March is by far one of our craziest months. It can bring complete madness to those of us who love to fish, and is usually the month when things come alive on Florida’s west coast. As water temps slowly climb, the bait will become plentiful back on the flats and become the food of choice.
Big speckled trout fishing should be great this month on both live bait and artificial lures on shallow dark bottom flats. Baits like the Mirro-Lure Mirrodine will do very well this month. Big trophy-sized snook will slowly start their push from the deep back water Winter haunts out onto the flats for the Spring feed. They are usually very hungry as they come out due to the warming water and a need to fatten up for the Summer spawn.
Redfish schools will appear on the flats in mid-March. They seem to know that the bait has shown up and they come to enjoy the easy feast. New schools of redfish will be very spooky for several days as they move from the deeper water up onto the shallow flats. Once they get comfortable, it’s game on! Live pilchards, pinfish or cut mullet will all work on the redfish as will any number of artificial lures. I prefer soft plastics for reds such as the Mirro-Lure Lil John or Marsh Minnow in molting color. Redfish can’t resist this little mullet imitator early in the year.
March is also a great month for early morning top water action on big speckled trout, snook and redfish. Stick with natural colors for your top water plugs this time of year and fish the mullet schools as rummaging mullet kick up a great deal of crustaceans on the flats for gamefish to forage on.
As water temps near that magical 72-degree mark, the beaches will come alive with kingfish. Anchor up or slow troll areas of hard bottom or structure such as reefs and wrecks for the best results. Large threadfin herring, pilchards or even silver spoons will all produce kingfish in late March. March can be windy, so pick your offshore days wisely. The last two years, March has been very warm and very fishy with almost a late April feel. This Winter has been colder, but warming as of late. Be ready as things could bust wide open this making for a crazy month!
Catch Capt. Michael Anderson every Saturday morning starting April 1st on Ch32 WMOR-TV at 6:30am for the Reel Animals TV and Saturdays for Reel Animals Saturday on 970WFLA from 6:00am to 8:00am and Sunday mornings on AM620 for the TA Mahoney Co. Reel Animals Radio Show from 7am to 9am or to book a trip call 1-866-Gamefish.