Finally, we are starting to get our water back from the wintertime low tides, and the temperature is staying in the short weather range. I love this time of year. When the water temp stays around 74 degrees, the gulf seems to come alive. There is bait everywhere and the game fish seem to eat anything you put in front of them. I hate leaving the water this time of year. You will have days where the action is non-stop, from the first cast to the last.
The redfish and the snook are coming out of the creeks, and back out of the creek mouths, and back onto the flats. I like to concentrate on the outer oyster bars and points south of the barge canal, around Drum Island. I will pick up a mirrolure topwater first thing in the morning, and throw it until about 9 or 10, when the sun has gotten up in the sky. Once the bite has gone sub surface, I will pick up a zman paddler z or diezel minnow z rigged weedless on an ez keeper hook or a fish head dude jig head. Use a steady retrieve, but vary your speed until you figure out what the fish are looking for.
The trout are back out on the grass flats. Look for them in about 3 feet of water. This time of year, it is hard to beat a mirrolure mirrodine. This suspending twitch bait is deadly. A zman trout trick on a trout eye jig head will also get the job done and put plenty of fish in the boat.
Keep your eyes open around the deeper channel makers and on the flats for cruising cobia. They are going to start showing up in good numbers this month. You can target them with a zman mag swimmer or a live pinfish.
If you are ready for an amazing day on the water in our area, give me a call or go check out my new website, www.floridaflatscharterco.com and schedule your trip. Until next month, be safe, have fun and take your kids fishing.
Capt. Craig Spitznogle
Florida Flats Charter Co.