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End of March species

Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:58 pm
by greendrake
I will be at the Navarre pier and beach the last week in March. I would love to know what species to target this time of year and any specific rigs, baits,jigs, lures etc. I am a saltwater rookie although I have fished the pier once before.

Thank you for your time.

Re: End of March species

Posted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:40 am
by PensacolaKid

I am envious of your fishing expedition. To answer your question, it all depends on what the weather and temperature do over the coming couple of weeks but based on this winter and no significant warming in the next two least not enough to make that much difference, your best bet might be to wade the grass flats over on the Sound....Spec's, Trout and maybe a Flounder or two.

As for the Gulf may be able to grab a Spanish or perhaps even some Pompano may be running. There is always something you can grab. Check out the fishing thread and also, when you get down there, go to Half Hitch Bait & Tackle and let them help you.

In the Sound...topwaters very early in the a.m. then soft plastics. 1/8 to 1/4 oz. jig head.

Re: End of March species

Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:02 am
by PensacolaKid
Greendrake, I have been reading that there are a couple of Pompano Tournaments around the area that will be in full go during this time. If I were you, I would read up on catching Pompano. They are in the top three of the best eating fish in the Gulf of Mexico. They also put up a dandy little fight and you don't need big heavy duty fact, the opposite. Pompano jigs are cheap and available at the pier or at Half Hitch. Get them to show you how to tie the jig on and how to work it. Also, you will need Polarized sunglasses. I have caught them off the pier and standing on the beach. If you fish from the beach, you will need to purchase a fishing license. From the pier, no license is needed and you can certainly spot them much easier. If you catch some, fillet them and broil them, with a little lemon, garlic butter drizzled over them.

Re: End of March species

Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:34 am
by PensacolaKid
Here is some information straight from Half Hitch.

Panhandle Fishing Forecasts from Half Hitch Bait & Tackle

March 2014

Pompano should arrive in full swing this month. There are several ways to target these fish, however the most common ways are to fish a 2-hook rig with fluorocarbon leaders and a piece of fresh shrimp on one hook and a sand flea on the other. The other way to have success is to bounce a pompano jig along the surf.

Spanish mackerel will also show this month and can be caught on straw rigs and Got-Cha spoons.

Pier fishing should be great in March. Along with the pompano and Spanish mackerel, the cobia will show towards the middle to end of the month. Most pier fishermen will fish for cobia with a 2oz cobia jig in their favorite color or a live eel fished on a 25lb class spinning outfit and about a 7/0 Owner bait hook.

Large redfish will still be a favorite for the jetty fishermen this month. In addition, when the Spanish mackerel do show up it will be easy to catch a limit using a straw rig or Got-Cha plug.

When the cobia arrive they can also be caught at the end of the jetty using a jig or a live eel.

Grouper can still be found around structure in 100 feet of water; however the larger ones will be found around the natural bottom and structure in 150+ feet of water.

The amberjack will still be thick around the bridge spans in around 100 feet of water. Live baits and 2oz glow jigs should provide all the action you want.

A trolled mackerel tree/clark spoon combo will provide great action when the Spanish mackerel arrive this month. The typical trolling rod/reel for Spanish mackerel is a larger sized spinning or bait casting outfit loaded with 15-20lb test line. Above the mackerel tree rig, you will want to place a 1-2 oz trolling weight to get your rig down a bit. Troll this rig at about 4 or 5 knots along the sand bars and you should have some great action

.When the Spanish mackerel arrive, they will be the main excitement in the bays this month. Either site-cast a spoon or Got-Cha plug to them or troll around the main part of the bay with a mackerel tree rig and you should have a lot of excitement. This is a great fishery to start the young ones out at.

The trout will be moving out of the bayous and canals and can be caught on the flats or the mouths of the creeks and canals. Once on the flats, top water plugs should provide good action early in the mornings and late in the afternoons. Live shrimp is also a great bait of choice for trout.

Re: End of March species

Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:41 am
by PensacolaKid
One piece of advice that I can offer relates to another species that will start to show this month....COBIA. It is a very prized fish, a dandy eating fish and one that can bring money and free yearly passes to select fishermen. For this reason, many of these fishermen act like they are THE only people on the pier and when one is spotted, they could care less who you are, where you are, where your line is or where their hook is, or anything else. I have been bumped, pushed, thrown over, cussed at.....all for a shot at a fish. Of course there are many fishermen out there who respect others but trust me on this, there are a handful that are trouble when these fish appear. Just fyi, don't act as they act. If you get a chance to throw at one, do so but be mindful of those around you and also, stand your ground.

Re: End of March species

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:52 pm
by greendrake
I want to thank all of you. Do you buy live eels at half hitch or is there a substitute bait for Cobia?

I really miss Navarre.

Re: End of March species

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:48 am
by PensacolaKid
Most people throw Cobia Jigs at'em. Both the pier and Half Hitch have the jigs. You will absolutely have far more luck with your target being Spanish Mac's and Pompano. Cobia come and go and are more often than not, loners.