March 23 Weekend Fishing Forecast

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Captain Don Taylor, Jr

The bite will continue to improve this month as the water temperature gradually rises.  In previous reports, I have stressed the need to fish slow.  This technique will be very effective for Flounder and Redfish until the water temps reach the high 70's and low 80's.

However, April is Gator Trout month and one of the most exciting months to fish in my opinion.  The opportunity to catch a world-class Trout in the 27" to 32" range is a definite possibility.  With March winding down the pre-spawn is also ending, resulting in monster Trout out and about gorging on finger mullet, shrimp, crab and mud minnow.  With voracious appetites and the need for calories, many of these 8 lb. to 12 lb. fish will be cruising the ICW, staging in creek mouths and hanging around a structure.  Target these locations with moving water, eddies with good current and structure.

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Any of the aforementioned baits are excellent choices.  On the artificial side, nothing beats a great topwater bite first thing in the morning.  I prefer the Heddon Spook Jr. in the black and chrome and bone patterns.  A deep diving plug is also very effective.  For plastics, I prefer the slayer weedless hook presentation with an SST XL paddle tail.  The bounty hunter, Venice glow, baby bass, and smoking mullet are all great colors.  Throw up current and around a structure.  The weedless hook will decrease the number of snags and unwanted hookups.

The Redfish bite is still very strong.  The schools are starting to break up due to the warmer water and fish are moving up into the creeks.  The last of the outgoing and first of the incoming tides will still be easiest and most productive tides to fish.

Mudflats are offering some exciting sight fishing.  Target flats that hold 8 to 14 inches of water.  Also, look for flats that have been exposed to the sun for several hours.  These will hold good fish sunning and cruising for bait.

The Flounder are starting to show back up too.  Employ the same methods - slow rolling the bottom with a mud minnow or curly tail.

The Cobia and Triple Tail bite should be heating up this month for the offshore anglers.

If you have any questions or would like to spend a day on the water catching fish, please email me at or call me at 904.318.9906.

I look forward to seeing you on the water.