February Fishing Forecast
Captain Jim Britton
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 (a mid-afternoon outgoing tide will provide the warmest water opportunities). 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. Local pier fishermen (Flagler County residents will still have to travel) will want to fish the structure with sand fleas or fiddler crabs to take advantage of the sheepshead and black drum population while the water temperatures are still low.
Offshore anglers will want to take advantage of any days where the wind is not howling. The rewards for making it to the ledge will be large wahoo! Fast trolling dark lure combinations including black, red, and purple should allow for a full fish box. On the bottom, anglers can expect to find big schools of large trigger fish and some large cobia on the wrecks and reefs.