February fishing in Chokoloskee and Everglades City

February is a month where we normally will see some subtle changes from January’s cold fronts and wind. The cold fronts will still hit us, but are usually a little less powerful. Water temperatures will continue to hover in the low 60’s. Daytime air temperatures will average 52-76 degrees.

Keep an eye on your tide chart because we have some extremely low tides around both the new full and new moons. Be mindful of the morning low tides February 5th – 9th, and the 17th – 22nd! Wind direction affects the tides dramatically. A North or East wind will make the tide lower and longer than expected as it blows the water out and delays it’s return.

I like to hit the outside flats on the incoming flood tide. We drift areas that are 3’-5’ deep and vary from grass to sand. This way we can expect a combination of both Trout on the grass, and Pompano on the sand. I like to use a 3/8 oz bucktail type jig, with a good amount of glitter in it. A perfect example of a universal jig that will catch both Trout and Pompano is a Don’s Potbelly Jig. You can use your light casting gear with 10 lb test line and 2’ of 20lb fluorocarbon leader. In addition to the Trout and Pompano, you can expect to pick up Spanish mackerel, Jacks, & Ladyfish.

The backwater bays and rivers hold Redfish, Snook, Mangrove Snapper, Ladyfish, and other fun to catch species. When fishing for Snook, It’s hard to beat live baits like Pilchards and Thread Herring. We have had great results using popping corks with Gulp! Shrimp on a jig head. Snapper will gladly accept pieces of shrimp, and the Ladyfish love jerkbaits and bucktail jigs.

On the outgoing tide, I like to head into the river mouths and the backwaters and fish for Sheepshead and Snapper. They both love shrimp and will gladly accept a piece rather than a whole live shrimp. The reason why I like shrimp pieces in February is two-fold. First off, the winter shrimp tend to be quite large. By cutting them in half, you can stretch your supply to last a lot longer. Secondly, the Sheepshead and Snapper have small mouths and will usually just rob a whole shrimp right off you hook.

I have a Species Availability Chart relative to the Backwater and Nearshore areas that I fish in the Everglades National Park. You can see it at www.CaptainRapps.com

Capt Pete Rapps
[email protected]

Hailing out of Chokoloskee Island Park Marina, Chokoloskee, FL

Capt Rapps has been fishing the Chokoloskee area for just over 20 years. He offers expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips in the Everglades National Park. If you are looking for a fun, easy going, and enjoyable day fishing and exploring in the Everglades National Park, look no further. Capt Rapps and his guides accommodate all men, women, & children of all ages, experienced or not, and those with special needs. Between their vast knowledge & experience of the area, and easy going demeanors, you are guaranteed to have a great day. Book your charter 24/7 with his online booking calendar, and see his first class web site for Booking info, Videos, Recipes, Seasonings, and more at www.CaptainRapps.com
Captain Pete Rapps
Backwater and near shore fishing charters. Chokoloskee, FL
Tarpon Charters at the Bahia Honda Chanel, Big Pine Key, FL


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