March is a transitional month, and water temperatures start rising and many species start to return to our waters.Trout bite starts to heat up and species like bluefish, Jack Crevalle, and Spanish Mackerel will show up if the cold dissipates as normal years past. Bait , like mullet and pogies, start to return as well. Baitfish imitations such as Rapalas, BiteABaits, Mirro lures and High roller rippers all work well. Lures will start to take there fair share in the creek mouths and river. Top waters will produce well. "Walk the dog method" are best. Pay attention to the weather temps and bait. But, it is the start! Redfish will continue to be caught in the backcountry creeks and shallow mud flats as fish are still enjoying the mid - day warmth of the flats. Mud minnow, crabs and shrimp are still top choice's on a TBS black nickel jig. Use as little terminal tackle as possible and a 30 inch piece of Fluorocarbon (15 - 20lb) with as light of a jig as you can effectively get away with. There will still be plenty of shallow water Redfish and the water is genrally still clear. Spoons, spinners, topwaters and shallow running plugs along the grass lines at high tides will also do well. If the water is still cool make sure to retrieve the lure slowly. Black drum will still be taken on bait in the backcountry as well. Jig & shrimp combos will be the most effective. some of the big Black drum will be moving into the jetties for there spawn and a crab or clam on a fish finder rig and heavier tackle will be the best bet for a trophy. Please catch and release them. Don't forget spring Turkey season!!!
Although we are limited what we can fish for, February can be great for shallow water red fishing. Backcountry waters of North Fl. can be at its clearest point of the year. Mid afternoons on the mud flats when the wind and sun cooperate, can be very productive. Mud minnows & shrimp paired with the lightest TBS Jig fishing around mid to the last of the outgoing tide around the rips coming off the oyster bars can be outstanding. Through up current and stay in tune with your bait as it may roll with the tidal movement. Polling at this time can also be very productive. Slipping up on a backing or tailing redfish, again, mid day when suns overhead and wind minimal, can be a great experience. Fly anglers can take advantage of this time of year as well. Many times you may have a shot at a tasty Sheephead or Black Drum. Shrimp is a good choice and they will be in these areas. Anglers wanting trout should start out soaking shrimp/ Muds in some of the deeper holes and bends of creeks with moving water for best results. Many trout will be below the 15 inch minimum. If the standard float rigs is not your style, through a bright colored soft plastic and slow roll, keeping in contact, on the bottom. Reds Blues and flounder can be in the mix. Dress warm and fish!!
Capt. Tony's expert insight on what you should look for on the water and how to get the most out of the current fishing season.