This February, come out of the hunting woods and get in on some fantastic fishing. February is the perfect time of year for Speckled Trout and Redfish action, as well as some awesome offshore and beach fishing.

Bay Fishing

Speckled TroutCaptain Chris Williams with a nice Escambia River speckled trout.

Fish the local rivers and creek mouths and you will find an abundance of speckled trout, white trout, and hybrid bass. These fish seek deeper water when the temperatures dip to winter lows, so this should make it easier for you to find them. If you are fishing the flats in the sound or Intracoastal Waterway, target the deeper points, creek mouths and water runoffs. Personally, I stay away from the docks, unless the end of the dock is in at least 10 feet of water. Use smaller baits like the new EZ Shrimpz, made by Z-Man Fishing, in the natural and fried chicken colors. Or try the Scented Curly Tailz, Swimmin’ TroutTrick, and the Big TRD. Stick to natural colors, such as Bad Shad and Pinfish colors, or anything that would match the type of baitfish they eat in that area.

Gulf Fishing

AmberjackJuvenile amberjack and smiling faces.

Amberjack, red grouper, scamp grouper and all the local species of snapper are open for season — except red snapper. The federal and state governments have not said when they will open red snapper season yet, but you can find all of the various offshore species listed above on many of the reefs, artificial and natural, in the Gulf in February. Catch these species using traditional bottom fishing methods.

Beach Fishing

If beach fishing is your thing, the pompano are starting to run nicely along our shores at this time, along with the occasional school of redfish, whiting, blue fish, sheepshead and flounder. Fort Pickens is always a hot spot to find these fish and along the desolate beaches just east of Portofino Towers toward Navarre Beach. Use live shrimp, fiddler crabs and sand flees for bait unless your hunting sharks, then use cut bait such as mullet. Anything bloody will be best for shark fishing. Pensacola’s first cobia was caught on February 1 by Capt. Brett Tennant, which means the cobia run is just around the corner. Make sure you load up on cobia jigs from your local tackle store and head for the beach fishing pier. Stay on the lookout as you will soon see them swimming by.

Tight lines,

Capt. Chris Williams