Posted on

Rod & Gun News – 3/3/2023

By Christine Patton

The Season is Changing

As February turns into March, the sun climbs higher in the sky and the weather gets warmer. Winter quarry is still available on the flats, but permit, cobia, bonefish and the first big tarpon begin to emerge as the water warms up to 70 degrees and above. Permit are the first, and will respond to a live crab, but are still a challenge on the fly. In February, bonefish are known to run the shorelines of Key Largo and Elliot Key to the north, once in epic numbers, but although fewer, are still larger in size on average than Bahama bones. 

As winter wanes, inshore waters begin to reach 75 degrees and days with gentle winds become more common. Big tarpon make their first moves in late February and early March, usually off Key West and then appearing in the deeper channels, rolling and busting.

Fisherman need to be ready for the busy season ahead, and that means practicing casting. You want to be able to make a reasonably quick and accurate throw in different directions. You will need the basic double haul to get the fly to the target and be able to backcast without endangering your guide or your buddy in the boat. You don’t want to waste valuable time with the boat staked out and the guide giving lessons. Get instructions in person or with a good video and practice before you go. Time is flying by!