Author: Caleb Amon
December Central Florida Fishing Report
December fishing in my region of Florida (East Central) traditionally means good-bye to snook season and hello to black drum and redfish. Interestingly enough the snook fishing has still been quite strong as far north as Ponce Inlet despite seeing temps in the 30s some nights. I, however, have had one thing on my mind and that is Sharks. December in my region offers an angler like me (catch and release only) some of the best shark fishing on spinning gear imaginable. It allows me to hook into freight trains right from the beach and get drag-screaming action that no red or snook could match.
"Like others in the ambassador family, I do tagging for NOAA. "
Unfortunately, my region of Florida also has some of the biggest waves, which makes fishing the beach some nights impossible. However, when the conditions are right the sharking can be phenomenal in the southern end of my region anywhere from the Cape to Sebastian Inlet. I was not able to get out as much as I would have liked, making probably seven nights on the sand. I started off a little rusty this season on my first nights out having as many as 20 hits (from sharks) and only managed to land several good-sized bluefish for bait. I will post a how-to article on my go-to rig for surf fishing my region for blacktips. I did however manage 4 good sized blacktips and a 6-foot lemon shark on the second week (December 10th & 11th).
Like others in the ambassador family, I do tagging for NOAA. I didn’t tag any of the sharks I caught because I am saving them for sharks 8-foot or better. Winter time in my region also brings whispers of the gray ghost. White sharks start to appear around this time, being sighted off our coast. My goal is to catch and release one with a tag. With the combo of rough seas and a busy holiday schedule, I was only able to paddle big baits twice this month. My bait of choice was a head section of a 4-foot blacktip shark I caught that week. Note: I released all other sharks, and except for bait, I always release fish. It was very cold the first night I dropped bait about 200 yards out. The bait didn’t get touched and was retrieved to be redropped later that week. The second drop that week I made a super far drop 400-yards plus. It soaked all low tide and then got picked up and dropped mysteriously. An hour later something swam through my braided section of the line and bit me off--probably 50 yards from the wire. It was a real bummer that we couldn’t get the bait back to see what had picked it up, but that’s shark fishing. I plan on fishing harder than ever in 2018. Thanks to Bullbuster for welcoming me into the family and helping us fit all our reels with Bullbuster. It’s a dream come true!
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