Who Took the BRRR out of February? — February 16, 2009

Seventy-seven degrees.  Say it.  Feel the hard G. follows the hard consonant of the twin esses.  Now say February.  The fluctuations of the Br and R simply sound cold.  Nope.  The seventy-seven was the warmest water temperature on the West shoreline on Valentines Day.  The air got all the way up to the low eighties.  If there was a sun, we all downright agreed that we could have wet waded.  IT’S FEBRUARY!  However, the warm water on VD did not disappoint us with a lack of fish and although the huge momma sows never showed up, her sisters did.

Dad has been on the water for two weeks straight and I have to admit I was becoming a tad too envious of him.  The week leading up to V-Day was an olio of success and failure.  One day the fish were on and the next day, against all conventional wisdom, (conditions were right), the fish wouldn’t bite.  In fifty years of fishing the Laguna, dad had his first day ever without a bite.  Yes, the fish are as confused as we are.  However, with two minds working as one, we did find them on V-Day and lo and behold, they are staging 4 to 6 weeks ahead of schedule.  If you recall, we were still in waders the first week of May last year. 

On V-Day, we released six fish over 4 and two over 6 and to call them finicky would be, well like saying, ‘Dad’s a liberal.’  As stubborn as I am on the topwaters, I only threw them for two hours before going to a slow, irregular retrieve.  The fish were ‘following’ and most strikes were occurring within 6 to 8 feet from the rod tip.  Typically this means speeding up the retrieve, however, when I did that the bite stopped.  We finally got them hitting consistently on Limetreuse for dad and me and our buddies were throwing pumpkin and chartreuse.  Yes, standard mid to late spring colors.  Go back and check your fishing logs to find the best spots and conditions for March 20 to April 15 and that is where we are right now.  These poor little guys should start showing egg sacks soon with these warm waters.

Offshore should be firing pretty soon with reports of young Bluefin, monstrous YFT, and the typical off the hook snapper fishing we are famous for.  However, we now have a head boat out of Port Mansfield hitting the nearshore rocks so catch them while you can.  Cobia should not be too far behind with the weather patterns as they are expect them around in two or three weeks peaking in mid-May or early June.
We only have a few openings left for Tarpon/King trips so book soon.  This summer is already shaping up to be our best ever.