Fishing Report March 2018
Capt. Rick Davidson, Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sea Hag March Report
Spring fishing is hot as ever in the Big Bend. While the occasional front passed through, water temps have continued to rise toward the magic 60 degree mark. On warmer days when the sun shines on the grass flats, the trout are out and eating, and there have been some really nice gator trout taken this month. Redfishing is more consistent, but as is usual this time of year, most fish are schooling so moving around is important to increase your chances. Jumping mullet and clear water are the keys, and while high wind and waves can make things tough for a day or two, things have been clearing rapidly. This month the fishing was continuing to get better throughout the month, with some of the hot spots the shorelines around Rock Point and Long Grass Point to the north, and the Pepperfish Keys and Sink Creek to the south. The Steinhatchee Community Tournament was a great success, and by the end of the month, the sheepshead fishing exploded. Some hints about fishing for these tasty fish in the forecast. Here are some pics from this month.
Sea Hag April Forecast
Trout will continue to move onto and off of the flats based on water temperatures. On the last weekend of the month, the temp was still under 60 degrees but that will warm quickly with the current air temps into the high 70’s. Redfish are continuing to school around creek mouths, rocky structure and sand bars. As the tide comes in, work your way toward shore quietly and cast from a distance toward structure with jigs or plugs. The topwater bite for both trout and redfish has begun, but suspending lures like Live Target sardines are also very effective, and you can’t go wrong with jigs tipped with soft baits or Gulp shrimp. Come by the Ship’s Store and they’ll tell you what’s been working lately. Offshore, the mackerel migration will start any day now, with northward moving schools of whitebait followed by Spanish mackerel and kingfish. Troll jigs or spoons, but make sure you use a wire leader. Offshore, gag grouper will be open in state waters north of the Steinhatchee River, but will be closed in federal waters (outside of 9 nautical miles). Red grouper can be harvested. My old friend Russ Roy has written a great primer about fishing for sheepshead; you can find it at this link: http://www.gofc.us/wp/targeted-species/sheepshead/
The severe storms in the past few years have disrupted the Steinhatchee Reef. If you have old numbers, they can get you to the area, but use your bottom finder to find structure and fish. In general the rocks and concrete have moved somewhat to the north. Fish around as well as on top of the structure. There are other rockpiles in the Steinhatchee area, but most are closely guarded secrets (and won’t be in this report to avoid risk to my life and limb). Most of the guides are doing sheepshead charters, and you may be able to wrangle a number of two out of some of the locals.
April is a big month for tournaments. The 7th is the Hooked on Heroes to support our veterans; the 14th is the Kim Smith memorial tournament, Reeling for Rescues; the 21st is the first Fishing for Gold Tournament hosted by the Sea Hag Marina and the 28th is the Shands Fishing for Kids tournament. For any specifics about these tournaments, you can call the Sea Hag Marina. It’s going to be great month; call and get one of our newly renovated rental cottages, rent a boat or a guide, and let’s get off the couch and catch some fish!!!
Captain Kyle Skipper M1fishing.com (352) 317-1654
The flats have been active but the focus recently has been a little further out. The sheepshead are in and are thick. When the wind is calm enough we have been sneaking out there and catching them as fast as we can drop baits. Book a charter with me in the near future and if the weather is calm enough I’ll show you exactly where they are. Come see us over here in Steinhatchee at the beautiful Sea Hag Marina–you won’t regret it!