MARCH FISHING REPORT:
This month things will start to pick up. The water will start to warm, bait will show up and their predators will follow. A few fish to welcome back to the pier will be Spanish Mackerel, Mangrove Snapper and a healthy Snook population. As the water temperatures rise the Snook will start to leave their winter homes back in the creeks and canals and move toward the beaches. We have already seen a few Snook hanging out under the bait house. The best advice for catching a Snook is to keep everything looking natural. Use fluorocarbon leaders, small strong hooks and no swivels. A surgeon’s knot is a quick and easy way to tie your leader to your main line. Live Pinfish or large select shrimp will get their attention. Bait presentation is very important. Do not cast at the fish, that will only spook them. Cast uptide and let the current bring the bait to the fish. You will also need a sturdy rod and reel with a good drag system. A hooked Snook will immediately run for the pilings to cut your line, so have your drag tightened and be ready to reel. Snook season opened on March 1st and runs to May 1st. You must have a Saltwater license with a Snook stamp to keep a fish. Snook must be 28 inches but not over 33 inches.
Spanish Mackerel are pelagic fish and don’t use the pier for cover. They will be roaming off the pier looking for bait pods that stray too far from the safety of the dock. A fast moving silver spoon works very well. You can also cast net some of the bait around the pier. Then using a long shank hook run the hook through the base of the pectoral fin of the bait fish. Cast him out and the Mackerel will do the rest.
Mangrove Snapper will also start to show up with the bait. Snapper will take up residency under the docks and will be there until next winter. Bait fish from the pier or small shrimp will get the best bites. Use a small #1 or #2 hook and drift your bait back under the dock. Snapper will be nose into the tide waiting for their next meal.
Be respectful of all fish. If not within the legal sizes please release them in a timely manner. It is your responsibility to know the Florida fish limits, if unsure please ask us at the pier and we will be happy to help you out.
Thanks, Merry Pier