February has been an interesting month with regards to fishing. Milder cold fronts interspersed between extended periods of 80+ degree days, have done wonders for warming up our local waters. There have even been a few days that I have found 86 degree water in the backcountry. Long gone are the days of winter fishing. (I hope!)
Although the Trout, Pompano and Sheepshead bite is still active, the real news is that Snook and Tarpon have made their presence known. As warmer waters persist they will continue to meander out of the deep creeks and pockets they were holed up in over the winter. While Redfish have made themselves scarce as of late.
Case in point… On a recent trip, I had the pleasure of guiding two very experienced anglers. The goal for the day was to target Redfish. As we pulled into our first spot, one of my anglers saw some mullet making a bit of a commotion. He grabbed a rod and placed his first cast on the edge of that school. No sooner did the cast land and he was hooked up… first Redfish of the day! (It also happened to be the last.) As we continued to fish on in this particular stretch of interconnected coves, we couldn’t stop the Snook from nailing our baits, even if we had tried.It was Snook at every spot! Places that had been holding only Redfish a few days prior were now loaded with line-siders. Towards the end of our trip, I decided to hit one more spot where some of the big girls tend to hang out. We fished it for a bit with both live and artificial baits. To my surprise… nothing! So, I decided to head a little bit deeper into a nearby tidal creek, thinking they may be holed up in there. Well, they weren’t… but we were paid handsomely in the form of silver, for investigating up around the next bend. As soon as we hit the corner, all hell broke loose! By the end of the trip that day, my guys were completely spent. I guess boating 30 some-odd Snook and jumping 3 Tarpon will do that to ‘ya.
Based on what I’ve witnessed the last few weeks, I expect that Snook and Tarpon fishing will really heat up this month…as long as water conditions remain consistent. One side note worthy of some attention is the offshore bite. Good numbers of Kingfish, Cobia, Amberjack, Red Grouper and Lane Snapper have been making their way back to the filet table. So if you’re in the mood for a long boat ride with handsome rewards at the end of it, now is the time to get that offshore charter booked. If you are unsure with whom to go with, give me a call and I can point you in the right direction. Until next month, Tight Lines!