February Fishing Forecast
The largest variable for February fishing is going to be our weather. If we continue to have unseasonably warm weather and high winds, then the best bet for catching more fish will be to refer to your fishing journal for last spring. If we finally get another cold snap then we can look forward to our last month of winter fishing.
As far as the inshore fishing goes, the trout bite keeps getting better. Try fishing deep holes on an outgoing tide by jigging with just enough weight to reach the bottom but not “hold “the bottom. Artificial baits, live baits, and fresh dead baits will all work with this technique. For the redfish (enjoy the clear water while we have it!), try sight fishing your favorite flat. Just like hunting – stealth is essential! For the inshore slam, you can also target nice sized flounder this month. My favorite flounder bait is a red ¼ ounce jighead with a mud minnow. Flounder is an ambush predator; therefore target them by slowly dragging the minnow through holes or around structure.
In the surf, bluefish are eating anything thrown near them! Hard plastic baits, any shiny metal with a hook attached, or live or dead bait – as long as it is moving they will check it out. Black drum and whiting will also be available by fishing shrimp or cut bait on the bottom.
Offshore bottom fishing, as one captain explained to me, the problem for February is not the “catching” but the “keeping”. The bite will be good for most bottom dwellers. Before deciding which fish to invite home for dinner, check state and federal laws for the latest changes to closures, bag limits, and length requirements. When the weather permits, trolling at the ledge, with cedar plugs, will yield plenty of tuna.
Capt. Jim Britton