Fishing Report December 13, 2015

Avoid areas with red tide to find the fish

With red tide still being reported throughout our region, opportunity for the local fishing may seem bleak.

Don’t be discouraged. Finding fish that will bite may be more challenging, but there are fish to be caught.

On my Just Reel fishing charters, I’m migrating to the Gulf of Mexico in search of water free of red tide. Around the artificial reefs, there is still a multitude of action to be found. In fact, I haven’t really noticed much of a decline in fishing out there. We are reeling up plenty of mangrove snapper and flounder, as well as small grouper and grunts.

When free-lining baits behind the boat, hungry Spanish mackerel, jack crevalle and blue runners are breaking the surface of the water, eagerly attacking our offerings. Don’t be surprised to see the occasional blacktip or spinner shark cruise through the vicinity to investigate to see the commotion. Keep your eyes peeled for the occasional cobia, too.

Cobia like to frequent structure so you never know when one will pop up. Have a heavy action rod rigged up and ready in case a brown bomber cruised by.

Now, as far as the flats go, I am not seeing much action. Spotted seatrout are available, although the bite is challenging. The same goes for reds and snook. There are some available, but getting them to rally is tough.

My advice is stick to fishing the beaches, reefs and ledges. The action is good and you might have some fish to take home for dinner.