MARCH 2016 Fishing Report and APRIL Forecast

Fishing Report March 2016

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Capt. Rick Davidson, Editor (grassflats2@yahoo.com)

Sea Hag March Report

Fishing dramatically improved this month. After a slow start, we finally started seeing some pinfish on the flats, more active mullet schools, some large sharks on the flats, and along with them, schooling redfish. We’ve even had some cobia moving around on the flats. The trout bite continues to be a challenge in terms of large numbers of keepers, but most persistent anglers have been finding them on the flats using popping cork rigs and live shrimp. And as expected, the surest bet right now is the annual sheepshead run, and both offshore and inshore boats have been taking advantage. Large catches of fine-eating bandits have been taken from their usual haunts, including the Steinhatchee Reef and other near-shore rock piles. Take a look at some of the finest catches from this month…

I took Kayak Fish editor Jerry McBride out on a real boat and we found some nice trout, including this beauty.
I took Kayak Fish editor Jerry McBride out on a real boat and we found some nice trout, including this beauty.
Jerry also took Melissa Macarages out for a kayak photo shoot and she nailed this fine redfish outside of Rocky Creek.
Jerry also took Melissa Macarages out for a kayak photo shoot and she nailed this fine redfish outside of Rocky Creek.
Here are the results from the Steinhatchee Community Tournament….some fine fish caught.
Here are the results from the Steinhatchee Community Tournament….some fine fish caught.
 Julie Bailey caught her first trout this month!

Julie Bailey caught her first trout this month!
Chastity Chandler and a beautiful upperslot redfish.
Chastity Chandler and a beautiful upperslot redfish.
Capt. Gene Frazier took this crew out and filled the box with sheepshead.
Capt. Gene Frazier took this crew out and filled the box with sheepshead.
The littlest Sea Hag, Chaeli Norwood, caught this nice redfish during the tournament.
The littlest Sea Hag, Chaeli Norwood, caught this nice redfish during the tournament.
Shelby Skelly and Kyle Hix found a school of redfish!
Shelby Skelly and Kyle Hix found a school of redfish!
Big month for firsts….this was Ella’s first redfish.
Big month for firsts….this was Ella’s first redfish.
Jason Mongomery fished creek mouths and found this nice redfish.
Jason Mongomery fished creek mouths and found this nice redfish.
Fishing with Gene Frazier, Brinson Hubbard had to release this nice gag grouper. The season opens July1.
Fishing with Gene Frazier, Brinson Hubbard had to release this nice gag grouper. The season opens July1.
Andy Phillips with a great pair of fish.
Andy Phillips with a great pair of fish.
William and Heather Samson with a bunch of trout and Spanish mackerel.
William and Heather Samson with a bunch of trout and Spanish mackerel.
Rob McRae with a nice school-sized redfish.
Rob McRae with a nice school-sized redfish.
Claudia Green took advantage of the sheepshead bite on the reef.
Claudia Green took advantage of the sheepshead bite on the reef.
Russell Edwards fished with Mike Duttenhaver and found these hungry sheepshead.
Russell Edwards fished with Mike Duttenhaver and found these hungry sheepshead.
Rick Carl caught the biggest legal redfish in the Pro Tournament and it weighed 8.58 pounds!
Rick Carl caught the biggest legal redfish in the Pro Tournament and it weighed 8.58 pounds!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fishing Forecasts forApril

Lots of increasing goodness. Right now, take advantage of the sheepshead bite before they vacate. With fiddler crabs being scarce, live shrimp is the best bet. For tips, read the article written by Capt. Charlie Courtney in last month’s report. There is also a very good black sea bass bite on nearshore and offshore rockpiles, and cobia are there as well. Inshore, with grass filling in and pinfish appearing in larger numbers, the standard trout bite will continue on the flats. For keeper fish, look for mixed bottom with grass and sand, especially if there are potholes in the area. Fish in 3 to 4 feet of water with popping corks and live or artificial shrimp, or with Gulp lures on a jighead. If the flats are not working for you, look for 6-8 foot deep grass flats and fish jigs on the bottom. For larger fish, try early mornings close to shore, and look for schools of mullet. Same thing goes for redfish, especially when you can find some rockpiles with sargassum (or as we call it, rock grass). Don’t stay too long in an area but keep watch for nervous water that can point you toward schools of redfish. This time of year, high tides near marsh grass and structure with mullet present will be your best bet. If you’re real patient, fish live shrimp or cut bait and stay put, but most people will want to move around and fish artificials….suspending plugs like Mirrodines, Live Target Scaled Sardines or Catch 2000’s. As the water continues to get consistently about 70 degrees, break out the topwater plugs. Nearshore, whitebait will continue to move through the area, bringing Spanish mackerel to the nearshore sand bars and areas like 9 Mile Bank and Little Bank. There are a number of tournaments in Steinhatchee this month, including the Greg Bishop Memorial Tournament on the 9th, Reeling for Rescues on the 16th, and the Shands Fishing for Kids tournament at the Sea Hag. For more information about these tournaments, just call the Ship’s Store at the Sea Hag Marina.

 

April should be a fantastic month, so come on down to the Sea Hag.

Here are a few guide photos and brief reports:

 

 

Captain Steve Rassel  352-359-5902  www.lastcastras.com/

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The flats are coming to life as spring arrives. Trout can be found on the deeper holes along with spanish and some sand trout. Redfish are still roaming the shallows, and now’s the time for big trout. Still have a couple days open in April and May. Also booking trips for scallop season now.

 

 

 

 

 

Captain Scott Peters, Jr  352-356-7502  badtothebonefishingcharters.com/

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