February started out with air temps in the mid-60’s and water temps in the low-60’s. Soon unsettled weather with cold fronts brought us high winds, air temperatures in the 40’s, heavy surf, and cloudy water. Then after a couple of days, fishing improved greatly. Fish also seem to bite heavily in advance of bad weather, as the falling barometer triggers feeding. In-between the cold fronts, fishing improves as conditions become more comfortable for the fishermen.
ButterFish or Silver Perch are again our most common catch for wintertime fare. The little Silver Perch can be filleted or cooked bone-in, depending on your style of cooking. Once the schools are located, it’s not hard to catch a bunch with multiple-hook rigs and small pieces of bait. There’s no size or bag limit on these.
Silver Trout were biting fairly well in February. The Silvers stay more in the mid-water areas and are caught along with ButterFish, as schools of Silver Trout move around and vie for the small organisms that are food for these fish. Using a bit less weight, multiple small hooks or flies, and fresh-cut baits helps target this species.
Whiting are a wintertime staple here, but we’ve seen fewer this year than in recent years. The Whiting we have seen, however, have been larger. One key to finding them here is to move around the pier, finding the sandy troughs that these tastiest of small fish prefer. Once you find one, more are surely nearby. Try fresh-cut shrimp or clams to turn on the bite. Multiple-hook rigs can be used effectively, especially if you keep the first fish on for a few seconds before pulling him away from the other fish.
Spotted SeaTrout were seen mostly in the evenings, with a few fish taken in the mornings. Live bait – shrimp or minnows are most commonly used, but lures are effective also, and have several advantages. One advantage is that you can immediately fish once you tie on; nothing else is needed to have or be tended to, as in live-bait fishing. Secondly, you can cover way more water as you work lures past features and changing depths. Thirdly, you can target larger fish as you sight-fish near the lights, and spot that “Gator” Trout showing interest in the activity you have created with your lure. It’s a more challenging way to fish in some respects, but it has the added bonus of satisfaction in having fooled your quarry.
Lots of small Sharks and Rays of many varieties were seen this February. We saw BonnetHead Sharks, Southern StingRays, Skates, and GuitarFish. As a rule here, we want patrons to release Sharks unharmed.
We had a few Flounder this month. Keepers must be 12 inches. We also saw Sheepshead, Grunts, and even a flourish of Pompano on a few days.
March begins nine months of Pier 60 staying open for operations 24-7. Our fishing day begins at 6 AM and goes until 6 AM the following day.
Hours: March 1st – November 30th 24 hours a day, seven days a week
Good Luck Fishing!