Week of March 21: A windy week ahead, but snook, redfish possible
March winds prevail! Look for sunny skies with a high of 75 degrees, east-northeast winds of 16 mph (becoming east winds in the afternoon), and 3 to 5-foot seas.
Our fishing guide, “Snookman” Wayne Landry, reports that fishing at the inlet has been hit-or-miss for many desired species, largely due to the ever-changing weather and water conditions.
“There are fish there to be caught, but you just have to be there when conditions are ‘right for the bite,’” Snookman says. “There hasn't been much around for baitfish yet, except for mullet that made an appearance one day last week - but there weren't many. There are mojarra around to be cast netted. They seem to be the bait of choice right now on both sides of the inlet.”
Snookman says fishing at the North Jetty has been mediocre, with wind and cloudy water slowing the fishing down, but fish are being caught, nonetheless.
“Late last week and over the weekend, I saw snook being taken on live baits— mojarra being the top bait for them — with several fish being in the slot range going home,” he says. “There are still many oversize snook being caught as well, most on the outgoing tide at the tip of the jetty. More would probably have been caught, but the large goliath groupers are eating them while the anglers are fighting them, and they always win the battle.”
Wayne says anglers are catching redfish on live baits, shrimp, mojarras and pigfish. Some of the reds are slot-size.
“While I was down last Thursday, a large school of reds came across the north tip at the water’s surface and it was a cool sight to see,” he adds. “They started to bite. Most were too big to keep, but it was cool to see. The black drum and sheepshead have taken a vacation of sorts as the water temperature is warming up a bit — at 74 degrees now — they like it cooler, but some are still being caught on dead shrimp, clams, and fiddler crabs for the sheeps. Bluefish and Spanish mackerel are still around for those throwing silver spoons and small jigs and gotcha lures on both tides. Most are on the small side. Look for the bluefish to disappear as the water continues to warm up. Along the rock shoreline on the north side there are small snook being caught on both tides. Most are too small to keep, but the possibility of getting a keeper is there.”
The South jetty is a mixed bag, Wayne says.
“The outgoing tide at the tip is producing black margates, sheepshead, sand perch and an occasional pompano for those using dead shrimp,” he says. “There is also still the possibility of catching small flounder in the ‘pocket’ area just south of the jetty. The incoming tide here is bringing a lot of undersized snook and keeper redfish, all being caught on live mojarras. I did see ‘keeper snook’ taken over here late last week. Bluefish and Spanish mackerel are still present here as well being caught mostly on silver spoons fished in the channel.”
Not much is happening at the T-Dock area, except for the possible nocturnal jig bite for snook. Nobody is fishing here during the day, Wayne says.
Both sides of the surf have been hit-or-miss as well due to the wind and waves, Snookman says.
“If you can find clean water with calmer seas, expect to find pompano on sand fleas and dead shrimp,” he says. “Whiting, croakers, and black drum are possible, too. Bluefish and Spanish mackerel can likely be caught as well, by tossing silver spoons as the fish patrol the surf looking for baitfish.”
“The weather for the week is supposed to be comfortable, but the winds this week will play a crucial factor on where you can fish,” Wayne says. “To that end, get out to your favorite spot, toss out a line or just relax on the beach and enjoy the Florida outdoors!”
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