SPRING TIME FISHING
Spring is nature’s signal for new life. A lot of the bait has moved to warmer waters during the winter and have awaited their time to make their spring time run. In the spring time we will get bait moving up the coast from the south when we get the first steady winds from the south. Every year there is a spring time mullet run which is comprised of silver mullet. It is usually nowhere close to the size and duration of the fall mullet run but will attract game fish nevertheless. As the water warms towards mid to late spring you will get the summer bait to show up. Summer bait will include sardines, threadfin herring, and cigar minnows to name a few.
Find the bait and you will find the game fish. Whether you are fishing right off of the beach or at the end of a fishing pier you should always look for bait. Typical species that can be caught of off the beach during the spring run include pompano, permit, snook, tarpon, jacks and cobia. Each species prefer different bait and different presentations. Whether you are fishing directly off of the beach or on the pier I would suggest the following presentations for the species listed:
1. Pompano – Pompano are one of the more revered beach species because of their food quality. They do put up a good fight on light tackle and can be caught on artificial lures and natural bait. I recommend a small white or yellow bucktail jigs bounced in the surf on 10 lb test or a banana jig in any color. Go light on the leader. If you prefer to “still fish” and soak a bait. The best bet would be sandfleas or clams on a 2 hook rig. Cast out with a surf rod behind the first sand bar and relax. Check current fishing regulations.
2. Permit – Permit are basically giant pompano. They are another member of the jack family but taste good. You can get them on jigs but are more readily caught still fishing with natural bait. The top three bait choices would be calico crabs, blue crabs or sand fleas. They will take clams too.
3. Snook – There will be some snook on the beach. They will either be making their way to the beach from the inlets / intracoastal water ways or will be coming in from the first reef where the water temperatures hold a little steadier during our colder spells of winter. Snook can be caught on a variety of lures. Any shallow diving lipped bait will work if thrown along the first trough. I would recommend, X-Raps size 10, Yozuri Crystal Minnows or small SpoolTek lures in the 4” size. You can also catch them with live bait. Silver mullet, dork jacks, or sardines if they are around during early spring time. I would recommend a cast net for the mullet or a size 3 or 4 green colored sabiki rigs for the white bait.
4. Tarpon – They can be caught on the same bait and lures listed for snook but will also take cut bait on bottom. They will scavenge. I suggest a mullet head or a ladyfish head on bottom. No weight preferably. Fish it in the area you see the tarpon pass.
5. Jacks – Jacks will eat anything presented on bottom. Cut mullet, ladyfish, or ballyhoo fished on bottom will produce jacks. They will hit a variety of lures but are very exciting to fish for when using a top water lure. I prefer a big popping lure. Make a lot of commotion and the jacks will come in to investigate.
6. Cobia – We do get cobia in Broward. They can be caught on live bait and artificial alike. The most popular lure for sight casting a cobia off of a pier would be a 3 ounce cobia jig using a 9 foot spinning rod. The old school version of this jig will have a trailer worm on the jig to give it more life. Popular colors include yellow, chartreuse and white jigs.
Spring time fishing can be awesome all-around. You have to make yourself get up and go! The fish don’t stay around forever and you don’t want to miss an opportunity to catch a trophy fish. If you need ANYTHING for your spring time adventures, swing by and see me at T&R Tackle in Lauderdale by the Sea. I can set you up with everything you need. We have rods, reels, hooks, line and bait. Don’t be shy. I love to see people have success on the water.
aka “King of the Pompano Pier”
T and R Tackle Shop
Lauderdale By The Sea