Top 6 Spots for December Winter Fishing

December 4, 2018

If you’re looking for some of the best fishing spots to enjoy winter fishing this December, you’re in luck because there are plenty of locations worth visiting as a new or veteran angler. You don’t even need to worry about finding a warmer climate to enjoy your fishing excursions, seeing as you can fish with a professional guide or charter in any location from the freezing north to the “only cold to the locals” south.

Here are six of the best spots to check out for prime December winter fishing this year.

1. Florida

If you want to find some of the best fishing in December while enjoying someplace warm and comfortable, Florida is always a good choice. The subtropical climate of Florida makes fishing here a more pleasant venture in the winter, with plenty of options depending on your fishing style. Specifically, you’ll want to visit the southeast coast for the best experience during those early winter months.

Whether you’re a novice or more experienced angler, you’ll have a good time along the famous Sailfish Alley, which stretches from the Keys through Miami to Fort Pierce up north. Here you’ll find a plethora of sailfish, which make for excellent catch-and-release fish. Their predominance in December and January stems from their winter migration as they head south in large numbers. The average sailfish weighs around 40 pounds and is about 7 feet long, and they are known for their acrobatics to create an exciting and challenging catch.

2. Georgia

Searching for some striped bass? You’ll find plenty of them when you travel for some winter fishing in Georgia. The waters in this state have been known to harbor bass weighing in at over 60 pounds, with top waters such as Lake Hartwell and Clark Hill up in the northeast as part of the Savannah River system. You’ll also find catfish in Lake Lanier on the Chattahoochee River and the Coosa River system, along with other species. You can also fish in saltwater if you visit the Savannah River, with its low tides and pleasant environment during the winter months.

All of these waters make for great bass fishing, whether you’re looking for striper or other species found in Georgia’s major lakes and reservoirs.

3. South Carolina

If catfish is your target this winter, South Carolina is the place to go. Winter fishing in South Carolina offers plenty of possibilities. You’ll find a surplus of blue, channel, and flathead catfish species all throughout the Santee-Cooper Reservoir system located in southeast South Carolina, which includes Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion. The blue catfish are especially bountiful in the winter when it gets cooler.

Catfish primarily feed on threadfin shad, which are found in large schools throughout the winter. December is the best month to find catfish feeding on the shad, which means you’re better off using shad as bait this time of year. You can also use depth finders to locate schools of shad where blue catfish are likely to be on the lookout for prey.

4. Alabama

Thanks to the backup that the Pickwick Dam experiences in Tennessee every winter, Alabama’s Pickwick Lake is a great fishing spot for smallmouth bass. You can also take advantage of the tailrace by the Wilson Dam, which is located near Florence.

In the 4’-to-5’ winter waters of Pickwick, fish will be more accessible, but it’s important to keep in mind that the swift currents create a more dangerous environment. Should you decide to fish here in December, you’ll find all types of bass, as they feed on shad and crayfish.

5. New York

Up north in New York, you can find plenty of great winter fishing on Lake Ontario thanks to the outflow of Lake Erie through the Niagara Falls. Here you’ll find plenty of brown and lake trout in December, along with steelhead. Keep in mind that you’ll want to fish by boat, as drift fishing is the best approach to these waters.

Steelhead are also particularly fussy this time of year, making it crucial to work with a good charter captain along with a skipper who’s experienced with these fish.

Ultimately, the payoff can be great, as steelhead, lake, and brown trout can weigh as much as 20 pounds. While this area can be extraordinarily cold throughout the winter, the rewards are worth it.

6. Texas

You might believe that Lake Fork is the only real good spot to find bass, but you’d be wrong. However, if you want the most rewarding fishing experience, the best advice is to head south. Roughly 480 miles south of Dallas, the Falcon Reservoir on the Rio Grande in Zapata is where the bass are during the winter.

Since the heavy rainfall of 2003 that helped initiate the restoration of Falcon’s water levels, this reservoir has been one of the best places to fish for bass and other species of substantial size.

Check Out One Of These Places For The Best Fishing In December

Each of these locations can provide for an unforgettable December winter fishing experience, regardless of where you’re headed north, south, east, or west. As some of the best places to fish in December, these locations offer plenty of opportunities for prime winter fishing throughout the entire season.


If you’re looking for a great subtropical fishing experience, you can’t beat the Sunshine State.


Heading down south for your next fishing trip? The lakes of Georgia are among the best spots worth checking out.

South Carolina

With many different lakes full of fauna in addition to coastal waters, South Carolina is ideal for plenty of freshwater winter fishing.


A southern gem for anglers, Alabama is a popular destination for some of the best bass fishing.

New York

With the Great Lakes nearby, along with plenty of other ideal fishing spots, there’s no shortage of great winter fishing wherever you are in New York.


The winter fishing of the south is unparalleled in Texas, with fishing on the Rio Grande offering the perfect winter fishing experience.

Here at, you’ll find plenty of experienced and knowledgeable captains and guides listed for each of these winter fishing locations. Simply Search, Find, and Book your next trip with us today!

Planning a fishing trip?

Find a Fishing Charter

Search Trips