My article for the February 2020 Edition of Coastal Angler Magazine Charleston:
Our water temps historically bottom out mid-January, but they are still awful cold in February. Since fish are cold blooded, they are going to be pretty sluggish as a result. You’ve probably heard the following advice; “If you think you are fishing slow enough, slow down”. It’s good advice, but how is it applied?
Think about what your lure is doing underwater. This month we want our lure on the bottom, and for it to move just a couple inches at a time. Watch your rod tip and consider how small a motion equates to a couple inches on your lure. At the end of a 6 to 7 foot lever (your rod), the amount of motion required is tiny. A very small motion of your wrist is all that is required. If you have access to a swimming pool, try this and you will be surprised to find you’re lure probably moves a lot more than you thought.
A good technique is to use very small hops bringing your rod tip from about 10 o’clock to 12 o’clock a few inches at a time, then take in line as you slowly lower the tip back to 10 o’clock. Manage your line! How much reeling is this? Maybe half a turn depending on your reel.
A cold redfish will suck that lure in and often it won’t feel like a bump, but rather kind of a mushy weird feeling. Unlike other times of year, you might need to give him a second to eat before setting the hook. Similarly, a February trout bite will often go unnoticed, even with the best gear. All you will feel is a mysterious weight that wasn’t there before and pulling up the rod will reveal tell-tale headshakes.
A small finesse soft plastic rigged on a light jighead makes a good choice. A favorite is the Z-Man StreakZ 3.75” with a TroutEye Finesse jig. The ElaZtech material is buoyant, allowing the tail to stick up when sitting still.
Give these methods a try this month and let us know how it works.
Partner, Eye Strike Fishing