Steinhatchee

STEINHATCHEE

At the time of this writing, winter is creeping in with the second noticeable cold front passing over.  However, warmer weather keeps popping through.  If the weather remains on the warm side, the Spanish mackerel southern migration may hold into December.  Right now, on Little Bank, the game is to try to cast, and not catch a mackerel.  The standard flashy jigs and spoons are making reel drags sing to happy anglers.  Remember Spanish mackerel don’t freeze well, so there is no need to keep more than you can eat fresh.
Gag grouper season will close the end of this month.  The good news is gags have moved in shallower water, and trolling large Mirror lures, Magnum Rapalas, Mann’s Stretch series and such, is an effective means to catch some gags and find some new holes.

The local favorites, Florida snapper and black sea bass will be happy to take cut bait, squid or simply a chunk of GULP.  It is likely the water will be gin clear, so you can peer overboard and see the reef and fish on it.  Light tackle adds much to the fun.

With the water temperatures dropping, trout and redfish will be putting on the feedbag, preparing for the paucity of true winter.  Flats fishing should pick up dramatically, especially if the tide is incoming during the warm of the day.  If the temperature takes a drop, slow down the presentation.  This is good time for a strip of mullet, worked low and slow.  The pinfish aren’t as abundant, so the bait won’t get picked to the skin.
Blue-bird winter days offer some of the year’s finest fishing and with many folks in the woods, there is less pressure even on the weekends.

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