February’s Opportunities

By: Capt. Bart Marx

February in Southwest Florida – Hello fellow anglers! Last year in Florida was the hottest year since they have been keeping records. So I am a weather geek, I was told some years ago that the weather runs in 50 year cycles. If they have only been keeping records since the 18?? who really knows. I do know that the weather in 2024 has been cool so far, and I like it. For me, I can feel winter this year, and it is good for fishing. There is a definite climate change for the fish, and they are responding to it. This is the time of year that the sheepshead are in their spawning time traveling to the docks on the barrier islands and to the close reefs too. Shrimp is your best bet or any small crustations. Flounder can be found on some of the sand spots close to the passes where there is plenty of water flow, use a jig head with shrimp and slowly slide across the sand till you find where they are and focus on that area. And moving out to 40-to-60-foot depths on the natural ledges along the coast using shrimp, you may find hogfish, lane and mangrove snapper in the same place. Always check the FWC regulations in the Gulf. If you harvest fish past 9 miles there are different regulations as compared to Gulf Federal or Gulf State so, checking it may be to your advantage. Offshore still look at those stone crab trap buoys they may be holding some tripletails, cast a shrimp close and let it sink and watch them go after it. And remember do not set the hook till you feel them take your bait. This is lots of fun and they are great eating. If you would like to experience some of these techniques give Capt. Bart Marx a call 941-979-6517 or e-mail me captbart@alphaomegacharters.com I also offer training sessions. This is where I come with you on your boat and help you see where you can take your boat to catch fish in Southwest Florida. Give me a call, let’s go fishing, and always remember singing drags and tight lines make me smile!