March has arrived and the fishing action is picking up! Spanish Mackerel, Sheepshead, Cobia, and King Mackerel will be targeted this month especially as the water temperature continues to warm to that magical 75 degree mark!. There have been small Spanish Mackerel in St. Andrews Bay for about a month already and they have finally gotten big enough now that trolling is beginning to produce some nice catches. In addition to trolling, I personally like to use light tackle and cast to feeding schools using a jig or bubble rig. Stop by any local tackle store and they will be glad to hook you up with everything you need. Or give me a call and I’ll be glad to give you details on how my clients catch them!
Everyone is waiting and anticipating that first Cobia to be spotted. Most anglers this time of year sight fish with live bait or an assortment of artificial. Boats can be seen slowly cruising up and down the beach with anglers posted in elevated towers or platforms making sighting the fish easier. Anglers in the Panhandle take Cobia fishing very serious, so if you see a boat with one to several anglers standing around with fishing rods in hand, motoring slowing just off the beach, please give them a wide berth.
Of course this time of year is also great time to target sheepshead. Live shrimp around structure is always a good plan. Many fish around the jetties and catch a variety of other fish along with the sheepshead. Once you learn to feel the bite, catching them is pretty straight forward. However, if this is your first attempt make sure you bring a couple extra dozen shrimp to fine tune your technique!
Redfish are still cruising the flats in large schools but can definitely be a challenge this time of year. Most have been chased up and down the banks for the last couple of months and are easily spooked. Long cast in front of schools moving away or getting in front of the fish letting them come to you is a good plan. Live shrimp laying still on the bottom will usually do the trick. If you like to use artificial, instant message me on Facebook and I’ll give you some info on my go to lures!
I have seen some big sow trout up in about a foot of water in just about all of the bays. These fish are big for a reason, they are smart so you will need a stealthy approach to get within casting distance. The bulk of the Speckled trout will be moving out onto the flats away from the creek mouths as the water continues to warm. Look for bait, mullet schools and area’s with good tidal flow from creeks and bayou’s. Top water is my favorite method and as the month heats up so should the bite!
As always, I encourage you to give me a call if you have questions about fishing in the Panhandle at (850) 832-4952 or for additional information about Grassy Flats Charters, please visit
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Captain Daniel Snapp
Grassy Flats Charters
“Sight Fishing the Emerald Coast”