FEBRUARY WARM UP!!!

A stable streak of weather has definitely sparked the bite in north Pinellas. The water over the last week had dipped to 52 degrees. It has only taken a couple of warm days for the temps to approach 58 degrees, stimulating trout and redfish to begin foraging on the warmer part of the day. Jigs in a shrimp pattern have definitely outfished live shrimp when the bite is slower. Likely because jig fishing tends to cover more water, crossing the path of fish while retrieved. However, on the outgoing tides, live shrimp have been getting inhaled quickly while freelined with the tide. As the water level drops, follow the fish towards the edge of the flat as they continue to seek cover and ambush baits. When using artificials I prefer shrimp colors, however over the darker grasses, I’ll use darker green jerkworms. Live shrimp will need to be whole as half eaten shrimp usually continue to get peppered by pinfish and other small species. Redfish are holding by the dozens around residential docks, typical for winter months. Unlike trout, redfish will eat any size shrimp, in small pieces or whole. They are a bottom scavenger, mostly rooting around on the bottom while seeking crustaceans.  Most are undersize fish, but will provide lots of action on medium to higher tides. Once the tides drop out, fish the sandy potholes out in front of the dockline. You will continue to hook reds and trout in those low tide holes as they are slightly deeper than the surrounding grass.