March Fishing Report 2013 for Clearwater and Dunedin Fl.
March fishing in the Clearwater area started out with an early spring bite because of our warm winter months but ended with a late cold front that changed everything.
Fishing action was border line fantastic all month long with some of our spring time species showing up early. We had Chamber of Commerce weather most of the month with water temps reaching 70 degrees. The water was clean, bait fish made their appearance in the bays and mackerel and lady fish were feeding heavy in the shallows. All of these indications pointed to early spring. But a late March cold front shut down the fishing for a few days, dropped the water temps 12 degrees and dirtied the water with strong winds. That was a very typical January cold front a little out of place.
All of our targeted fish, redfish and trout, still put on a great show throughout the month. With many back to back to back charters this month, my clients did a great job boating lots of reds and oversized trout.
The large gator trout were still in their winter hang out spots. All of my customers boated some of the largest trout of the season with many 22 to 24 inch fish coming in. Most all of the big trout were caught on live shrimp and located in north St Joseph Sound in Dunedin. We landed many trout in Clearwater Bay but were not as big as Dunedin.
The redfish were hit and miss on some days but showed up on others in March. The reds were scattered all over the bay from Clearwater to Dunedin and moving around was the plan to find them. We found some nice fish in Clearwater Bay on the flats, others in Dunedin under docks and a few up next to spoil islands in the north bay area. Most all of the reds were biting on live shrimp. This time of year, winter and spring, shrimp and small crabs are the reds main diet. Toss a shrimp anywhere near a red, and he will eat it.
The first two photos’ below is Jared, down from Canada, showing off two of his fifteen redfish he caught on a charter on March 14th. The reds ranged in size from 20 to 26 inches and were caught in about 1 ½ hours. Some of the other redfish photo’s came from around the bay and the kids in the pictures had a blast catching their first reds.
Most of March was a fantastic fishing month and very busy with just a few days being non- fishable. April has already started out to be as busy and very fishy. Additional species like snook, mackerel, king fish and tarpon will start to show their presence along the west coast of Fl. and in the bays of Clearwater and Dunedin. Spring and early summer are some of the best fishing that you can expect all year long.