Captain Greg's Fishing Report for December 2016
Port Canaveral, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, and Orlando
Last Month's Action
Looking back, I am feeling very pleased with my report / prediction for November. The fish totally cooperated and the month turned out as if I drew it up on paper and I couldn’t be happier about that. The years of data collection cross referenced with temperature, water clarity and abundance of bait in conjunction with being on the water nearly every day seems to really be paying off.
Quick recap on November fish. Near shore was awesome for bull reds, small sharks, and yes, a handful of nice size cobia. I think we caught 7 cobia inside of 2 miles. Offshore was perfect. Water went to a clean green a little before the middle of the month and the king fish fired. We also picked up a few sailfish, black fin tuna and wahoo. The bottom fishing was great action for stringer fish and of course red snapper along with a couple of grouper and amberjacks.
December's Near Shore Fishing Forecast
We should see some good light tackle options fishing the beach, jetties and inside the port. This is a great time of year to put a nice meal of small fish together or just take the kids for fast action fishing. Whiting, pompano, sheepshead, black drum, red drum, flounder, blue fish, spots and croakers should all be readily available fishing tight to the beach or from the beach. We will still have a good handful of the big red drum around but they will be a little harder to hone in on with the bait pods being mostly gone except for greenies and threadfins. The triple tail are definitely here but have been really finicky lately. I’m hoping they will be a little more cooperative this month. I do believe the little shot of beach cobia a few of us got to enjoy last month will be gone but that was definitely a rare welcomed bonus for November. Usually the shark fishing is about a 50/50 shot but I think it will be surprisingly good for at least the first part of the month. We also may get a few bigger sharks back in the mix.
December's Offshore Fishing Forecast
We generally have a lot of great fishing in December but hands down slow trolling for king mackerel is almost a guarantee. Like always, this style of fishing provides great opportunity for other species such as cobia, sail fish, mahi and wahoo. For those willing to put in the time, you can easily pull a few nice wahoo by high speed trolling near the schools of small kings or by dragging big ballyhoo or marauders. No, you will most likely not see a day where you catch a half dozen or more wahoo, but even one after catching a few kings makes for a awesome day on the water. December is a great month for sail fish and several will be caught while slow trolling, but you can increase your odds by picking up the pace and trolling small ballyhoo. A lot of these sails will be mixed in with the kings so if you choose to stay in that area be prepared to go through a lot of ballyhoo or try getting just offshore of the reef to get away from the kings. For those willing to roll the dice, I never did see the mahi come back through unless they did it during October. The water was too hot in my opinion and I think there is a solid chance that those willing to look may get rewarded now that the temperatures are cooling down. Bottom fishing is great in December and can provide for a lot of fun if your mind set is right. Here is the deal. The groupers, snappers, amberjacks, trigger fish, sea bass will all be biting. We can’t keep red snapper and this year we can’t keep amberjack. The groupers are few and far between compared to the amount of snapper and amberjack we have. Sea bass and trigger fish size limits are kind of hard to hit. A 13 inch sea bass or 14 to the fork trigger fish for our area are not easy fish to find. I have seen some nice catches of mutton, mangrove and lane snapper coming off the Ocean Obsession head boat but that is because there is a lot of bait going into the water and a lot of fish being culled through. This can’t be replicated unless you can put 30 or more people on a boat. Bottom fishing is awesome but at the end of the day you need to be happy with sore arms and maybe a grouper or two and some stringer fish to take home. After all its mostly about the fun and who doesn’t like getting a bite every time you put a bait in the water.
About Captain Greg's Reports and Forecast
Captain Greg has been fishing the waters of Port Canaveral and the Atlantic for over 30 years. He has the largest and most highly rated private charter business in Port Canaveral, Sea Leveler Sport Fishing Charters. Greg and his team of full time captains fish well over 200 days each per year. We have kept detailed catch history for every trip ran since 2010. You can access this history at www.sealeveler.com/reports. His engineer wife, Amber, has analyzed the catch history along with other historical data such as water temperature and weather patterns. Greg uses his fishing experience and knowledge along with his wife’s statistical analysis to bring you the best fishing report available for Port Canaveral. Greg will give you the honest truth on how the fishing has been along with his best prediction of what to expect by using all of this information.