February 2015 Fishing Forecast for Clearwater and Dunedin Fl.
Even with temperatures on the cold side this month, still there will be nice sunny Florida days that warm the waters on the inshore flats of Clearwater and Dunedin. Our February fishing days will depend on how many cold fronts push through the area and cause havoc on our weather. But have no fear, The Florida sunshine will give us some fantastic fishing days.
Take this time to get out and search your favorite trout and redfish areas. Always add some new locations to look at because trout can move a 1/4 mile from the last time you found them. The optimal condition for catching redfish and trout would be to have a high tide in the afternoon at the warmest part of the day. As the water moves up on the sun baked flats, it could be 3 to 5 degrees warmer. The fish will be more active in this warmer water and catching a gator trout or an oversized redfish, should be a lot easier.
When searching the warmer grass flat areas for trout, start out by casting some artificials with a 1/8 or 1/16 ounce lead head w/plastic tails. Bounce them along the bottom and through the sand holes. With this method, you can cover a lot of ground drifting and casting until fish are found. Remember to bounce your jig along the bottom very slowly. The fish are very lethargic and will not move far for a meal. Some of the biggest 24+ inch gator trout will be caught using this method. I like my plastic tail jigs to have a white belly and either root beer, dark green or new penny type color. The 3 1/2 inch Cal jerk bait is my favorite.
Once you find some trout using the fake bait, stop the boat in the area and toss out some live shrimp under a float. Give that some time and if it doesnít produce, move on.
I spent a lot of time looking for redfish in Dunedinís St Joseph Sound, Clearwater Bay and along the mangrove shore lines. The reds were hit and miss as they were spread out from their normal cold weather spots by the passing cold fronts. I found some reds around docks and some in the shallows. The key to finding the fish we caught was to keep moving quickly. I got up in the flats on higher tides and then shifted over to the docks as the tide fell. We caught some reds on certain trips and none on others. All of our reds were caught on live shrimp fished under a float.
So the key to catching fish in February, is to keep moving if the action is slow. These fish are somewhere out there and that somewhere just might be the next spot you try.
Capt. Gary Burch owns and operates All Catch Charters and specializes in live baits and artificials. He guides inshore, flats and backcountry from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. To reach Capt. Gary for a charter, please call 727 458-6335 or visit his website: