Trout fishing is closed for the month of February in the northeast zone, which starts at the Volusia/Flagler County line and extends north to the Florida/Georgia border.
All trout caught inside the northeast zone must be released no matter the condition. If you launch your boat in Flagler County and then go into Volusia County and catch trout, you can’t bring them back into Flagler County. Same goes if you launch in Volusia County. If you’re looking to keep trout this month, your best bet is to launch in Volusia and stay there.
Trout fishing will reopen in the northeast zone March 1.
In my last column, I wrote about the benefits of the color gold in clear water. Now that we’re getting rain and the water temperature are rising, you’ll notice the clarity of the water start to change — it will become darker. Once the hue changes, it’s time to start trying different colors with the artificial baits and flies. Don’t get me wrong, gold will still work, especially when the sun is the brightest during the day. But it’s time to start thinking about the use of different colors in stained water.
A lot of fishermen have a saying when it comes to fishing dark water: If it ain’t chartreuse, it ain’t no use.
I must admit there’s a lot to be said about that statement. Chartreuse is one of my favorite colors in dark water, especially if gold is incorporated somewhere in the mix. My favorite lure, the Mirrolure M17, is a combination of chartreuse and gold. Because of the flash this lure produces, it seems to draw fish out from the dark depths on bright, sunny days. Even when it comes to my flies, I’ll use a chartreuse/gold combination during the day.
When fishing in deeper water, where it’s usually darker, I lean toward dark colors such as black, green or purple. I’ll use these colors or a combination of them whether I’m using a deep-running plug, jig or a fly. The darker colors put out more of a silhouette than lighter colors, making it easier for the fish to see.
Combine the color and a lure that wobbles and puts out vibration, or a jig or fly that pulsates when moved through the water, and you have a deadly combination for catching fish.
Capt. Rob Ottlein can be reached at 439-2636, or at www.flaglerfishingcharters.com.