Gulf of Mexico Fishing Report 02.17.12
Submitted by Bulldog Fishin ChartersSubmitted on 02/17/2012
What an angler does in preparation for their fishing trip is just as important as what he or she does on the water. What is the forecast? - What are the tides? - Is my tackle ready? - Trolling motor charged? - Lures? - Bait? -Clothes/rain gear? These are all crucial things I check before taking my clients on the water.
The weather can change by the hour in Florida. Rain, cold, wind, and even fog are all things to consider before leaving the dock. Fog is common this time of year and can cause havoc on navigating tricky shallow waters. Make sure your NAV lights are working and pay attention to you GPS. A good chart plotter makes it much easier to get from point A to B, and is a must in conditions where visibility is compromised.
The tides will often determine when the best bite will be and it's smart to plan your trips around them. Some prefer an incoming an some will only target the outgoing. I find that the areas I fish are the most productive on higher moving tide because fish usually are on the move and feeding.
Having a good selection of lures and bait to offer is a must. Fish want different things on different days, so find out what they want. If the artificial's are not getting bit then I will switch to shrimp on a cork or slowly bounced across the bottom. If you can, bring enough rods rigged with these lures and baits. This way you can just grab another rod rather than taking the time to re-tie!
If you have spent any time on the water in winter then you know it is usually significantly cooler once you leave the dock. My advice to you is to layer your clothes. T-shirt, long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, and jacket is a good start. If you get hot, then just take a layer off. It is much easier to cool off then try to get warm. And always have some quality rain gear on the vessel.
Good luck out there and tight lines!
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Capt. Keith Tomlinson