Fish Everglades National Park & 10,000 Islands
March is a “Slam Month” in
Everglades National Park
Light Tackle and Fly Fishing in the Pristine Waters of the Everglades Backcountry
Over one million acres of sheltered waters, excellent year round weather,
fine accommodations, a richly diverse fishery ...
(Woods-n-Waters; March 2004)
In my eyes, February signals the end of
winter. Everglades City has it’s annual Seafood Festival the first weekend of
every February and for me, that is the last wintertime event. Everything that
happens from that point forward leads up to our fantastic fishing spring and
summers. The whole month of March is the kick-off of the real fishing here in
First and foremost, the baits return in mass
to the shorelines, bays and near shore structure. This whole fishing thing is
about food. We use lures that simulate dinner to the predators. A whole school
of bait can attract and congregate hungry fish into finite, predictable areas.
They can be patterned easily by patterning the bait.
At the Seafood Festival, you can find great
seafood … all kinds … lots of it. That is why about 20,000 people show up for
the feast. The seafood festival for the predatory species is the arrival of
the March bait schools. As with the festival, the fish that are going to feed
well and they are going to have a “big time”. So am I!
March means the return of the permit.
Schools of fish, hundreds in numbers, show up roaming the live bottom and
structures. They are hungry, aggressive and stupid … my favorite fish!!
Averaging 15-18lbs these fish will make a 200 hundred yard run on the first
hookup. I just love the look on an angler’s face when she looks back at me
after looking at the line ripping from the reel wondering how she is going to
stop the freight train on the end of her string! I fish these terrific fish on
eight pound spinning outfits or fly. You must be patient however, because it
usually takes 35 minutes before you can pose with these fish. In March, anglers
commonly release four to six fish per day. The real problem is leaving the fish
alone long enough to fish for the other species.
March also is “rung in” with the tarpon
dinner bell. The big fish move in from offshore this month following the
forage. Most importantly, they stay here all spring, summer and fall. March
also means that are in the tarpon that are in the deep back country move out to
the river and creek mouths to feed on this fresh supply of bait. These are
smaller versions of the big boys that are moving in from offshore. Actually,
these are my favorite fish to target. They feed well, jump often and everyone
gets a shot. Once you have done your 100+ pound Silver King, try a 30-50 pound
Silver Prince on eight pound gear or, better yet, a fly rod. Be careful,
however, it can be addicting.
March snook fishing can be red hot, but
somewhat unpredictable. The fish that have been hiding in the back move out
through the creeks into the bays and shorelines in search of new forage. One
day you will catch 25 fish and the next day four. It is March, but still early.
With the new flood of permit, tarpon and
snook, cobia are nearby, the sharks begin to show, trout are almost always ready
to feed on flats and the redfish seem to be bigger. Catching a tarpon, snook and
redfish in the same day is a Backcountry Slam and March is “Slam Month”.
Through the years, more of my anglers slam in March than in any other month.
March truly signifies the beginning of some
great fishing. BUT … it is March. The wind in March can blow hard.
Unfortunately, it blows hard everywhere in the country. Here, March can come in
like a lion, stay like a lion and leave like a lion. The fish are there;
you know that they are there, sometimes however; you simply can’t get to them
because of the wind.
Thank goodness for the Park’s massive amount
of backcountry. With over a million acres of pristine, protected waters there
is always a comfortable and (usually) productive place to fish. It is a great
destination for the traveling angler. You simply do not get blown out here.
However, the back country is massive and can be quite intimidating. It is
always advisable to get with someone who knows the ins and outs of the place.
The kayak fishing trips are going well and
are a blast for all. Check the website for dates of the scheduled trips. We
use the larger boats to haul the kayaks to the fishing grounds and with the
“yaks” we fish where others simple can’t. This is a new venture for Vickie and
I and this is our first March. Personally, I can not wait. Keep an eye out in
this column; if things go as planned, you will soon see a photo of a 100+ pound
tarpon in the lap of one of our kayak anglers!! If you have not yet experienced
kayak fishing here, you should.
Call us to Plan Your Next Adventure!
For more information or to book a charter with Capt. Charles Wright: