March 1st 2019 Fishing Report
CONDITIONS: Well here we are in March and it’s still super hot BUT we may experience a mild respite from the heat this coming week. Forecasts show a dip in those 90 degree afternoons and a moderate drop into the mid 70’s.that definitely will help the “overheated” fishing conditions. But as usual, you always pay a price for a change and that, unfortunately will be some hellacious gusty winds on Sunday into mid week with the anomaly occurring both morning and afternoon. Adding to the issue, those winds will emanate from the west and southwest and could be a factor late week on water clarity. If you were on the water over this past week you certainly noticed the ripping tidalstrength coming a full moon. Good news ! That moon phase has ended and the new moon late week will inaugurate some much weaker (workable) tides. Morning incoming will average 2.5 feet and the afternoon ebb tide will be in the 1.3 foot range…much more workable.
BACKWATER: Surprisingly, the bigger spawning sheepshead have held domain position despite the superheated temperatures. Got a scad of reports of good BIG sheepshead action backwaters from all along the Marco River and back into Collier Creek and in the favoring backwaters of the cuts and bays back in Addison of Landings of mega sheepies in the 13-16″ range. So….bottom line, they got here and were on a reproductive mission and stayed put. Surprising but welcome aberration. Elsewhere in the back country there is continuous snapper action on now long-feeding summer fish. You can work the mangrove edges that contain downed fauna almost anywhere with a bit of shrimp on a Lindy rig with this weeks mild incoming tide being a positive……but try staying somewhere out of those winds come post weekend. Pompano showed up in Hurricane Pass on two Late outgoing tides last week…..they were right in the cut and jumping on small white jigs worked deep. Sure might be worth a try for this coming week also.
NEARSHORE: Sheepshead, for sure, will be on the prowlall along the first reef line this week with the water chilling down a tad and their spawning urge coming to an end. That first line of reefs from the South Seas complex to the Marriott in 20-30′ feet of water should be nirvana for sheepshead (and other species) action. You don’t need bait activity on the finder for the sheepshead……just rugged bottom structure. Use a Lindy rig loaded with a half live shrimp or a cut fiddler crab and drop vertically. Lift the rig a couple inches every few moments and if you feel a tap raise the rig 2-3 inches and wait…….only when you feel weight on the rod do you set with a compact 12″ pull up……if you rip the rod over you’re head, the sheepshead will be gone. Other action inshore could be some super-early season mackerel action circa the Capri Pass barges. Worth a try….get some chum in the water and work a flashy jig up on the surface with a fast retrieve.
OFFSHORE: The winds offshore could well be the “devil” this early week. So get your forecast and radar images before you sail offshore especially late weekend and early week. Best action will be on mid-range wrecks and reefs for mangrove and lane snapper with a few legal size triggerfish and porgies tossed in and maybe even a brace of spec seatrout which have been around over the last week or so. There also could well be strong action on some of the deeper wrecks that are home to yellowtail snapper. They are handled a little differently that other snapper. Go for them with a tad of chum on a small #6 hook fed into a strong chum effort and once you get a strike let them run with an open bail while you count to ten and set the strike. The “tails” are bigger than the mangroves and lanes and will provide a hearty exercise in landing.