The February Freshwater Scene for Naples to The Everglades
Capt. Roan zumFelde
February 9, 2017
Naples - Saltwater Fishing Report
The Hype of the New Year is over and we are on to February. I hope all had a great start to the New Year and I hope our weather in February is nice and mild with no freezes this year. I will have to first apologize for the February article because it is not my favorite fishing month in South West Florida. At the time I am writing this I just do not know what kind of weather we are going to have in February and how it will affect the way we will be fishing. Please do not shoot the messenger on this piece if I do not get it exactly right I do not have a crystal ball when predicting the unpredictable. Anyhow here goes nothing.
Lake Okeechobee bass fishing, weather permitting, should be seeing a good number of spawning fish on both the New Moon and Full Moon in February. Even if we have cooler than normal conditions it should not affect this too much. Bass are bass and they will want to make babies this month especially if the weather turns spring like early. There should be continued success for the crappie fisherman using small jigs or missouri minnows (also called fat head minnows) under small corks. I would expect low water conditions on the lake to be in affect so be very careful running around at high speeds I have seen many lower units and transoms ripped off of boats. If the lake gets down to extra low levels then the fly fishing in the Rim Canal should get very good and really concentrate some bass and bluegills this should hold true for the River also. If the weather is warm then small poppers will be great if not you might have to use small wooley buggers or other small weighted flies to get down a little. Highly suggest any fly you throw to have a weed guard on it.
Lake Trafford should still be seeing great success for the crappie anglers and the same type of rigs and bait apply from the previous paragraph. Trafford Marine should have plenty bait on hand. If we get some warm weather in February the top water bite for bass should get started on the lake. They will want to move out of cover and to the shallower edges searching for food and building for the spawn so they will be hungry. I like to throw yellow poppers on this lake, not sure why but they seem to work the best for me we have plenty at the shop.
For the Everglades Canals this will probably be the most up and down month for fishing. I would expect pretty good bass action both on top and underneath. The cichlids will mostly be dormant and this will lead to more bluegill and bass on the line. Water will be dropping so there should be more fish in the main canals and out of the marshes. Not my favorite month to fish the canals but you can still catch some nice fish if you fish slower than normal and downsize your lures or flies. Tiny crankbaits, run parallel to the drop off edge usually out from the main bank about five feet work very well and with the cooler water you will probably have less worries about taking off cichlids.
My spotlight for fishing this month is any of the many small lakes that are dotted around Naples. And up to North Fort Myers. There are really too many of these to list but I will give you some examples and you can take it from there. One such body of water is the small lake in front of Lowe's on North Airport Road there is some great bass fishing and it has some cichlids. Google earth or Map Quest is a great resource for finding these little honey holes. There seems to be a little fishing lake on just about every road in Naples you just have to find them. Santa Barbara Blvd. comes to mind. Most are public access but make sure to read the signs. If posted like the airport pond is, no Trespassing means stay out or suffer the consequences. Some of these ponds lend well to fly fisherman but I would carry a bait caster or a spin rod just in case you have little room to cast. Good luck and hope to see you at IPO and the bait house.
Come visit Mike and me at Mike's Bait house and Indian Pass Outfitters on Danford Street, next to Bayview Park in Naples and we can talk fishing. We carry a full line of tackle including: fly fishing needs and both saltwater and freshwater gear, food, drink, and bait. Thanks and good fishing. Roan z
If you want to contact Capt. Roan z for a freshwater fishing trip or ask any fishing questions he can be contacted at the Shop 239-775-2248 or cell number 239-269-4426. Check the Web Site www.indianpassoutfitters.com and www.mikesbaithouse.com
Snook, Tarpon, Bass Freshwater
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