Chilly days are quickly fading away with temperatures rising well into the 60s and sometimes pushing into the 70s. Warmer water temperatures will wake the fish up and get them feeding! Trout should be ready to go in mid-March. It’s time to break out your reels and rods and get ready for a great season!
Having spent the last few months laying low and avoiding dolphins, redfish are now focused on eating instead of simply surviving. Low tide will be the best time to target large schools of redfish that can number in the hundreds. These fish are still skittish, so a quiet and subtle approach is quite important. On many days, it pays to stay in one spot when you find a school and wait for them to come to you instead of scaring them away.
As these reds are nervous, I’ll try to disturb them as little as possible by minimizing my casting. This is a great time to fish with bait on the bottom. I’ll put a chunk of frozen mullet or blue crab on a size 3/0 circle hook and just let it rest until the redfish swim over it. Make sure the barb of your hook is fully in bait and the point is cleanly exposed. Place your rod in the rod holder and get ready for it to whip over once the circle hook sets itself!
As trout begin to feed, popping corks cast along grass banks and over oyster beds will be a good bet with mud minnows attached. I usually pair a 18”-24” fluorocarbon leader with a size 1 circle hook. While there is no shortage of options, I use oval shaped corks that are heavier and can cast further. When using a popping cork, do your best to keep slack out of your line and when that cork drops under just reel without lifting the rod tip. You’ll find that the circle hook rarely misses as long as your line is tight.
See you on the water!