By Neil Taylor and capmel.com kayak fishing staff contributors
Around the state:
Like a “rebirth”, the chill of winter abates across many areas of the state. Areas that held mild weather throughout most of the past three months took a bit of a hit to close February but the sun is climbing in the sky, the migration of baitfish and predator species is here. Things appear to be “early” this year. State-wide: March is an exciting time to get back out on the water! We are definitely in spring pattern.
We are so lucky to live in such a great place. Our fisheries face challenges they have never had before. Think about it. Be part of the solution, not the problem. Get others to do the same. My new rule: All trout over 18 inches go back. Think about it. We promote keeping the largest, most likely to breed fish “in the population” our future of fishing should be better. Why not? The smaller fish are fine to eat and we need to be proactive.
The Tampa Bay region–
Action will be great this month. The weather will dictate where you will find the fish. Almost early: Baitfish have already started to return to the local waters and one steady warming trend could completely ramp up the fishing around the Bay. All the regular suspects for March are going to be caught. Sheepshead will remain an easy choice for the bridge folks. Big silver trout and whiting can be caught if you get lucky. Their numbers were off this year, probably because of the water quality. I think the Red Tide hindered these species this winter. The giant black drum will gang up in different locations on the flats all around Tampa Bay. The trout and redfish action will all be a matter of locating the fish. In and out of their normal patterns, they seem to be moving around a great deal, not consistently inhabiting the same areas for very long. Start going early for best results. But expect a bite to continue all morning this month.
Southwest “Suncoast” area of Florida,
We look for continued hot action over the deep grass areas of Sarasota Bay for spotted seatrout, pompano, Spanish mackerel, bluefish and ladyfish. Redfish action should pick up on the shallow grass flats along the west side of the bay. Night snook action is expected to remain consistent around lighted docks.
The East coast of Florida,
A great month to do it: Expect excellent opportunities this month. Get after the trout, redfish and drum! By kayak, you have the advantage. Utilize it. Sneak up on these fish.
In the Big Bend of Florida’s Panhandle, Robert Baker at TnT Hideaway on the Wakulla River: http://www.tnthideaway.com/ . If you are going to be in Panama City, stop in and see Brad and his staff at Sunjammers: http://sunjammers.com/ We anticipate an increase in the activity with fishing this month. The days are getting longer. Things usually continue to get better in March and toward April. The weather is usually “doable” to get in some fishing in March
In Northeast Florida:
Redfish, trout, flounder and sheepshead top the list. It is time to shed a layer or two but always ready to dress for warmth and safety because winter may not be completely over. The indications are great for magnificent fishing around the NE FL sector. Great bait choices are jigs and Mirrolure plugs. Use big shrimp for sheepshead and drum. March is generally a good time for us here.
In the greater South Florida area:
The sun is heating up the fishing scene in South Florida. Without question, March is a great time to get back out if you took some time off. The offshore bite will be excellent for those with the right kayak for a Deepwater outing. Flamingo and the ‘Glades will have just about everything you could dream of catching this month. Expect to do very well throughout the spring but do not miss out on the fun of March. In a word: Tarpon.
The tip of the month:
Fishing a tournament for the first time? At capmel.com, we wrote up some help for you with photographing your winning catch. Take a look at the article “Catch, Photo, Release Tournament Help”. This event, three months away. If it is your first tournament: You will enjoy it!
Need help learning how to kayak fish? Hire one of our guides on staff for your region and take advantage of their knowledge and sharpen your own skills!
Get out and into the action but as always: Be careful out there!