Fishing Reports March 1 to March 31
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Thread: Fishing Reports March 1 to March 31

  1. #1
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    Default Fishing Reports March 1 to March 31

    Looks like not much has happen while I was away in Florida. I was down for about 2 1/2 weeks and had a great time both fishing and racing my remote control sailboats. I put on almost 4,000 miles during that time. I did most of my fishing in Palm Bay on the east coast and I raced the boats all over the place. Sailed near Fort Lauderdale, the Villages, Saint Petersburg, Naples and Marco Island. Would of hit a few more but just didn't have the time as wanted to at least get in equal time fishing.

    First day, I left Cape May at Midnight. Leaving that early I was able to get through Baltimore, Washington and well into Virginia missing all the commuter traffic. Only rush hour traffic that I hit was in Jacksonville Florida but managed to get to my brothers house at 5:15 pm. With it still light out I decided to go right out and fish as I could always get dinner later.

    Had my first fish by 6:00 pm in the creek right behind my brothers house in Palm Bay. Caught some really nice jacks and was excited about getting out the next day to fish many of the normal hot spots that we do well with redfish and specks.

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  3. #2
    rob
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    nice report, Ray, and glad you can still do that night driving.

    I can't get my body to adjust to overnights any longer.


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    Rob

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    Got up early the next morning and was excited to get out in the warm sunshine and kick some fish butt. My brother. (non flyfisherman) and his son-in-law (a flyfisherman) and I were ready to go.

    It never came to be. When we got to the mouth of the creek where it enters into the Indian River we could see the water had a heavy algae bloom. Where normally you could see down 4 to 6 feet our flies you couldn't see down barely a foot. The water looked like tea with milk in it. First spot where we always get specks was dead with out a single hit. We ran up to the Banana River where we catch reds and specks and found the water just as bad and again it was dead with out any hits.

    Frustrated we moved to 3 other normal hot spots only to find the same conditions and no hits. On the day we worked a few more areas with only one hit for the day. Three good fishermen 7 hours of fishing and one hit. (it just doesn't get any worse) Even guides in the area were canceling their trips.

    Last year at this time the water was good, but the last time I was down in 2016 they had similar conditions. Everyone we talked to about the fishing was having the same results. Unlike here in New Jersey the local papers where commenting on the algae bloom and how poor the fishing was. They were even doing a weekly report card on the health of the Indian River and for the 2 1/2 weeks that I was down it got a failing grade. They were blaming it on run off and sewage. It seemed to run for about a 30 mile area with the only half decent fishing being right near Sebastian Inlet on the incoming tide when the water would be a bit clean. We never got down there to fish as the wind was blowing in the 20's just about everyday we wanted to go. I was really disappointed.

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    rob
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    very sad to hear... I know there are many trying to address the issues

    https://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/lo...ers/753860001/


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    Rob

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    Knowing that the Indian River was going to be dead I decided to do some freshwater largemouth bass fishing. There are so many good little spots and they all seem to hold fish. One of my favorite spots right in a recreational field park I had some good action. Mostly small fish with an occasional nice one. Here I was using a 5 wt and caught on popping flies and small bait fish patterns. Felt weird to be wearing shorts and having to butter up with sun lotion.

    Did hit one other area where you can launch boats or airboats to go up a series of canals and caught a few bass there.

    While down I did hit a number of freshwater spots and always caught fish. Down in Florida you always have to be careful walking down through the reeds to get to the waters edge. Snake and gators can be a problem. I did have one run in with a gator. I hooked about a pound and half bass and as I was working my way down close the the water a gator came up and grabbed the bass. It was only about 4 feet long, but coming out of no where it was a bit of a shock. Started fighting the gator and bass and the gator was coming in with the bass. I had to poke the gator in the head to get it swimming away and then gave a good yank on the line to break it. Rest of the time eye was keeping an eye out for mom gator.

    Here are a few pictures from freshwater fishing.
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    While in Florida all I did was race remote control sailboats or fish. With mostly high wind days and poor fishing in the Indian River I would do some freshwater fishing during the day. (not the best time) but the only time that I had available as my brother and I would fish the creek behind the house in the late afternoons. Fishing there was good as the creek is freshwater fed with water coming off dam with a long canal. The closer to the dam the more freshwater there would be and it would get saltier as you got closer to the Indian River. Also the visibility was much better. We could only work so far up the creek as it gets very narrow with lots of fallen trees and low overhangs where the T top couldn't get under. There was one section where some one put a stuffed ape in a tree. I bit weathered with a couple of figures in it hand and it looked kind of creepy. We called him the boogie man of the creek.

    We had good fishing every time we fished. We found prime time to be from 5:00 pm as the sun was getting lower into the dark. Strange place to fish. You have alligators sunning along some of the banks, and would catch large mouth bass, snook and Jacks all in the same area with an occasional Speckled trout.

    Most all of the large mouth and snook were small. One day I got a little snook right behind the house making some casts before my brother got down to the boat and every night there was a house that had a big underwater light where we could see the snook cruising around. Had to work the fly on the edge of the shadow line for the most success.
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    In the creek. Jack ruled. They were all decent size and near dusk they would blitz the smaller mullet and sometimes two or three would follow up behind your fly. You had to act quick and cast fast as they were real hit and run fish. They would chase bait for maybe a minute and then be gone and you would see them chasing bait about a 50 yards away.

