St. Augustine Offshore March Fishing Report
March is a transitional month in NE FL. Water temperature is everything. If it is in the 70s the fish will be there. I expect double digit days on Wahoo and Blackfin Tuna. If Wahoo are your target look for structure=bait. We start looking in 23 fathoms. Some of the larger ledges we like to bottom fish consistently hold Wahoo in March. If the temperature is to cool we go east until we reach the edge of the continental shelf or Ledge as it is referred to locally. I like to bait fish so larger baits rigged on wire are the best. I prefer an Islander Hawaiian eye but jet-head’s or any lure with a little weight works great.
If Tuna are your target then smaller baits rigged on mono are the way to go. Just expect some bite offs. Wahoo seem to know which ones are rigged on mono a pile on. Late March usually brings in the first significant numbers of Mahi to NE FL. Look for temperature breaks or hard changes. Mahi will eat just about anything you put in front of them but smaller baits will increase you hook up ratio.
Bottom fishing is mostly a fall back option. There will be plenty of Vermillion, Red Porgy and trigger-fish to take up the slack if the trolling fish do not cooperate. There is no reason to fish big baits so double hook rigs with cut squid is all you need. If you do want a big pull, Amberjack re-open in March. I prefer to use 8 oz. jigs worked vertically through the water column.
Stay safe and “Let’s Go Fishing”
Capt. Robert Johnson
Jodie Lynn Charters