March Offshore Fishing Forecast
Capt. Dave Pinkham
February 28, 2010
Venice - Saltwater Fishing Report
As a charter captain and the owner of an offshore fishing business I always look forward to spring and the hope of warm sunny weather on the horizon. I don't care much for cold crappy weather and by this time of the year I've had just about enough of it.
March brings with it memories of cool sunny days. Throw in some good fishing action and what more can I say? To me this is one of the best places to be if you want to be on the water and you enjoy fishing.
As the warming weather finally takes hold, besides working on their tan anglers should expect fishing action to start to heat up as well. Each year at about this time, schools of baitfish make a showing. With plenty of small fish to eat, lots of larger gamefish will begin be found just offshore of area beaches.
Following is a March fishing forecast of some of the different species of fish anglers can expect to catch out on the gulf.
Kingfish should start their spring run moving north up Florida's west coast over the next few weeks. As this annual migration unfolds, some of the most exciting fishing opportunities of the year will open up with plenty of fishing action for all. Look for concentrations of schoolie kings feeding in areas where bait is located. You may see them jumping so keep a eye out.
Spanish mackerel the smaller cousin of the big kings should also be making a good showing now that spring is at our doorstep. These silver speedsters will hit most any bait when actively feeding. Trolling small silver spoons is a proven technique for producing mackerels. My favorite to catch mackerel is free-lining live pilchards on light spinning tackle.
Little tunny often show up just ahead of the mackerels as they arrive chasing the migrating schools of bait fish. Locally called bonito, these small tuna offer excellent sport for the light tackle angler.
Snapper fishing, especially for mangrove snapper will be very good this month. Fishing with natural baits at or near the bottom will produce mangroves. Gearing down to lighter tackle can often mean the difference in getting these wary fish to feed.
Cobia should start showing up this month too. Often seen swimming at or near the surface, cobia will normally rush a fresh live baitfish such as a pinfish or threadfin sardine.
Blackfin tuna usually make a good showing about the same time as the mackerels do. These fish usually average 20 to 25 pounds, and can make for one heck of an exciting cap to a good day of fishing. When targeting blackfin consider starting your quest at least 20 miles out on the Gulf. Live bait fish drifted over significant structure such as a shipwreck or spring will often produce blackfin tuna.
Greater Amberjack will also be caught while fishing around the deeper wrecks and springs during the month of March.
Grouper season reopens April 1st.
Obviously, the month of March is a great time for fishing out on the Gulf of Mexico. If you're too busy to go fishing, you're just too busy! Get out and go fishin cuz' it's good fer ya!
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