Large aggregations of spotted seatrout formed on last weekendís full moon. Such schooling behavior is related to their spawning cycle, typical in mid- to late-March through the first weeks of April, and can be conducive to great fishing. The weekendís quarter moon broke up these schools of trout and scattered the fish, but expect them to regroup as the moon wanes toward Saturdayís new moon.†
Habitat thatís happening
Right now along the northern Suncoast one can forgo the grassbeds and focus on fishing hard bottom habitat. The redfish are overtaking the trout spots of last week.† They are concentrated over hard bottom (limestone outcroppings) that holds the heat even during the cool morning hours. Fishing this habitat produced double-digit catches of large reds all weekend. One should focus on such areas at river mouths or adjacent to deeper water as the new moon approaches.
Fish on the flats like it quiet.† Inshore fishes are easily spooked by sound and shadows.† Once spooked, they may or may not return to the area even after the boat engine is silenced. One cannot emphasize enough to use a stealth approach in these shallow waters. Drift into potential fishing spots using the wind and currents as a guide, or by push pole or trolling motor.† Once close, anchor your boat and cast to the fish.† Be courteous to others who may have arrived before you.
Capt. Robert McCue can be reached at 800-833-0489 or through his website www.GiantTarpon.com