Several boaters who made the run to deep water over the weekend — and very few did — reported that it wasn’t worth the trouble. The catch list included just two or three black-fin tuna and about the same number of small dolphin.
The bottom bite out at 21 Fathom was just as slow.
Surf fishing and pier angling seems to be improving with warming weather. The whiting bite has been good; mix in a run of sand trout, also known as sugar trout, and it makes for a good day to spend some time on the beach or Flagler Beach Pier. Most anglers are using either sand fleas or dead shrimp to put these fish on ice.
Anglers fishing from the bridge at Matanzas Inlet are pulling up sheepshead and black drum when using fiddler crabs or sand fleas as bait during the tide change.
Schools of bluefish are also making their way through the inlet during incoming tides. Be sure to use a wire leader when targeting these fish they can bite through most anything else.
Due to the warmer water in the Intracoastal Waterway, the fish are becoming more active. The early to mid-morning redfish and trout bite should kick into high gear around today (Wednesday) and continue through the weekend, so break out that topwater lure or your favorite jerk bait.
Can’t get out for the morning bite? Give it a try after 2 p.m. through 5 p.m. It won’t be as good, but you should still catch a few fish.
Sheepshead and black drum are being caught around oyster bars and docks.
Flounder are still a no show, but expect them to start showing up again the first week of March.
After last week’s column, I received a few phone calls and emails about teaching adults how to fish saltwater in Flagler. The Flagler Sportfishing Club, for the last few years, has been conducting a free fishing clinic covering surf, pier, and inshore fishing and how to throw a cast net. Last year, the clinic was held at the Hammock Community Center from 8 a.m. to noon on a Saturday. As soon as I get more information on this year’s clinic, I’ll pass it along.
Capt. Mike Vickers is a full-time charter captain offering offshore or inshore fishing and boat rentals. Contact him at 386-569-9674; firstname.lastname@example.org; or web site palmcoastfishingandboatrental.com or on Facebook at palm coast fishing and boat rental.