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So, this is the first entry of our Captain’s Notes section. Here monthly, you will find a write up from one of our captains, partners in the industry, or other leading experts. Discussing the goings on in our fishery and the sportfishing wold as a whole.
Right now as we are passing through the end of March, I think I can speak for all of us when I say good ridance to this entire month! It has been nothing but windy with 3-5 foot seas offshore, less than favorable conditions in the bay and backwater as well. We are very much looking forward to April’s fishing, as we expect much more favorable conditions. The fishing should begin to really fire off! This time of year the baitfish start to move in. We are already seeing decent sized cigar minnows schooling on the near shore wreefs and wrecks, and looking forward to other various types of baitfish to arrive shorlty. We love those silver sides! Number 4 to number 6 sized sibiki rigs work great with a 1 1/2 oz lead. Head to any public reef or wreck and look for the baitball on your sonar. They will move around a bit so be patient. Remember when using a sibiki rig to really feel it on the way down. A lot of times baitfish will hit it on the drop, and if you get two or three on there and they swim up without you knowing about it, you’ll be tangled up very quickly.
The Kingfish have started to move back in and we have seen several caught already this year over the twenty pound mark. A wonderful sight to see as last season the kingfish were largley hard to find. Hopefully this is a sign of a good king fishing season to come. Our favorite ways to target kings are with live baits flatlined or trolled behind the boat. Lighter leader and smaller hooks! Our bites are coming using 30# flourocarbon leader, #4 wire, and number 4 trebel hooks, no stinger.
The backwater fishing has been tough but we are still getting bites. Redfish and Trout have come fairly consistantly on natural shrimp and crab patterns in the artificial world. Of course our favorite bait live shirmp can’t be bested, weightless on a number 1 circle hook. With the water temperature stil fluctuationg, and in some places still in the mid 60’s, look for mud banks when the sun is high to find fish seeking wamer habitat. Get ready though because as we all know the backwater fishing is about to be lights out all sumer.
Offshore has been phenominal all winter. Wahoo bites in the 3-5 a day seem to come fairly consistantly. The water temp outside 20-30 miles has been in the consistant mid seventies range all winter and thus has allowed for those pelagic species to hang around. We’ve been catching wahoo, mahi, and blackfin tunas since October, and until the water jumps into the mid to high 80’s expect those catches to continue. Of course once the water does warm up, a simple change in tactics offers opportunies at these species all year! We even have had reports of white marilin encounters and a few blues out at the Fads as well!
As we expand the Captains Notes section we will be getting more specific about the topics. A general fishing report followed by a few specific tactics and tricks for species being caught during that time. We look forward to helping educate you, and we hope you enjoy!
Capt. Rob Noelker