Holy Smokes, what a month of fishing!!! Incredible days we've had over the past month, complete with redfish, trout, snook, black drum, and tarpon. While the last month kicked off with a frigid start, it's warmed up nicely over the past week or so and water temps are now above 70 degrees almost every day. This has triggered a massive feeding frenzy as the fish come out of their winter holding patterns. I'm spending days in lots of areas, fishing in a variety of ways, but it's been relatively easy to get a shot at an inshore slam or grand slam every day. Double digit catches are the norm if the weather conditions are right. Give me a call; 386-212-4931
Fishing for the smaller Redfish (5-10lb fish) has generally been the easiest thing to do around here. Winter schools are breaking up into smaller groups and there's also a lot of tailing fish up on the shallow grass flats. The variety of things to catch these fish on allows everyone to get in on the action, whether novice or expert. Small soft plastics, DOA shrimp, plugs, spoons, and live shrimp. There are also a few groups of GIANT redfish starting to come up on the flats. Most schools have approx 50-100 fish in the 20-30lb range. These fish will become a lot more consistent as the weather and temps steady and continually rise. March and April are some of the best months for these GIANTS on the flats. If we fly fish my favorite flies lately have depended on where the fish are and what they are eating. Borski sliders, redfish candies, clousers, spoon flies, and crab patterns have been the primary flies of choice. Since the fish are breaking up into singles and small pods, it's been easier to get a fly in front of them without an entire school spooking.
The Snook fishing has been nothing short of incredible!. In the past three weeks we've caught well over 50 snook, incredible results for winter fishing snook in this area. Deep backcountry holes have been stacked full of bigger snook (26-3" fish) and this past week we caught a bunch around 10lbs. We've been targeting these fish with live bait to find a consistent bite. Nearby shallow shorelines have been great places to find smaller 2-5lb snook ambushing small pods of bait. These smaller fish have been crashing plugs and small baitfish flies. We've caught half-a-dozen snook on fly during the last two weeks.
Spotted sea trout fishing is also really good. All of the recent warm weather has brought loads of big trout up to the shallow flats to feed and sun themselves. A lot of fish are schooling close to deeper sections within the flat, then going on the prowl at first light. They are still spooky and definitely a tough test for many anglers, but sight casting a trophy trout over 10+lbs may be the ultimate test in inshore fishing (tougher than bonefish in my opinion). If the spot, stalk and presentation aren't done to perfection, the end result is a giant trout leaving the flat at high speed. I've still been seeing some potential world record fish on fly. If you're serious about catching a big fat trophy trout, we can always live bait them with mullet.
We've also done well on Black Drum recently. A lot of deep holes in the tidal areas have been loaded with black drum. The average fish has been anywhere from 2-10lbs and they are eagerly eating a shrimp tipped jig on the bottom. There are also a few schools of black drum on the flats and live shrimp or fly has been the main choice to find a willing bite. This past week of 80 degree days has also awakened some of the sleepy backcountry Tarpon. I found a bunch of fish in the 10-25lb range this past week and we spent 2 days fly fishing rolling tarpon in the early morning. They still aren't completely geared up for a morning feeding session, but if the warm weather sticks around that's going to change real fast. We jumped one baby fish around 10lbs and got a few more to give the fly a hard look, so we're getting close! Bluefish are everywhere inshore, at docks, and under the lights at night. The bluefish are getting bigger and bigger, with fish getting close to 10lbs a good possibility.
It's definitely been a winter to remember here, and it will only get better as the warm weather sticks around. We're only a few short weeks away from every day tarpon action and only a matter of days away from consistent fishing for GIANT trophy redfish. So if you want to take a shot at an inshore grand slam, you better give me a call, because I'm about the only person offering such a trip right now. My spring calendar has been booking fast, so don't wait till the last minute to schedule a trip. I look forward to fishing with you soon, 386-212-4931
Check out all our latest catches by viewing the Photo Gallery!