By Capt. Charlie Conner
March has arrived on the Treasure Coast and, traditionally, we can expect windy conditions along with some rain clouds most days. It might dictate where and when you can get on the water, but at least we aren't cutting holes in the ice to fish! Water temperatures will continue to rise and the fish will be actively feeding on the flats. Winter was a little cooler and windier for us in February. March brings the transition into Spring and things will warm up again. Take advantage of the good days and get out fishing soon!
As the sun warms up the water again, look for fish to travel into the shallows to feed. Trout will continue to be most prevalent in the deeper grass flats in two to four feet of water. Those anglers using live shrimp on popping corks, Deadly Combos, CAL jerk baits and top water will have the best chance at hooking up with a trout. I like to fish the edges of the shallows where the water drops off to these depths. You can find trout in four to six feet of water and they will move onto the shallower flats to let the sun warm them as the day goes on. Depending on weather conditions, there are many areas to fish. Round Island, Bear Point and Harbor Branch are always popular to fish in March.
Redfish will get more active this month and you can find some tailing on the flats in early mornings. Top water, DOA shrimp, CAL grub tails or gold spoons are good choices for finding a spot tail on the flats. Don't forget to fish around the mangroves also. So far this winter, there has continued to be a good redfish population around the river and the fishing has been fantastic for them. I tend to like the east side of the river for redfish, but you can find them on the west side also. Work your baits slowly along the bottom for best results. This has been a good winter to allow us to enjoy a terrific redfish bite around the docks and mangroves with nice sized slot fish. Learn to read the water so you don’t miss what is happening around you.
Anglers will continue to target snook around the inlets, docks and bridges on the Treasure Coast. Live bait always works best, but feather jigs, TerrorEyz and DOA Bait Busters can also get you hooked up. Most of the action will be at night with best results on the high ends of the tides. As the water warms up around the area, the snook action will liven up also. Those fishing the flats can also find snook feeding early or late in the day. Fish the mangroves during the rest of the day. There has been a very good juvenile snook population on the flats this year. Top water, twitch baits, TerrorEyz or CAL jerk baits can do the trick in March on the flats.
The pompano bite has been better this year with the cooler weather bringing them into the area. Whiting, Bluefish and pompano will be hanging around the beaches this month. The inlet will be holding Spanish mackerel, jacks and bluefish. Jack Crevalle and ladyfish continue to haunt the river and provide fun catch for all. Bridges should give up catches of sand perch, sheepshead and black drum on live or dead shrimp.
Spring is just around the corner on the Treasure Coast. It won't be long! Take some time to check all your equipment now and be ready as the weather improves to get out on the water. Make sure your reels are in good working order. Check your rods for broken or cracked tips and guides. How old in that line?? Get ready now on some of these windy days ahead, so you will be ready to head out to the water soon! Have a great March in 2017!
As always, remember, fishing is not just another hobby....it's an ADVENTURE!!
Good Fishing and Be Safe,
Captain Charlie Conner