Hernando County Report By: Capt: Joel Gant

Springtime Fishing

It’s finally March, it’s officially springtime!

If you’re like me, you’ve been ready for some warmer weather and great fishing for a long time now. Springtime fishing can be some of the best in our region.

Look for many migrating species to start showing up again. From inshore to offshore, the fish are on the move and ready to eat.

On some recent offshore trips, we have been catching cobias, sharks and some big bull redfish. With this, I’m already seeing the spring pattern beginning to start.

As the water temperature slowly starts to climb, look offshore for kingfish, Spanish mackerel, cobia, grouper and sharks to start moving into our areas. Another species that’s been biting very actively are mangrove snappers.

For snappers, you want to use a 2/0 hook with a small weight, or try using a small bucktail jig with a piece of shrimp. Another species still around are sheepshead, using the same tactics I described for snapper will also work on the sheep.

When targeting both mangrove snappers and sheepshead chum the area well. Chumming will help get a feeding frenzy going and attract more of the fish you’re looking for.

This is probably one of the best times of year to go out and target these and many other fish. The weather is still cool, hopefully not too windy and the water says clear.’

Inshore fishing is off the hook right now. The redfish, trout and snook are all in the creeks and backwaters. We have a few areas here that are spring fed, these are also great spots.

Look at the beginning and end of the high tide when the water is moving, these fish will be more active then. Using artificials, like topwaters, sub surface baits or jerkbaits on a light jighead will produce fish. Cut baits like mullet, pinfish, ladyfish or select shrimp can also be productive.

Get out there on the water and make some memories with friends and family!

I’m always looking for reports and pictures. For more information or questions, you can email me or stop by my website and become a “FISHHEAD”.

Capt. Joel operates Fishdaddy Charters out of Hernando Beach; he knows the local waters like the back of his hand. He works both inshore and offshore trips. You can reach him at (352) 279-1615 or visit his website, www.fishdaddycharter.com