February fishing has had it's ups and down's with the few cold fronts that have hit our area lately, but the Trout and Redfish haven't seemed to mind to much! Trout fishing has been outstanding over the past few weeks, and Redfish bite has remained steady and slowly improving. Sheepshead and black drum are still being caught, but weren't as frequent as they were last month.
Trout fishing has been awesome with a lot of quality fish being caught on recent charters. Limits of trout have came on every charter this past week while fishing in the Tampa Bay area. Most of the fish have been slot size with a few over the 20” mark. A lot of these bigger fish over 20” are females that are important to the breeding population, and I personally try to release these fish, unless they are gut hooked. Live shrimp fished under a cork has been been producing good results, but artificial's have been working just as well. Soft plastic jerk baits in darker colors fished on the bottom have been top producers, but suspending twitch bait's have produced some of the larger fish. Look for the trout fishing to remain consistent for the rest of the month.
Redfish have been getting bigger, and more abundant as the month progresses. In the past few days I have been seeing some larger fish showing up. There still has been plenty of “Rat” red's around lately, with a few slot size fish mixed in. Look for the Redfish to be hanging around docks, oyster bars, and mullet schools right now. Jumbo shrimp free lined in these area's have been the go-to baits. Scented soft plastic shrimp have also been work well lately, as well as gold spoons. Schools of bigger Redfish should be showing in no time, and most of the fish should be upper to over slot size. I expect this to happen towards the end of the month as we get closer to new moon and Spring!
Capt. Jared Simonetti