    For me the go to fly was the old standard chartreuse/white clouser. I went through a fair number of flies as the Jack with their teeth would chew them up pretty good and using no wire leader I had a number of bite offs.

    A few nights we never had to fish more than 100 yards from the house.
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    Could not of had better fishing in the creek. It was like clock work, every night you could count on the jacks and small snook. The creek was also loaded with large mullet and it seemed to be the best fishing when there were a lot of them jumping. We even had one jump in the boat and another bounced off the side of the boat.

    One of the last days that I fished the creek, in one of the deeper areas where the water was 8 to 12 feet deep we found a whole school of tarpon gulping air. We sat right in the middle of them and I tried all kinds of patterns and color and could not get a strike. It was very frustrating. My brother was using a chartreuse rubber swimming bait. He kept saying he was getting a few hits but couldn't hook up.

    I went to the dark side and picked up a spin rod and on my first cast I hooked about a 4 foot tarpon. It took off like a bat out of hell and ran about 25 yard and then made a huge jump. It was really something to see. Problem was that I was using a light spinning rod with 12 lb test and no shock leader so my fight didn't last long before the line broke. Fun while it lasted.
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    Tried fishing over at Marco Island before sailing, in the saltwater fed lake where I got a couple of snook and large mouth last time I was there. This year with the lack of rain the lake was so low it couldn't get a feed from the salt water. The lake was about 3 feet lower than normal and was a bit off color and all I could manage was a couple of very small large mouth before racing started.

    With the long 4 1/4 hour drive back from Marco Island to Palm Bay and knowing I would be leaving the next day at midnight to come home, I hung loose the last day, got in one last freshwater trip and skipped the creek fishing want to get some sleep before the long trip home.

    Left Palm Bay at midnight, was right up around the space center at 12:30 and was lucky enough to see the space launch out the front right corner of the wind shield. Always pretty neat to see. Leaving that early I was through Washing and Baltimore before rush out and back home by 5:00 pm.

    The only downer was having to put on a winter coat, hat and gloves to unload the car.
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    Been mostly cold and windy since I got home and I haven't tried any freshwater fishing yet. A buddy was catching large mouth, crappie and pickerel on the fly after the ice left the area ponds, but that was on the few nice warm days that we had in Feb. He was using sinking line and working everything low and slow. Just been too cold to go out and try for the most part. Will probably give it a shot if we get a nice warm day.

    Did pick up my boat last week. It is all serviced, tuned up with the bottom painted and ready for the water. Just have to do the detailed clean up, wax work done and put all the gear back on. Hope to put in early April if the weather gets nice.

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    (Quote) Left Palm Bay at midnight, was right up around the space center at 12:30 and was lucky enough to see the space launch out the front right corner of the wind shield. Always pretty neat to see. Leaving that early I was through Washing and Baltimore before rush out and back home by 5:00 pm. (Quote)

    Some driving!! Glad I wasn't on the road when you blasted past. Slipstream might've been enough to push me into a ditch........What're you driving - a Corzine special road edition suburban?

    Incidently they reportedly had a large algae bloom in the Florida Bay also - caused big fish kill.

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    Just stop for gas, food and bathroom breaks. Easy way to go and come from Florida. If you get caught up in the Commuter Traffic anywhere along the road it will really slow you down. I enjoy the drive but wouldn't want to do it all that often. Had either the radio or CD's the whole time. About the algae bloom. It is a getting to be a real problem everywhere. Where ever their is a great place to live, everyone wants to live there, and the system can't take the pressure.

    Will see what our fishing looks like here this year. Each year it gets worse so I don't expect to be any better this year. With all the dredging, beach replenishment, run off and increasing water temps there is little hope that things will get better.

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    This weather is really getting to be a pain. Just can bring myself to go out and work on the boat in weather in the 40's especially when there is a 20 mph wind blowing. Can't remember a spring where I have had to wait so long just to get started. Have to see accountant tomorrow for income taxes and hope to stop at a pickerel spot on the way home, just to make me feel good.

  16. #14
    rob
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    yer just getting old, Ray

    seriously, though, climate change or whatever, it seems it's been small craft or gale warnings for the past 2 months.


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    Rob

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    Did stop at a good pickerel pond today on the way home. Weather was great and it felt close to 70 degrees out. Worked it for about an hour. Got one hit and landed this pickerel. Water was cold the fish felt like ice when I unhooked it.

    With it so nice I decided to hit one of my local ponds where I always do great. Worked it hard for 2 hours with a few different flies and never got a single hit. Heard from a fellow fly fishing buddy that he worked it for 2 hours after I had left and he had one small hit with nothing caught. In Jan and Feb he was catching Crappies, pickerel and bass pretty good averaging about 8 to 10 fish a trip.

    Only thing out of the ordinary was the full moon the last few nights. I know during the summer that sometimes effects the bite. We both thought todays fishing was really not normal.

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