December fishing in Chokoloskee and Everglades City
Capt. Pete Rapps
December 14, 2014
Everglades City - Saltwater Fishing Report
December 2014: Chokoloskee, Everglades City, and the Everglades National Park
December brings some changes to our weather and our local fishery. The daytime air temperatures will drop to a mild average of the mid 70's and water temperatures will drop to the high 60's. The 1st half of the month will typically be very mild and our first cold front of the season usually heads in sometime during the 2nd half.
The full moon this December falls on the 6th and the new moon is on the 22nd. December is one of the months that we really pay close attention to the tides, especially around the full and new moon. We will have extreme low tides the mornings of the 4th-9th and the 19th-26th. Do your research if fishing those days, as you will want to adjust your fishing times to avoid those negative low tides.
Looking at the moon phases, tides, and the Solunar calendar, I like what I see for peak bite times on the 5th from 8:30am-10:30am, 6th from 9:30am-11:30am, the 21st from 9:00am-11:00am, and the 22nd from 10:00am-12:00pm. Look to be fishing on your favorite spots with your favorite baits at those times. Refer to a website like Solunar.com or a smart phone app like "Best Fishing Times" to get more info on peak bite times.
Each December Sheepshead will show up in decent numbers over hard bottom. Sheepshead can prove to be frustrating to get hooked up for some because they require great finesse. What we do is anchor up over them in a slow moving current. Present a shrimp on a small hook so that you can hide the hook completely in the shrimp. Sometimes the shrimp are pretty big this time of year, so you can usually cut your shrimp in half. Get your bait down to the depth that the fish are at. When you feel a nibble, do not set the hook. Instead start to slowly reel away from the fish, and as you do, he will generally get serious. Thinking that the shrimp is going to get away, they will bite the entire shrimp with your hook in it. Now that you have his attention, set the hook and reel it up.
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