There’s not much of a change in February compared to last month when it comes to fishing Tampa Bay Flats. One of the biggest changes you will notice is even more cool weather moving in from the north and the extreme negative tides that we get this month. Negative tides occur more often this month due to the way the earth spins on its axis this time of year. Fishing low tides can be super productive for trout redfish and snook if fished properly. There are a few key ways that will produce trophy size fish on even the coldest day and the lowest tides in Tampa bay area.
The first thing that you will want to do is figure out what area you will be fishing. What I mean by this is are you going to try and fish one of the rivers, flats, or a resident canal. All these areas can and will produce quality and quantity of fish, if fished properly. To start off with, say you were fishing a flat what you will want to do this time of year is look for the natural creeks that run off the flat. They usually tend to have a big deep pot hole or deep hole somewhere along its path. This is where you will find the fish stacked up, especially if the surrounding flat is dry. If you decide you want to fish the river or residential canal you will want to look for the deepest part of the channel you can find. Another good area is where a canal or a finger of the river runs into the main part of the river or main channel. These spots make for easy picking for the fish as the bait gets flushed by them. Once you have located an area that is
similar to the ones that I have been describing, you can pretty much throw anything in there from pinfish to shrimp and even your favorite artificial. One of my go that baits is Exude natural shrimp on a 1/4 jig head tied to 20lb Yo-Zuri fluorocarbon leader.These fish aren’t picky at all, they got one thing on their mind and that’s food. The best part about fishing this deep holes is they variety of fish you can catch. You might be fishing one and catching nothing but trout and ladyfish and then move to the next one and catching nothing but redfish or snook. It is definitely a hit and miss game, but can be super rewarding. Remember as the water temp drops the fish will move further and further back up the canals and rivers in seek of warm water.
Take these tools to the water and I can guarantee you will have one great day of fishing! Just remember to slow down when you are looking for these holes and creeks, because there may be rocks or manatees laying in these same areas on low tides. Also watch to make sure that you don’t get stuck back up in a hole because the tide has gotten too low for your boat to get out. To get a week to week fishing report check me out on Facebook at Fish Tampa Flats or at www.fishtampaflats.com. With that said Tight Lines and Screamin Reels’ Capt. WillIiam Burbach