An angler holds a redfish in the water

March has arrived and we have much warmer water temperatures now than we did just one month ago. Fish responded well to the warmer water temperatures towards the end of February. Sight fishing trips were focused on redfish and snook. The deep grass provided good action for anglers that needed a temporary break from the demands of shallow water sight fishing.

Redfish kept us busy while water temperatures remained cool. Redfish remained bunched up for much of February. They provided excellent targets for sight fishing trips for fly anglers and artificial lure anglers. Fly anglers used seaducers, shrimp patterns, and mud minnow patterns to target redfish. For artificials, we stuck with mostly smaller lures that mimicked shrimp or small baitfish to target our reds when water temps were still cool.

An angler holds a snook that he caught while on a fishing charter in tampa bay

For much of February, cold lethargic snook were a challenging target. Snook were so docile that schools of bait openly mocked them by buzzing right past their mouths. Towards the end of February, with water temperatures warming, the snook really chewed. The brazen schools of baitfish were the first to find out that the snook had turned on.

Early in the month we fished snook slowly and with smaller baits. Most of the artificial lures we used were under 3 inches, with a few lures being as small as 2 inches. Fly anglers teased snook into eating with small glass minnow imitations and the bigly floating minnow. Dock lights at night on warm outgoing tides provided the best snook action when the water temperatures were still cool.

Once the water warmed up and the snook turned on, anglers used larger artificial baits which provided a larger target for more aggressive snook.  Fly anglers used shrimp and baitfish patterns to feed these more aggressive snook. Fly anglers also used surface flies to connect to snook. At night on the dock lights, snook became more interested in flies with larger profiles.

Captain Brian Boehm
Quiet Waters Fishing
Sarasota, FL