Tampa Fishing Charters December 2017 Fishing Report

Seasons greetings from Tampa fishing charters. It’s that time of year again, but it certainly doesn’t feel like Christmas here in Tampa Bay. The weather is beautiful and the thermometer reads a balmy 82 degrees right now. The fishing has been hot to boot with snook, redfish, trout, pompano and tarpon all available. It seems the trend the past few years has been warm all winter with a few brief cold snaps, and that’s just fine with me.

Tampa Bay Pompano Fishing

My favorite fish to target in the Tampa Bay area in December is pompano. These feisty fish are real scrappers and a blast on light tackle and fly fishing. We target the pompano on sandbars in 1 – 3 feet of water with jigs and flies. The cool thing about pompano fishing is they are schooling fish. So when you catch one more are sure to follow. Pompano are close relatives to my beloved permit┬áso they hold a special place in my heart. We have been catching some really nice ones in the 3 -4 pound range lately.

Snook action has been really solid in the backcountry and area canals. I wait until the water warms up to 73 degrees or so then it’s game on. Our area rivers hold some monster snook in the winter as well. I don’t like to discuss exactly where, but book a Tampa fishing charter with me and I can certainly show you solid winter snook action.

The redfish bite has been tricky with some days incredible and others on the slow side. Artificial swim baits work very well this time of year for redfish in Tampa Bay. I like darker colors in the winter and working them slow is key. Fish metabolism slows in the winter and they will not chase a bait down like in the summer. You have to drag it right past their nose.

Fishing For Jacks In Tampa Bay

Jacks are a winter staple in Tampa and the rest of Florida. These ravenous fish roam the flats and charge up and down area rivers in search of food. One of the strongest fighting fish that swims, jacks will test your tackle. They average 5 – 10 lbs in the winter but we catch them up to 20 pounds. A 15 lb jack will out pull a 40 lb fish of any other species! They are cooperative too. They will eat anything that you put in front of them. Anything.

I love to target jacks while fly fishing Tampa Bay. Jacks of any size are a blast, but big jacks are one of the most fun fish on a fly rod. I really like topwater flies for jacks because the bite is so savage. Jacks will often compete to take the fly, and a whole school will be trying to kill your feathered offering. A 10 weight fly rod seems to be a good choice for big jacks. Like I said these fish have incredible strength, and will wreck a lighter fly rod.

If you are interested in Tampa fishing charters give me a call at 305-340-9863 or click the link.

Happy Holidays from Tampa Bay,

Capt. Brandon