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. State-wide: March is an exciting time to get back out on the water! The days are getting longer. Winter is in decline and Spring is dead ahead. Can you find fish? Can you find big fish? In the kayak, you have an advantage. March should have good stories.
The Tampa Bay region–
Action will be great this month. The weather will dictate where you will find the fish. On hog day, the swine must have seen his shadow because indications are that the cold fronts are just not over yet. Baitfish have already started to return to the local waters and one steady warming trend could completely ramp up the fishing around the Bay. Mackerel: They have been around. Pompano! They have been around which is very unusual for this time of year.
“The closure” of all the inshore species is making things interesting. I have seen more redfish than I had in seven years. Trout weren’t in trouble anyway. The lack of information out there about the closure: People are keeping them. Which, is too bad. Imagine what kind of recovery we would really have if that wasn’t happening.
Pompano have been back “early.” The yellow Silly Willy with the pink teaser is catching them.
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 are easily caught on the Silly Willy/Teaser setup. The giant black drum will gang up in different locations on the flats all around Tampa Bay. Watch for a collection of boats around Pinellas Point. 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. Don’t wait to sign up if you are interested in fishing the Classic! April 25th. $30 buy in. Be a Captain Mel Classic champion!
In the 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, This could be the very best time of year. I like it. My other fishing friends like it. You launch a kayak on this coast in March and you could have one of the best fishing trips you ever have. Big redfish: Going to be caught. Big black drum, going to be caught. Trout action will be good in certain locations. Flounder will be available in certain locations. March is one great month to go fishing in our area.
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/ . Winter isn’t over. But it is winding down. March should provide some opportunities to go and to be successful. Easily, trout are one of the best options around here. Find a good school of trout and you are in for some fun. Redfish are always an option. Sheepshead are worth a try. Get out there and into the action!
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.
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 deep-water 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.
tip of the month:
Take me to your leader: The leader line section of the store. It is mackerel time. If you do not have a spool of 40-pound, get some. It does not have to be fluorocarbon. Their teeth: 20 to 25-pound line does not hold up very well and while 30-pound has some merit, 40-pound is a very dependable choice. Keep some of that tackle and catch more of those fish. King mackerel is a whole other ballgame and a piece of wire is going to be necessary but 40-pound does the job on spanish mackerel.
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!