Capt. Pete Rapps
Well, we made it through the first month of the year and had just a few fronts and wind to deal with in January. Though February generally brings a cold front or two, we sometimes find that they are not as powerful as those that come in January, so hopefully we can all look forward to some great fishing days this coming month. In February we are typically looking at water temps to be in the mid 60s and the air temps average between 52 and 76 degrees.
Several of the species that we fish for in the 10,000 Islands in February are shark, speckled sea trout, pompano, redfish, tripletail, snook, mangrove snapper, sheepshead, red grouper, black drum, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, flounder, and lots more in the bycatch including ladyfish, crevalle jack, puffer fish, blue runners, bluefish, whiting, catfish, and more.
Speckled sea trout are fantastic targets for shallow water February fishing. Trout are one of the premiere game fish of our shallow water grass flats, and really thrive in the shallow grassy areas of the 10,000 Islands during this time of year. These guys are perfect for catching in just about any tide, but I especially like fishing for them during the incoming tide. I would suggest using a Berkley Gulp shrimp on a jig head or a bucktail type jig. I’ve found that the more sparkle and flash the bucktail jig has, the more successful you’re going to be in bringing them in.
Redfish make for a challenging fight and therefore really fun to fish for this time of year. The shallower you go, the more fun the fight! In February, small marine life and “fish food”will be found in shallow water around oyster bar structures and near grassy cover, so it is here that you’ll find the redfish searching for their dinner. It is hard for them to turn down a live shrimp, so head to your local tackle shop and stock up before your trip.
Finally, one great thing about February is the size of the shrimp; they’re typically pretty big compared to the ones in the warmer months, so you can cut them in half and get more bang for your buck when it comes to your bait. Sheepshead and snapper love shrimp, so cut those big ones in half and you’ll have maximum success.
This is a great time of year to get out and experience the fine fishing that the 10,000 Islands has to offer. I hope that these forecasts serve as educational and beneficial to you, and that they will help you become a better angler. If you have any questions or would like to book an instructional charter, please contact us at CaptainRapps@Outlook.com and let’s go fishing!
Contact Capt. Pete Rapps by email at CaptainRapps@Outlook.com or by phone 239-571-1756. Captain Rapps’ Charters & Guides offers year round expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips in the 10,000 Islands of the Everglades National Park, and springtime tarpon-only charters in the Florida Keys. Capt. Rapps’ top-notch fleet accommodates men, women and children of all ages, experienced or not. Between our vast knowledge and experience of the area, and easygoing demeanors, you are guaranteed to have a great day. Book your charter 24/7 using the online booking calendar, and see Capt. Rapps’ first class website for booking info, videos, recipes, seasonings, and more at www.CaptainRapps.com.