12/12/23 Another Cold front… but a banner day in the Everglades fishing!

Well we had another front come in… this one got a bit chillier than last week with temperatures dropping to 60ish and water temps actually got down to 62 in some areas I saw and slightly warmer in the deeper parts.  I had Jim and his brother Jason good repeat customers of mine who flew in short notice to escape the colder weather they were experiencing further north!  We loaded up with live shrimp which thankfully this time of year are easier to come by with the cooler temperatures.  We ran deep into the everglades and caught the end of the falling tide which I figured would be a little slow to start out with.  That is going to be the colder part of the day as well as the fact that as of late the end of the falling tide hasn’t been too productive with the fish.  But when you go into it knowing the conditions and what’s happened recently, it gives you the confidence sometimes to wait things out as opposed to just running around and trying to find a hot bite that may not exist.  We took a few minutes to check a spot for tarpon even though it was cold because there were quite a few around the day before, but today they weren’t too be found.  We then hit the creeks to get into protected water as the winds were cranking 20-25mph.  We gave it some time in some traditional cooler-weather areas, fishing deeper water working our shrimps very slowly on the bottom over some rock beds and gravel areas.  Not much happening though.  We moved around a few times and eventually found a couple of sheepshead, a black drum, and a few ladyfish.  Now having been at it for a little over an hour, the tide was coming in so we moved to another area I had more confidence in.  We picked a couple of redfish in the first spot there… good sign!  Then the next spot we missed something else.  Then we made another move and it was around 10:30AM and boom!  All of a sudden a nice snook.  They proceeded to bite well for about 45 minutes, we caught probably 20 or so with a few decent sized ones mixed in.  Amazing how things can just turn on like that when things get right, and often on colder days you have to wait for that water temperature to warm up a hair and then it can be the best fishing you’ll ever see!  After we had our fill and things slowed down we moved a couple more times, and we got a couple more snook with one being very good size the nicest of the day.  Then another couple in another spot.  Now we had a little bit of time left and wanted to try some of our spots for the ‘big boys’ just to see if it was productive.  We were out the day before trying that and we didn’t see much, only hooking one good fish that day that got eaten by a shark right away.  But today we had better luck!  Jason got two good size reds back to back of 8 and 10 lbs or so.  Then we got a decent snook about a 34 incher which was awesome.  Then it was about time to go and we made a drift and just let our pinfish drag along as we pulled the trolling motor.  Sure enough Jim hooked a nice one that thumped real good and made a couple of runs… we were super stoked but unfortunately then the drag just started going out hard and heavy and didn’t stop… I knew what that meant – shark had eaten whatever it was!  Just like the day before when we hooked that big fish.  Anyways that was that but overall we put a banner day together even though the first couple of hours were uneventful with just a couple of fish.

Now we have some bad weather here looks like through the weekend.  Lots of rain and wind and might even turn into some kind of tropical system.  But the good news is I think it’ll be good for the fishing in the long run as those types of storms usually are they just mix everything up and get the bait stirred up, the water mixed up, and a bit of a shock to the system.  I’m really looking forward to January as that is some of my favorite fishing of the year for big snook, black drum, and redfish.  We get our coldest weather at that time and if you hit things right those big fish can really be schooled up and give you some great opportunities.  Capt. Trent and Capt. Stephen both still have a few days over christmas week available, and after this weather blows through as well.  So if you want to get out anytime this month let me know.  I’ll be fishing personally some in January still at the offseason rate so if you want to get out with me for some of our good winter time backcountry fishing let me now.  Then I imagine by February we’ll be tuned into the Tarpon when things warm up!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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