination for anglers. In the Flamingo area, you can expect to target species like snook, redfish, and seatrout.
The flats of the Keys will have bonefish and permit, and out on the edge of the Gulf, schools of Spanish mackerel will be showing up. The calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico are particularly enticing for fly fishing, making this time of year a must-visit destination for those who love the art of casting flies or fishing light tackle. I like a 9 or 10wt floating line with a deceiver fly or a light action spinning rod with a live shrimp or pilchard as bait, be sure to bring along a few boxes of chum to keep them active.
Fishing the backcountry of the Florida Keys in December is an exceptional experience for anglers seeking a winter escape and I have some open dates if you would like to get out on the water together, I just rigged out a new 25Ft Contender Bay Boat and looking forward to a great winter fishing season. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice, the Florida Keys backcountry has something to offer everyone. Get on my calendar and let’s go catch fish together.
On a side note, I recently went out with my neighbor on his Gheenoe and had the time of my life, he took me into places my boat could not access but had been hearing about from him. It took me back to a time when I did a bit more exploring than I get to do these days and we had a blast. Below is a photo of Capt. Rylan navigating in an undisclosed location deep in the mangroves.