Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Fishing the 10,000 Islands in February



Capt. Pete Rapps

February is a great time to go out for a fishing trip in the 10,000 Islands, but you’ll want to make sure you prepare for what you’re going to experience! While February will have most of the same temperatures as January when it comes to air and water, we’re typically not seeing the same strong wind gusts and cold fronts we experience in January, which can make for a really comfortable fishing experience and day out on the water. The air temperature can be expected to reach around 52-76 degrees Fahrenheit, while the water temperature will hover in the middle 60s.

The new moon this February falls on the 8th and the full moon is on the 22nd. February is another month with extreme tides around the full and new moon. We will have some extreme low tides the mornings of the 6th-11th and the 21st-25th. Again, be sure to do your tide chart research if fishing those days. You will want to avoid fishing during some of these extreme negative low tides. As I mention each winter, an east wind accompanied with cold temperatures will make the tides a lot lower and last longer than a tide chart prediction shows.

Looking at the moon phases, tides, and the Solunar calendar, I like what I see for peak bite days on the 6th-11th and 21st-25th. Refer to the Solunar peak bite times section of our website for more info and monthly Solunar bite charts.

Pompano and trout really flourish in the grassy and sandy areas of the 10,000 Islands during February, and these are what you’re going to be catching during those final two hours before the incoming tide. When fishing for these fish, I often suggest using a bucktail type jig, and I’ve found that the more glitter the jig has, the more successful you’re going to be! A good place to start, if you’re looking for that perfect jig, is with the Don’s

Heidi with her first  keeper tripletail on a Captain Rapps charter. PHOTOS BY CAPT. PETE RAPPS

Heidi with her first keeper tripletail on a Captain Rapps charter. PHOTOS BY CAPT. PETE RAPPS

Jigs, which can be found at Everglades Bait and Tackle.

While fishing in February, break out your light casting gear and tie on some 10 lb. test line and 2’ of 20 lb. fluorocarbon leader. Equipped with the jig of your choice, you can not only expect to reel in some really excellent trout and pompano, but you may find yourself catching Spanish mackerel, jacks, and ladyfish as well.

If the backwater bays and rivers are where you’re planning to fish during your February trip, you can expect to have a great time reeling in all kinds of snook, mangrove snapper, and ladyfish, which you may find live bait works best for. Pilchards and thread herring with lures really seem to attract the fun to catch fish lurking in these backwater areas, and the mangrove snapper in particular really seems keen to nibble on pieces of shrimp.

Whether you plan to fish in the backwaters, or the flats, you’re bound to have a great time experiencing fishing in the 10,000 Islands in the month of February. With winter’s serious winds calming down, and things getting a little more temperate, you’re bound to have a really great time out on the water.

Need some lessons? Book a charter and we’ll show you how it’s done!

Capt. Pete Rapps,



Captain Rapps’ Charters & Guides offers year round expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips in the 10,000 Islands of the Everglades National Park, and springtime Tarpon-only charters in the Florida Keys. Capt. Rapps’ top-notch fleet accommodates men, women and children of all ages, experienced or not. Between our vast knowledge and experience of the area, and easygoing demeanors, you are guaranteed to have a great day. Book your charter 24/7 using the online booking calendar, and see Capt. Rapps’ first class web site for booking info, videos, recipes, seasonings, and more at www.CaptainRapps.com.

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