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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to the forum and am a beginner saltwater angler. I have a few general questions about what one might be able catch in the Manasota Key area in February. This is my second trip down to the area in February, and I'll be there from the 7th to the 15th. We stayed in Englewood last year and caught a bunch of cool species including sharks down near Boca Grande. I'm wondering what species I may be able to catch if we tried surf fishing on the Gulf Side? I'm also wondering what species can be caught in the bay this time of year with any regularity?

I'm a cold water fisheries biologist who works for Trout Unlimited in the Mid Atlantic across Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia. I'm willing to trade some trout tips or a trip with anyone who might want to swap some private messages.

I'm just looking for some general guidance, so I'm not stabbing in the dark.
 

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Don't know anything about that area. Good luck! Sounds like a very interesting job you have there. I hope your helping the good fight! Gotta say I cannot wait to be back in WV! Love that state.
 

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Hi Dustin,

Welcome to the forum! I grew up on Don Pedro Island (Palm Island), just South of Manasota Key. I wish I was home when you are in town. I would have been happy to take you out. Will you have access to a boat at all?

A lot of what you will catch depends on water temperature. We don't get a ton of Snook when the water is cool, but it is always possible.

Expect to catch Ladyfish, Jack Crevale, juvenile Blue Fish, and maybe even some Spanish Mackeral off the beach if the water warms up in time.

On the mangrove side, expect to catch speckled trout, black drum, and red drum.

I highly suggest you come back again, maybe another year, around April-May when the Tarpon are coming through. Stay in touch. We rent our house out and I'd be happy to show you the area next time you are down!

-Wyl
 

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Hey Dustin,
I assume you are throwing spin gear? WylanB pretty much hit what you might catch. I might add pompano and flounder off the beach. Be careful with the sailcats- the slime can be poisonous to a cut. DOA type paddle tails with jig heads or other artificials mirrorlures- yozuri's rapala type will work for a lot of things. If you can rake up some sandflees they are candy to pompano. The owner of Fisherman's Edge on Placida road can show you how to rig. We live in Englewood but also rent our house that month and I won't be there. If you want to go out with a guide for half a day though or full two neighbors of mine- Al White (bocaonthefly.com) and Rex Gudgel (castwithrex.com) are both great guys and can really take you to some fish. They are excellent fly guys but also support spin. Head down to stump pass park at the south end of manasota key. I never had much luck on the inside but the end can be good. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey Dustin,
I assume you are throwing spin gear? WylanB pretty much hit what you might catch. I might add pompano and flounder off the beach. Be careful with the sailcats- the slime can be poisonous to a cut. DOA type paddle tails with jig heads or other artificials mirrorlures- yozuri's rapala type will work for a lot of things. If you can rake up some sandflees they are candy to pompano. The owner of Fisherman's Edge on Placida road can show you how to rig. We live in Englewood but also rent our house that month and I won't be there. If you want to go out with a guide for half a day though or full two neighbors of mine- Al White (bocaonthefly.com) and Rex Gudgel (castwithrex.com) are both great guys and can really take you to some fish. They are excellent fly guys but also support spin. Head down to stump pass park at the south end of manasota key. I never had much luck on the inside but the end can be good. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey Guys,
Thanks so much. I do both Fly and Spin, and will look into your local guide suggestions.
I appreciate the advice.
Dustin
 
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