Redfish action is going really well around our residential canals and dock lines. The redfish are really keyed in on crustaceans this time of year so typically live shrimp is a great way to target the redfish. Also, small crabs are a great option for redfish too. These fish can hardly turn down a crustacean put inside their feeding range. We’re also finding big red fish following schools of mullet especially behind this weekend’s cold front we’ll see some mullet flushing and behind those mullets should be some big bull Reds looking for cut bait on the bottom or slow-moving soft plastics.
Trout have been really active around our local grass flats especially around the edges and potholes we’ve been seeing some trout around the bridges at night and even out on the beaches too. However, most of the trout action is in the back bay around those shallower grass flats and the potholes cuts and edges. Trout are especially keyed in to live shrimp this time of year or the super light jig heads and paddle tails.
This week as that cold front recedes, and the weather calms down and clears up, we should see water clarity spike and we’ll likely see action on the beach pick up with Pompano Whiting and silver trout. This past week we saw some good action as that water cleared up towards the second half of the week we’ll probably see a similar pattern this week.
Right now, near shore we’re seeing a really good bite of hogfish! The hogfish action is going well and should continue to go well until that water starts to warm up. We’re not very far from the water warming up so get out and get your opportunity for good biting concentrated hogfish prior to this spring setting settling into our area. Right now, we’re seeing those hogfish on our five-hour half days and 10 hour all days pretty heavily along with some of the private fishing charters as well. The hogfish love light tackle especially smaller hooks and live shrimp. Typically, we’re using around three to four out hooks and live shrimp for the hogfish action. They normally will bite the naked ball jigs or other ball jigs or the banana jigs plus, we get them on the knocker rigs too. The best place to look for the hogfish is right around 30 to 70 foot of water typically. We find them on smaller hard structure like small ledges and rock piles. We also find hogfish over large areas of flat hard bottom especially areas with sea fans and small coral heads that hogfish loved to camouflage with. You can even find hogfish commonly on that shell bottom adjacent to areas of hard bottom or bigger ledges. It’s a lot easier to target hogfish and smaller structures In these areas because there’s less more aggressive fish around. Around larger structures and larger reef complexes there’s often too many other more aggressive fish around to really target hogfish with hook and line with any level of efficiency or effectiveness. The reason is hogfish are typically very leader shy and slow to bite very unaggressive fish for the most part. Typically, you have to catch a bunch of the other species around that are more aggressive and kind of get them out of the way before you can start catching the hogfish with hook and line. Fishing with us on a party boat can sometimes make it a little easier because there’s other people on board helping you do that work when you’re out fishing by yourself or in a buddy’s boat makes it a little bit more challenging because you got a lot of fish to catch before you can get those hogfish chewing.
Also, we’re seeing a lot of good lane snapper action in this area that we’re targeting and catching the hogfish we’re seeing big numbers of pretty large average size lane snapper. The lane snapper have increased in average size dramatically plus expanded their spatial range dramatically too that simply means we find them in a more broad area than we ever have before. Before when I was growing up we would catch lane snapper occasionally anywhere from about 30 to about 90 foot of water nowadays you catch lane snapper regularly anywhere from the beach all the way out to 160 to 180 foot of water it’s incredible how often and how broadly we see them across a large geographic region. Lane snapper are a really good eating fish they have nice white meat and they’ll bite just about anything we put down which makes them a fun target for any experience level angler. Lane snapper are typically like mangrove snapper and they’re going to be pretty hard bottom and structure oriented.
Red grouper action is going pretty good near shore too we’re seeing a lot of those juvenile red grouper while targeting the hogfish lane snapper and mangroves and shallower near shore waters. In order to get cheaper red grouper and better concentrations we’re having to fish in the much deeper offshore waters as deep as you can go near shore around 100 foot to a shallows around 70 foot is a good depth range to have a better chance at finding a keeper red grouper near shore. Once we get deeper the red grouper bite is much better and we’re much more often seen keeper size right grouper out in this depth range.
Mangrove snapper action is going really well offshore too we’re seeing some really large average sized mangrove snapper with some good success on our long range adventures from the 12 hour extreme to the private fishing charters and soon our long range 39 hour trips once again. Definitely the double Snell rig with the cut threadfin is our favorite methodology to target those mangrove snapper offshore.
Pelagic wise this time of year blackfin tuna are typically the most commonly caught fish. However, there’s still some kingfish around depending on those currents and what the water surface temperature looks like. Plus this time of year, you’ll always have a chance for the wahoo as well.