Fired Up Offshore Forecast – February 2024

Wind and more wind, go away already. Near shore fishing has been great and should continue. Massive schools of redfish have been sighted near the port and around the tip of Cape Canaveral. Look for the birds diving and there is a good chance that they’re on them. There have been large bunker schools around, so take the time and look. The bunker (menhaden shad) may not be flipping so watch your machine and look for mud balls. The reds will eat anything you throw in the school, bucktails, bunker, and of course shrimp. They’re all big and upwards of 35 lbs. so handle with care and release them to continue their spawn.

Many of my offshore trips turned into port trips and beach trips if we were lucky with a west wind. If you want to catch a bunch of fish and keep the kids happy, get a few dozen live shrimp and have fun. The way we do our beach fishing is with medium rods and light tackle while using a 1/0 circle hook with 20-pound leader to a small swivel then mainline. On the mainline use a 1 or 1.5 oz egg sinker. This is the typical fish finder rig which works great and is very basic. Everything eats a shrimp. Shark fishing has been on fire as well. Large blacktips, hammerhead and blacknose have been plentiful. A bunch of bull sharks too.

Offshore on the days we can get out have been great, but this is also the time of year that the kings are picky. If they don’t have a live bunker or threadfin flashed in front of their face they won’t eat. You will literally watch everyone around you hooked up and they will not touch a dead spinning minnow. You really must put the effort in right now to catch the live baits. Last year this time was the best cobia run. Many of the giants were caught in February, it was even better than March. Take advantage of those sunny days and go look around. 55-foot depths seem to be the most productive this time of year. Patrick has always been productive. The rays are showing up! Have a great month and good luck.