For the next six weeks, fishing is going to be a challenge. Typically, February brings the coldest water temperatures of the year. This
makes fish (especially trout) pretty lethargic.
Redfish and trout are around in good numbers. As a matter of fact, they are concentrated in large schools. But, depending upon water temperature, getting them to eat can be maddening.
March brings the transition from late winter to early spring. One day is cold and windy. The next is sunny and warm. It is a confusing time for fish and anglers alike. However, do not despair. With a few adjustments, fishing in February and March can be quite good.
In February, anglers that use their electronics have a much higher probability of success. The water temperature gauge is your best friend when searching for feeding fish. Unless, of course, you have a fish-finding and stock-trading dog, like Brody.
Seek out the warmest water in the area you are fishing, and you will more than likely find feeding fish. This was the case on Sunday. When Elliott and I launched the boat, the water temperature in Beresford Creek was a chilly 49 degrees. We looked at Brody who gave us the “find warmer water” look. So, we put the Pathfinder on plane and kept running until we found 50-degree water in Horlbeck Creek.
Dropping off plane, we used the depth finder to look for trout in deeper areas of the creek. It only took a few minutes to locate a school. The trout were cold. The strike was extremely light but at least they were eating. We released several quality size trout along a steep channel bank casting Z-Man Finesse TRD lures. A short snap and a very long pause retrieve produced the most strikes.
March is usually very windy, and the large winter schools of trout and redfish are beginning to break up. This makes fishing doubly tough. I rarely fish with bait. However, in March, I have been known to PowerPole the Pathfinder in the shallows and soak mullet chunks or live mud minnows. This usually produces a few fish. It also allows me to relax in the boat and feel the early spring sunshine on my face.
Can fishing be tough in February and March? Absolutely. However, for anglers that make a few fishing adjustments, it can still be pretty good.