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Finally, after a month (February) that brought us cold, wind, and just poor weather, March is the month that kicks off our spring fishing season.

Spring fishing is looked upon as some of the best of the year with a wide variety of species willing to bend a rod.  After a pretty cool month of February warmer days of spring well arrive, the water temperature will rise and with each day more schooling bait fish will invade our waters and fish of all shape and sizes will become hungry.

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For fun, rod bending action, it’s hard to beat targeting areas with schooling Spanish mackerel, bluefish, sea trout, ladyfish, and other “surprise” fish. It’s often possible to anchor on one spot and hook a fish just about every cast. Fishing with spring breakers from elementary school through their college years, most have one thing in common, they want action.  They aren’t as concerned about landing a trophy gamefish, but would rather keep busy with a bent rod and screaming drags.  Plus the “surprise” fish we mentioned could include sharks of multiple species, tarpon, cobia, and others, all with the possibility of being large, so you want to keep a heavier rig armed and ready if anyone is up to the challenge.

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Spanish mackerel are a great target as they are ferocious feeders, lightning fast, and offer a good fight. Plus, prepared fresh their excellent table fare is often over looked. To me they are the perfect fish when looking for fun and action with spring breakers. Where mackerel are present odds are good that large sharks are nearby, sharks love snacking on macks.

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captain bill russell sheepshead fishing
The larger sheepsheads that we were targeting inshore are moving offshore to deeper water. While February was a good month for catching sheepsheads, we are shifting to live shiners for bait , sheepsheads and pompano will become less of a target

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This month kicks off the two month spring snook season (March & April) and often overlooked, March has the potential as one of the best snook fishing months of the year.  Water temperature is critical for snook, to cold and they are often dormant. As the water rises to 70 degrees and above we can look for snook to become very active, on the move, and hungry. 

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captain bill russell pompano fishing
captain bill russell florida pompano fishing
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With the invasion of bait fish and warming water, big trout should become common catches. Many of our largest sea trout of the year will be caught this month, with “gators” approaching 30 inches a possibility and fish over 20 inches common.  Trout will begin their first spawn cycle of the year, look for the bigger fish to get very aggressive and hungry.

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Finally, after months of daytime low tides or very poor highs, our first spring high tides will begin. The Higher tides will allow good opportunities for targeting redfish along mangrove shorelines and over oyster bars. With bait fish schools moving into the area, live pilchards, herring, and pinfish are the primary baits for the bigger snook, trout, and redfish.

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From the experienced angler to the novice, just looking for action or chasing a trophy snook, March is a month where anything is possible. If you have company visiting from the north it’s a great time to get on the water, away from the crowds, and show them what a good time in Florida is all about!

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“Catch the Action” with Captain Bill Russell

Phone: 239-283-7960