March is a transition month for us. We are finally starting to shed the cold weather and fronts, the fish are coming back out onto the flats from their winter hideouts, and we are getting more water pushing in. I, for one, am happy to see it. This month is defiantly one of the best times of the year to be on the water. Once the water temperature hits around the 72-degree mark, the redfish, snook and trout tend to eat everything they see.

The redfish will be pushing out of the creeks, so I will be targeting the creek mouths and surrounding flats. Pay attention to the water clarity. If you are fishing good clean water, then you will want to throw natural color baits; dirty or tannic water, I will lean more towards chartreuse or brighter colored baits. The top-water bite will explode throughout the month. This technique is by far my favorite way to catch a redfish. My bait-of-choice would either be the Mirrolure She Dog or Top Dog Jr. I will try to match the size of the bait-fish the reds are chasing, and throw the matching size bait. The snook will be in the same areas following the same tendencies as the redfish. If you get your hands on some snook, please be careful with them and make sure they are revived properly. The cold weather we have had has killed a good number of them, and we want to take care of the ones that survived and help the population rebound as quickly as possible.
I will be chasing trout in the three to four-foot range. A mirrolure mirrodine or zman trout trick will produce very good numbers. Make sure you are around good grass bottom, preferably with a mix of sand potholes mixed in. They are also a blast to catch on top-water, but that will usually tail off when the sun gets up a little higher in the sky.

For those of you just pulling your boats out after winter, make sure and do a good walk-through before heading to the water. You don’t want something simple ruining your day before it ever gets started. If you need your yearly maintenance, go see my friends at AAA Outboards in Crystal river and they will make sure you are ready to hit the water.
Until next month, have fun, be safe and take your kids fishing. If you want to come catch some fish with me, give me a call and book your trip today.

Capt. Craig Spitznogle