Fishing Articles

Fishing Articles from Capt Jim Klopfer

This post is the list of fishing articles written by Capt Jim Klopfer. These articles will be broken down into several categories. These include Sarasota fishing articles, Florida fishing articles, freshwater fishing articles, and miscellaneous fishing articles. Simply click on the article title to read the article.

fishing articles

Saltwater fishing articles

Florida Saltwater Fishing in Fall

7 Useful Flounder Fishing Tips

Black Sea Bass Fishing

Snapper Fishing – A Complete Guide

Fishing for Redfish, a Complete Guide

What is the best Saltwater Fishing Reel under $100?

Saltwater Fishing with Shrimp

7 Essential Surf Fishing Lures

Top 14 Chesapeake Bay Game Fish

Inshore Saltwater Fishing, a Complete Guide

What is the Best Pompano Fishing Lure?

Fishing for False Albacore, Pro Tips and Techniques

Best Cobia Fishing Tackle and Lures

Best Speckled Trout Fishing Tackle

Surf Fishing Tackle and Techniques

Best Jerkbait for Saltwater Fishing

11 Valuable Tampa Bay Fishing Tips

Best 6 Topwater Plugs for Saltwater Fishing

Best 7 Saltwater Fishing Spoons

Best Sheepshead Fishing Tackle and Baits

Tarpon Fishing Tackle and Gear, an Angler’s Guide

Best Redfish Fishing Tackle and lures

Best 12 Spotted Sea Trout Fishing Lures

Best Flounder and Fluke Fishing Tackle and Techniques

Best Grouper Fishing Tackle and Lures

Best False Albacore Fishing Tackle and Lures

Best Live Baits for Saltwater Fishing in Florida

Best 7 Fishing Lures for Redfish

Top 9 speckled trout fishing lures

Top 6 Spanish mackerel fishing lures

Jack Crevalle Fishing, a Complete Guide

Light Tackle Bottom Fishing Tips

What is the Best Saltwater Fishing Fly

How to Catch Saltwater Fish with Jigs

Spotted Sea Trout Fishing, Tips to Succeed

Fishing for Redfish and Speckled Trout

Fishing for Bluefish, Tips and Techniques

Top 15 Sheepshead Fishing Tips

Best 6 Saltwater Fishing Lures

Top 6 Spanish mackerel fishing lures

Florida fishing articles

Surf Fishing in Florida

Florida Saltwater Fishing in Summer

Largemouth Bass Fishing in Florida

Best 14 Tampa Bay Fishing Spots

Fishing for Snook, a Complete Guide

Florida Offshore Fishing Tips

Florida Pompano Fishing

Florida Bluefish

Freshwater Fly Fishing in Florida

Fly Fishing in Florida, Gulf Coast Tips

Tarpon Fishing in Florida, an Anglers Guide

Light Tackle Trolling in Saltwater

Jacksonville Florida Fishing Tips

Best Snook Fishing Tackle and Lures

Florida King Mackerel Fishing, Tips and Techniques

Top 21 Florida Saltwater Game Fish

What is the Best Bait for Shark Fishing?

Fishing for Florida Panfish and Crappie

Top 25 Florida Game Fish

Florida Saltwater Fishing in Winter

Fishing for Ladyfish in Florida

Freshwater fishing articles

Top 12 Michigan Game Fish Species

Top 15 Wisconsin Game Fish Species

Streamer Fishing for Trout – Pro Tips!

Trout Fishing Equipment – A Complete Guide

Fly Fishing for Bass

10 Essential Spotted Bass Fishing Lures

Largemouth Bass Fishing _ Tips, Tackle, and Techniques

Top 18 Minnesota Game Fish

Bluegill Fishing- Tips, Tackle, and Techniques

Best 11 Brook Trout Fishing Lures

What is the Best Fishing Bait for Blue Catfish?

What is the Best Fishing Bait for Channel Catfish

What is the best largemouth bass fishing lure?

What is the best crappie fishing lure?

