February Fish ON!!
Report Date: February 12, 2010
When thinking of February most people seem to think it is either to cold, windy or the fish just don’t bite in February. Well let me tell you that this idea is way off base and far from the truth. February was actually the best month of 2009 for BIG Trophy Redfish, Black Drum and Sheephead. Is this always the case NO! but 2009 just goes to show you that you always have to expect the unexpected when fishing the Nature Coast.
So what is the 2010 outlook: Well the Redfish are HUGE right now and in some of the biggest schools you’ll see throughout the year. I am firm believer that these fish school up this time of year to feed as a group and work key patterns to stay warm. That being said some days you will land almost every Redfish you see and some days you will scratch your head as a school of 25 10-20lbers just mill around your bait as if they don’t even know it’s there. The interesting aspect of both situations is that the water is so gin clear right now picking and choosing your fish is not only possible but a staple of most February fishing trips.
With water this clear many of the rocks, wrecks, and reefs scattered throughout the Crystal River and Homosassa areas are teeming with tasty Sheephead. During this time of year many of the rocky areas and oysters bars that we normally fish for Trout or Grouper become loaded with Sheephead in their prespawn phase. Now this can be some of the best fishing found throughout the year simply because there is so much open and available area to fish and there is an abundance of Sheephead to target but an angler must remember that these fish are in a spawning phase so Conservation is a must. That being said Sheephead make a great meal! And I do enjoy a few for dinner but to ensure a great resource for generations to come the larger ones are taken more frequently.
Now if some of you are looking for a fish of a life time and a true angling experience targeting Monstrous Black Drum in extremely shallow water is the fishing adventure for you. February is the month that massive schools of Black Drum come into the shallows and forage on tons of shrimp and crabs along the Nature Coast. Schools of 100-200 fish can be common and in 2009 I spotted over 6 schools of fish holding well over 500 fish pushing 10-40lbs+. If you have never targeted a fish this size in knee deep water then this is definitely an experience that will get your blood going. Recently I have already spotted a few schools of 50-60 fish which is the norm before the massive migration arrives. Keep up with my website WWW.REDHOTFISHINGCHARTERS.COM to see the full details for this action.
Finally, some of you may have heard about my new boat last month and some of you have already had the opportunity to experience its capabilities. I recently picked up a Maverick HPX flats skiff which is a true shallow water fishing machine. This boat weighs in at 425 lbs and drafts only 4” of water. The shallow water Black Drum and Tailing Redfish do not stand a chance with this skiff on the water and a few select clients and I have already had the opportunity to tackle some extreme shallow water, tailing Redfish action. If you’re interested in a one-on-one Extreme Shallow water experience please feel free to contact me any time.
Capt. Kyle Messier