Small Redfish Abundant / Early Snook Make an Appearance
Capt. Stewart Ames
March 6, 2019
Tampa Bay - Saltwater Fishing Report
Seatrout fishing in February remained pretty strong although fishing this winter has, overall, been a bit slower than previous years. That said, the last few years have been ridiculously good. So it may be well timed that the harvest of trout over 20 inches has been stopped. The total limit remains the same…4 fish per angler, 15 - 20 inches, but NONE over twenty. Every trip over the last month produced fish but limits were not always acheived. This early March cold front could bring in one more push of fish though and extend good fishing through the end of the month in St Joseph's Sound. Whitebait has made an appearance and, as is the case every year, it becomes the preferred bait of these big trout. Free lining is the most effective approach.
Small redfish are around in abundance on some days but finding mid to upper slot fish on a consistent basis hasn't happened yet. This is normal for early March though but as tide heights increase and waters warm as the month progresses, bigger fish should move in and start making up the majority of the fish caught. Shrimp are certainly the best bait for these smaller redfish but their bigger brethren later in the month will eat almost anything…cut ladyfish and mullet, whole and cut pinfish and whitebait….all cheaper than buying live shrimp.
Snook came to life a bit in late February with the unseasonably warm weather. Warm days coupled with a live well of whitebiat generally resulted in fish being caught. Whitebait seems to be the key ingredient fot these marginally hungry fish. Chumming with this bait really seems to make the difference right now. The snook switch has been turned off by this current cold snap but given 2 - 3 days in the mid seventies, these fish should be receptive once again. Continued warmth could have snook fishing going off earlier than normal this year as many fish are already being seen. Good lcuk and good fishing.
Snook, redfish, Seatrout, kingfish, snapper
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