Fernandina/Amelia Island

Fernandina/Amelia Island February Fishing Report


Title:       “Amelia Island Fishing”- February article

     The month of February highlights freshwater bass fishing where female largemouth bass are beginning to migrate into the shallows for their annual spawn.  Laden with large sacks of eggs, female bass can weigh well over the ten-pound mark.  Look for small lakes and ponds located on golf courses and residents to yield amazing bass fishing during the entire month of February.

During warm winter days surface plugs including the Storm “Chug Bug” in the chrome and blue color pattern and the Heddon “Zara Spook” in the frog pattern to produce amazing surface strikes!  Un-weighted plastic worms in the black and purple color patterns also work well when worked in five feet of water and less when trophy size bass are in a spawning mode.

Also keep in mind that some of the best winter trophy largemouth bass action comes during warm spells when the water temperatures may warm up a degree or two.

Amelia Island has numerous small lakes and ponds which many are located on resorts and private residents.  With this in mind be sure and obtain permission first before making your first cast.

Wahoo fishing during the month of February is excellent at N.E. Florida’s Continental Shelf where water depths drop off sharply from 150-feet of water to over 1,000-feet of water in less than a mile.

A successful wahoo trolling spread involves five lures, one set at 50-feet, one at 100-feet, one at 150-feet, one at 200-feet and one at 250-feet.  The two short lures, 50 and 100-feet are trolled from one side of the boat and the two 150 and 200-feet lures are trolled from the remaining side of the boat.  The long 250-foot lure is trolled in the middle of the spread as a “Shot Gun” lure.  Included in the high speed trolling spread are two “Jet Heads”, a C& H “Mr. Big”, a C & H “American Express” and a “Wahoo Whacker”.  Reel drags are adjusted to 20-pounds.

All rods have the trolling lines marked with different colored tape so that the lure can be set in the trolling spread at exactly the same drop back distance.

The two short lures are rigged with 64-oz. trolling weights, while the three long lures are rigged with 32-oz. trolling weights. Terminal tackle begins with a 300-lb. stainless ball bearing snap swivel attached to the tag end of 130-lb. hollow core braid fishing line. Next a 24-foot section of 300-lb. monofilament leader is run from the snap swivel to the trolling weight.  A 6-foot section of 275-lb. wire cable is then rigged from the trolling weight to the lure.  A 1-foot section of 900-lb cable with 3- rigging beads is then rigged from the leader cable through the lure and to a pair of 10/0 Mustad style 7691 stainless steel hooks.  The hooks are also wrapped to the wire cable with 3-M electrical tape so that the lure trolls perfectly straight at high speeds.  3-M electrical tape comes in multiple colors as well to match the lure color, is stretchable and is better has a better adhesive.

Some of the more productive lure skirt colors include black & green, black & green, blue & white, pink & white and purple & black.  Spare skirts should be stored as the strike of a fast swimming, sharped tooth wahoo often results in a destroyed plastic skirt.

The Annual Northeast Florida Wahoo shootout starts on February 3rd and runs through March 31st, 2018, for more information please visit www.wahooshout.com.

Nassau Sound and St. Mary’s inlet fishermen will be targeting black drum and excellent eating whiting while fishing dead on the bottom with ultra fresh shrimp.  Tides are critical with the last of the in-coming and the first of the out-going tides producing the best action.  Also if a flood tide arrives during the afternoon when water temperatures are warmest, look for the best black drum and whiting fishing action.  “Leaders & Sinkers” bait and tackle typically holds a black drum tournament beginning at the end of February, or the first of March.  For more information please call 904-321-2800.

Spotted sea trout will be running in Cumberland and Nassau Sound as well in area tidal rivers.  Sea trout weighing to 10-pounds are the target of seasoned speck fishermen and are typically caught during a flooding tide and also when the tide first begins to fall.  Look for ambush points including points, oyster bars, the deep sides of boat docks and jetty rocks to harbor the best sea trout action.  The 52 m Mirror Lure in the chartreuse color pattern works well, while large live shrimp fished under a small float is hard to beat!

My favorite saltwater game fish “Redfish will be schooling on warm afternoon mud flats in the backwaters of Amelia Island.  Look for the last of the falling and the first of the incoming tides to produce the best redfish action.  Plastic scented shrimp worked on a 1/8th. ounce jig head is key when hooking into a nice school of redfish.  However always bring along cut bait, live shrimp, bullhead minnows and live finger mullet just in case!

For more fishing information please call Amelia Angler Outfitters (904) 261-2870 or visit www.ameliaangler .com