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Mar 1, 2017 Fishing Report Fishing Report Archives

Courtesy of

Coastal Angler Magazine

DEEP SEA FISHING

FORECAST BY: Capt. Rocky Carbia

Visions of cobia will dominate the daydreams, as well as the fishing strategies of offshore anglers during this month.  The days of March are historically one of the better periods of the year for targeting and catching cobia, east of our St. Lucie Inlet. Schools of migrating cobia (pushing down from northern environs) will stream through our local offshore waters and visit the reef system from depths of 40 to 180 feet of water.  Martin County’s artificial reefs in 50 to 65 feet of water have especially become favorite haunts for hungry “cobes” and will be found throughout the water column over top of these reef structures.  While the Sand Pile will be most angler’s first go to spot for cobia fishing, artificial structures that make up the Donaldson Reef will be high on the honey hole list for cobia anglers to try.  The Cement Barge, the Owl Barge, and the Clifton Perry Memorial Reef (just name a few) are all famous for attracting cobia and are excellent options for fishing- especially when the more popular spots become crowded (for a complete list of Artificial Reef sites go to martinreefs.com).  Live baits of all flavors will yield the best results for provoking a cobia strike—greenies, sardines, blue runners, and grunts—will be the best of live bait offerings, while using 30-to 50-pound mainline tackle and 50- to 80-pound terminal tackle with a 5 to 7/0 hook.  Along with live bait, cobia enthusiasts need to supply themselves with an assortment of jigs, which can be cast or dropped in front of cobes while sight fishing. Lead head jigs of four-ounces in weight will be the most effective for throwing to a cruising cobia.

So, in March, post up on one of Martin County’s many near coastal reef sites and make your cobia daydream come true.

INSHORE/NEARSHORE FISHING

FORECAST BY: Capt. John Young

March is a good month for redfish along the inside dock lines on the west side of the Indian River. D.O.A. Shrimp and Paddle Tail Grubs work great casting parallel to the docks and flipping under the planks. Work it slow, with consistent twitches. More bait will be showing up on the flats so pay attention to nervous water. Big trout love top water plugs at first light, any walk the dog style plug has the potential of getting slammed. Work the deeper edges of the flats with D.O.A. jigs for trout and reds. The submerged islands east of the channel in the Indian River are a good stopping point to target pompano.  The edges of these Islands tend to be deeper, which attract the pompano. The Florida whip retrieve using yellow or pink jigs will work fine. Structure is the key component for snook fishing in the St. Lucie River. Bridges, docks, seawalls and mangrove points will all hold snook. The Super Spook and Skitterwalk will get their attention with short quick twitches around structure. A jig and shrimp combo dropped around the bridge pilings with moving water is a good way to start your day. Thump. Set-up. Game on. Tight drags are a must for this style of fishing. The sheepshead bite has been excellent around the St. Lucie Inlet and docks. Dead or live shrimp on a jig head will do the trick.  Drift the inlet but pay attention to anchored boaters, have the courtesy to not get too close. Cobia are showing up on the inside wrecks and reefs this month and will eat cobia jigs or live bait.

Keep the waterways clean and wear your Costas.

FROM THE SHORE FISHING

FORECAST BY: Chris Sharp

March will be a month of change. With the warmer weather, tarpon will be starting to show up around inlets and bridges. Snook fishing will be hot on the beach and getting there early will make the whole difference of catching and not. If it rains a lot during the month,  go to the St. Lucie Locks to see if the water is running. If so, the snook bite will be great. I always use plugs from Yo-Zuri but you can catch them on soft baits and jigs. Best location bets are Walton Rocks and St. Lucie Locks.

Huge jack crevalle will be in the river but most will be caught on the beaches. They start to spawn offshore and you catch these big boys on topwater plugs, spoons and even dead bait. Look for incoming tide to fish and they will be at your feet. Best location to go to is hands down Walton Rocks Beach.  This beach has a great reef and has the outflow from the powerplant.

Bluefish will be making their last showing and they will be hungry. Cut bait and spoons will work great and fish high tide. Best place to fish is Hobe Sound Beach and get there early and walk about 100 yards to the left and look where the reef comes close to the beach.

Tarpon fishing will start to get good and there is no better place than the Roosevelt Bridge in Stuart and using threadfin as bait can’t be beat. Fishing night time will give you a better chance to get on these fish. Fish moving tide and where there are lights. Use heavy gear 65-pound braid or more, and number 9 circle hook tied to 80-pound leader.

Redfish will be good too with little ones around the flats from the west side of river to the east side. Bull redfish will be at the Sebastian Inlet, the hands down best place to have a chance at catching these big fish. Pinfish, pigfish and mullet work great, but jigs, plugs and soft rubber baits also work great with moving tide. Get there early because crowds are crazy, and fish the south side of the inlet on the beach for some great action.

OFF SHORE FISHING

FORECAST BY: Capt. Scott Fawcett

As March rolls in, I feel like we can safely say winter is behind us. Those two brutal days when the lows hit the mid-40s were over before I could even find my jacket, but don’t fret. The last few years we have seen excellent dolphin fishing during March and that’s following mild winters like this one, so I can only hope that tradition holds and fish tacos it is. But to be totally honest, I am a little worried about the mahi fishing this month. Anyways. When targeting dolphin, look for color changes, weed lines and temperature breaks usually from 120 feet of water and out. Also, keep an eye out for frigates, birds picking, flying fish getting pushed and any type of floating or suspended debris. During these spring and summer days, fishing a down bait can sometimes be the lucky ticket. I fish mine on a Cannon 10 TS which has a cycle mode which triggers lazy fish. I find this extremely helpful especially around the full moon. Even though you may be targeting dolphin, it’s a good idea to fish wire on this bait since wahoo are a likely encounter as well. March is also a great month for bottom fishing. Target various snapper, triggerfish, porgies, seabass and cobia using anything from sardines and squid, to cut bait, to live bait or even jigs. RonZ jigs come in various sizes and colors and they are a great way get to the bottom fast to see what’s down there. You’d be amazed on the variety of fish you can catch on those jigs. There are a ton of great spots to try from 30 to 175 feet. If you don’t have a waterproof chart #36 by Capt. Bill Shuda, you’re missing out on some wonderful local knowledge and a bunch of great bottom and bait spots.  March is also the kickoff month to our yellowfin tuna fishing. Running towards the Canaveral buoy, following the EEZ and using your radar to mark birds is a great way to encounter big schools of yellowfin tuna, a blue marlin, dolphin, and the occasional wahoo. But with how it blows in March it’s hard to schedule those trips in advance since they are so weather dependent. 

 
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