In a few weeks it will be officially Spring and that means the kingfish run will finally begin. Kingfish come through in their best numbers throughout the spring and summer months. Best drifting technique for kingfish is a plain ballyhoo or sardine, weighted and sunk to the depth where the kings are moving through. Some days the kingfish will be right near the surface and other days they will be close to the bottom. Bonitos and blackfin tunas are also regular catches on the drift boat this time of year. We catch them using the same technique and rig that we use to catch the kingfish. Mahi-mahi usually come in on the reef to spawn this month for a week or two. This usually happens when there is a strong east wind for a few days in a row. This is a once a year opportunity when you can catch large mahi-mahi regularly in just 100ft of water. I look forward to it all year long. A couple of sailfish will surely get caught by lucky drift fishermen this month too. With anglers fishing our larger kingfish rigs, we catch bigger fish a lot more often this month than usual. Bottom fishing is still good for larger snappers. Drop down a rig with a 4-5 ft leader to go for a nice size mutton snapper. Mutton snapper can’t resist a ballyhoo plug on the bottom. March is a fun month for fishing because you never know what you may catch.
Night fishing in March is great too. Groupers are biting really good, but unfortunately are out of season. Yellowtail snappers and mangrove snappers are still giving us good action on the night trips and make up the majority of our catch. Lots of grunts too along with all kinds of different bottom fish are caught on our night fishing trips. The larger fish we catch on the night anchor trips are mutton snappers, and sometimes a cobia or sharks. In March we sometimes get slammed by a school of sharks. They are usually either Cuban night sharks or Atlantic Sharpnose sharks and when they come through, the slam every line we have set. It’s chaotic and it’s a blast! There’s always a good variety caught on the night trips and on the nights when the snappers are biting, we come in with a boatload of fish. There’s generally good fishing on the drift boats in March. Come on out and let’s go fishing!
Capt. Paul Roydhouse