Great Time for Redfish and Bowfishing Se
March has been a little rough with the weather conditions, but it hasn’t stopped us from having some great fishing days! As long as we have sun, we can locate fish and they have been hungry! Yes, it has been windy, but that is typical for this time of year. March is one of the windiest months that Florida has, as far as consistency. In fact, the only aspect that usually changes is the direction. Well, unless it makes for unsafe conditions, I say, “Wind be damned!”
March is the beginning of the bowfishing season. This year has not disappointed at all! The fish began making their beds at the beginning of the month. Some late cold snaps have come through which will help extend the season too. As March wears on and April begins, the fish will spawn and then lay in there beds to birth their eggs and protect them from predators. This is prime time to hunt them! The fish we hunt are wild tilapia; yes, wild! They are an invasive species and this is one way we attempt to control them, without harming any of the native fish (chemicals, electrical discharges and many other methods of controlling them also damage or kill native fish). So, our goal is to eliminate as many as possible. Trust me, there are millions of them. The best part: they are very tasty fish too! In fact, many of the guides familiar with them will tell you they are one of the best eating fish we have. White, flaky meat that cooks up great smoked, fried, grilled, or broiled. Bowfishing these fish is not the typical style. They are very wary fish, spooking at the slightest vibration, shadow, or noise. So, to be successful requires us to wade for them, stealthily moving among the shorelines and bull rushes, peering into the beds and looking for the big “googly” eyes on their face. Then the angler/hunter must calculate distance, water depth, fish position, and arrow deflection rate. A successful shot finds the target, while an errant shot causes the fish to flee at an incredible rate. These fish are big and powerful, sometimes escaping even a good shot. Most anglers get the hang of it within a few shots and we can fill a cooler. It doesn’t take too many to make a meal, even for a large family. The fillets are large and usually a couple of fish feeds a family of four or five. Still, we can get as many as you want to try to get. For the first time, I am offering half day bowfishing trips. You must supply your own bow, as there are too many variations for my bows to fit everyone. There is no special gear needed, although most people do prefer to wear waders while hunting.
In addition to bowfishing, the freshwater side of Florida is offering up great fishing for crappie (specks), bream, largemouth bass, and catfish. The area is beautiful and a person can spend all day just watching wildlife and birds. Ultralight spinning gear makes for easy fishing all day, and handles most everything except the bass and some bigger catfish. For those, we step up our tackle a little.
Most people who come to Florida want to experience the excitement of flats fishing and sight fishing redfish. It is what we are well known for and it does not disappoint our visitors. Wind can provide some challenges, but we have been having tremendous days on the water despite this. Hard work, knowing where the fish like to hang out, paying attention to the tides, and watching for even the slightest sign of a moving fish are all that is required to locate the fish and be successful in catching them. Fly fishing has been great, with clear water conditions and happy fish. Conventional tackle has been good too and I was extremely happy to have recently signed up with Z-Man Fishing Products, as my sole provider for soft plastic baits. There baits have been terrific for redfish, spotted seatrout and more. The products have given me multiple rigging options and opened up the ability to fool even the wariest and pickiest redfish in the area. As April starts and the weather warms up, snook become a viable option and jsut before some of the last cold snaps, we had observed some small tarpon coming into the picture too!
Whichever trip you pick, I guarantee you will have a great time and enjoy a relaxing day away from the rest of the world. Natural Florida has no comparison and she is waiting to show you all of her beauty and excitement.
-Tight Lines and Screaming Drags-
Captain John Tarr
Book your trip with Tailhunter Outdoor Adventures – Edgewater