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Holds Off Early Spring
Pseudo spring conditions began to take affect on the flats until a significant front blanketed the state, and kept the fish in a wintertime pattern this past week. Gator trout, redfish and snook began showing up in numbers in classic early spring hangouts when the water reached near 71 degrees. After the front, they then retreated to the more normal winter spas.
While spring like conditions are welcome at any time, its a catch 22 situation. The earlier it happens, the quicker it ends. While those fishing during these premature conditions reap the benefits, it is those who are set for "prime time" who take the punch. Though the front really messed things up, I personally welcomed it. In fact, a few more sprinkled over the next 6 weeks is just fine with me. Im always happy to oblige to early conditions and I much rather just have a "normal" year.
With the changing conditions, fish are on the move. Consistent action right now is primarily found jigging the flats. Trout, ladyfish, bluefish, and the odd ball mackerel are being found along the edges of the intercoastal. Trout (and some gators) are being found tight to the inside, particularly flats adjacent to deep-water sanctuaries. Dont be surprised if pompano, permit and jacks intercept your offerings as well. Snook, redfish, and small tarpon can be found by those willing to put in the time and patient enough for them to eat. Late afternoons provide warmer water conditions and you may get more success at that time on the "glamour" species.
With the cold, grouper fishing offshore has tapered off. Best bet remains in 50 feet and beyond. Dont bother stopping to gather live bait. Frozen Spanish sardines, mullet, shad and threadfins get the nod on chilly water conditions.
All in all were in not bad shape. In a few weeks things will go off as planned. Now is the time to get those dates as the are not likely to be available then. There is still availability on the Worlds Best Giant Tarpon Fishing, dont miss out on an experience of a lifetime in 2000!
Screaming drags and tired arms!!!
1999 Report Archive 11JANOO
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