Surf & Pier

Surf & Pier Fishing Report

I have always considered December the first month of four, when I really have to pay close attention to the water temperature. The picture is of satellite imagery of the sea surface temps. As winter approaches, I plan my most successful trips by finding the best break in the comfort zone for pompano. The 65 to 75-degree range has always produced for me. I first find the right temp via the satellite imagery. Then, when I reach the area, I look for clean water. Those are the two key things to look for to turn your fishing trip, into a catching trip.

If the water temp here in northeast Florida has dropped below 65. Degrees, I gas up the truck and go south. It is no different than when an offshore fisherman rides due east into the Atlantic to find the right break in temp. It’s amazing, the difference that it makes in your success.

I have to reflect on a recent trip in December not too long ago, when all my intel said go south to Ormond Beach. I got there long before sunrise, and I walked down to the surf with a big flashlight. The water was crystal clear! I hurried back to the truck and had poles in the water at first light. The air temperature was 55 degrees, and there was a steady light rain. Not ideal weather for surf fishing. However, the water temp was 69 and Bahama blue in color. The next hour and a half were amazing. I could not get three poles baited because the bite was so hot. In that short period, I had my limit of pompano, a lot of whiting and a 26-inch redfish. I started to pack it up at 8:30 AM because I was wet, cold, and had a cooler full of great groceries. As I am leaving, my mentor Larry Finch was coming down the stairs. He spiked up right where I was, and proceeded to catch FIFTY FIVE more Pompano that day!

Our tackle was the same, double dropper pompano rigs with 2/0 circle hooks, and fresh shrimp and clams for bait. We did not have to make super long casts. I share this with you, as Larry shared with me a long time ago. Why stay in Jacksonville when you can drive an hour and a half south, and have a blast when you get there. Just check the SST’s or sea surface temperature charts before you go.

I hope you have a great time fishing in December and a Merry Christmas. Do not forget to ask Santa for a new rod and reel! See you on the beach.