Going Boating, Catching Fish in February’s Clear Water

Fishing from the back of the boat

On a recent Thursday we had sun and warmth and finally took the boat out. The boat ramp was very busy. I can park the truck and trailer which helps so my son can back the boat away from the ramp and make room for others, but crowded lots make me nervous. If I misjudged while parking, I’m not so sure I could back the thing up! On Thursday I parked fine. Whew!

Riding south on the Indian River in our Hewes Redfisher boat.
Traveling south on the Indian River

It was a beautiful, sunny day and the water was cool and clear. First we stopped at a deep hole and three in our lines. I was using live shrimp and my son used artificial bait. I caught some small trout and a mangrove snapper, and he kept catching Bluefish, after he first caught a Jack. At first he couldn’t identify the fish, but they kept destroying the bait with their teeth – Bluefish have very sharp teeth. That was how he knew what they were.

I don’t think we have ever caught any Bluefish while fishing on the River. After reading this article about Bluefish, I guess I know why. We fish primarily in summer when the water is very warm, and the Bluefish have probably migrated to cooler places by then.

Small bluefish on the hook.
We caught a lot of smaller fish in one of our spots – Bluefish

Three Sisters is a group of three islands in the backwater area of the waterway. One of the islands has a long sandy beach area when the tide is low. When we arrived at Three Sisters the tide was going out and I decided to walk the sandy flats looking for interesting sea life and seashells.

Gray heron spreads his wings on tree roots on the edge of the Indian River.
Wings out! Heron at Three Sisters

Often the birds we see perched in trees, on sign posts, or along the edge of the water will stand with their wings spread out, like the heron in my photo above. I walked all around the sandy area and he stayed right where he was – airing his armpits wing-pits.

Bride on the sand as the tide goes out.
Tide is going out and the birds are enjoying the sandy bottom. This is where I found the seashells pictured below.

The hermit crabs were not at plentiful as they are in summer months, but I did find two little shells that intrigued me. I was only interested in the brown one at first. It had an odd shape that I never see. The dirty tan one is probably a juvenile horse conch, but I’m not sure about that either. Since the horse conch is found in this area, it’s my best guess.

Both shells contained little crabs, so I got some photos on the boat deck and put the shells back on the sand. I’m still not sure what that stubby brown shell is. Coloring is similar to a crown conch, but not the shape.

Two little seashells which are home to hermit crabs
Two little shells – with hermit crabs inside. Got some photos and put them back on the sand.

Coastal plants and flowers are something I need to learn about. One day I will gather all my plant photos to share. I have no idea what this little yellow flower is called, but I thought it was pretty growing on the shell-littered beach.

Beach plant with yellow flower
Pretty yellow flowering plant on one of the islands along the river

In the photo below you can see how clear the water was! We have a flats boat and can get into very shallow places. The water here is only a few feet deep.

Clear water in the backwater areas of the Intracoastal waterway, Indian River area.
The shallow backwater was very clear and about 65 degrees – this is saltwater.

My son maneuvered the boat over toward Oyster Bay just to take a look. Boaters must be careful navigating here because the oyster shoals can be hidden in murky water. The sharp shells grow in big clumps as seen in my photo and can damage boats. Oysters are everywhere along the saltwater river, but Oyster Bay is a community.

Oyster Bay and view of beachside condominiums
View of the coastline condos across Oyster Bay area.
Heading north on the waterway
Heading north, back to the boat ramp

My son did a little more fishing while I walked along an island beach nearby. The tide was going out, but there wasn’t much to see shell-wise on the beach.

It was a good day, and although we didn’t see too many boats out where we were, the boat ramp was busy when we were ready to leave.

Relaxing with my feet up riding in our boat along the Indian River backwaters
The one thing I do like about Florida is being out on the water

Author: Pam

Spending time on the water is the best, and blogging about the sea life found along the saltwater river and ocean is what I do. I’m also a designer at Zazzle and sell my work, with a lot of ocean themes, on the site.

4 thoughts on “Going Boating, Catching Fish in February’s Clear Water”

  1. I hope my sunny images brightened your day for a moment or two! Isn’t it dark most of the day up there this time of year?

  2. As always, gorgeous images and a lively ‘travelogue’ type narration. Your images were in stark contrast to our three foot plus snow pack and cloudy skies..!

  3. I know what you mean. When I get home and look at my photos I always wish I had taken more / better ones to make identifying easier!

  4. Ah, the sunshine and the water look great. Yes, I often wonder about the woods wonder what that flower/tree is called, I go home and look them up, but it no good I need to take the book with me!!

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