March brings with it the official end of Summer and the beginning of Autumn. Cooler weather and shorter days are on the horizon, but one thing is for certain the fishing in March will remain hot! I’m a firm believer that the shortening days trigger a response in fish that they know it’s time to starting packing on condition for the arrival of the cooler months, hence March is a great month to target aggressively feeding predatory fish!
In this months edition of The Monthly Cast you’ll find all the detail on how to get the best out of a days fishing at Channel Island, an insight in to the new Freams LT range of reels, Meet the Crew features Pat Swift local Rotorua trout jigging legend & a review of the Morethan 12 strand braid plus the chance to win a spool for yourself.
So sit back & enjoy this month’s edition of The Monthly Cast.
February Fishing Report
For the inshore angler much like February, hunt for the inshore birds, find the bait and you’ll find the fish. Now that the fish have been tuned in to smaller baitfish for a while now it becomes even more important to match the hatch. Small natural coloured 3.2” BaitJunkies are the go for these fish, present the lure on a light leader & jig head & you’ll be on the money. These schools also attract Kingfish in good numbers, again smaller live baits on lighter leader is the go. Go light if the bottom is clear and enjoy the battle, if the schools are over reef it pays to go a bit heavier to avoid being busted off in the reef.
The other great option to chase local Snapper in March is the tried and true, bait & burley. It is hard to miss with this method, especially if you target the running tides over the change of light. As mentioned Snapper will be packing on condition before the onset of winter, so fish where the food is and don’t be afraid to fish shallow. Fish will be up the back of the harbours now smashing the plethora of food they have on offer. Again, fish light line, leaders and sinkers. Smaller cut baits and half pilly’s are the go. If you are getting harassed by smaller fish try squid or mullet to let the bigger fish find your bait before the tiddlers annihilate it. If you can catch some fresh piper or yellow eyed mullet they are well worth casting out the back of a solid burley trail.
We can’t forget the landbased Snapper anglers too. Surfcasters will be kept busy with Snapper & Kahawai. Fishing the change of light tends to get the best result on the Snapper as they move more confidently through the shallower water. Also fishing the back of the harbours can turn up some great fishing too, you’ll be surprised where you find fish at this time of year.
Kingfish will be thick and fast through March across the board. Fish will be patrolling shallow harbours and estuaries harassing the local baitfish. They’ll also be hard on the chew on the offshore reef systems & islands too. The only time to avoid is around the full moon when they can become a bit finicky on the bite. All methods can be deadly at this time of year, so make sure you’re armed with stickbaits, jigs & livebaits. It’ll be hard to miss!
The game season marches on too, with February proving to be one of the most memorable months for a number of years, March is shaping up to be a boomer. All the game species are on offer through March with Swordfish starting to show up in greater numbers too. This possibly coincides with the Bluenose spawning as they congregate on seamounts & deep reef systems. So while you’re out trolling or chasing swords it is worthwhile having your Tanacom electric reel handy to secure a feed of these deepwater for the table.
For trout anglers it’s pretty status quo. With the warmer water temps fish well aerated parts of river systems or deeper pools. Warmer water can make the fish lethargic, so fishing the change of light and cooler parts of the day can work well. With lakes, finding the cooler water entering the lakes is a great place to look for fish as they can congregate in the colder water. Trout jigging is in full swing & in this month we feature Pat Swift, it’s a worthwhile read!
After writing the above it’s almost hard to think of a more action packed month, we hope you get out there and enjoy some of the great fishing March has on offer!