Bait. December usually is the month that I start to transition from using greenbacks to shrimp and artificial baits. While greenbacks are still available, the fish's metabolism slows down as the water gets cooler. They don't want to chase down fast-moving bait. You can still have luck with greenbacks in deep water canals with muddy bottoms. Try using a cork or trimming the tail of the greenbacks to slow them down.
Weather. We continue to luck out by not having any cold fronts bare down on us. This is why we live in Florida. If you are a shallow water angler, now is the time to be on the water. A combination of low tides and clear water presents us with the perfect opportunity to sight cast fish.
Go red. Redfish have been scattered all over the flats foraging on shrimp and crabs. Jigs work well in this situation. Try using a lightweight jig head so it makes as little noise as possible entering the water. Make sure it is heavy enough to cast past the fish. You always want to work in the path the fish are heading. New penny or a camo color soft plastic has always produced.
Take your time. A slow retrieval is the name of the game this time of year. Try just barely bouncing or dragging the bottom with the jig. The best part about this technique is it works for all the species you may encounter on the flats. It is hard for trout or flounder to pass up on a perfectly placed soft plastic this time of year.
Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.