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Well, here we are just days away from Christmas and it feels like spring.
The warm weather is good for the fishermen but not too good for the fish. Most of those that were up in the rivers moved out where there was warmer water and they are scattered out.
I talked to JR down at the Aucilla and he said the warm weather last week pushed the fish out of the river and to the mouth of the creeks. He said when the tide turned and came in the trout and red came in and they were very aggressive.
On Sunday morning it got cool again and moved some more fish back up into the Aucilla. He hasn’t heard anything from down around the Econfina but figures it to be about the same type of fishing. The colder the weather the better the river fishing is gonna be.
I was down at Shell Island over the weekend and Jimmy said they had been catching lots of reds between Shell Island Fish Camp and the yacht club. Fish live shrimp, mud minnows or Gulps on the bottom real slow. Some reds are still being caught up in the St. Marks River as well. Trout fishing is slow.
Capt. David Fife said the fish were thick in Spring Creek but the warm weather changed everything. One or two reds are being caught in there but not many and the trout moved out around the Oyster Bars.
He fished Friday of last week and using mirrolures caught eight nice trout and one red. This time of year he likes it to be overcast for better fishing because the water is so clear. He also fishes the mirrolure as slow as he can.
He did talk to a friend who said they had caught a lot of reds fishing on the bars between Shell Point and Panacea using live bait.
I took a party out fishing on Tuesday and we had a good day. One of them said it was a great day and the other said it was the best day he had ever had.
We only caught one trout, but had three reds and threw back 34. Most were around 23-inches long and all were caught on live shrimp or mud minnows.
I don’t hear much about fishing offshore because the federal-state laws are such that it’s hardly worth going out there.
The season is closed on everything that you can catch except red grouper, or at least I believe you can still catch them.
There are plenty of big black sea bass out there right now and Larry Hess of Shell Point has been catching his limit of them out in about 45 feet of water.
If you’re thinking about a last minute gift for one of your fishing buddies be sure and shop locally at one of the many bait and tackle stores in our area. They can always use a couple of more Cajun Thunders, or how about a couple of packs of their favorite Gulp.
These and many other items can be found at AMS, Lou’s Bait and Tackle, Shields Marina, Crum’s, Mashes Sands BP, Shell Island Fish Camp and Rock Landing Marina.
Remember to leave that float plan with someone and know your limits. I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas.
Good luck and good fishing!