Capt. Mike Waller’s December Inshore & Reef Forecast

December can be great for inshore fishing. Most of the bait stealers are gone for the winter, so those fish that are still around  are game fish for the most part. Redfish, trout and sheepshead make up the majority of inshore species. Sheepshead will eat fiddlers or live shrimp, while trout can be caught using artificials such as grubs, shrimp patterns and flies. Redfish, when feeding, will eat all types of baits, including live minnows, live shrimp, dead shrimp, cut fish, flies and many different types of artficials. This time of year, one of my favorite inshore baits works the best. When worked properly, we have landed trout, reds and flounder when using The Trout Trick. Cast it out, let it settle to the bottom and twitch the rod tip to make the lure bounce off the bottom. Most hits will come as the lure is settling back towards the bottom. Light line weight, a rod with a sensitive tip, and a tight line are critical to feeling the bite. Cast out and work the shorelines on high water for best results. Work the lure back to the boat and recast as you drift parallel to the shore. 

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The nearshore reefs are great for plenty of action with black sea bass, weakfish, sheepshead, black drum, reds and many other species. Wait until the forecast predicts calm winds, with 10-mph or less winds being the best days to go. Higher winds mean rougher seas; and while salty spray feels pretty good on summer days, it is not so pleasant when the temperatures are cold. Try live baits, such as shrimp or minnows, and fish those until you get a good bite, switching to gulp shrimp, grubs or other lures to land fish. Sheepshead will not eat lures, so if that is your targeted fish, you will need fiddlers or shrimp to catch those fish. Redfish and weakfish will eat almost anything you drop down when they are feeding.


Capt. Mike Waller

(843) 224-8197  

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