By Capt. Mike Weinhofer
December fishing reminds me of Christmas. There are so many different fisheries going off at once. In the blue water the blackfin tuna fishing on the troll with small artificials is a blast early morning and late afternoon. The sailfish are settling in for the winter bite. Whether you are trolling for them in 150-350 feet of water or sight fishing them in 15 feet of water up on top of the reef. The reef action is going to be awesome with ballyhoo stacked up it brings in the mutton snappers, the cero mackerel and of course the yellowtail will be there to greet you. Make sure you cast net some live ballyhoo for the sprays and the fun of sight fishing in the shallows. With all this setting up on the reef a day or two of south or southeast winds will fire up the dolphin between 200 and 600 feet of water. The cooler water will also concentrate the grouper in the shallower water. In short on the Atlantic side with a cold front arriving about every 5 to 7 On the days when the North wind abates the Gulf of Mexico will come alive. Whether you are chasing the spanish mackerel in the near waters or the cobia on the wrecks. The action is fast and furious so be prepared with a couple live baits in the well or at least a swimming artificial (storm lure). The wrecks will also be home to large numbers of sharks. If you want to test your gear it is always a blast.
The flats will be cooling off and we will chase the warmer waters. The seatrout will return in large numbers with the cooler water. There will still be some resident tarpon and bonefish and permit but the main focus will switch to barracudas, jacks, snappers and cobia. Barracudas in the flats are a totally different fish in the shallows they run and jump and fight like no other. It is one of the truly awesome gamefish for the flats in the winter months. They are even more fun on fly.
So all in all as the winter months bring cold front the water will cool and the fishing will get hot.
So break away from your daily grind and go have fun on the waters of Key West.
Capt Mike Weinhofer
Compass Rose Charters, 305-395-3474