Pat McGriff Keaton Beach Report

Keaton Beach
Lowell Nix of Tallahassee with his second redfish of the day.

Trout fishing in February is tough. The Gulf water temps usually hold at, or around 55 degrees; meaning, you will almost always have to find a creek or river to fish in, and even then the “bite” will most often last less than an hour a day. S-L-O-W is the key to success and even slower is better. Many anglers using spinning gear with reel ratios of 5:1, 6:1 or 7:1 just can’t move their baits slow enough to match the trout’s metabolism. TIP: Fish the smallest reel diameter you can, say a 2500 series and fill the spool no more than 1/2 to 3/4 full and you will greatly reduce the amount of line you retrieve with each turn of the handle. This will slow down your presentation and translate into more strikes.

Braden Bradshaw of Tifton, Ga. with a Great trout taken in late December 2016 on a live shrimp under a Back Bay Thunder.

MirrOlure’s Paul Brown series of baits, starting with the SoftDines (try the 06, 49 & 91 patterns) and Devils (in 01, 09 &11 patterns) is the way to go in February. The hard bait series of MirrOdines is also great choice, as well in February with the “808” and “Trout” patterns of the #17 MirrOdine a couple of local winter favorites. TIP: If you are fishing in creeks, choose banks and turns facing the Southeast as they should warm first.

Redfish will be more cooperative in February; yet there will be a lot of short fish caught. Try to use larger hooks on your jigs or live bait offerings ,so as not to kill juveniles on your way to seeking out keepers. Precision Tackle’s Intruder Spoons and the new Intruder Hex spoons will take reds as will the Sleighs, Thunder-Spins and Cajun Flash. TIP: Try the smaller one eighth ounce spoons and Sleighs in February. I like the “Copper” and the New “Cajun Copper” patterns in the Intruder Hex spoons.

Hey, Call me in late February to set up your Spring trips with One More Cast.

Pat McGriff dba One More Cast guide service for 26 years!