Catching fish can happen in the month of December in Savannah, Georgia! Spotted sea trout, flounder, and redfish are bulking up for cold weather patterns. It’s also time to be a weather watcher. Normally the inshore bite will “turn on big time” when there is an approaching cold front. The fish usually feed hard about 18 to 24 hours before the big weather change.
The best natural bait is live shrimp and the best artificial baits are those that imitate shrimp. These baits will work under popping and traditional corks or naked, no weights, no floats, and only a small leader. Most spotted sea trout and flounder will take a chance on a shrimp even if it does looks a little fishy. From a fish’s point of view, the shrimp is easy to catch, easy to eat, and easy on the stomach. Once you get the bite going on the live or fresh dead shrimp it’s easy to change to artificial such as DOAs. Copper penny, baby bass, or ice flukes by Strike King (ZTOO), rigged weedless and cast into the grass also make an interesting redfish catch.
Special Tips: When the water gets cooler it’s clearer. If you can see the fish it likely can see you too! Clearer water means lighter leader. On cloudy days use dark colored artificial lures; when the sun’s out, go with the lighter colored ones.
Offshore Waters/Artificial Reefs
For those that love a light tackle fish catch experience, December is the month to visit nearshore artificial reefs. Sheepshead, black drum, trophy redfish, flounder, black sea bass, and cold water sharks school up in these areas to bulk up for winter migrations. The best baits for sheepshead, black drum, and trophy redfish are purple back fiddler and green mussels. Small pieces of shrimp will also work. These fish love anything wrapped in a shell or the meat from one.
Flounder are known for waiting for that perfect meal on the outskirts of the structure when the tide is slack. Bait them with jumbo mud minnows or small sand perch on a Carolina style bottom rig. Cast to the outskirts of the structure, set drag to medium, place rod in holder, and when you get a hit, don’t pick the rod up until the flounder situates the bait in its mouth. Give these flat fish time, because they are fast on the hit and slow on the eat.
Black sea bass feed near most low relief bottom areas. The best bait is shrimp, squid, and small pieces of black sea bass fillet. For sharks, take along some squid or put a sheepshead belly strip on the bottom near the structure.
There’s lots of action to be had during this time, but only if you know where to go!!