9 Essential Smallmouth Bass Fishing Lures

14 Essential Walleye Trolling Lures

Top 6 Freshwater Fishing Lures

What is the Best Live Bait for Crappie Fishing?

Top 5 Freshwater Fishing Spinners

Best small Spinnerbait for Bass Fishing

Best Brook Trout Fishing tackle

Best Lake Trout Fishing Tackle and Gear

Best Musky Fishing Tackle

Northern Pike Fishing Tips and Tackle

Best Smallmouth Bass Fishing Tackle and lures

Rock Bass Fishing Tips and Tackle

Fishing for Crappie, Bluegill, and Panfish

Walleye Fishing Tackle and lures

Top 13 Freshwater Fishing Plugs

Best 11 topwater plugs for freshwater fishing

Top 11 Freshwater Fishing Spoons

Largemouth Bass Fishing in Creeks

Spinnerbait Fishing Tips and Techniques

Bass Fishing Tackle and Equipment

Best Catfish Fishing Tackle and Gear

Best 13 Brown Trout Fishing Lures

Freshwater Fishing Tackle and Lures, a Beginners Guide

Ice Fishing Tackle and Gear

Top 10 Northern Pike Fishing Lures

Top 11 Musky Fishing Lures

What is the best Northern Pike Fishing Lure

Best 13 Largemouth Bass Fishing Lures for Beginners

Best River Trout Fishing Lure

What is the best live bait for freshwater fishing?

Fly Fishing for Bluegill and Panfish

Fishing with Spinners in Rivers and Streams

Top 13 Rainbow Trout Fishing Lures

What is the best live bait for smallmouth bass?

Best 9 Fishing Lures for Streams and Small Rivers

Ice Fishing for Crappie, a Beginners Guide

Crappie Fishing Tackle and Lures, a Complete Guide

Best 9 fishing lures for bluegill and panfish

How to Catch Catfish, a Comprehensive Guide

Walleye Fishing, a Beginners Guide

Fishing for River Catfish, Tips and Techniques

Smallmouth Bass Fishing for Beginners

Best 7 River Smallmouth Fishing Lures

Fishing Franklin North Carolina

Top 27 Freshwater Game Fish Species

Trout Fishing in Blue Ridge, Georgia

Manitoba and Alberta Fishing

River Fishing Tips and Techniques

Fishing the North Shore of Minnesota

Sarasota fishing articles

Fishing Sarasota Bay, Pro Tips!

Fishing Siesta Key

Sarasota Fishing Calendar

Sarasota Bottom Fishing

Best 11 Sarasota Fishing Reefs

Sarasota Offshore Fishing

Sarasota Redfish

Sarasota Chumming Techniques

River Snook Fishing Charters

Sarasota Bass Fishing

Sarasota Snook Fishing

Sarasota False Albacore

Sarasota Fishing Forecast

Sarasota Crappie Fishing

Sarasota Sheepshead Fishing

Sarasota Mangrove Snapper Fishing

Sarasota Speckled Trout Fishing

Longboat Key Fishing Charters

Sarasota Freshwater Fishing

Best 6 Sarasota Fishing Lures

Fly Fishing Sarasota Rivers

Best Sarasota Fishing Charter

35 Best Sarasota Fishing Spots

Sarasota Jig Fishing

Sarasota Trolling Techniques

Siesta Key Snook Fishing

Best 7 Lido Key Fishing Spots

17 Best Bradenton Fishing Spots

Fishing Charters in Sarasota

Miscellaneous Fishing Articles

Best 5 Fishing Techniques

Fishing for Striped Bass, Tips, Tackle, and Techniques

Top 25 Carolina Game Fish

7 Essential Striped Bass Fishing Lures

What is the Best Striped Bass Fishing Lure?

What is the best fishing knot?

