As the water starts to warm up this month, schools of redfish and the largest trout of the season will move into the shallows and feed among the mullet. Incoming tide has these gamefish chasing bait in the skinniest of water. As the redfish will often tail to feed on crabs and grass shrimp, they will push around wakes when attacking small silver-dollar pinfish. Late February will find redfish schools hunting along the oyster bars on the higher tides. With high pressure and minimal clouds after a front, anglers will have more luck with cut bait along the bars when the fish are timid. On windy days (pre-front) throwing gold spoons among the mullet schools has been very productive. Work all levels of the water column to locate where the reds want to hold.
Big gator trout have finally started to hold on the grassflats that have less boating pressure. Though these yellowmouth predators can be spooked easier in shallow water, long casts with darker colored jerkbaits has rewarded anglers with quality fish. Drift fishing will cover more water and allows great sightcasting opportunities. Work the sandy potholes, as these key ambush zones will attract good numbers of trout. Once a fish is hooked, be sure to anchor for a short time as there may be more nearby.
Tackle tips- With the extra clear waters off St. Joseph Sound, 15 pound fluorocarbon leader has worked best to help disguise the presentation offered. Long casts and patience will catch the larger redfish roaming around right now.