Monday, February 18, 2013

Snook season opened February 1st. On the Atlantic side of florida you can keep 1 snook per person per day. A snook must be between 28” to 32” to keep and remember that the tail must be squeezed when it is being measured. On the west coast of Florida and in the Everglades and Monroe County the season is still closed until further notice. If you are looking to pursue snook in our our area your best bet would be the Tamoka river or Strickland Creek. If this warm weather keeps up you may have a good shot a keeper fishing either of those places.

There's a good variety of fish available to anglers at this time. Trout, redfish, bluefish, flounder and mangrove snapper can all be caught in the ICW and adjacent canals. When it comes to live bait I would say that live shrimp would be my choice. If you prefer soft plastics, small paddle tails on a jig head will do just fine or a Zman jerkbait rigged on a weighted worm hook will work equally as well. When it comes to hard plastics I would go to a 3” Yo Zuri crystal minnow in white. If your weapon of choice is a fly, again I would choice white in a baitfish or shrimp pattern.

Trout are abundant at this time. You'll have to work through the small ones to get a few keepers. If you are persistent in the pursuit of trout you will be rewarded with with a few gator size fish; a gator would be considered anything 5 lbs and above. I have hooked and lost several gator trout in the past 2 weeks. I've gotten them a few feet from the boat and had the hook pull out. By the way, all these big fish were hooked on fly.

There have been good reports of big schools of redfish in the flats on the west side of the ICW right at the Volusia/Flagler county line. Those fish should be there for a while as long as the clown with the air boat stays away.

Last week I had Tom and Linda Lowry from NY state on my boat. The couple had a great time landing trout, redfish, mangrove snapper and flounder. They caught over 30 fish in four hours. It was a delight to see people, that are use to catching

small fish, catch big ones and a large number of them. I guess what I'm trying to say to you here is “get out and fish”.

By the way, all the new manatee signs are now in place in Flagler County in the ICW and the area around Highbridge is now a “no wake” zone all tear round.