February 8th -15th Fishing Report
CONDITIONS: The week kicks off with excellent winter conditions……..Mornings will range from 65 degrees to 70 late morning and then heating up to 80 plus real feel by late afternoon. But don’t get complacent as the wind kicks in mid week and will be buffeting the waters with steady 20mph gusts out of the northwest and due west . So as a result the water temperatures will be unfamiliar for the sheepshead and then the water will cloud up to muddy come late week. All that indicates that the fishing that’s top notch early week and then take a dive as the last part of the week kicks in. On the positive side, there is very little precipitation forecast thankfully, and once the wind eases we’ll get our good conditions back very quickly. And lastly, tides are coming off a new moon early week and are reasonably moderate both ways and won’t effect fishing
BACKWATER: The warmer water will effect the sheepshead bite this week. Can see a slowdown in the big fish with the water warming to close to 70 degrees. Can give it a try as the spawn season in still in place and they need to feed. Would confine your attempts to deeper water and near, if not on top or structure (docks, waterway markers, piers etc) working a hunk of shrimp or cut crab tight to the structure in moving water. Should also be some nice (smaller) redfish around and jumping on shrimp or cut bait worked tight to the mangrove edges especially in the latter stages of the incoming tide. Good venues would be Addison Bay and Johnson Bay when the water depth is passable. Also take a chance on some nice whiting by working the outgoing tide tight to the edges of Keeywadin Island . A bit of shrimp on a jig will do the trick here.
NEARSHORE: With this week’s warm up look for the sheepshead to head to the deeper cooler nearshore reefs. Those in 20-25’ of water just off the beaches to be the prime spot. Once to mark structure on the finder; anchor up and get a bait (cut shrimp or cut crab) in the water and work it with a soft vertical lift technique. Keep some motion in the offering and once to feel the “tap” simply lift the bait 2-3” and when you feel weight that’s when you set the hook. Don’t try to set on that first tap……you’ll lose the bait and get an empty hook back. Might try the Five Mile Reef SE corner for some nice lane and mangrove snapper action. Do so while the tide is running strong either way way and use some block chum to attract and draw both mangrove and lane snapper as well as some intermingled triggerfish and porgies (that’s right…..porgies here now). And always a chance out here to see some red grouper…..most undersized but you always have a chance at a take home.
OFFSHORE: Deep will be OK comfort wise until that wind kicks up late week. Wrecks that show bait holding have been providing good action on some smaller kings as well as some good bottom action on mangrove and lane snapper as well as some hot action on yellowtail snapper. Good idea to get some chum down early and give it a chance to work before you move off. Chilly water slows the fish movement down. Yellowtail snapper action is a blast to experience. Unique however, is the method……yellowtail will take your bait; not swallow the bait and run like the blazes……so keep your bail open and count to ten before you close the bail and set the hook. Good fight on the yellowtail and good size and great tablefare. Other target out deep now is tripletail who hang around the stone crab trap markers. See one sunning on the surface; double back quietly and work with a dark colored tipped jig right on the surface.