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the philosophical world of Yogi-ism, Yogi Berra once said " It's
deja vu all over again". Much the same as February of 2001,
February of 2002 has seen some major dips in the jet stream allowing
cold Artic air to cross the state in an unseasonable fashion. As I sit
to reflect over the past few weeks, Jack Frost is knocking on the back
door this evening (again). As we are now entering March, the potential
for these abnormal pressure systems making it here decreases and the
warming periods come quickly.
usual the past few weeks, in between the fronts we found excellent
trout and pompano fishing. The deeper flats adjacent to the drop offs
and structure along the Intercoastal produced best for us the past few
weeks for the trout. For whatever the reason the power plant did not
produce consistent action this past winter for pompano, or many other
species for that matter. I was fortunate to find some consistent
pompano fishing in deeper water just inside a barrier island for near
a week before a cold snap moved them on. In the same areas a few
Spanish mackerel, bluefish and ladyfish made up the bag.
pockets of reds are in the ultra skinny but very difficult to
approach, not to mention their unwillingness to eat. With pods of over
50 tailing fish in front of us, a good day was getting 2 or 3 before
succumbing to the simple logic of better time management. This is
typical in late winter as the tides are lower than mean and the water
still very cool.
like 2001, 2002 will not go down as one of our better winters; it is
near behind us now. March will see the return of higher flood and ebb
tides. With more water along the shoreline and the exodus of winter
gamefish from the backcountry, March madness will now be upon us.
the largest snook of the year will be taken as the females migrate to
the outside in search of sardines and feed their appetite in regaining
lost winter body fat. Gator trout, redfish and jacks will share the
house with the migrating snook. Cobia will show first on the nearshore
reefs, wrecks, and deeper navigational markers. The first giant tarpon
will show inside Tampa Bay with favorable and stable water
temperatures. The nearshore muds with the potpourri of Spanish
mackerel, bluefish and the first kingfish will take place on the
deeper grassflats. Early March is the best time to visit shallow reefs
to experience the over-sized and hook breaking sheepshead spawn. In
short, the pinnacle of spring fishing will be upon us.
of threadfin herring, scaled and Spanish sardines have been in and out
the past few weeks and will become more consistent with the
infrequency of passing cold fronts. This “catch 22” scenario of
bait schools offers fishing guides some risky and inconsistent
opportunities that are well accepted by clients who are in the know.
If you are considering the prospects of early spring, now is the time
to get time.
Drags and Tired Arms!
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Last Update 28FEB02
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