Not really sure what to say about last month except “Holy cobia”!! Its rare when you get the fish and weather to cooperate like they did in March. It was almost as if we won the cobia fishing lottery. I honestly can’t remember a March where we had such beautiful weather and such reliable cobia fishing. It will definately be something to look back on in the upcoming summer doldrums. But, let’s not look that far ahead, there’s still the upcoming dolphin season followed by a bit of grouper fishing.
There may also still be hope for more cobia in April too. As I sit down to write this column (late on the deadline as usual), there’s a strong current pushing the cold water south, back down the beach. This could prolong the cobia run well into April if this cold eddy stays around for a bit. Fortunately, it happened just as the fish seemed to be making the move north around the Cape. There also seems to be more manta rays than ever this year and the south current could keep them here too. The trick will be finding the 68 to 72 degree water with weed edges, rays, bait pods, color changes, free swimming cobia and/or any combination of the latter. Jigs have been working well, but when the fish get snooty, a frisky live bait should do the trick.
Another bright spot last month was the early arrival of some dolphin. The size and numbers were nothing crazy, but it’s aweful early to start seeing them… Could this be a big year for the phins? Being slightly gravity challenged, I’m not going to go out on the limb just yet… I’m just saying that I’m cautiously optomistic.
The strong south current that may help the cobia fishing is not exactly what a dolphin fisherman wants to see, but there is a silver lining associated with the cold green water.. Somewhere offshore, there should be a pretty amazing edge where the southbound green water meets the warm blue water of the northbound Gulf Stream. This could be a troller’s dream if things line up properly, but keep in mind that theory is not always reality. When you do find the Yellow Brick Road to troller heaven, have some ballyhoo rigged on mono and some rigged with lure combinations. Along with the dolphin, there should be a pretty good chance of a sailfish or wahoo too.
But wait, there’s more.. As if all that hope and promise wasn’t enough, the kingfish showed up on the reef again. Toward the middle/end of last month, there were several days that the kings were as good as it gets on Pelican Flats. The only problem is the influx of cold green water will likely shut that bite down for a while. But, when conditions improve on the inshore reefs and wrecks, look for the kings to fire right back up. The live pogies have been relatively easy to come by, but spinning minnows will do the trick in a pinch.
I really should be more careful, this article sounds way too optimistic. I guess I better prepare myself for the taste of flip flops and the look of donkey ears…
See ya on the pond!!!