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Saturday, Mar 28, 2015

Tomlinson: Variety of fish feeding in area

Hernando Beach Fishing Report


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The winds, rain, and cold finally calmed off Hernando Beach, which gave anglers some great conditions to get out and bend a rod. There are a variety of fish on the move and actively feeding.

An effective tactic to use in skinny water right now is to work mangrove and saw grass shorelines with your trolling motor. Good lures to cast in March are top water plugs like a Rapala Skitterwalk or jerk baits like Lil Johns by Mirro-lure on a 1?8-ounce jig. Target shoreline with spotty bottom that has a mixture of rocks and grass.

Move down the shoreline just fast enough to make enough casts to fully cover an area. Make you cast to the shore, in front of your direction of travel, and away from the shore. If you locate fish be ready to quietly anchor and work the area until the bite slows down.

Slowly fishing an area with a trolling motor is a great way to find fish, and is also a great way to safely learn new territory.

Live select shrimp under a cork is my go to live bait right now for trout and red fish. I prefer big select shrimp over smaller regulars because they cast further and are more productive. I use a small cork and gently pop it as it's worked back in. This tactic has been putting good numbers of big trout in the cooler.

Look to the deeper grass flats for a great Spanish mackerel bite right now. Drift in 6-10 feet of water and cast silver spoons or rapidly work jerk baits. Another productive tactic is to anchor up current from structure and deploy a chum bag. A chum slick can really get the bite going and will attract cobia right to the boat. Have a large spinning outfit ready to toss a live pin fish or white bait to one of these bruisers, because lighter equipment won't handle a big cobia.

Good luck out there and tight lines!

Capt. Keith Tomlinson runs Bulldog Fishin Charters out of Hernando Beach. Contact him at or (352) 238-3581.

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