Over the last few weeks, we’ve had streaks of rainy and windy conditions. Fortunately in between, there have been pockets of sunny days with temperatures even in the 60s. If you’re like me though, cleaning your rods and reels or working on your boat during nasty weather can only keep you entertained for so long until you are itching to be back on the water fishing. The days are starting to grow noticeably longer and you may find a case of Spring fever is upon you.
So what’s an angler to do in February? The answer is that you need really need to pick and choose your days. Days filled with sun and warmer temperatures can produce some excellent fishing. Right now, a redfish has two priorities: don’t get eaten by a dolphin and try to stay warm. The sun will make the water on the flats a few degrees warmer and redfish congregated in large schools will flood these flats.
Although they will be more likely to eat on these select days, these schools will still be spooky. Often you’ll find anything cast near the schools will send fish fleeing. Make sure you cast wide of the schools and give them plenty of space. You’ll find more success putting out your baits and letting these schools slowly swim back to you.
Once situated, I’ll toss several lines with a combination of cracked blue crab, cut mullet and mud minnows. I rig my baits on a size #3/0 Owner circle hook. About a foot above the hook, I’ll put enough split shot to let me cast the desired distance. A circle hook is designed to catch on the edge of a fishes’ mouth without any additional pressure applied by the angler. Try not to set the hook yourself until that rod is bent over and the fish is taking line – much easier said than done!
These schools of 100-150 redfish produce amazing sight fishing. Fly fishing can be one of the most effective ways to catch fish right now as the flies make a delicate splash when landing. Flies that produce a small silhouette like a clouser minnow are a good choice. You’ll need to be extra stealthy but watching a redfish chase and inhale your fly is just downright addictive.
See you on the water!
Capt. Geoff Bennett operates Charleston Charter Fishing providing light tackle and fly fishing charters. Clients choose from a full menu of fly rods, artificial and live bait fishing options with charters tailored to their desires. USCG licensed and insured, Capt. Bennett is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable charter to anglers of all skill levels and ages. For more information, call Capt. Bennett at 843-324-3332, visit his website at www.charlestoncharterfishing.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.