What is the Best Scented Soft Plastic Fishing Lure

Best Striped Bass Fishing Tackle and Lures

Top 12 Texas Game Fish

A Guide to Kayak Fishing for Beginners

Florida Saltwater Fishing in Summer – Pro Tips

Florida Saltwater Fishing in Summer – Pro Tips

This topic of this post is Florida saltwater fishing in summer. Despite the heat, fishing is fantastic in summer in the Sunshine State. However anglers do need to adapt and change tactics a bit.

Top Florida saltwater game fish

Saltwater fishing in Florida in summer is all about taking advantages of the low light periods of the day. Early morning is generally best as the water will be at it’s lowest temperature for the day. The afternoons can be good, especially if a shower cools off the water on the flats. Finally, dedicated anglers do well fishing at night.

Anglers can purchase Capt Jim’s E-book, “Inshore Saltwater Fishing” for $5 by clicking on the title link. It is 23,000 words long and covers tackle, tactics, and species.

Abundant bait is the key to summer fishing success

The reason for the terrific summer fishing in Florida is simple; bait, and a lot of it! The shallow inshore waters and beaches are thick with small bait fish. These vary by region, but include scaled sardines, Spanish sardines, threadfin herring, mullet, and glass minnows.

Florida saltwater fishing in summer

In the inshore waters on the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean, larger bait fish are abundant as well. These include larger threadfin herring, menhaden or pogies, cigar minnows, ballyhoo, blue runner, and more. This abundance of bait, both inshore and out on the beaches, is the reason for the terrific summer fishing in Florida.

Fishing with artificial lures in summer

Anglers use the bait schools to catch fish, even if they do not use the bait itself. Predator species will relate to the schools of bait. Often times, fish can be seen “crashing” the bait, particularly early in the morning before boat traffic increases. The old saying, “find the groceries, find the fish” really applies.

guide to inshore saltwater fishing

Shallow bars and grass flat edges are prime spots to try, particularly on the high tide. The bait will usually stack up on the up-tide side of the edge or bar. Diving birds are a sure sign that bait is present. Anglers casting spoons, jigs, and shallow diving plugs will produce a variety of fish. Topwater plugs are effective and great fun to fish!

Capt Jim has been a fishing guide in Sarasota, Florida since 1991. Anglers who are interested in purchasing the equipment that he uses and writes about in his articles and reports can do so HERE on the PRODUCTS page.

Fish will also be found on the deeper grass flats as well. This is particularly true when the water temperature creeps up after a few days without cooling afternoon rains. Submerged grass in 8′ to 10′ of water may be the most productive spots. A 1/4 ounce lead head jig with a plastic grub body is an excellent search lure to use to locate fish. Spoons, plugs, and free lined live baits will work as well.

Best Speckled trout fishing lures

Chumming with live bait is very productive in the summer

While fishing with artificial lures certainly produces for anglers Florida saltwater fishing in summer, many opt to take advantage of the free and productive bait. This requires a cast net and the ability to throw it. Net sizes vary and should be matched to the bait in the area. Large rounded live bait wells and a high-capacity pump will keep the bait frisky all day.

There are a couple of different approaches to catching bait that anglers can use. Before the sun comes up when it is still dark, on cloudy days, or if it is breezy, chumming the bait fish in works best. Yes, anglers chum for the chum! The boat is anchored in a likely spot up tide of a nice grass flat in a foot or two of water. Anglers can use commercial fish food, commercial chum bait, or homemade recipes such as mackerel and wheat bread to lure the fish up behind the boat where they can be captured.

Read this article by Capt Jim on how to catch bait with a cast net

How to catch bait with a cast net

Anglers can also simply look for the bait itself. When conditions are right, which means a flat surface in clear water, the schools of bait fish can be easy to see dimpling on the surface or flashing in the water. When the bait is thick and this happens, it is easy to load the well and a cast or two of the net. Some anglers do this right out on the beaches, where they don’t have to deal with grass in the net.

best redfish fishing tackle

Once the well is loaded, anglers use this bait as both chum and as fishing bait. The boat is anchored up tide of a likely spot and then a handful or two of live bait fish is tossed out behind the boat. If game fish are around, it won’t take them long to home in on the free bait. Hooked baits are then cast out, and I hookup is sure to ensue. This technique can be used inshore, in the passes and inlets, and offshore over ledges, wrecks, and reefs.

