Backcountry fishing in Marathon and South Florida during March is really a transitional month from Winter to Spring. March typically is one of our windier months of the year with the temperatures becoming more mild as we get near the end of the month. These windy weather patterns often dictate what we are able to do as fisherman. For example, down in the Lower Keys wind can be a good thing if it’s 10-15 knots while fishing for Permit. This wind creates a rip on the surface of the water that can hide anglers trying to creep close enough to get a cast in without them seeing us. But if it blows too hard it can turn into more frustration than its really worth.
March in the Florida Keys especially near Big Pine Key is a great month for Permit fishing up on the shallow water flats. At certain stages of the tides these Permit will come out of the deeper waters and feed up on the flats. But bring your best casting skills because these fish require a crab or crab pattern fly to be almost precisely thrown in the right spot in order to hook up. Catching even the smallest Permit up on the flats is considered a right of passage. Many people spend thousands of dollars chasing these Big Eyed Chromed Out Jack.
The good part about if the weather doesn’t cooperate for us this month while Permit fishing is the availability of finding other species to fall back on. Big schools of Jacks, Ladyfish, and even Sharks can be readiliy available throughout the Florida Keys and Miami fishing grounds. These fish can be caught on fly and even light tackle spinning rods. Typically I like using lures or flies but sometimes have to resort to using live baits such as crabs, shrimp, and even pinfish.
As for fishing in Biscayne Bay March is a great month for anglers wanting to catch a Slam. Which would be a Bonefish, Permit, and Tarpon caught in a single day. Large numbers of Bonefish can be found roaming the flats of Biscayne Bay and Permit start making their way inshore passing the same certain points of ocean side flats. Meanwhile with the warming weather patterns Tarpon seem to be moving more which speeds up their metabolism which in turn makes them more eager to eat a live bait or fly.