Capt. Rich Knox of Absolute Florida Flats Fishing reports having run several inshore fishing charters out of the Tarpon Springs, Fl. area, and fishing the inshore saltwater flats to Clearwater and New Port Richey, the week ending March 4th, the water temperatures are now in the 70’s and the mornings where in the high 60’s creating some fog issues but the fishing remained outstanding with the arrival of the migratory bait-fish the pilchards. All Hands on Deck, big Spotted Sea Trout, Redfish, and the occasional Snook sticking his head out are all receptive to the bait-fish which never really disappeared totally from some Backcountry fishing hangouts, this winter! The nearshore fishing is also improving with there arrival, Spanish Mackerel, King-Mackerel, Cobia are all following the schools of different variety of bait fish.
Spring Saltwater fishing will remain very -good with the exception of a passing minor cold-front that we are experiencing this weekend, Saturday night to Sunday look wet and windy! The inshore fishing will rebound as soon as the wind subsides, it may take some time to gather up the bait fish immediately after a front, but numerous artificial baits still deliver good fishing guide trips this time of year. Mirro-lures, Mirro-dine that imitates the pilchard to a T and has the exact same action when twitched and retrieved slowly to moderately depending on the current and water temperatures, sometimes out performs the real thing, along with Berkleys jerk-shad, 1/4 oz. jigs with similar bait-fish imitations and you can cover way more ground this way, the fish will be moving depending on Mother Nature, another hunt and destroy situation until you find out where they have moved to.
This is a great time of year for the long rod (fly rod- enthusiast), both inshore fishing and nearshore fishing using pilchard imitations in a variety of lengths either in the clouser or deciever variety in the (pilchard look) an 8 to 10 weight rod will do with a 9′ flouro-carbon leader and depending on where you’re fishing with floating line or intermediate sinking tip’s. Chum and switch, is very effective on all the above mentioned species1