Kiawah Island – Waller Report December





December is here again! Hopefully, the weather will be milder, unlike the freezing temperatures we had several years ago. Last December, our weather stayed nice until the first of the year, and the fishing was about as good as it gets both inshore and at the nearshore reefs.

By now, the small pinfish and pigfish have left the creeks and rivers, and inshore sharks have already left for warmer waters as well. Because we fish bait on our trips, this is good news as we are able to focus on gamefish such as trout, redfish, black drum, flounder and sheepshead. Live shrimp is typically the best bait to use since every fish will eat them at some point. If you are targeting bigger trout, switch to mud minnows or finger mullet for best results. Fiddlers are the best baits for sheepshead, but you can catch reds and black drum on them as well. December is also a good time of year to use artificials for your inshore species, such as trout and reds. Shrimp or minnow patterns work well. On high tide, use them with a popping cork along the shorelines or around creek mouths. On lower tides, work docks and structure without the cork.

For those really calm days, head out to one of the nearshore reefs for a change of pace. Often, you will catch the same fish as you would inshore, with black sea bass and weakfish added to the mix. The same baits and gear you use inshore will work out there as well. Use your sonar to mark the structure, anchor so that you are fishing on or near it, and drop lines just off the bottom. There are days where you catch fish nonstop as soon as your baits hit bottom. If you are using bait and are not getting a bite within minutes of dropping down, you need to move. When you are in the right place, the action is fast and furious. Look for the days when the wind forecast is light and variable or no more than 5 to 10 mph. You can still fish when it’s windier, but it’s not nearly as pleasant.

Capt. Michael Waller  |  SaltFisher Charters  |  (843) 224-8197 or  |  (843) 343-7538

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