March is a great time for a fishing adventure in Everglades National Park. Nights are cool, the bugs aren’t bad, and the flats and backcountry fishing is heating up. If you’re new to this area, it pays to hire a guide.
Navigating Florida Bay involves staying in a maze of narrow channels between shallow, sensitive seagrass flats. The backcountry is a labyrinth of towering mangrove islands. But modern GPS units have made learning even such a complex area more simple. Just don’t forget a paper chart if you go it alone. Electronics, as good as they are nowadays, sometimes fail.
March is a transitional period in terms of fishing. Winter visitors including Spanish mackerel and cobia are still thick, and the redfish are mostly still in their large wintertime schools. Trout are still in the holes and channels, except when a string of warm days encourages them up on the flats. Find a hole with a trout in it and you’ll limit out quickly.
Tarpon are also arriving, and these frontrunners of the spring migration are a little easier to fool than the big push of fish that arrives in May and June. They haven’t seen many flies or lures yet, and they’re often found sunning in the tannin-stained waters of Florida Bay and Oyster Bay, where they’re less able to inspect your offering.
It’s a great time to camp, or tow your skiff behind a rented houseboat. That way, you can stay on the water for days and days. Contact the Flamingo Marina for more information on fishing and accommodations.