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The start of March launches the start of the Spring fishing season down on the Gulf, it also launches Weedlines job of writing fishing reports for blogs across the Panhandle. Since I care so much for my BB'ers and fellow Recon BB'ers, I will give them to ya free here. Post your pics ans stories throughout the Spring. Lets see and hear about those great catches.
Anyway, without further ado, here's the first on one of the species that will show up before the rest in March.:
The type of King Mackerel that will be showing up this early will be the smokers. They brave the colder waters and beat the snake Kings up by at least a week. So don't expect to see huge schools of Kings ripping through bait pods. It can happen, but it's rare. Once you see the cigar minnows balling up, you know it's time. When you do find a bait pod, slowly creep to the outer perimeter of where you think they are headed, kill the motors, and drop a live hard tail with little weight. Keep the fish swimming down by providing pressure from the boat's angler. These large Kings hang out on the outskirts of these schools and wait for something smaller to do the work for them. When they do, they swop in and nail said fish. They are gluttons and it's not out of the ordinary to see them eat other mackerels, Clipping the hard tails fins so he swims injured before throwing him in will act like a dinner bell.
If you struck out near the pass doing this or just got board waiting for it, look to shallow reefs in 80 feet of water. Watch for birds on the way out and mark these spots in your GPS to come back to. Have your bait and rigs already ready to go before you pull up on a spot. Throw them over the side and and run a 5 bait spread. On the shortriggers, use a medium/large size ballyhoo with King Buster skirts (yellow/green) on each, a large ballyhoo with an Islander Skirt on your outerriggers, and for your last chance bait, a naked FRESH!!!! Spanish Mackerel or horse ballyhoo. Start trolling the outer, outer perimeter and slowly work your way in to the structure. Bump the boat in an out of gear a few times if nothing is happening to see if they are lower. If they are there, they will hit. SO don't waste all day trying to get a bite. Pick up and move.
Also, don't worry about using downriggers this early in the year. The water ought to be cold enough to force them in the mid to upper water column for at least a month. But if you just have to, try using Ribbonfish rigged on a treble hook stinger rig.
Good luck guys
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Weedline 13 months ago
thanks, i enjoy these posts. i am heading down to inlaws in two weeks (gulf breeze) and may go out after some kings when we are down there.
That's perfect. By then the Cobia will be swarming and more Spanish will have moved in.
These are fun catches for sure.
First report of the season from out of of town guy. Says there are LOTS of sharks to be found in the surf right now. .Time to scrounge those bonita heads dropped VIA kayak for some late day surf fishing. Seems to me like you got a pretty good chance to get one. Hell of a way to start the season. Anyway, here his story and pics:
"our weekly beach trip didnt start out so hot. first two stops were for bait and the fish market that usually gives up the best left over amber jack and grouper had nothing but shrimp heads and shells in the scraps bucket...
however, we lucked out and recieved the bloodiest scraps of tuna and AJ from the shop down the street.
hit the sand and got our baits out. first up was tuna skin with 1/4" of meat still attached. 8"x2" and folded in half, hooked though the folded top and out it went.
I also upgraded the handle on my sealine 50. it was a pain to reel under pressure and Hannah says it was a good investment."
"anyways. tuna is out. my rod gets picked up and its on! well. for about 10 seconds. i got a few good head shakes and she broke the surface with her tail and rolled then came unbuttoned. got everything back. not sure exactly what happens so i'm just going to say she was so big the circle hook couldnt get a hold on her mouth.
after what looked like some perch hits we brought in both rods, rebaited with AJ and got them back out.
well didn't take long and Hannah is hooked up!"
"65 mins later im dragging this monster up the beach.
7'1" and pissed!"
"a nice crowd had formed during the fight pretty much did nothing but get in the way. Hannah ran into people 5 or 6 times trying to back up or move down the beach to get in front of the shark and when it came time to tail it i was blocked by 3 people and almost tripped over the line...
so we got her released and then set out new baits. started packing up and my rod goes off and i hook into it. horsed it in in 15 mins and sent Hannah in to tail it...
bad idea putting such a green shark on the beach. lots of skin rash. Fish released unharmed "
Nothing like seeing the younger generation get out there and brave the cold waters in their yaks for a few fish. This was unheard of outside a few of us the last 3 years. This sport is about to pop. Great catch, man!
This post was edited by Weedline 13 months ago
Nice dude. I usually go down around Naples... Tarpon everywhere
***Lots of Spanish being caught this morning. For those that care, I should have a report up on it later including a few pics.
nice to hear.
during the Fall, it's all about inshore, sliding just North to the Delta.
but i spent the past two days down on Ono getting "things ready" for the gulf spring run w/ King & Cobia on the brain.
we got a f-ing cold snap so we opted out this weekend but plan to hit the ICW next weekend to do a little light fishn' &
make sure the boats are ready.
the following week we're pulling out the med-heavy gear and hitting the gulf.
"i'm tired of the "4th qtr program", it's time to do some fishing."
I fish up north in Michigan. Once a year a group of us head up to the upper peninsula to do some fishing for a week. Here's our dilemma:
We have stayed on the same lake for the last couple years. It's an all species type of lake (pike,muskie,smallmouth, walleye) along with the normal array of panfish. We primarily concentrate on walleye and smallmouth. Every type of fish we catch from the panfish to the smallmouth and walleyes appear to be eating primarily crayfish. We have used soft plastics that mimic crayfish with limited sucess.
I guess my ?? Is if anyone has done any fishing with live crayfish? If so, how successful were you?
Also, in Michigan you can only fish with crayfish that u collect from from the body of water that you are fishing in, which means we have to trap them. Our group has zero experience trying this....advice?
Buddy sent me this. 70lbs. Alabama record. World record bending (probably not). I like to pond and lake fish. Deep sea fishing is the best when I can afford it. We usually only get grouper and red snapper though. Sometimes a shark.
Plenty of Spanish inside the Bay, Redfish Point was a hot spot for early morning anglers and diving birds. Blacktips, and Jack Crevalle were mixed in . Unusually warm weather pockets helped ball the bait up. We got up to 63 degrees outside the water. Finding them was as easy as finding the birds.
Christmas Tree jigs were not deployed as they were not needed. A few casts from the bow with ta Got-Cha plug or silver spoon is all it took to get hooked up. It's gonna be a good year for Spanish as the young ones seems to have already developed.
Redfish report coming early this week
March Flounder, Sheepshead, Pompano, and one more Spanish from a first time Spanish catcher. Well done Doug
We're all southern boys, man. We catch crawdads in nets or by hand. The difference is our water isn't covered by ice so Idk if any of us can help... maybe order some from down here?
Pompano are fun as hell to catch inland under docks...
Do that all day in Naples in Port Royal.
All the rain of the past weeks has made the water a bit murky and bite a tad slow. Get those baits in closer on casting platforms. Shrimp under popping corks in and around dock pilings are good for slot-sized fish. We found that they are few and far between, but some can were full up with fish and then nothing on like 20 docks in a row. It's just a numbers game. Put in your time. Don't be surprised to see a few White's and Specs mixed in too. As usual, they will be in the deeper areas. As the temp rises, so will the opportunity for larger fish. We found they were few and far between this weekend.
Love chasing the reds. Thanks for the update.
3/4- Langdon Beach- Black Drum
How do those sheepshead taste? They don't look anything like the sheepshead we got out here, but if they are similar, must be good eats.
My best Snook to date...
Do you do any guiding?
Good. We usually cut them into nuggets and fry then up. He was a bycatch that day butt hey are swarming right now so they should be easy to pick up.
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