As water levels and water temperatures drop, clear and shallow conditions on the Mosquito and Indian River combine to create some of the best sight fishing experienced all year. On clear sunny days, successful anglers’ focus on quietly polling the flats in search of redfish and sea trout holed up in the sandy potholes soaking up the sun’s warmth. On colder days an early start is not necessary, so read the paper and have an extra cup of coffee before heading to the lagoon. Mullet and other baitfish have migrated out of the area for the winter, thus the predators feeding habits have switched to smaller shrimp and crabs. Anglers should switch to a smaller bait and slower presentation. When targeting redfish, black drum, and sea trout during the colder months, I like to downsize my bait and fish with shrimp or crab imitation baits like the D.O.A. Shrimp and Crab. February is also a key month for targeting tailing big black drum around the bridges, deeper water and on the flats.
Winter is also a great month to target pompano, whiting and other nearshore species along the beach out of Port Canaveral if the seas are fishable. Try fishing just outside the surf line throwing small jigs tipped with fresh shrimp or sand fleas.
February is the best month to focus on American shad on the St Johns River. Catching shad on ultra-light spin and fly tackle is as close as you can get to stream fishing without leaving Central Florida. The Shad and Crappie Derby is in full swing and winning shad are usually caught in February. Be sure to sign up at one of the registration locations found in this magazine or online. Catching shad on ultra-light spin and fly tackle is as close as you can get to stream fishing without leaving Central Florida. Visit https:// coastalanglermag.com/orlando for more information.