Think spring ….finally. Still could be a couple of weaker cold fronts zeroing in as we move into April but that now becomes a long shot. Weather for this early week sports a warm, non windy period with winds east and southeast and no precipitation …..that is until Tuesday when we get a weak system with some rain and winds shifting northwest and going 15-20 mph and could foul the water but it dissipates quickly. But check the water quality before you commit to a Wednesday outing. The tides are coming off a full moon and easing as the week progresses. The morning incoming tide will be a bit weaker than the afternoon outgoing. Afternoon air temperatures will border 90 degrees and than will induce an escalation of the water temps. Expect something close to 78 to 80 degrees by late week.
The spring / summer species are definitely here. Not that some of the winter species are still hanging around i.e. sheepshead breeders, spec trout. The snook are showing in good numbers and the juveniles are out-feeding the slots. Fast current points on the stronger afternoon ebb tide along exit points in Rookery Bay and Johnson Bay would be a great spot to set up with a freelined pilchard or thread herring for some snook action. The heat usually slows redfish but the because of the late change of water temps this year, you still have a chance of some nice “red” action. Try Henderson Creek east of Rookery Bay or the mangrove shallow points up in Upper Addison Bay at the early afternoon top of the incoming with a shrimp under a popper tight to the mangrove overhangs. As mentioned, there are still some big sheepshead around trying to do their thing after a late start. Most deep holes with some structure are ideal holding points and work them with just a bit of shrimp on a soft lift. Pompano are back and worth the effort of the first part of either tide in Capri, Caxambas and Hurricane Passes with a small jig tipped with shrimp worked close to the bottom. Last but not least, the mangrove snapper are coming on strong and to 12-14″ in those good current spots on shrimp.
Should be a placid week, sea conditions wise, this week except for the weather hiccup on Tuesday / Wednesday. The white bait arrival on the first and second reefs continues to draw the pelagics and some hot action on mackerel, small kings and bluefish. You may have to move to the 30-35′ depths and work some of the highlight spots (Five Mile Reef / Walton Reef / John Dee for the best action. Work top water tipped jigs over a strong chum effort for best results. You might want to keep a live bait freelined in the slick just in case a migrating small king or a cobia show inshore. Bottom action good to very good here on lane and mangrove snapper working tipped weighted jigs in a good chum slick.
Expect stable weather and sea conditions all week except for a brief weather interlude Tuesday and Wednesday. Pelagics are en masse migration north and showing in good numbers on deeper wrecks and reefs. Look for king mackerel as dominant in the parade and falling for a live blue runner strung out on wire under a float surrounded in chum or on a slow troll with a blue runner set at 10-15′ in tow at 4-5 knots. Cobia could well be the other more frequent visitor but they will visit your activity site on the surface looking for a sight cast threadfin herring put right in their face. Once hooked these cobia are a handful both on the fight and the on board submission. Make sure you have the right stout tackle and the right person on the rod. Cobia are one of the best species for excellence on the table.