Indian River Lagoon Fishing Forecast – December 2019

December is a month filled with outstanding fishing opportunities. The only significant difference is the impact cooler weather has on the fishery and windy conditions caused by passing cold fronts. As the cold weather settles in on America many anglers can only dream of a location where stretching line is a year-round endeavor like we have here in Central Florida. Currently water levels are high on both the St Johns River system and the inshore saltwater lagoons, but as we enter our dry season water level will decrease and fishing conditions will improve.

On the St Johns River system good numbers of speckled perch (black crappie) will show up in the upper St Johns River, and the big lakes of Monroe, Jessup and Harney. Fish structure or slow troll Road Runner jigs or live minnows near the bottom for better results. Also, look for the American shad to begin showing up near the end of the month. The American shad and crappie are incredible species to catch on light tackle and fly, and if you have never experienced these fisheries, you should book a day with me and I’ll show you how it is done. American Shad fishing is as close as Floridian’s get to the salmon runs of the north and we are catching them during the winter when the northern rives are frozen.

On the inshore flats, both redfish and sea trout will remain in the skinny water as long as the water temperatures stay in the seventies. Fish in protected areas and sunny spots on cooler days, and look for fish to be holding in deeper holes until the sun gets overhead. Saltwater gamefish will be transitioning their feeding habits from finfish to shrimp and crabs, so downsize your lure and bait size and lure selection accordingly.

Thank you for your support this year. 2019 was an incredible year of catching, with too many great memories to mention. Guiding anglers in Central Florida is a great job, and I’m looking forward to our next adventure in 2020.