Orlando Area and Mosquito lagoon Fishing Report, December 9, 2016
By Captain Tom Van Horn
Well if you do not live here or haven’t noticed, winter has arrived in Central Florida with the onset of our second cold front in the past week. For my friends up north, winter to us is much different than what you experience. We typically see very little ice or snow in our lives and our definition of cold may be considered warm by your standards. Today for instance this morning started out with a cold (56 degrees) and a dreary misting rain followed by an overcast sky and blustery north winds this afternoon. Although we do fish year round here in Central Florida these rapid changes in temperature and barometric pressure can make for some tough catching, but we still go fishing anyway.
Due to windy conditions this past week, I have begun my annual shift from fishing the saltwater flats to focusing on some of my favorite low sodium locations like the St Johns River and its larger connecting lakes. Although I love fishing Florida salt, I thoroughly enjoy fishing for some of Florida’s light tackle freshwater species, and at the same time staying out of open water areas during the windy periods proceeding and following cold fronts. Even though the fish are generally smaller, to me fishing is fishing and these species are great fun on ultralight tackle.
With this said, all of my fishing adventures this past week were low sodium. I started out scouting some freshwater catfish locations on the St Johns with my good friend Larry Carter in preparation for the Third Annual Christmas Catfish Toy Rod Challenge (http://www.catfishnow.com/the-toy-rod-catfish-tournament-a-model-for-oth…) scheduled of Sunday. Although we didn’t catch a lot of fish we did find a few locations holding fish which paid off on Sunday. I typically stay away from fishing tournaments unless they involve either charities or kids, and in this case this tournament supports both needy families and kids who are the real winners plus we finish the event with a fresh fried catfish shore lunch and have great fun. As is the case, my tournament partner Tammy Wilson and I won for the third time remaining the Catfish Queen and Catfish King for another season.
On Monday Tammy and I returned to the to the St Johns River is search of some early season American and hickory shad we had heard were there, but only managed largemouth bass and some crappie which is okay with me. As for water conditions in and around the Econ creek, water levels are just within the banks and schooling bass are feeding on a good concentration of minnows, which is a good sign setting the stage for a good shad run.
As the full moon approaches in the middle of next week. Look for the speckled perch (crappie) bite to pick up and for the specks to be in shallow on the beds, and look for me to be out there catching them.
Good luck and good fishing,
Captain Tom Van Horn