The first two weeks of march turned out to be as predicted in my last article, windy and cold and a slow bite. With any luck at all there could be some light at the end of the tunnel as we move through the rest of the month. It won’t take much, softer winds and an increase in the water temperature will make things busier on the water on most all our fishing fronts.
From the passes and beaches out we should see increased numbers of patches of bait, laced with Spanish mackerel and a few kingfish working them. While it is a little early for kingfish to begin their migration, north from the Florida Keys it is a good bet they will be on their way north by the end of March.
Trolling deep running lures, spoons and large jigs could put some kings in the box along with some nice size grouper.
Anglers fishing the nearshore wrecks and fish havens should be able to find some sheepshead, black drum, lane and mangrove snapper, grouper and trout. While most of these species will be near the bottom trout will be closer to the surface. Live shrimp and minnows will work well.
Our inland passes, outer shoreline will continue to offer some redfish, snook, pompano, snapper, tarpon from 15 to in excess of 60 pounds and of course the line up of renegades such as ladyfish, bluerunner, jack and catfish.
Everything is looking great for the rest of March for all fishing fronts. Everyone should also fine tune their knowledge of the Florida Saltwater Recreation Fishing regulations and keep a current copy on the boat.
Another junior angler is born! An e-mail just in from excited Dennis Orosz. He is from Canada, visiting on the Isle of Capri and sent a great photo of his four year old grandson, Aiden Orosz, holding a mangrove snapper he caught and released from their dock using shrimp for bait. Aiden calls his grandfather “Pappy.”
Thanks for the great picture Dennis.
Another e-mail from local angler and taxidermist Bob Dorta. He just returned from this year’s annual Florida State Taxidermy Convention & Competition and won a third place with a mule deer and a second place with a fiberglass tarpon plus he was nominated to sit on the state’s board.
Several of you that like to fish offshore wrecks have asked me about the California wreck. I think a recent article about finding World War II mines in the Gulf of Mexico spawned the questions.
Questions asked included where is it located, what kind of ship was it and how did it sink. I made it a point to never keep any numbers of any honey holes off our coast so I can’t give the spots away.
There are charts at local marinas and tackle shops that have many of the wrecks numbered and the locations for them. One chart you might want to start with would be chart 090F.
According to a Web site I found a few years ago I can tell you the Baja California was torpedoed in the Gulf of Mexico on July 19, 1942 by German U Boat 84 with Captain Horst Uphoff at the helm. The site, uboat.net, has information on many of the German subs.
Another question, some of you sent was what happened to the sub that sank the California. I will let you have the fun of going to the Web site and finding the answer and have the answer in my next article for those of you who could not find it.
Larry Lucas, president of Florida Antique Tackle Association and the host of the FATA winter show in Daytona reports it was a huge success. He is so excited he has already started to lay the ground work for the 2010 event, again in Daytona.
The fishing and caching is looking great as I prepare this article. Warm weather, clear water, increased numbers of bait. Fishing the passes, outer shoreline and inland waters early morning with a high incoming or high falling tide could be the magic bullet.
Please let us know how you make out and get your pictures in for us to share.
Catch you later.
Red Stier is a bi weekly contributor to the Marco Island Eagle. Questions or comments may be directed to email@example.com or 172 Trinidad St., Naples, Fla., 34113.