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Inshore Fishing Report 3/18/22 - Keaton Beach, Florida



We've had some intermittent rain showers lately, which can slow the fish bite a little. But the action on the shallow flats is still hot. A limit of trout and reds can be caught in just a few hours sometimes, especially if the tidal movement is significant.


The influx of freshwater from rain tends to affect the speckled trout more than it does the redfish. Those redfish are used to going into the freshwater creeks, so the change in water salinity doesn't bother them much. They won't move much even when we get signifiant amounts of rainfall.


The trout, however, will tend be affected by a several inches of rain in a short amount of time. Speckled trout prefer well-mixed water and as a result, a huge influx of freshwater on the shallow flats can slow their bite. The larger trout will tend to seek deeper water that is well-mixed, but they won't stay out there for long. They'll return to the shallow water as soon as it becomes mixed again.


The effects of heavy rainfall are more noticeable on days with little tidal movement. If there's a lot of rainfall on a new moon where the tides aren't moving much, expect a greater change in the fish bite. If the moon is full or close to full, the tides will move more, the water will mix quicker, and the fishing action won't change much.


We're still having most of our success using pinfish and live shrimp. The preference for either seems to change on a daily basis though. Some days they won't touch a pinfish and only want shrimp. But we've also had says where pinfish was preferred by the fish. It's always a good idea to have both baits on the boat.


We especially like using the live shrimp for reds when drifting over oyster bars. That's almost a surefire way to catch some nice redfish this time of year. Use a J hook on a popping cork and hook the shrimp in the last joint of the tail so that it can move freely in the water.


We're also expected to get some cooler temperatures this weekend, but that shouldn't change the fishing action much. Now that the days are longer, the water will return to warm much faster than it does in the late winter months. So although the water temp may change some at night, it will usually warm pretty quickly during the day.


This fishing report is brought to you by Captain Jason Witherspoon of Spoon Fed Charters in Keaton Beach, Florida.