Cocoa Beach, FL United States
Atlantic Ocean Fishing Report 02.01.11
Submitted by Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters Captain Tom Van HornSubmitted on 02/01/2011
Upcoming Seminars and Events
Shad and Crappie Derby registration materials are available at all sign-up locations, so visit http:www.cfshadderby.com for details on the nearest sign-up location to you. Also, be sure to sign up for the free 2 months of Sea Tow, courtesy of Sea Tow Central Florida Lakes.
Saturday, February 5th, "Free Seminars" instructed by Captains Tom Van Horn, Chris Myers, "Winter Tactics for Redfish, Black Drum and Sea Trout", located in the Outback at Mosquito Creek Outdoors, 170 South Washington Ave., Apopka Florida.
February 12th, 2011 Shad Rally 11:00 - 2 PM at the Jolly Gatot Fish Camp next to CS Lee Park,
"Free Seminar" Fishing with the Pros instructed by Captains Tom Van Horn, Chris Myers and Charlie McCullough, Basic fishing open forum, followed by "Fishing the Shad Run ". Event also features sponsor displays, giveaways, boat displays and demos, and a raffle to support the Hook Kids on Fishing Program.
February Fishing Outlook
Like most of the country, Central Florida has seen it share of cold weather this season, but we certainly can't complain about the cards dealt to us thus far. With the exception of a few really cold days, I mean really cold, gorgeous fishing conditions have prevailed and we experienced some excellent fishing as well.
February is a great time to check out those freshwater fishing holes on the St Johns River. Currently good catches of American shad, speckled perch, warmouth perch, and largemouth bass are being reported. The shad run has been good this year with more fish then we have seen in years. This past week, good reports of shad came from the Marina Isles to Mullet Lake section of the St. Johns River, as well as a good number shad being taken south of Lake Harney. As the run progresses the shad should be moving into the shallows flats south of Hwy 46, so fly anglers don't hast. We are currently half way through the Second Annual Coastal Angler Magazine Shad and Crappie Derby, and over 200 anglers have signed up to compete for the top angler of the season. The free derby last through the end of February, so if you haven't sighed up yet, visit www.cfshadderby.com for your nearest sign up location.
On the flats of the Mosquito, Banana and Indian River Lagoons, lower water levels have forced the redfish, black drum, and sea trout into the deeper pockets on the flats where they become concentrated. These concentrations make for a good number of tight schools, but shallow conditions also make access both difficult and dangerous for those not failure to the area. Also on colder days, falling water temperatures force most fish to seek deeper locations in search the warmest water they can find and they become very sluggish. As the sun warms the water, all it takes is a degree or two of change, and the fish will begin to move and feed in the shallows. On the sunny mornings, it is not uncommon to find redfish and trout holding in the sand pockets or potholes within the shallow flats where water temperatures raise faster. Additionally, warming water temperatures combined with sunny spring days and crystal clear water make February one of the best months to sight fish for redfish, large sea trout, and black drum on the lagoon flats. Also, now is the time to target tailing black drum in the Banana River Lagoon "No Motor Zone". For larger sea trout, fish at first light, sunset, or at night with natural baits, and target areas where mangrove edges, docks, and other structure are adjacent to deep water dredge holes, sloughs, or canals.
Offshore, kingfish are still present along the inshore reefs and wrecks, and they will remain there as long as the water temperature stays above 68 degrees. When targeting kingfish this month focus your efforts on the areas of 8A Reef, Pelican Flats, and Bethel Shoals to the south for best results. Look for cobia to be present on the inshore wrecks like the Carol Lee, Dutch, and Sub Wreck out of Port Canaveral. Additionally, live bait is tough to find this time of year, so always carry a box of frozen Spanish sardines with you as backup.
Near-shore, look for tripletail concentrations to improve greatly along the Port Canaveral buoy line and under floating weeds and structures, and for cobia to move in shadowing manta rays if the surface water temperatures reach the upper sixties. Now is also the time for shore fisherman to target pompano, bluefish, weakfish, small black drum, sheepshead, Spanish mackerel and whiting in the surf and larger redfish and flounder around the inlets and jetties.
Remember when planning a fishing trip in February, keep a close eye on the weather, and fish whenever you have a chance.
Also, be sure to check out t Coastal Angler Magazine Orlando in print and online for free at www.coastalanglermagazine.com.
In closing, I would like to encourage everyone to join me in fishing the Central Florida Shad and Crappie Derby. The derby is free for anglers and we have some great prizes, so visitwww.cfshadderby.com to view the current leaders and locate the nearest sign-up location.
As always, if you need information or have any questions, please contact me.
Good luck and good fishing,
Captain Tom Van Horn
Mosquito Coast fishing Charters
(407) 416-1187 on the water
For all of your outdoor shopping needs, visit Mosquito Creek Outdoors in Apopka, Florida. For more details, visit http://www.mosquitocreek.