Good fishing ! Check out this weekend’s Big Bend fishing report

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As March approached, the penultimate week of February brought the region’s saltwater flats to life.

Daytime temperatures reaching 80 degrees, along with all that beautiful Florida sunshine, quickly moved fish from their winter lairs to the rocks and shallows within 100 yards of shore.

Big Bend anglers have adapted quickly with quality fish and limits are starting to set in.

Kayaking season is upon us. The scanty water near the mouths of streams and rivers has several target species that we all like to catch and even eat. One of the only ways to fish them is with a kayak or similar shallow watercraft.

From the FWC office, the following species will reopen for recreational harvesting on March 1:

Gray triggerfish reopens in Gulf State and federal waters.

If you plan to fish for gray triggerfish in state or federal waters from a private recreational boat, you must register as a State Reef Fish Angler (annual renewal is required). To learn more, visit MyFWC.com/Marine and click on “Recreational Regulations” and “State Reef Fish Survey” under “Reef Fish”. Sign up today at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com.

Spotted Sea Trout reopens in the Western Panhandle Management Region, which includes all state and federal waters from Escambia County through the portion of Gulf County west of 85 degrees, 13.76 minutes west longitude , but NOT including Indian Pass / Indian Lagoon.

APPALACHIAN BAY

Otto Hough (myhometownfishing.com) says: “It should be a great three day fishing season in the waters of Big Bend, after a great week of catching by a good number of anglers who were able to get away this past week. to wet a line.The trout and reds did not disappoint as the post full moon bite was boosted by the heat.There is a major morning feeding period over these three days which closely follows the rising tide until late morning.

“With unusually warm air temperatures and warm nighttime temperatures, water temperature readings in coastal waters jumped dramatically into the 60s. Although there was a slight cold front passing over Apalachee Bay late Sunday, this should not impact what is now a mouthful of spring.Over the next three to four weeks, if the March winds are not too aggravating, the Surface action should be downright impressive as water clarity is paramount.

“Along the drains and flats of the mouth of the coastal creek, surface and suspension water plugs were the ticket to attract beautiful mustard mouth trout which had wintered well back in the creeks and upstream It will be a few more weeks before the large whitemouth trout that have been wintering offshore return to the catch mix near shore.These One Knockers bones are attracting a lot of attention from flats looking for trout and red on the darker, hard-bottomed flats of the creek mouth.The MirroDine 17MRs with a chartreuse tint were hot stuff as water temperatures hit the mid-60s on Tuesday afternoon. only got better as the week progressed with afternoons in the 80s.

“There are also sheep that are currently in full spawning mode while feeding voraciously on piles of rocks in the water 6 to 12 feet east of the lighthouse. However, many quality sheep are found in rivers spawning on rock ledges and outcrops.

“Just another nautical reminder given all the boats that will be cruising the St. river, stay out of buoys when paddling, pedaling or fishing upstream or downstream Practice boating safety while wearing a self-inflating PFD I was extremely impressed as I met more and more boaters /safety conscious yakkers over the past few months on the rivers. apparently delivered plenty of self-inflating PFDs around the Big Bend. Good thing. Again, board it safe, have fun. Just FISH!”

ST. GEORGES ISLAND

Capt. Russ Knapp (850-653-5072) reports, “Finally, the weather gods had some mercy on us and gave us unreal weather this week with low winds and warm temperatures. Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and this weekend, when the weather will be nice, the wind will pick up. The Wednesday evening forecast has northerly winds Saturday 10-15 knots with seas 2-3 feet while at this time Sunday is northwesterly 15-20 with seas 2-4 feet. BE SURE to check this forecast before you go as it is very possible that the winds could reach cautionary conditions before it is over. Tide wise things are looking good with early morning low tide at -0.5 and a high tide at 9.30pm on Saturday while Sunday has another morning low of -0.5 and a high at 3:21 p.m.