Live shrimp can certainly be used as well. However, there are a couple of drawbacks. Shrimp sometimes get very small that time of year. Also, nuisance fish such as pinfish can become quite irritating as the nibble the legs off of the bait. Finally, shrimp are costly versus the abundant free bait there for the catching.

Florida saltwater fishing in winter

Best times to saltwater fish in Florida in summer

Mornings are usually the best time to go saltwater fishing in Florida in the summer. The water will be at its coolest point all day. Also, the waters will be undisturbed from boats or other activity, making fish a bit more active and easier to catch. A good approach is to start off at first light casting lures and then when that bite slows switching over to live bait. Days that are cloudy or have some wind will result in the artificial lure bite lasting a bit longer. Conversely, a bright sunny day with no wind can be tough to full fish on lures.

fishing for speckled trout

Bait can be easier to catch an hour or two into the morning as well. Sunlight on the water will get the plankton to bloom and will get the bait fish up and moving around. They are much easier to see this time of day dimpling on the surface. As the sun climbs higher, the bait fish can be skittish and more difficult to sneak up on. Many anglers, fishing guides and charter boat captains in particular, prefer to load up the bait well in the morning and be done with.

Fishing in the middle of the day in the summer in Florida can be very tough. The morning the bite is over and it is hot. This is not a bad time to go in for a few hours and cool off and take a nap. There are some situations, such as tarpon fishing, where fishing can be good in the middle of the day. Anglers do need to be careful of the heat and drink plenty of liquids.

Afternoons can offer excellent summertime fishing

Late afternoons can offer good fishing as well, depending on the conditions. Many parts of Florida get afternoon thunderstorms, and anglers need to be wary of those. However, the storms will cool the surface temp off quickly, especially on the shallow flats. Perhaps the best the bite for anglers fishing in the afternoon in the summer time in Florida is to fish the passes and inlets on a hard outgoing tide. This can be very productive for snook, tarpon, and other species.

saltwater fishing in Florida in summer

Night fishing can be quite productive in the summer time. For the most part, anglers are fishing around lighted docks and bridges. These structures offer structure and a break from the current while the lights attract shrimp and bait fish. It sets up a man-made, but natural feeding situation. Also, anglers will have the water to themselves and what is generally the coolest part of the day.

Anglers fishing at night around the lighted bridge fenders and docks can use both artificial lures and live bait. Live shrimp and bait fish are free lined in the current to offer a natural presentation. Lures are also cast up current and then worked through the area. In most cases, the shadowy area where the light fades into dark is the prime ambush spots. Inlets and passes can be productive as well, though anglers need to be very careful in the dark.

Tarpon and snook are top Florida summer species

live bait fishing in Florida

There are two species in particular or saltwater fishing in Florida in the summer is especially productive. These are snook and tarpon, the two premier inshore game fish in the state. Passes and inlets are deep, full of structure, and have strong current flows. This is a recipe for a fishing hotspot!

Summer snook fishing in Florida

Snook will stack up in the passes and inlets in the southern half of the state of Florida. As mentioned above, the afternoon outgoing tides in at night are often the best times to fish. Anglers can use artificial lures, especially heavy jigs, but this situation is really tailored to using live bait. Using heavy tackle, anglers anchor up near the rock jetties or other structure and bottom fish with a large live bait fish. Pin fish, grunts, croakers, threadfin herring, Spanish sardines, and mullet are all popular baits.

summer fishing in Florida

Snook will also be found out on the area beaches. This offers anglers a very unique fishing opportunity, where they can sight cast to large fish without the need of a boat. Anglers simply walk the beach and look for fish in the water. Once spotted, a live bait, artificial lure or fly can be presented to the fish. Since in most cases there is very little structure but instead open water, fairly light tackle can be used.


