NOVEMBER 2019 Fishing Report and DECEMBER Forecast
Sea Hag NOVEMBER Report
There is always good fishing in and around Steinhatchee, but as you know from reading these reports, some seasons are better than others. Late October and November and really through the winter is big trout time in our area. It’s also big redfish time, because the 28-35 inch fish that have been hanging around inshore are schooling to move offshore to spawn (and never to come back). Fishing techniques vary with the temperature, but unless the water temp is in the low 50’s, if you’re in the right place, anything will work. In fact, a very common problem this time of year is finding fish small enough to keep. Capt. Tommy Thompson and I fished for a few hours this month and caught 26 and 27 inch redfish and two trout over 25 inches in the first thirty minutes of fishing, and that pretty much closed down our day. While we don’t usually keep any fish, we were planning on a Thanksgiving fish fry. Since each angler is allowed to keep only one fish over 20 inches (and four between 15 and 20 inches, although that will be changing), we could not catch another trout that was legal. All were over 23 inches. Even more interesting, the water temperature was in the low 50s and these fish were all caught on topwater plugs; they were very hungry. And we were not alone; there were some excellent catches this month. Just take a look at some of these pictures and you’ll see what I mean.
Sea Hag DECEMBER FORECAST
December can be a great month for big trout, just like November. Like most fishing, depends on the weather. If we get major cold fronts that drop into the 30’s, that’s when it gets too cold on the flats and trout need to either move to deeper water (which luckily is available in the Steinhatchee River), or find areas to hang out that may be just a few degrees warmer than others. The two best kinds of places are shorelines with dark mud bottoms and rocky areas. When bright sun shines on these two kinds of areas, they retain warmth. Afternoon flood tides with bright sun after a cold snap can be a once-in-a-lifetime fishing experience…. but it can also be a bust. The way things are going, we seem to be having less severe temperatures over the past few years, high enough so that there hasn’t been a good run of trout in the river. Not that I would try and predict but keep an eye on temperature and check with the Sea Hag about trout in the river. Next month I’ll concentrate on how to fish the river, but if you do, start near the channel, fish deep and be patient.
And we have a great tournament this month. The Eggnog Open is on December 7th, with captain’s meeting Friday the 6th at 7PM at Sea Hag. This year they have added a kayak division. I can absolutely guarantee there will be the biggest trout of the year caught during this tournament (it’s a photo release tournament for trout). If you decide not to enter, come down to watch the weigh-in. The weather may be cold, but the fishing is hot.
The Sea Hag Marina wishes you a Merry Christmas and we hope that your holiday season is filled with days on the water, all the tackle you’ve been wanting all year, and all upper-slot fish!