Weatherization: The cold fronts we had in February helped to keep the water at a perfect temperature. They were just what we needed to keep things in balance. Bait schools are making their way onto the flats and can always be found at the bridges and on most of the markers in Tampa Bay.
Snook: March is usually the turning point where the fish make their way out of the winter holes, but this has happened early this year. Snook are everywhere right now, and if you are lucky enough to have greenbacks, they are easy to catch. Once the schools of greenbacks become big enough on the flats and mangrove line, the snook will stay in these locations.
Redfish: While we can catch redfish year-round, they tend to perk up as the water gets warmer. Like the snook, they will also become more active as bait schools start to show up. Work the flats on low tide looking for tailing redfish that are foraging through the grass in search of a meal. As the tide rises, you will want to work the oyster beds. Early in the morning, I will work a topwater lure to locate the fish. Once I find them, I will switch to a soft plastic shrimp on a 1/8-ounce jig head. This tactic will almost always initiate a strike.
Trout: Trout fishing might just hit its peak this month. The bigger size, usually females, are in spawn and will eat anything in sight. With the warmer weather the trout will really start to chew on the incoming bait. Look for areas that have glass minnows and whitebait and work the edges of the flats.
Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.