Fishing Report from Pathfinder & Yamaha Pro Staffer Capt. Jay Withers

The months of January and February are great months to literally pick your species to target.  Whether you’re a nearshore/offshore angler, or would rather stalk the flats for redfish, snook and trout.  These two months have some great opportunities.  Taking advantage of the comfortable weather and searching for that “catch of a lifetime” maybe simpler than you think.

There are a couple things to keep in mind for both offshore and inshore. For the offshore angler, things here tend to become easier to get on a good bite without having to run 20-30 miles into the Gulf of Mexico.  During the cooler months our water surface temperature in the Gulf stays typically in the mid 60’s and provides excellent fishing near wrecks, artificial reefs and ledges.  The cooler water temps tend to drive the fish in closer to shore with strong numbers of grouper, snapper and pelagics.  I like to run to my favorite gathering spot for a couple cast nets full of pinfish and go and drop them down on a knocker rig to pull on some hefty grouper. And on the way out drive by every crab trap float I can see to check for the ever-tasty Tripletail. Keep in mind to check your regulations on the seemingly changing grouper limits.  That will just add some peace of mind when your bowed over the side of the boat with another giant gag grouper.

Now many times the weather will not allow for much of a run into the gulf and your need to concentrate on the inshore species.  Some of my favorites are Redfish and Pompano during Jan/Feb.  With many days of wind from the north or northeast, it’s a good idea to find an area that maybe a little leeward from the wind.  Just keep in mind that with winter low tides and a strong north or east wind the tides will be exceptionally lower than normal.  However, use this to your advantage.  Areas to focus on are sand holes surrounded by grass flats.  During these winter low tides the fish tend to get concentrated in those sand holes and with the right presentation, the fishing can be exceptional.

Capt. Jay Withers
Pathfinder & Yamaha Pro Staffer
Silver Lining Charters
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