FEBRUARY FISHING REPORT:
This is typically the slowest fishing month of the year – Cold water, limited species and a slow bite. Spring is just around the corner bringing many different species.
Black Drum and Redfish will continue to be center stage at Merry Pier this month. Both fish will tend to use the docks as cover so fish back under the structure. Use a small 1-2 ounce egg sinker with a 2 foot 30 lb. fluorocarbon leader to a medium/small circle hook (size #1 to 2/0). Drum search the sandy floor for food so keep your bait on the bottom. Shrimp and crabs (live and dead) tend to be the bait of choice. You will also need some patience. Don’t keep casting over and over. Get a good cast up under the dock and let your bait sit. The Redfish are always moving, given enough time they will stumble upon you bait. These are all good size fish (14-30 inches) so bring a landing net.
The Sheepshead bite has been off this year. We have a few eating off the pilings but not as many as previous years. The water has been a little warmer this year, never dipping below 60 degrees.
Flounder are still being caught daily but the numbers are down. The sizes are in the 10-16 inch range. This will probably be the last month to target flounder until next October.
We still have schools of bait around the dock from day to day. This is odd for the middle of winter. Bring a 1/2 inch stretch mesh cast net and catch your own bait.
We have seen a few Snook around the dock all winter. The cold water slows their metabolism and keeps them sluggish so getting them to eat is almost impossible. But they do have to eat sometime so it’s worth a try. A slow moving free-lined shrimp would be your best bait chance. Snook season is still closed until March 1st.
Miss Pass-a-Grille has been coming in with some nice fish. Stingers full of White Grunts, Porgies and Black Seabass. A few keeper Red Grouper are caught each trip.
Gag Grouper are still being caught but it’s catch and release until July 1st. Be respectful of all fish. If not within the legal sizes please release them in a timely manner. It is your responsibility to know the Florida fish limits, if unsure please ask us at the pier and we will be happy to help you out.