Hernando Report – Spring Time Fishing By: Capt. Joel Gant

That’s right Fishheads, its spring time. Spring is one of my favorite times to get out and fish. After some crazy weather, the fish should be on the move. Migrating species like kingfish, cobia and sharks should really start getting active as the waters begin to warm. These fish are opportunistic and will usually attack any baits they see or smell.

There should still be some mangrove snapper, hogfish and sheepshead around, as well. All of these can be caught with shrimp on a lightly weighted hook or a jighead. You need to finesse the baits real slow and feel for the hit. Sometimes it will just be a light tap or the line slowly moving off. Patience is the key here. A small secret is to chum the areas you’re fishing. Chumming will help get a feeding frenzy going and attract more of the fish you’re looking for.

Red grouper can still be caught. Their size has to be 20 inches in length. Gag grouper can also be caught, but must be released at this time (season opens June 1st). As always, the white grunts should be in abundance on any offshore structure you fish. I like to use a 3/0 hook, light line and a cut piece of squid for bait. There is not a size or limit on them. Please, just keep what you will eat and keep the resource going for our kids.

For the inshore folks, redfish can be caught almost anywhere in the back areas. Look for moving water or, maybe, some tailing. Approach these areas very quietly and try to make a long cast, because redfish can be spooky. I like to use shrimp or cut baits and just let the fish come to the bait. You could use a strike indicator or just keep an eye on your line for movement. You will come across sea trout in those places, also. Once you get hooked up drop the Power Pole or anchor. Normally, when there is one trout, usually, more can be caught there.

Don’t forget daylight saving time starts on March 8th. So set those clocks ahead. Get out there on the water and make some memories with friends and family!