Tarpon fishing in Florida hits its peak from May through July. It starts in late March or early April in the Florida Keys. Tarpon then migrate up both coasts through the entire state. Anglers can sit a couple hundred yards offshore and be on the lookout for schools of tarpon rolling on the surface. Once spotted, the boat is moved into position and baits presented to the fish.

Sarasota fishing guide

Tarpon will also school up heavily in the passes and inlets. There is no better example of this in Boca Grande Pass on the West Coast of Florida. It is a legendary tarpon fishing spot in May and June. By early July most of the larger schools have broken up and anglers can search out smaller bunches of fish or even singles and doubles. As with snook, the afternoon outgoing tides are often best to fish for tarpon in the passes and inlets.

More Florida summer fish species

There are certainly other species which provide great action for anglers saltwater fishing in the summer time in Florida. These include redfish, speckled trout, mangrove snapper, Spanish mackerel, and more.

Speckled trout

Spotted sea trout fishing

Speckled trout fishing can be excellent in the summer time. This is actually one of the best times of year to catch a large speckled trout. Anglers can use a variety of tactics to have success. A live shrimp or bait fish under a popping cork is a time proven technique when drifting the grass flats. Jigs will produce numbers of fish, but larger plugs will produce better sized fish. Chumming with live bait is extremely effective.


Lido Key redfish

Redfish are another species that are plentiful in Florida in the summer time. Most anglers target them on the shallow grass flats throughout the state. Oyster bars are very productive spots as well. By late summer, redfish will have begun to school up in large numbers in preparation for their spawning run. Sight fishing for them on the shallow flats is great sport. A weedless gold spoon is an excellent lure which will allow anglers to cover a lot of water as well as making long casts to spooky fish. Redfish will also be caught under docks and in the passes and inlets.

Mangrove snapper

mangrove snapper fishing in Florida

Mangrove snapper are another very popular species targeted by anglers Florida saltwater fishing in summer. These abundant little saltwater panfish put up a terrific fight for their size and are fantastic eating. They can be found on the grass flats particularly around drop-offs in the deeper holes. Just about any piece of structure, especially those in the passes and inlets, have the potential to hold some snapper. While they will occasionally take artificial lures, live bait is definitely the best approach when chasing these fish.

Spanish mackerel

Spanish mackerel

Spanish mackerel are often thought of as a spring and fall species. However, in certain parts of the state they can be quite plentiful in the summer time as well. They will normally not be seen feeding on the surface in the inshore Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean as they are in the spring and fall. However, they will relate to structure close to shore. Anglers will also find them on the deeper grass flats in the inshore bays as well is in the passes and inlets. Chumming with live bait is extremely effective, but anglers can also have success use and frozen blocks of chum as well.

In conclusion, this article on Florida saltwater fishing in summer will help anglers have more success during the hottest time of the year!

Florida Saltwater Fishing in Spring

Florida Saltwater Fishing in Spring

Florida saltwater fishing in spring can be outstanding! Like most parts of the country, warming weather and rising water temperature has fish moving and feeding. Many species spawn or are preparing to spawn. Forage is abundant and the fish are hungry. Anglers have a wide selection of species to pursue. Anglers can view Florida fish species and Florida saltwater fishing regulations in the FWC link.

Tampa Bay redfish

The flats come alive in Florida in the spring. The severe cold fronts that quickly drop water temperatures to uncomfortable levels are no longer an issue. Bait fish become more plentiful, as do shrimp, crabs, and other crustaceans. This in turn attracts the game fish to move out of their deeper winter staging areas to feed on them.

Capt Jim has been a fishing guide in Sarasota, Florida since 1991. Anglers who are interested in purchasing the equipment that he uses and writes about in his articles and reports can do so HERE on the PRODUCTS page.

