December fishing starting out hot

Report Date: December 9, 2011

Fishing for sea trout in the gulf has been awesome this week. Most fish are being caught in waters from 3-6 feet deep. Some were taken in only 2 feet of water as well.

The latest new lure for trout that many of the guides have started using is the Mirrorlure Little John. This is a soft plastic lure that resembles a 1/2 plastic worm. We fish it on a 1/8 oz. jig head or under a Cajun Thunder cork. It doesn't look very sexy but it sure catches trout.

Redfishing around Crystal River has also been very good for us lately with 20-30 fish days. Freelined shrimp along mangroves are responsible for most of the catches. However, for those who like to toss lures or flyfish, this is a great time to sight fish for reds. The cooler gulf water is usually a lot clearer thus allowing you to spot fish cruising on the shallow flats and make casts to them. This calls for great casting accuracy and stealth.

For anglers that enjoy bottom fishing, now is the time for fishing rocks and ledges from the 8 foot mark out to deeper water. This week we took lots of grunts and black sea bass by throwing shrimp on a jig head around the rock piles. Both are great eating fish.

It appears this may be an early sheepshead season in the gulf if the water doesn't get as cold as it did the last 2 years in December. We have already started catching sheepshead up to 6 pounds that had roe in them. December through Feb. are usually the prime months for these hard fighting and good eating fish.

Sue and Ken Waller, Pete Welsh and Dick Bradford,had a very good day of fishing with me out of Crystal River this week. We fished for trout catching 12 keepers and several throwbacks until the bite slowed then switched to redfishing for the remainder of the morning. Sue caught a nice keeper redfish and sheesphead and Pete caught another redfish that was released.

Dave Snyder, Bill Trainer and Tim Kassane also fished with me out of Pete's Pier Marina in Crystal River this week. They had a fantastic catch with their limit of 15 trout 8 grunts, 5 sea bass, 2 sheepshead and approximately 20 redfish. Great job guys!

Last week Villages resident Larry Vandergrift along with family Josh Bartlett, Pat Sarfield and 10 year old Peyton Sarfield fished in the Gulf out of Crystal River and got the best of several redfish on shrimp and some nice sea trout on jigs. We all agreed that young Peyton caught the biggest fish of the day with a fat 17 inch trout that ate a Firetiger colored Bass Assassin jerkbait. It's good to see the younger generation learning to enjoy the outdoors.

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