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 your 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, steadily 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 anglers will find live pinfish, pigfish or finger mullet to be 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.
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 in 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 in the surf. To target both blues and Spanish macks, watch for birds working bait pods, and throw small jigs like the RipTide Swimming Mullet and spoons with a fast retrieval to avoid cutoffs.