Spotted Sea Trout remains the main target fish through-out February. The shallow grass flats from Clearwater north to Tarpon Springs have been abundant with Speckled Trout this month after the extreme cold fronts. My favorite artificial bait has been the saltwater assassin cocktail shrimp, mirror lure little Jon on 1/8th. oz. Mission jig and the D.O.A glow shrimp 3 in. Although trout love live shrimp, you can out fish someone using shrimp with one of these jigs. You can cover more water and find more fish fan casting as you slowly drift the near shore flats. Keep your retrieve slow so that the jig stays near the bottom. A slight twitch with the rod tip while maintaining a slow steady retrieve should do the job.
Red fish have also started to show up around the oyster bars most fish have been in 15 to 20 in class.
Sheepheads are also abundant this time of year. The best docks are the ones leading back to the residential coves and canals. Other areas include local Bridges Jetties and some clothes reefs near the beach for these tasty fish. I use a small hook baited with shrimp, mud crabs or fiddler crabs if you can find and a small split shot or a knocker rig to keep it on the bottom and near the dock and Bridge pilings and fenders.
Snook are still in the back canals around docks and seawalls on the higher tides. They are feeding on large shrimp freelined but remember it’s still catch and release and to be extremely careful when handling being they have been stressed from the cold winter.