Well, it’s February, and we all know that usually means it’s going to be cold and windy. This has been true for the majority of the last few weeks, as the cold fronts keep moving through this time of year. What this also USUALLY means for inshore anglers is crystal clear water and amazing sight fishing - usually. Unfortunately, to the dismay of most of us fishing guides, as well as local anglers, the water clarity has gotten worse in many areas over the last few months instead of getting better. This has mainly been due the brown algae which has bloomed in all three of the surrounding lagoons. So, instead of sight fishing crystal clear water like normal, we are fishing very dirty brown water. That means no sight fishing on most days.
With no end in sight to the dirty water we’ve been dealing with, we have been very limited to the types of fishing we can do. On recent trips, the best method for catching fish( although not the most exciting) has been soaking cut baits in ideally windy conditions. The reason you want the wind is to carry the scent of your baits down the flats, enticing weary and sluggish redfish, sea trout, or black drum to come and take a look. Artificial lures can also work on some days, but the low water temps generally have the fish moving very slow and looking for and easy meal, instead of aggressively chasing down their food. Odds are, if they happen upon a nice chunk of cut mullet or lady fish, they’re probably not going to turn it down.
This is exactly what we did on my most recent trip with Ron and Stevan. Winds were blowing 15-25 mph out of the north. We used this to our advantage, and we were definitely able to capitalize. Though, it was far from stellar, we were able to catch a variety of fish, including four redfish and a nice black drum. The best part of the day was the last fish, a 20+ lb redfish, caught in the final 15 minutes of the trip. With any luck, the lagoon water will clear in the next month or so, and we will be able to sight fish again. Till’ then, tight lines!
~ Capt. Eric Myers
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