December 2019 Fishing Forecast

By Captain Danny Guarino


December 2019 Fishing Forecast

SouthShore Tampa Bay

December is here and what wonderful weather we are having in West Central Florida. Light jacket in the early mornings and shorts and short sleeves shirts by 10 am. Where else could you do this but in Florida. I do hope this weather trend continues through the winter season. Weather can be one of the biggest hurdles to cross when fishing in the winter months. If it’s too cold, the fish don’t usually want to eat, if it’s too windy it makes it very hard to get out and find fish either by boat or from shore.

Spanish mackerel and King mackerel are still hanging around, and no wonder, with water temperatures hovering at October levels of low to mid 70’s the southward migration of these pelagic fish has been delayed until the water temperature drops into the 60’s.

The snook have also delayed their migration into the rivers and deeper waters of Tampa Bay. Once it does cool off and water temperatures drop into the 60’s look for Snook in warmer water such as spring feed rivers, power plants with warm water run off or deep spots that hold warmth as the surface water cools. Live pilchards is the bait of choice. Remember Snook season is closed so if you catch one it will have to be returned safely back into the water.

Trout will be in the deeper grass flats and some of the deeper spots of the Manatee and Little Manatee Rivers. Try fishing trout with some of the soft plastic artificial baits. DOA makes some very good plastic bait’s; one of my favorites is the DOA shrimp. It works well this time of year because you can fish it very slow or you can use it under a Cajon Thunder popping cork just as you would a live shrimp. Trout season is also closed in the Southern region of Florida.

Redfish can be found near the many oyster bars that fill the back country of Tampa Bay. Try using a pin fish under a bobber or one of the many artificial types of bait available at the local tackle shops. One of my favorite’s artificial baits for redfish is a gold ¼ oz. spoon. You can also work the spoon at different speeds. I usually slow my retrieve down when fishing the colder months.

November fishing was excellent, and I am very optimistic that the December bite will be just as good. My best bet for December on the Southshore of Tampa bay is Redfish. I just hope the wind speed stays low so we can go out to where the fish are…

If you can, get out and enjoy this great place we live in. The Southshore of Tampa Bay has some of the best fishing Florida has to offer but remember it’s not the number of fish you put in the fish box that makes a successful trip. Measure you’re fishing success by the number of smiles you receive by going fishing.

Be safe out there.

Capt. Danny Guarino a lifelong resident of the Tampa area and semi-retired fishing guide on Tampa Bay. If you are looking to hire a Charter Captain in the Tampa Bay area give Capt. Danny a call. He has an extinctive network of long-term proven Tampa Bay Fishing Guides all are insured and licensed. Let Capt. Danny take the guess work out of finding a fishing guide



Photo Credits: Matthew Latzanich on a resent fishing trip arranged by Capt. Danny Guarino. 813-956-2010

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