The month of February has been fairly typical in terms of temperature swings and weather patterns but savvy anglers should be able to adapt to these challenges.

       On sunny days, I spend most of my time poling the shallows in search of redfish cruising the shoreline or laid up in potholes. These fish are usually cozy and laid back but they can also be very wary in their surroundings. Clear, shallow water will have redfish scrutinizing every offering and testing your patience, so take your time when approaching them and, if possible, position your boat so the fish can come to you. Doing so will increase the likelihood of getting a shot at them before they get wise to your presence. Lately, the best bite has been on soft plastic baits on a light jig. Shad tail baits and shrimp patterns have been working well.

       On cloudy or slightly overcast days, I like to get in the backwater bayous and creeks where speckled trout and redfish tend to stack up this time of the year. Bayous will have deeper, darker water than the flats and many of them feature a mix of sand and mud bottom with oyster shells scattered here and there.

       Although trout are out of season and must be released through the end of the month, they are still a lot of fun to catch. Jigs, suspending twitch baits and even some topwater baits have been very effective. Small gold lipless crankbaits have been absolutely crushing the redfish that are holding up in the deep areas of the bayous.

       Meanwhile, it's getting to be that time of the year when big schools of redfish start working their way up and down the beach. This can make for some incredible sight fishing considering the clarity of the water and the size of some of the schools. Fish cruising along the shoreline are usually aggressive and can be caught on a variety of live and artificial offerings. Plugs, jigs, spoons and topwater baits are staples in the arsenal when targeting redfish in big schools. Many of these fish will be oversized, so be sure to handle them with care and release them to be caught another day.

       Look for catches of sheepshead to start picking up around the bridges and in the St. Andrews Pass near the jetties. They can be a fickle fish to catch in the shallows; however, when they get in a little deeper water, they tend to chew pretty good. I use live shrimp or fiddler crabs on a light Carolina rig or, if the current is relatively slow, then I can get away with simply using a split shot to get the bait down. The more natural the presentation, the better!

       If you have questions about what's biting, how to catch them or would like to book a trip of your own, then give me a call or shoot me an email. Tight lines!