March 2014 Fishing Forecast for Clearwater and Dunedin Waters.
There were quite a few days in February that fishing was impossible. Cold fronts hit on a regular basis and held us back from being on the water fishing and catching our winter species in the Clearwater and Dunedin fishing area. Yeah, we had a few good days but the water temps were below 60 which did not help the bite.
March on the other hand should turn things around. The days are longer and the sunshine is stronger, helping to warm the waters in the bay. I had my clients catching big gator trout in Clearwater Bay last month and March should be no different. Lots of nice 20 to 25 inch fish have been caught throughout the bay so far this winter.
Inside Clearwater and Dunedin Bays, there are numerous and incredible grass flats that attract many of the local spring species of fish. Redfish, trout, mackerel and many other fish can be caught during a fishing charter. Fishing the incoming and outgoing tides around the pass is always a challenge and very productive during March. Start drifting on the spotted sand and grass flats throughout the bay and toss out a live shrimp from Bob’s Bait and Tackle on Dunedin Causeway. Use a float about 2 to 3 feet above your shrimp and drift the grass area. This method has taken its share of gator trout.
The redfish have been scattered around the shallow waters near the mangroves and are constantly moving. Locating any consistent action has been a daily chore. Cold fronts and extreme low tides keep moving the fish to different parts of the back waters. There are a few areas that small reds can be found with hopes of larger fish moving in this winter. This time of year, redfish love to eat shrimp. So have some on board and don’t hesitate to use them. Don’t invest too much time if there is no action. There are too many similar places that are holding good numbers of fish. Keep moving.
Live shrimp fished under a float is always a popular method for trout and redfish and will net you some nice fat fish this winter. But don’t pass up throwing artificials because the large gator trout have no problem slurping down a plastic jig. In the winter time, I use a 1/16 oz. jig head with a 3 inch shad tail in the darker type colors for both trout and reds. A root beer, darker shrimp and crab colors will most likely do the job. Just remember, it’s very important to slow your action down. The metabolism of winter fish has slowed down and they will not exert a lot of energy to chase down live or artificial baits that are moving too fast.
Great catches are showing up day after day here in the Clearwater fishing area. The fish are here to eat and my clients are putting on a show. This action should continue during March and on into summer. As long as the weather cooperates and the bait is plentiful, get out and get yourself some fish catching action
Capt. Gary Burch owns and operates All Catch Charters and specializes in live baits and artificials. He guides inshore, flats and backcountry from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. To reach Capt. Gary for a charter, please call 727 458-6335 or visit his website:
Capt. Gary Burch