St. Marks Fishing Report: Dec 2013

by Capt. Mike McNamara

John Kirksey, down from Atlanta, is pretty excited about another overslot red!
John Kirksey, down from Atlanta, is pretty excited about another overslot red!

December is still a great time to target trout, redfish, and flounder within trolling motor distance of most boat landings. December is, “save gas month”. Think of it as a Christmas gift to yourself. All the fish you can catch, and still burn a mere cup of fuel. If the weather stays warm, so far so good, the bite should stay hot.  The trolling motor reference is not an over exaggeration. Just as kayak anglers travel only short distances to catch fish, the boaters need to join the crowd. No need to crank and make long runs this month. There is plenty of fish in the local rivers to catch fish. In fact, boaters can learn a lesson from the kayakers this month, and slow the pace down. Slowing down this month will catch more fish. Not only slowing your boat speed, but also your fishing speed. Though the water temperatures are still above average, they are still colder, and the fish will eat a bit slower with a reduced metabolic rate. Knowing that, slow down your retrieve speed this month to a crawl. A stop and twitch technique will work best all winter. Almost a cannot move it slow enough approach. It takes more patience, but it works. If you use your normal summer time retrieve speed, you could find yourself with a skunk in the boat.

If fishing the rivers this month, remember the weekends can get crowded. I always like my odds during the week. Also remember to keep the boat traffic as light as possible in the rivers to catch more fish. Running the big motors fast will stop the bite. Use the slow approach this winter, and catch more fish. Actually most anglers in the know will troll diving lures to locate fish, and then anchor and catch. Good choices for trolling are Rattle Traps, and X raps, but a simple ¼oz jig and plastic combo will also work. Your trolling speeds should be just above idle.  ink of it as a giant NO WAKE ZONE!  is will catch more fish this month, and throughout the winter.

If the crowds make you nutty, then find a safe tide and make a run to any of the creeks east of the lighthouse. They all will have fish. Just remember to keep your retrieve speed down, and target the deeper holes and rocky spots.  The Guide Shop will start limited hours this month for retail, but we will be in full effect with guide trips and kayak rental. December should provide plenty of great fishing days, so rent a kayak and freelance, or book a guided trip. Kayak transport trips this month will be awesome. If you need anything call/text/email


FORECAST BY: Captain Mike McNamara call/text 850-510-7919