Anglers will have plenty of offshore and nearshore options in the spring as well. Of course, offshore fishing will be dictated by the weather. Pelagic species such as mackerel and false albacore will migrate along the beaches. Bottom fishing will be good both inshore and offshore.

best false albacore fishing tackle and lures

Deep grass flats in Florida provide excellent spring fishing

Anglers seeking action and variety will do well to fish the deep grass flats in Florida in the spring. These are large areas of submerged vegetation in water that is between 4′ deep and 10′ deep. These areas will hold forage and therefore attract game fish. Many of the species caught on the deep grass school up in large numbers, which can result in fast action.

Florida saltwater fishing in winter

Spotted sea trout or speckled trout are probably the Florida species most associated with these deep flats. Trout are available in good numbers throughout the state. Along with trout, anglers will catch Spanish mackerel, bluefish, pompano, jacks, sharks, snapper, ladyfish, and more.

Top fishing techniques on the deep flats

There are several different techniques that anglers use to produce when fishing the deep flats. Most drift as opposed to anchor in order to cover more water. A live shrimp fished under a noisy float has probably accounted for more spotted sea trout than all other methods combined. The noisy float attracts fish to the helpless shrimp hanging below. Other live baits such as pinfish, grunts, mullet, and sardines can be fished under a float or free lined out behind the boat.

Florida saltwater fishing in spring

Once a school of fish is found or a productive area is located, anglers can anchor and use live bait to thoroughly fish the area. Chumming can be an effective method to bring fish to the boat. Frozen chum blocks can be used, but live bait used as chum is even more effective. Once a school of fish is attracted to the chum and excited, the action can be fast and furious!

Many anglers prefer to cast artificial lures when drifting the deep flats. Lures allow anglers to cover a lot more water than they can using live bait. The most popular lure is the jig and grub. This uses a jig head, usually ¼ to ½ ounce, with a plastic grub on the hook. The grub can mimic a shrimp or bait fish. Silver spoons and plugs can be cast and retrieved as well as trolled to locate and catch fish. Suspending plugs are particularly effective for trout, with the MirrOlure MirrOdine being a top bait.

Anglers can purchase Capt Jim’s E-book, “Inshore Saltwater Fishing” for $5 by clicking on the title link. It is 23,000 words long and covers tackle, tactics, and species.

Shallow Florida flats come alive in spring

When the term “flats fishing” comes up, many anglers picture fishing in gin clear water that is a foot deep for bonefish, permit, and maybe even tarpon in the Florida Keys. That style of fishing was basically invented there. However, anglers chase fish on the shallow flats throughout the entire state.

Top 25 Florida game fish

In the Keys, tarpon, bonefish, and permit are pursued on the flats in very shallow water. This is quite challenging fishing as these fish are quite skittish in the shallow water. Patience is required as well as good angling skills. Anglers sneak up on fish in special skiffs designed to float very shallow. Live bait, lures, and flies are all used.

guide to inshore saltwater fishing

In the areas north of the keys, snook, redfish, and trout become the main targets of anglers fishing the skinny water. The same techniques are used, though in many cases anglers are fishing grass beds instead of sandy flats. Anglers can sight fish, but blind casting produces as well. A gold weedless spoon is a top lure. Light jigs and plastic baits on swim bait hooks work well, too. Topwater plugs can produce exciting strikes!

Best 6 fishing lures for redfish

Spring time tarpon fishing in Florida

Tarpon fishing gets going in earnest in the early spring in south Florida. As the water warms up, fish begin to school up and start moving along both coast lines. The bridges and flats in the Keys all have fish in early spring. As it gets later in the season, areas such as Boca Grande, Tampa Bay, and Jacksonville become better spots.

Sarasota fishing guide

There are several different methods anglers can use to catch tarpon. In shallow water areas, they can be sight fished. This is great sport and is challenging and exciting! In the Keys, boats anchor under bridges in the afternoon on the outgoing tide and fish with live mullet and crabs. Schools of fish can be sight fished as they migrate along the beaches. In the passes and inlets, anglers drift with live bait or jigs.

