by Darcie Arahill, Contributing Writer
Anglers, March Madness has arrived which means the fishing should offer plentiful action for a variety of species inshore and offshore this month! The sea temperatures will be warming up and cool fronts will begin to fizzle out as the month progresses. The wind will be your biggest rival because March is considered a transitional month as we head into the beginning of spring. Offshore, sailfish will be a likely catch in the beginning of March, but large numbers of migrating sails are already south of Palm Beach waters. On the bright side, the mahi mahi bite should improve. If we have a steady easterly wind, this should prompt you to rig some ballyhoo and head offshore. Look for conditions such as edges, temperature breaks, rips and debris.
On the beach, spinner sharks will be relatively easy to locate. Scan the beach and drive your boat along the coast especially between Palm Beach Inlet and Jupiter inlet looking for jumping sharks. Once located start chumming and get some baits out. Live bait is great, but big chunks of bonita and barracuda will work. You should be looking for sea turtles and large sharks in shallow water too; cobia will be following them! Bottom fishing and jigging the deepwater wrecks off Boca, Boynton, or Palm Beach will yield big fish; AJ’s, kings, mutton snapper, Spanish mackerel, grouper and wahoo are all on the list.
In the IWC and rivers, there will plenty of inshore action for anglers to enjoy. Snook season has been open for a month already so get out there for your slot fish (28-32” on Florida’s Atlantic coast). Live bait is best—mullet if you can find them, pilchards, or just live shrimp from a local shop. Find some moving water or current, and throw that live bait or artificial under the docks, against seawalls, pilings, bridges, etc. For snook and tarpon, I like to use Yo-Zuri crystal minnow lip divers; trolling or just casting around structure. If the water is dirty, use dark colored lures and if the water is clear use light colored artificial lures.
Say hello if you see on the water and until next time, keep on catchin’!