Anglers, March Madness has arrived which means the fishing should offer plentiful action for a variety of species inshore and offshore this month! The sea temperatures will be warming up and cool fronts will begin to fizzle out as the month progresses. The wind will be your biggest rival because March is considered a transitional month as we head into the beginning of spring. Offshore, sailfish will be a likely catch in the beginning of March but large numbers of migrating sails are already south of Palm Beach waters. On the bright side, the mahi mahi bite should improve. Pay attention to the wind conditions when fishing for mahi. If we have a steady easterly wind for a couple days, this should prompt you to rig some ballyhoo and head offshore. Look for stellar conditions such as edges, temperature breaks, rips and surface debris before even deploying your trolling spread.
On the beach, spinner sharks will be relatively easy to locate because they should concentrate in certain areas. Scan the beach and drive your boat along the coast especially between Jupiter and Palm Beach Inlet looking for jumping sharks, once located start chumming and get some baits out. Live bait is great, but big chunks of bonita, barracuda, and even kingfish or jacks will work. TIP: read your local fishing reports to find out the best areas to target/look for spinner sharks, it changes every year. You should be looking for sea turtles along the coast as well, cobia will be following them! Do not forget the numerous deep water wrecks along our coast. Consistently jigging the wrecks off Boca, Boynton, or Palm Beach will yield big fish; AJ’s, kings, big bull sharks, blackfins, wahoo and even goliaths are all on the list.
In the intercostal waterway, inlets and rivers, there will plenty of snook action for anglers to enjoy. Snook season has been open for a month already so get out there for your slot fish (28" min -32” max on Florida’s Atlantic coast). As always, live bait is best—mullet if you can find them, white bait aka pilchards, or just live shrimp from a local shop. Snook like to wait and ambush, usually in the shadows. Find some moving water or current, and throw that live bait or artificial under that dock, against that seawall or anywhere else looks good…just watch out for tree branches! I’ve been having good luck on “lazy days” pulling almost any type of artificial lip diver, for example a Mirrolure L29MR lipped crankbait; as always “match the hatch.” I caught my first Boynton slot snook, trolling an artificial lip diver! Trust me, snook love them!
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Darcie is a contributing writer for Coastal Angler Magazine since 2013. She writes monthly fishing forecast/reports about her adventures out of Palm Beach, Florida!