Stuart Inshore: Feb. 2018

Kyle caught a keeper snook at the bridge on live shrimp. Photo credit: Capt. Giles Murphy.

The inshore bite can be great during this coldest time of year. The trout and redfish seem to move down to the Stuart and Jensen Beach area to feed on scaled sardines and shrimp. The shoreline between the Marriot and Sailfish Point can have them hiding along the docks and mangroves. Another fun option is wading the Sailfish Flats. Pull out your waders and pack some D.O.A. C.A.L. Curly Tail jigs, bucktail jigs, topwater plugs, or popping cork rigs. Park your boat at the “Sandbar” and wade along the flats. There is typically zero boat traffic near the Sailfish Flats during the winter, which draws the fish in. Another fun method when fishing the flats is the “chum bucket”. Using a small plastic bait bucket with a lid, drill quarter-inch holes all over the sides of the bucket. Fill the bucket half-way with sand, gravel, or anything heavy. Then fill with diced clam meat and/or chum. Place the bucket in two-to-three-foot depth on the flats, sit back, and wait. This is a great method for pompano on the flats. To make it even more fun, bring a ladder (preferably “painters ladder”), and place the ladder 40 feet from the chum bucket. Climb up the ladder and watch your chum bucket attract fish.

The Spanish mackerel and bluefish can be thick in February for fun with the family. They typically start showing up more inshore near the bridges, channels, and inlet. Some good lures to cast at them are Got-Cha Plugs, Gulfstream Flash Minnows, and spoons. For fly-fishing, chartreuse clousers, Gummy Minnows, and topwater poppers work great.

Surf casting the beaches with 10-to-12-foot rods is very popular in February through the Spring. Pompano is the big target, but we also catch whiting, croakers, and perch. We’ve done best on the beach with incoming tide, especially the last two hours of incoming tide.

Snook season opens February 1 and the keepers are caught mostly along the bottom near the bridges or under big boats at dock. The snook lights are very lively this time of year for light tackle fun spin or fly!

FORECAST BY: Capt. Giles Murphy
Stuart Angler Bait & Tackle
(772) 288–1219