Georgia-Florida Fishing Report
March Fishing Report: Tampa/Tampa Bay, FL
Written by: Captain Joel Brandenburg
March is one of my favorite months of the year. This is the month when Mother Nature goes mad. The wind blows like a witch, you get cold, wet, hot, dry, wind blown, sun burnt, but you catch fish. Look for the no-see-ums, they should be called “we-hate-ums”, but snook love um.
When you start getting violated by no-see-ums in March here is what you might want to do in order: #1 Get Thermacell #2 Grab your best snook rod and reel #3 Hall boogie to your best snook spot.
Here’s an example of Mother Natures Madness:
No-see-ums swarm in. I’m told mosquitos and love bugs eat no-see-ums and come in behind them like a cleaning crew. The mosquitos get eaten by minnows as they dip down in the water to lay their larva and love bugs fall in the water by the thousands and get eaten by minnows, from storms, boats, wind, etc. It’s harder for them to fly when they are in the act of love. Pinfish, green backs, sand perch, ladyfish, all feed on minnows, and the above baitfish are all snook candy. March is a feast for all.
Here’s some more things to check out. When you see love bugs in late March, start looking for tarpon. When the white pelicans leave us and migrate back north, look for the trout and reds bunching up on the grass flats and estuary mouths. When you start seeing big thread fins at the markers, cans, buoys, and bridges look for big Spanish mackerel, kingfish, and big sharks. If you see tarpon “match the hatch” and cast big thread fins ONLY.
When the moon goes full in early March go out night snapper fishing, chum like crazy with 1 x 1 inch cut thread fins on a slackish tide either incoming or outgoing and shine your light down on the big maroon colored ball of mangrove snapper behind your boat. Use 4lb to 8lb mono clear leader tied with a loop knot to a 1/0 Mustad “J” hook hidden in your cut bait and send it down with your chum into the ball of big mangrove snapper. Now that’s fishing! It gets me excited even writing about it, I’m thinking Everglades Seasoning, melted butter, squeezing key limes, and horse radish cocktail sauce or Hooks famous yum, yum tarter sauce, deep fried mangrove snapper filets, yummy! Look for those rip tides when the winds blow one way and the tide streams the opposite direction. Baitfish get caught and worn out in the rip tide and the gamefish are on standby to take advantage of the situation. Fish the flow, trout and snook are ambush predators. These game fish live to see a baitfish come struggling by caught in a heavy current while the gamefish is hunched down between a wad of mangrove roots, lime stone ledge or an oyster bar slope.
Good luck fishing during this glorious time of the year! For a charter with Capt. Joel Brandenburg of Ana Banana Fishing Company call 813-267-4401 or visit www.anabananafishing.com or visit him in person at Little Harbor Resort at Hooks Waterfront Bar-and-Grill.