When I think of December many thoughts come to mind. So many things are happening, big changes are coming and it all culminates with a busy holiday week to finish the month and year. Thankfully, the weather has been mostly warm here and many opportunities wait for you to take advantage of. From fishing to snorkeling to nearly anything you can think of, now is a great time of the year to give yourself a gift of a play day on the water.
As the water cools, fishing becomes the star of December. No different than you coming to seek refuge in our warmer climate, so does a large migration of fish. Many of our reef fish come shallower to feed on an abundance of bait giving us more closer to shore options. This makes fishing even on the windy days possible and often very productive for snapper, grouper, mackerel, porgies and a dozen other species.
On the windy days, our options are fishing on the Gulf side or bridge fishing for snapper and an assorted mix of species. The most common species found are mangrove snapper and spanish mackerel. On the nicer days we are hitting the deep reef edge for yellowtail snapper or drifting the deep wrecks for mutton snapper, kingfish and amberjacks. This time of year there is so much life migrating through that you have the possibility of catching 15 different species on any reef trip.
Fishing far offshore can be great for blackfin tuna. Dolphin are no longer targetable in numbers, but can be found on a “magical” piece of floating debris if found in the right place if we get lucky.
In the water activities have been pretty good. Conditions are different day to day and tide to tide. The water has been on a pretty long stretch of good clarity. Temperatures are hovering in the mid 70’s, so wetsuits are a great option. They can be rented from Captain Hooks Marina for a minimal cost in contrast to the comfort it can provide. Jellyfish have been here and there, so a rash guard is the very least you should be wearing to make your snorkeling experience more pleasant. Watch the weather before making a last minute reservation for snorkeling. Winds over 10mph will make snorkeling a poor option. Substitute options for snorkeling may be island exploring, where snorkeling may be possible in 2-4ft deep water if the conditions are appropriate.
That’s about it for the report. Things are good and December bookings are filling up fast. I am going to be very busy and getting on my program goes a long way. I am on the water all day every day. I do not answer my phone when I am with customers. My website is my secretary and all of the information you need is found here. Everything will go smoothly if you fill out your group information in the notes section of your reservation. If you don’t want to tell me who is coming and what we are doing, I will prepare for a basic trip. I have no problem with that. Please check in 48 hours before your trip. Sounds crazy, but I waste a ton of my time calling phones that nobody answers, has no voicemail set up or has a full voicemail box. That is avoided by giving me a check in call.
Please advise me of any medical issues or additional difficulties I may have when you and your group are on my boat. This time of year I have a higher percentage of guests that have trip defining injuries, physical limitations and guests that require more specialized attention. I have to make extra considerations for all situations outside of having normal participants. I should know way before you step foot on board my boat if there is a special situation. Sometimes I don’t want to deal with those issues and I should have the choice to decline a trip. Don’t put me in the position of figuring it out as we go along and have to change my trip plan because you can’t do what you signed up to do. Being tricked all of the time is frustrating and it eats away at my patience when I have to deal with it often.
Clearly, COVID-19 is still a big deal. You and your guests have a massive responsibility to not expose me. I have not had it, nor has my girlfriend. Shutting down my business for 2 weeks will be super expensive. You will also be shutting down a Walgreens pharmacy and possibly 2 huge resorts. With no way to tell what you have, please do not show up with a chronic cough or cold/flu sick for your charter. Do not do it. We will share too many surfaces and I will get what you have. If somebody in your group is sick, please excuse them. Do not bring them on board. If I am put in the position to make the decision, I will leave them at the dock. Big picture, I will be working with high risk visitors that have traveled from all over the country. I will be working for weeks straight without a break and my body will be run down. My entire world be be focused on running great trips, keeping the boat operating and not getting sick or hurt. I will be maxed out physically and mentally, so working with me is the best way for this to go smoothly. Please utilize the helpful information and resources here on my website.
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