Crystal River Fishing Report February 2024

February can be a tough from a weather standpoint but this time of year definitly has a lot to offer when the weather allows us to get out. Inshore fishing revolves around fishing deeper potholes in creeks and back bays targeting Redfish, Speckled Trout, Black Drum and Sheephead. Although navigating the lower tides this time of year can create challenges, the lower portions of the tides can be some of the most productive. When the tide falls out the fish gather in the holes and trenches that are scattered in most of the creeks in our area and when the fish are concentrated like this it can make for some phenomenal fishing and our go to tackle options in these scanarios are ussually something along the bottom whether it be a shrimp on a jig head or a soft plastic jig such as a MirroLure Lil John in the watermelon red color, both of these options will strike pay dirt when they are presented halfway properly. When the tide comes back in look for the fish to be relating to rocky points that are on tidal points, fast moving water and hard bottom are the answer and the same rigs can be enployed here as well as shrimp under a cork during warmer time periods.

The nearshore fishing this time of year is something that many customers look forward too. The annual Sheephead spawn kicks off and this a very fun fishery for anglers of all skill levels. These trips are usually 10-25 miles offshore and for this fishing we are using live shrimp both on the bottom with a knocker rig and freeling with 1/8 ounce jig heads. One of the cool things about this type of fishing is the bycatch that comes along with targeting sheephead, Mangrove Snapper and HogFish are common occurances and some days they can show up in big numbers to help put together a very well rounded fish box. The Sheephead fishing historically kicks off in mid January and runs through early April, that being said this is a short season so available dates are limited.  

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