March Madness: Tackling the Best Spots for Redfish, Snook, and Trout in Sarasota

March in Sarasota is an exciting time for anglers targeting redfish, snook, and trout. With mild weather and warming waters, fishing activity increases as fish become more aggressive. Sarasota’s diverse habitats, including grass flats and mangrove shorelines, offer excellent inshore fishing opportunities.

Redfish Revelry

In March, redfish are often found patrolling the edges of oyster bars and mangrove islands, taking advantage of the abundance of prey that the warmer waters bring. Sight fishing for redfish is particularly exciting during this time, as clear skies and cleaner water make spotting these bronze bruisers easier.

Anglers should focus on the incoming tide when redfish move onto the flats to feed—soft plastics, spoons, and live baits like shrimp or pinfish presented close to the mangroves or over oyster beds can lead to explosive strikes.

Snook Spring Surge

As the water temperatures continue to rise, snook start their migration towards the beaches and passes in preparation for their summer spawn. However, they’re still plentiful around Sarasota’s backcountry and residential docks, making March an excellent month to target them.

Night fishing remains effective, with snook congregating around lighted docks and bridges. During the day, focus on areas with good water flow, such as creek mouths and the edges of flats, using live bait or artificial lures that mimic baitfish. Remember, snook are more active and aggressive as the water warms, so be prepared for a fight.

Terrific Trout

Spotted seatrout remain a consistent catch throughout March, with bigger females often caught this time of year. The expansive seagrass flats of Sarasota Bay are prime trout territory, especially early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

Topwater lures can produce thrilling action during these times, while soft plastic jigs and live shrimp under a popping cork are effective throughout the day. Look for deeper potholes within the flats, as trout use these for cover and ambush points to feed on passing bait.

Maximizing Your March Fishing

  • Keep an eye on the weather, as March can still bring fronts that may temporarily cool the waters and affect fish behavior. Adapt your fishing spots and techniques accordingly.
  • Pay attention to the tides. The best fishing often occurs during the moving water of incoming or outgoing tides, especially near structures or natural pinch points.
  • Practice catch and release, especially with snook, which are heading towards their spawning season. Handling these fish with care ensures their population remains healthy for future generations.

March in Sarasota is a month filled with the promise of excellent inshore fishing. With redfish, snook, and trout all actively feeding and preparing for the coming seasons, there’s a unique opportunity to experience some of the best fishing that West Central Florida’s Gulf Coast has to offer,  making it an ideal time for fishermen of all levels to enjoy the waters.

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