March is a transitional month the weather is changing from the cold of winter to the warmth of spring. During this period of change there can be windy days, as cold and warm weather systems collide. The water is still very clear in most places. Local shrimp which are sometimes available during March are not to had. These early season are white shrimp which over wintered. The next crop of shrimp on our coast is the brown shrimp which will start appearing in mid May. Don Adams, Adams Bait House said the cold of last winter was very sudden. When temperatures fall is slower manner nature can adjust.
Despite the sudden cold of last the signs of spring are abounding! Crabbers are actively working there pots. Mullet can be seen swirling in the hundreds on the lower tide stage in Salt Pond. When bait is an area it wont long till you find seatrout and redfish! Most of the redfish on the flats are large over sized fish. Due to very clear water and the fact that fish are more nervous than normal they can be tricky to catch. Having some chop or off colored can be advantage when fishing for reds. The bite although slow will be picking as conditions continue to warm.
St. Patrick’s day in Savannah is characterized by lots of festivities. St. Patrick’s in Savannah is also by the city ablaze with azaleas. This year there some azaleas in bloom but vast amount have not bloomed. Probably an indicator that spring is still just around the corner!
A few reports of seatrout are coming in! Redfish are on the move. Flats that aren’t holding bait wont hold fish. During the spring it is possible large schools of reds on the move as they leave one area looking bait in another. The most consistent bite, when the seas lay, has been offshore sheepshead. The trick is finding a day with suitable conditions. These are spawning fish so take a few eat and release the rest. One idea is see how many different structures you can find fish on. This is a vertical structure feeding fish. Anchoring is critical. If your bite is not on or close to structure you likely wont be getting bites. One word of caution these are fun to catch, good eating but a chore and a half to clean. Keep only what you are prepared to clean.
Tides will be building after St. Patrick’s day into the eight foot range with a negative tide on the low as we head into the weekend. These aren’t the best tide, fishing will likely be a little off. When the weather is incredibly nice sometimes it just a pleasure to get out. For the short term, lower your expectation on the numbers and just enjoy the day. The numbers will come!
For those to like to fish shrimp Adams Bait House has live shrimp from Florida. Don said he is to stocking fiddlers as well mud minnows. CT at Tybee Island Bait and Tackle has gone literally the extra mile or I should say miles to have a good supply of fiddlers! Fiddlers are the favorite bait for sheepshead. Fishing close CT’s dock on Lazaretto Creek with a fiddler crab I caught a nice redfish a few days ago. A redfish will definitely eat a crab!
Hope this of interest and help! Capt. Jack McGowan