The fishing should be better this month than last with warmer water temperatures and lighter winds. The water now is ranging between about 64-66 degrees. Some of our transitory fish such as spanish mackerel, jacks, ladyfish, tripletail, and possibly cobia should make an appearance. The spanish are fun to catch with light tackle. They are a target of opportunity as migrating schools move down the coast. Small shiny plugs, 00-clark spoons, and glass minnow imitating flies are all effective for the spanish. You can usually see them jumping and flipping out of the water when they are around.
Huge black drum should move into area inlets this month if the river dredging doesn’t upset them. Most fishermen release these drum over about 10 lbs. to continue the breeding cycle. Heavy tackle is in order to get the fish in relatively quickly for a healthy release after a quick photo. Crab, clam, and shrimp baits fished deeply are effective baits.
Jacks and ladyfish will move into the St. Johns River and its tributaries similarly to the bluefish. They aren’t good to eat but are fun to catch. Usually diving birds will broadcast the location of feeding schools. Tripletail should show themselves along tide lines, around crab trap floats and buoys, and free swimming. The first of the cobia will most likely be free swimmers or escorting rays as they move north along the coast.
I expect both the speckled trout and redfish bite to improve. Floating and diving plugs will take the larger speckled trout fished early and late in low light conditions. Redfish should bite better at the jetties, and in the creeks and ICW. Bluefish, yellowmouth trout and sheepshead should still be available until the water warms considerably.
Surf fishing could produce whiting, pompano, reds, and drum, as well as a host of other species.
Dredging continues unabated 24 hrs. a day in the St. Johns River. It has negatively impacted the fishing for species that prefer clear water.