December Changes, by Capt. Pete Rapps

December is one of the months that we really start to pay close attention to the tides, especially around the full and new moon. The full moon this December falls on the 4th and the new moon is on the 18th. We will have extreme low tides the mornings of the 2nd-8th and the 16th – 21st. Do your research if fishing those days, as you may want to adjust your fishing times to avoid those negative low tides.

The snook will start to head back up the rivers and into the back country this month. Catch some nice live bait on the outside and bring them into the back country for some great snook action. The redfish will do the same and begin to show into the river mouths this month. Live baits are good for redfish too, and they really love live shrimp.

Each December sheepshead will show up in decent numbers over hard bottom. Sheepshead can prove to be frustrating to get hooked up for some because they require great finesse. What we do is anchor up over them in a slow-moving current. Present a shrimp on a small hook so that you can hide the hook completely in the shrimp. Sometimes the shrimp are pretty big this time of year, so you can usually cut your shrimp in half. Get your bait down to the depth that the fish are at. When you feel a nibble, do not set the hook. Instead start to slowly reel away from the fish, and as you do, he will generally get serious. Thinking that the shrimp is going to get away, they will bite the entire shrimp with your hook in it. Now that you have his attention, set the hook and reel it up.

I hope that these forecasts serve as educational and beneficial to you, and that they will help you become a better angler. If you have any questions or would like to book an instructional charter, please contact me at the below email. I also conduct free instructional seminars and lessons to various groups, clubs, tackle shops, and other venues throughout the year. If your group could benefit from a workshop, please do not hesitate to contact me. Also, be sure to check out our website for dates of future workshops.

Capt. Pete Rapps

Captain Rapps’ Charters & Guides offers year-round expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips in the 10,000 Islands of the Everglades National Park, and spring time Tarpon-only charters in the Florida Keys. Capt. Rapps’ top notch fleet accommodates men, women, & children of all ages, experienced or not. Between our vast knowledge & experience of the area, and easy going demeanors, you are guaranteed to have a great day. Book your charter 24/7 using the online booking calendar, and see Capt. Rapps’ first class web site for Booking info, Videos, Recipes, Seasonings, and more at