February Fishing Forecast for Carolina Beach, North Carolina
February is upon us, and it finally feels like winter! The Red Drum bite has remained pretty consistent throughout the winter and the fish have moved to their typical winter patterns. We are targeting red drum in muddy creeks near oyster beds, around docks and in the surf. My go to baits lately have been Down South Lures, check them out online! They are hybrid paddle tail lures and have great action! I always add a little pro-cure bait scent to my plastics in the winter months to entice the fish to bite. One thing about fishing this time of year that differs from other seasons is what time of day to fish. I find more success midday in the winter because it gives the water time to warm up, and that makes the fish more active. You need to slow down your retrieve this time of year to a crawl. Cold water means slow moving fish!
The Striper are here and the fishing is getting better with the cooling water temps. As this water temperature continues to fall, be sure to fish for striper in 10 plus feet of water. This is a great time to put your fish finders to work so you can find structure under water as well as ledges and holes. I like to target ledges that have a nice gradual slope near submerged structure. My go to baits in the dead of winter are deep diving crank baits, and large soft plastics rigged weedless with worm weights. I can not stress enough the importance of working these baits slowly in the winter months. Most times the bigger fish are sitting on the bottom waiting for a meal that they can eat easily, so take your time and work it slow!
The Speckled Trout are still around but they aren’t feeding as consistently. This time of year is when I like to target the big trout. These larger citation fish won’t feed every day, but when they do, they are looking for a big meal. Don’t shy away from using large baits over 5 inches in length. I prefer the use of large swim-baits and Paul Brown lures. These fish will be holding over mud flats and in large holes in the river and surround coastal bays. While fishing for trout in the winter you have to be patient. You likely wont be catching 20 fish a day, but when you land one, it will be worth the wait!
I hope you get to visit the Carolina Beach, NC area and enjoy our fishery this month!
About the Author:
Captain Luke Tippett of TopWater Guide Co.