Spring ’23 Fishing Report
By Amy Crosby | April 1, 2023
Spring kicks off the fantastic fishing season in our waters, and the fish and fisherman are both out and about on the Forgotten Coast! Fishing is magical on the Forgotten Coast, whether offshore, inshore, from the shore or freshwater!
If you see someone fishing from the beach this Spring, they are probably fishing for pompano or whiting. While whiting is typically here year-round, pompanos are traveling in schools and cruise the coastline in the Spring. To catch pompano and whiting, use FishGum, Sand Flea Fishbites, pink E-Z Shrimp, or shrimp. Cast out from the shore about 15 to 25 feet and cast toward a break in the sandbar. Try your luck with Silver Spoons in late Spring and the same casting strategy to catch mackerel.
If you haven’t given bay fishing on the Forgotten Coast a try, you are missing out on a fun and fruitful time! Fish around the oyster beds, breaks, and drop-offs for trout, redfish, or flounder, using MirrOlures, Gulf Baits, or shrimp. For black drum and whiting, fish by the bird sanctuary and around the old bridge.
Take me to the river! The Apalachicola River or the Carrabelle River offers excellent opportunities for catching bream and shell cracker. All you need is crickets, worms, and a little patience. They’ll be jumping in your boat in no time.
Grouper is one of the most targeted species of fish. They are delicious and FUN to catch! To catch them, just use a bottom rig with an 8/0 Circle Hook. Live bait, Cigar Minnows, chunks of squid, or jig spoons will produce a nice limit of fish. The gag grouper season typically opens on April 1.
When the season opens, bottom fish for red snapper with 6/0 or 7/0 circle hooks, cigar minnows, Spanish sardines, or squid. Lane Snapper usually will have a friendlier bag limit and can be caught by chumming the water and drifting a chunk of natural bait on a 3/0 circle hook. For king mackerel, you can troll with 30+ baits or Rapala lures. You can sight for around buoys and inlets for cobia with a 3oz cobia jig or artificial saltwater eel bait.
We encourage you to contact one of our experienced Captains. They know all the ins and outs and secret spots to help you bring in the fish you are interested in targeting.
Please note: Those engaged in recreational fishing on the Forgotten Coast are responsible for carrying the proper licensure and knowing about the area’s size minimums, maximums, and count limits. Feel free to stop by one of our bait and tackle shops for more information, or go to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website.
Photo courtesy of @Ochlockonee Outfitters