November and December 2022 10,000 Islands, Naples,Fl

In November the bite continued to be strong with the average water temperatures in the 80’s. Snook, Redfish, Pompano, and Sea Trout love these conditions. With almost everyday being perfect conditions; air a pleasant 65-70 degrees for a.m. starts and afternoon 80-85 degree finishes.

The techniques used this time of year are a wide variety. Live baiting with fresh netted baits swimming under floats close to the mangroves. Cut ladyfish for some slow lunchtime fishing which usually picks up the big ones. Popping corks with live shrimp for the Pompano and Sea Trout. My favorite is teaching new anglers how to use artificial lures, swim baits, and hand tied jigs.

December, the beginning of winter. This is the time of year when the cold fronts start to push in from the north. Bird watching is almost an everyday occurrence with northern folks flying in on a daily basis. The big fish bite does start to slow a bit, but the Sea Trout, Sheephead, and Pompano bite starts to heat up. This December was one of the best Sea Trout bites I have seen in some time. Some of the spots we fished had a fish on every cast and a couple of days we had 30-40 fish days. Almost all of my groups were heading home with dinners, it is what I call the put them in the box season. Pictured below one of my client’s pictures of the proper way to prepare your fish for the grill.

December is always a great month until that one big cold front hits, completely changing the fishing pattern. This year it was a very pleasant month until the last week, which I am pretty sure affected everyone. December 24th, sorry if your flights were canceled and I thank all the early guest that planned ahead. It was cold as the water temperature dropped from 68 degrees (our average for the time of year) to 54 degrees. Thank God we did not have any fish kills, but they did go into lock jaw for 4 days as the waters started warm back up for January. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and Holidays. I would like to wish you a safe and prosperous New Year in 2023.

Thank you for the read, tight lines and I will see you next year,

Captain Jim Fortman


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