As we talked about last month, spring arrived early last month and the bite was on fire. Since then, as is sometimes the case, early March has had some stronger cold snaps. As this is written, March 9th, the water temps that were racing towards 75 degrees are have now retreated to sub-68. This week is forecast to be very warm, and we will cross the 70 threshold by weeks end. Fishing should surge again, however, the bite in March will still be dictated by the amount and severity of the cold snaps.
We will be looking towards our normal routine of catching lots of snook and redfish in March, but here is a preview of some of the rest. The annual black drum run is happening. Every year in late Feb or early March hundreds of giant black drum 20 to 70 pounds gather in one giant school in lower Tampa Bay. They can be caught on jigs, shrimp, and crabs. They make for a fun departure from the normal routine, and some days we even catch them on fly. Bottom fishing in the bay for tasty snapper and big sheepshead will also be heating up in March. With the flats species under a closed season for cull, the hard bottom areas will produce nice mangrove snapper, sheepshead, flounder, seabass, key west grunts and the occasional cobia.
March is a dynamic month, so I will be back to update the fishing in another week or two. These are the times of plenty, great weather and great fishing. The boat will be out 30 days this month, so make sure you get in on the action.