“In the bay, Capt Jeremy Willoughby (850 323 0769) reports that the fish like the warmer water and have been in ‘hungry mode’ all week. Capt Jeremy finds waters around The Cut at nearly 70 degrees which is not normal temperature in February to say the least Redfish, speckled trout and mutton are found around the cup and oyster bars and would like whether you throw a fresh shrimp at them. If you want to target the sheep, dig up fiddler crabs to accompany your shrimp and fish around the pilings of the bridge. A trick that works really well is scraping the barnacles from the pilings, which will definitely attract the attention of all Sheepsheads in the area.

“Offshore Capt Clint Taylor (850 370 6631) reported that anglers who fish the live bottom with live bait find the bite of red grouper on fire. There is very little live bait in the bay in this time so be sure to bring lots of Sabiki rigs and grab your bait on the way out. red on wrecks and reefs and offer them a small piece of squid for dinner.

“Tip of the week; following my own advice, I have given my first aid kit a serious upgrade with the purchase of a USCG approved kit from DAN.org. DAN is a non-profit diver safety who for $155 plus shipping sent me a very comprehensive kit in a great all weather case Just Google DAN.org and click “store” in the header and remember that the life you save can be your own.”

MEXICO BEACH

Captain Kevin Lanier, (KC Sportfishing 850-933-8804) reports: “It looks like we finally have a break in the weather this week with temperatures forecast in the 80s and sunshine. It hasn’t been one of our best times in January and February. As I’ve always heard, we need low temperatures to kill insects.

“Inshore fishing has resumed with goldfish and black drum hitting prawns. Starting to see a few other Sheepshead and Pompano as well. Bass and flounder are in the shallow structure just off the beach and I saw some spanish mackerel caught just to our west.

“Offshore will have some action this week with our best time. These fish will be aggressive, so grab your slow-paced jigs and squid. Start watching the reefs about 15-20 miles away. Don’t be surprised if a big Gag “Grouper leaps at your bait. I have to let them pass. Watch the weather, but I think the worst is over for a while.”

“I wanted to let you know that I do a weekly fishing and boating podcast. I’ve talked about all things related to those things as well as local happenings. Fish On with Captain Kevin Lanier can be found on your favorite podcast platforms.”

FRESH WATER

Otto Hough, (myhometownfishing.com on FB) reports “Spawning has begun on Lake Iamonia and what remains of Lake Jackson as bass stir with stimulation from the afternoon heat. Buck bass foraged aggressively during warmer afternoons, especially during major solunar feeding periods. A Zoom Speedvibes or Z-man GOAD ToadZ snooked plenty of healthy 2-3 pound dollars. Next week the pre-spawn bite should go up a notch or two.”

SEMINOLE LAKE

Captain Paul Tire reports, “Seminole Lake bass fishing has been very good this February! As we enter March, the bass will be in full spawning mode. If you come to Lake Seminole in March, make sure you have soft plastics and swim jigs in your tackle box. For soft plastics, lizards and senkos are an excellent choice. June bug and green pumpkin are the colors to bring. Fish these baits slowly around the flats in 4-5 feet of water.

“A swim jig is a very productive lure in March. My choice of swim jig is the Untamed Tackle Punisher swim jig. mimic bluegill with your jig and trailer color. Rod, reel and line are important for getting a good set of hooks with a swim jig. I prefer a fast gear reel and prefer a 30lb Cortland Master Braid. With this bait, I like a smaller, shorter rod, like a Temple Fork Outfitters 7’2″ H Tactical Bass series. This is a heavy action rod with a fast tip, but the tip is soft enough to Work the bait properly, but have enough backbone to get the big bass off heavy cover!

“Crappie fishing on Seminole Lake has also been excellent. Through February the crappie will be in the shallow roosting areas closer to their spawning grounds and may be some of the best crappie fishing in We’ve had great success using a Panfishing Assassin 2” Curly Shad in any Shad color mounted on a 1/16 oz crappie jighead made by Bassassin.

For an exciting Lake Seminole fishing adventure for crappie and/or bass, email us at @[email protected] or follow us on Instagram @Capt.paultyrefishing and Facebook @lakeseminolefishingadventures! Call us at 850-264-7534 to check availability!”

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