Atlantic Beach Fishing Forecast: March 2015

Well, we’ve pretty much made it through winter and I think we’re all ready for Spring, warm weather to get here and stay. This can be one of the toughest months for anglers to get through because the weather will play mind games with you.  What we’ll see is, weather beginning to warm up and even hit some 70 degree days during this month but then we’ll have some cold days in the mix.  As anglers, what we all need is to realize that we’re just coming out of winter and the water has been very cold over the last two months. So, it will take a few weeks of steady warm days plus warm nights to really get the water temperatures to start climbing up. So, just because we have a few really warm days during the month by no means does it mean the fishing is going to go gang busters. But don’t get me wrong there’s still a few fish around to catch just not as many as it’ll be in a month, when we hit that magic 60 degree water temperature to really get things started.

By just coming out of February, we’ve been seeing some fish being caught plus good action at times.  If you like to bottom fish, now is the time around the full moon in March it can be some of the best Black Sea Bass action you’ll see all year. They’ll be thick making them very easy to catch. You’ll find bass as close in as the Port Wall and AR315 but you really need to get on off the beach to really get into some good action. AR330 and North West Places are good stops probably two of the better spots before you try further offshore.  It’s pretty easy fishing and some of the best tasting fish you can cook out of the ocean.  Just fish on the bottom with Squid or Squid Wing, it’s all you really need. Another neat trick is jigging a Blue Water Candy Roscoe Jig in the 2oz size it can be deadly on Sea Bass. Some of the biggest Sea Bass I’ve ever caught has been on Live Mud Minnows but most anglers won’t even think of taking them when Sea Bass fishing but they love them. Depending on how far you go out you might also run into some great Trigger Fish and along with B-liners but mostly that will be on offshore 30 miles plus, they won’t come as close in as the Sea Bass.

All during winter, we’ve been seeing some Redfish action, it’s been hit or miss with all the cold fronts moving through but it’s been pretty good at times. Some of the bays and marshes around the Haystacks have been holding some fish along with some of the creeks around the area. The water has been super clear so if they’re around it’s been pretty easy to spot them when scouting out areas. This time of year can be a bit challenging as the water just begins to warm up; so the fish can get lock jaw very quickly. So, if you’re going out fishing, it’s always a good idea to take along some Cut Mullet or Live Mud Minnows because that can jump start the bite.

Also, we’ve been finding some Black Drum feeding in the creeks and along the oyster bars. The best way to catch them is Bait Shrimp fished on the bottom.  March usually is a great month to fish the Cape Lookout Rock Jetty as the Redfish, Black Drum and Sheepshead that have wintered over out there get very active as the water warm ups. There’s been many March days where you can catch Redfish until you’re tired of catching them. When fishing that area I always take Live Mud Minnows, Bait Shrimp and Berkley Gulp that’s a good combination when heading to the rocks this time of year.  Another good stop to check is around the Shark Island area. It can be very hit or miss but if you get lucky enough to find a school of Red Drum there in the Spring you can really have an epic day because most of the time, the schools can range from a few hundred to thousands.

Speckled Trout fishing is starting to heat back up, most of the spring time action has been coming  from the Core Creek area back up toward the Neuse River and the creeks off the Neuse River.  Mirrolure in the 17MR seem to be working the best and the new custom colors “Hot Olive” and “Hot Bone” have been “very hot” for the river area and we have both colors in-stock.  You might run across a few fish around the Haystack area and North River area but most of the action seems to be in the more Brackish water.

I know a lot of anglers are waiting for the first signs of Sea Mullets to show.  I like to look at it when the Mullets make their spring run the fishing is getting ready to really take off. When the water hits 60 or near 60 we should start to see a few fish move in. The inlet area out through the Shipping Channel and Dead Tree Hole seems to be the areas that the mullets show first each year. I remember last year it was about the last week in March before they arrived, it all depends on the weather. If we get warm weather all of March it could be earlier. Just remember you want to see 60 degree water temperature. Spec Rigs tipped with Bait Shrimp along with Fish bites fished on the bottom is all you need to catch them.  We have some local hand tied Spec Rigs that work great here in the shop along with Betts and H&H Spec- Rigs. Along with bottom fishing  for the Sea Mullets, you’re going to catch Croakers, Puffer Fish and Gray Trout that will be moving into the same areas.

Also, toward the end of March, it’s possible to see some small Bluefish. In past years, it’s the last week or the first week of April when we’ll start to see them move in. It seems for some reason the Cape Lookout area is the place you’ll find Bluefish action first, in large numbers.  Along with them showing up the Albacore are right with them and if we see anything like we did last fall it’ll be a great spring on the Albacore.

We’ll have large numbers of Puffer Fish in the area in March; which has to be one of the best eating fish in the ocean. Once, they arrive you can have good luck just about anywhere along the beaches. Usually, the Cape Lookout area will be the best area to fish using “Bait Shrimp” fished right along the bottom will work the best.

As for the “Surf Fisherman” the best area will be around Fort Macon Park. You have the Inlet and Rock Jetty that will be used heavily by fish in March as the fish start to make their way back into our waters. Black Drum, Red Drum, Dog Fish and Sheepshead will all be good fish to catch. Also, it’s time to start looking for Sea Mullets, as they will be making their move up the beaches. The majority of them can be caught right in the “Surf Zone” or right on the backside of the breakers. A good choice of baits will be Bait Shrimp, Live Mud Minnows, Fishbites, Cut Mullet and Squid fished along the bottom.

It’s that time of year when Shad Fishing gets pretty popular in the upper Neuse River and Trent River. So, if you’re heading up that way from our area, we do keep what you need a simple selection of Shad lures in-stock for the “Spring Run”.

This is still a good time of year to bring your reels and rods into the shop if you need repairs, so when the fishing really fires off good you’re ready to hit the water full force to catch some fish.  Just think in a month or more we should really have a lot more action to report and from then on the 2015 Fishing Season will be in full swing.

Forecast by: Capt. Matt Lamb
Chasin’ Tails Bait & Tackle