Spring fishing off of the Florida beaches

As it warms up many migratory species begin to move along the Florida beaches. Much of this action will take place within a few miles of shore. This puts them in safe range of anglers with smaller boats. These fish include Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, false albacore, sharks, tarpon, jack crevalle, and more.

Light tackle trolling in Saltwater

One exciting aspect of fishing the beaches in the spring is that much of the action is on the surface. This results in casting lures, baits, and flies into schools of actively feeding fish. This is great fun as a bite is almost a certainty, as long as the lure resembles the bait being devoured.

When fish are not seen feeding on the surface, anglers can use a couple of techniques to catch them. Trolling is a very effective way to both locate and catch these pelagic game fish. Special spoons designed for fairly fast trolling speeds are fished behind planers. These are devices that take the lure down to a desired depth. Plugs can be used as well.

Anglers can also anchor or drift and use live and cut bait as well. This is often done over structure such as a ledge, wreck, reef, or area of hard bottom. While most of these species do not relate to structure, bait does, so game fish will be close by. Chum can be used to get the fish up behind the boat.

Florida bottom fishing in spring

Bottom fishing is very productive in Florida in the spring. This is a very popular form of fishing that anglers of all ages and skill levels can participate in. Bottom fishing is basically dropping a live or dead bait to the bottom, usually around some type of cover or structure.

best Sarasota fishing charter

There are many different species that anglers can catch when bottom fishing in Florida. Grouper and snapper are the “glamour” species when bottom fishing, there are several species of each that are caught inshore and nearshore. Gag grouper, black grouper, red grouper, mangrove snapper, yellowtail snapper, and lane snapper are some of the most common.

Sheepshead are abundant inshore, especially in early spring. They are a great option on windy days and are usually cooperative. Mangrove snapper are plentiful in most parts of Florida in the bays and passes. Just about every bridge and other structure will hold snapper and other species. Flounder, red and black drum, sea bass, grunts, and other tasty bottom fish can be caught as well. A live shrimp is tough to beat.

mangrove snapper fishing in Florida

Passes and inlets offer good fishing

Passes and inlets are terrific fishing spots in Florida in the spring. Current and structure along with bait results in an ideal environment to hold fish. Most inshore species can be caught in these areas. Anglers can drift with jigs or bait or anchor and bottom fish.

Drifting along with the current while vertically fishing a jig on the bottom is an extremely effective technique in the spring. Pompano are a prized species and many are caught by anglers doing this. Ladyfish can be thick and provide good action. Bluefish and mackerel often feed heavily in passes and inlets.

Sarasota Spanish mackerel fishing

Bottom fishing can be excellent in Florida in the spring, especially for sheepshead, snapper, and flounder. Most inlets and passes have a good amount of structure including docks, bridges, seawalls, jetties, rocks, and more. These all will attract bottom species. The best times to fish are during periods of slack tides.

Offshore fishing in Florida in the spring

Offshore fishing in Florida in the string is all about the weather. There will be some breezy days that will make fishing offshore difficult if not impossible. However, on nicer days, anglers can experience some terrific action on a variety of both bottom and pelagic species.

grouper fishing

Bottom fishing is very good all along the west coast of Florida in the spring. Water temperatures are ideal and bottom fish such as grouper and snapper will be closer to shore than in other times of year. Patch reefs and wrecks in the Atlantic Ocean will also hold a lot of hard fighting grouper and snapper.

King mackerel fishing is at it’s apex in the string. Schools of hungry kings move north from the Keys, right behind the schools of threadfin herring and other bait fish. Trolling is an excellent way to catch them. Fast trolling with spoons will put numbers into the boat while slow trolling with live bait will fool the larger fish. Spanish mackerel and false albacore will be caught as well.

Florida king mackerel fishing

Boats heading out deeper will find the tail end of the sailfish and wahoo season. Tuna and dolphin numbers will be on the rise, especially in the southern part of the state. Amberjack will be caught on the deeper reefs. Cobia may be encountered at any depth.

In conclusion, this article on Florida saltwater fishing in spring will help anglers understand the species and options when fishing in Florida that time of year.