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Fishing Report for 3/13/2009


 In the back bays the water temperature has reached 74 degrees in spots and the gulf is coming in at 67. Tons of bait are showing up off the beaches and will be invading the bays in a matter of days. Spanish mackerel are evident all over the near shore reefs and kings and cobia should be right behind.

While all of this is developing my clients and I have still been taking advantage of the calm seas and hot bites with sheepshead, snapper, grouper, and flounder out in the gulf in 30-45 ft of water. Shrimp has been the bait of choice and the action has been hot as long as there is a moving tide and a light chop. The sheepshead have been topping out at 8 lbs, the snapper at 19 inches, and the flounder just average in size. Mixed in with the above has been some Spanish mackerel and one young angler nailed a dandy hogfish caught on a reef in 24 ft of water.

On the inside the redfish, snook, and trout are migrating out of the winter hidey holes and staging up on shallow and warm mudflats all across the area. There appears to be a larger concentration of flats fish north of the Cortez Peninsula. We have been nailing an occasional snook and red using live shrimp on the flats but as soon as white bait becomes readily available the action will improve a great deal. The redfish are really scattered and spooky, so chumming with live shiners will work well to bunch them up and get them munching. When the reds are scattered, it is very effective to throw a gold spoon in order to cover a lot of area and get long casts.


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