March 10th Fishing Report
"Mahi on the Horizon"
The first week of March lived up to expectations with breezy conditions and a sloppy ocean that made some rather bleak fishing even less tolerable with plenty of ‘rock & roll‘, but this next week’s forecast gives hope that we can finally expect decent sea conditions and a chance to locate a bite. We are still dealing with cold water from F. Pierce northwards. Bottom temps from 50 to 90 feet are reportedly hovering in the low fifty degree range and dark green water from north of twelve buoy out to 170’ have made it tough on the troll and on the bottom., however the inshore water both on the beach and out to fifty feet were looking good on the way in yesterday and we will undoubtedly have some good water across the spectrum any day now.
In spite of these conditions there has been a decent bite of grouper and red snapper (aka genuines) as well as triggerfish and a scattering of ‘muttons’ on the NE Grounds off of Ft. Pierce. The cobia bite is also alive and well with exceptional catches reported from north of Sebastian down to St Lucie Inlet. Although fishermen are reluctant to give details regarding their exact location (imagine that!), it’s safe to assume that the same three principal factors are part of the equation. Look for the cobia on your local wrecks, buoys and ‘for sure’ over, under and around any manta rays that you may be fortunate enough to come upon. Live greenies as well as traditional cobia jigs are the bait of choice. Casting jigs is definitely the easiest way to successfully present a bait to a cobia swimming with manta rays.
Kingfish have been a bit scarce the last few weeks but larger kings in the 20 lb plus category are being taken just of the beach in the vicinity of baitfish moving up and down the Treasure Coast. In this instance, you almost definitely want to be drifting or slow trolling sardines, cigar minnows or threadfin herring in order to garner the attention of a wizened old king. There should be plenty of live bait on the beach just offshore of the third reef or at the buoys throughout the spring and with them will be plenty more action from these larger kingfish. The 50’-60 foot reefs and our offshore bar in 85’ will also be holding plenty of kings in the months to come so start making those live bait rigs now and have them stockpiled for the live bait season.
I can’t write about our fishing conditions improving without expressing my unabated anticipation of this spring’s dolphin bite. The end of March or early April will hopefully mark the beginning of another great season for ‘mahi’. Last year was spectacular with a more than respectable number of fish from 20lbs to 70lbs caught off of the Treasure Coast in late March, April and May. ****(Note to self……April 10th marked the date of the first of our four biggest dolphin last year. Weighing between 43 and 62lbs (the largest was actually caught on June 6th), and fishing with 20lb tackle, they all put up a battle to remember .It will be fabulous if our 2009 season is as good, and 'why not'!