Can you believe it’s March? It feels like May already… and so do the water temps! Snook are everywhere on the flats and I’ve even noticed some tarpon around the Bay Area bridges.
In addition, there are some monster size Jack Crevalle schools crushing everything in their path around the mid-Bay Area and the Kingfish are all along our coast following bait schools right now. Spring is in full swing for sure!
Here’s some of the action you can expect in the shallows:
Trout- With the warm water temps, I’ve been hitting the big trout scene early just before sunrise with Mirrolure Top Pups in the Bone color or try a Zman Swimmerz 4″ on a 5/0 Rigging hook rolling it high, close to surface to generate explosive strikes. After the sun gets high you’ll have to push into the 3′ to 5′ depths to find more consistent action, the Mirrolure’s Heavy Dine #18 or a Zman Minnowz on a 1/4oz head in Opening Night color will fool them every time.
Redfish- The sight fishing for redfish in the Bay Area doesn’t get much better than it is right now. Blue skies and crystal clear water though do present a few problems with how wary the “rusty raiders” behave in the Spring. My clients have been casting the new Zman BTB Jig 1/8oz in the Houdini & Rootbeer/Gold colors with good results. You just have to swim this little jig over the shallow grass zones and then eventually let it fall into a sandy pot hole, then just slowly drag it across sand. The redfish will knock the rod out of your hands with this retrieve! On windy days, toss a green Aqua Dream Spoon 1/4oz, blind casting and you’ll bust a few good reds as well… don’t forget to add a dab of Pro Cure Scent (Ladyfish).
Jack Crevalle- One of the fun fish to target in the Spring for sure! Currently the Bay is loaded with small fry minnows and the schools of medium to large Jack Crevalle are wreaking havoc on them. For the past week my clients have been whacking Jack Crevalle using a variety of Zman soft baits or the Mirrolure Mirro Glass, a small minnow imitation. It’s just about a sure thing if the Jacks start blitzing the bait within your casting range. And on light tackle… you want have to catch many before you’ll need some Advil!
Black Drum- There are some spawning aggregates of huge Black Drum in the lower end of Tampa Bay right now. Once you locate the school which, quite honestly isn’t that difficult, utilize a 1/4oz to 3/8oz jig head pegged with a Zman Diezel Minnowz loaded up with Pro Cure (Shrimp Scent). It won’t take long before you are buttoned up tight. Please use adequate tackle to fight these fish, not trout gear that takes forever to land a 30 to 40 pound Black Drum!
Snook- This has been best winter/spring for my clients catching snook in a long time. In fact, I had a friend from Texas, fly fishing with me about week ago at Weedon Island and he caught a 34″ on a Clouser Minnow (tan/white)! For this time of year it’s hard to beat a 7M Mirrolure (S) or the old reliable Mirrodines to get the job done during the low light periods (Dawn/Dusk). Skipping Zman Jerk Shadz (Pearl) is pretty darn good to along deeper mangrove shorelines with current…
Here’s a quick reminder, The new episodes of Flats Class TV (Season 9) kick off April 4th on both Sun Sports (Fox South) and Discovery’s “Destination America” networks! All shows are HD and we have some great footage from the Everglades to the Texas Coast this season… don’t miss an episode.
Lastly, please consider joining CCA and participating in the upcoming Star Tournament… we need your voice and support; Flats Class Fans!
Until next time, keep them rods bent!