March has certainly lived up to its reputation of being windy. It seems like everyday lately has seen winds of 15 to 20 and seas at 5 to 7. The seas and winds have kept me off the ocean because my rule of thumb is 2 to 3 foot seas Ė otherwise I just donít go out to get beat up. There are some reports of cobia moving in on the beach. Problem is the little boats are not being able to get out there. Early in the month the cobes were being spotted around the big rays however, recently good catches of cobia have come from the bait pods if you can find them along the beach.
Baits for the cobia include everything from live pinfish to eels. Typically I use a 3/8 to Ĺ oz. jig head in chartreuse. The ones with the plastic worm attached work well, or you can tip the jig with shrimp to add the sense of smell. Then cruise the ocean waters looking for rays or pods of bait fish. When you spot a cobia cast a head of the fish where it can see the presentation sinking toward the bottom. If the cobia sees your presentation he will usually follow and eat. When the strike occurs, get ready for the fight of your life. These fish pull down and dirty and give you a battle you will remember.
The other good thing I like about Spring is the increased number of Snook that tend to show up. Personally I like to throw a Rip Tide Flats Chub at the hungry Snook. There are several rigging options with this jerk bait, depending on where you fish it. If you need casting distance you can simply rig it on a Rip Tide Pro Jig Head, the same kind you use on the Rip Tide Mullet. If you want to skip it back under the docks, rig it Texas Style on a wide gap hook and you can put it back in the back of the docks or for that matter under the mangroves. Everyone seems to have their favorite color, but mine is Nite Glow when I am targeting snook. I have also had good luck on the Electric Chicken. In stained or darker water the Redfish color is a good bet.
Finally, the spring trout bite should heat up anytime now. If the trout are not receptive to the same Flats Chub I talked about above, I switch to my old reliable Rip Tide 3 inch Mullet. This bait continues to produce more trout than any other bait in my arsenal. My favorite colors are the same I listed for the chub, except that I add the silver mullet color when I am trout fishing. With its vibrating action caused by the paddle tail construction, this bait is super easy to use and extremely effective. Even the kids have good luck with this artificial mullet.
Well, Spring is near so plan a fishing trip soon and take a kid fishing.
Other Notes of Interest
Keep in mind that itís a new year and a Florida Sportsman Fishing Show will be coming to a location near you. I will be in Jacksonville March 24 and 25 at the Florida Guides Association Booth. Come by and say hi if you are in the area.