As blizzard after blizzard sweep across the country, we here in northeast Florida remain relatively untouched. We live in a unique place. The hurricanes seem to miss us (knock on wood) during the summer months, and the winters aren't all that bad.
The inshore fishing is still productive, particularly during a warming trend between fronts. Speckled trout are closed during the month of February. This month we have a big sheepshead tournament which is always fun. My charters have caught two 9lb sheepshead recently. Hopefully we can find a big one during the tournament. Fiddlers, crab knuckles, live shrimp, and clams are all effective baits.
Redfish are very temperature tolerant and will often bite on even the coldest days. You just need to slow your bait or lure presentation way down. Look for schools of reds along the edge of the ICW and on mud flats in the back country. Reds feed along the big jetties year round; you just have to find them. One of my customers caught a boat record red (28lbs) using 12lb spinning tackle jigging a live shrimp at the jetties yesterday.
We have had a great black drum bite going for the past month at the jetties. The fish average 8-10lbs and are fine table fare. Ring tail porgies are feeding among the jetty rocks also, and can be caught on light jigs with small pieces of fresh shrimp for bait.
Capt. Bob Cosby
February inshore/nearshore report Jacksonville area waters