Weather for the month of March has started to stabilize and while some overnight freezing temperatures are not out of the question, the return of frigid and snowy weather anytime soon seems very doubtful. Water temperatures have remained in the 50s throughout the wintery onslaught and are now reading in the mid to upper 50s, which could prove to be a good range to have as we converge towards the month of April.
Being prepared will be very important for area anglers, as there may be little to no warning when a certain species of fish decides to show up a week or two early, sparking fishermen to scramble to find whatever tackle they can after a few months stored away in the garage. So now is the time to organize that tackle box or tackle bag, replenish what you need and replace that line on your fishing reels. If you have time or the knowhow, get the reels greased and cleaned before you’re caught off guard. You’ll be happy you did.
Inshore, the fishing has remained pretty decent and has been keeping those anglers not wanting to go into hibernation fairly busy. Red drum have been found in good numbers around the area docks and have been caught on both live and artificial baits. Cut bait and shrimp have also resulted in a lot of catches but have also been enticing the numerous black drum that have been hanging around all season. Speckled trout have been showing up in a lot of reports from anglers fishing the creeks and inlets as the water temperatures continued to warm.
Bluefish made a brief appearance a couple of weeks ago but have since subsided, which was expected considering the time of year. Bluefish should make a quick return in the coming weeks, if not sooner.
Offshore, the weather and sea conditions have been hampering the boaters trying to get to the blue water, however late last week there was a small window of opportunity and numerous crews took advantage. There were a lot of reports of wahoo, along with a plethora of blackfin tuna and even some yellowfin tuna in the mix. Tactics varied among those who were successful so in order to gain some secrets, the best course of action is reading up on some local fishing blogs and message boards and then figure out what you and your crew are capable of doing. As always, everyone has their own opinions and variations and only you can figure out what’s going to work for your boat and tackle.
As the weather warms, expect the fishing to continue to improve. As mentioned earlier, don’t procrastinate in getting your tackle and equipment in good enough shape, so that you won’t have to worry about a malfunction during that first or second fishing outing of the season.