This March has to be one the worst ever for weather. The first couple weeks of this month was riddled with strong cold fronts, wind, cold air and water. It really felt like a normal January, which this year was beautiful compared to March.
Fortunately, this last week the weather was back to normal and the water temperatures warmed quickly, bringing a huge push of tarpon near Key West. It was a much welcomed sight to see schools of tarpon rolling and everyone who was out jumping the Silver King. Not only did we have tarpon in the harbor, we were finding lots of tarpon on the flats that were very eager to eat a well presented fly.
Mother nature is hitting us again with another strong cold front passing over Key West this morning. Near forecast is calling for cool temps during the day, cold nights and windy this week. Not good for anyone this time of year. When the weather turns back to normal, tarpon will move right back in with it.
This is the first manatee I've seen this year at Garrison Bight Marina located in the middle of Key West. It was very interested in the props of my Lenco trim tab trolling motors and the back of the Yamaha. Maybe just looking for something to scratch its face on as it had a little green mustache growing.
Manatees are always looking for a free drink and many times people at the marinas will give them the end of the hose which a manatee will suck on for several minutes. I've also seen folks scratch a manatees back and belly with a deck brush. That must feel so good for them with all the funk growing on them.
It's been a cold, windy, rainy and all around crappy week with three cold fronts in the last seven days. The nights have been very chilly but somehow the water has been relatively warm. After another chilly night last night and a high of 68 degrees forecasted today I was happy to get out and actually catch a few fish on fly. Water temps on the oceanside are still in the upper sixties and though permit, tarpon and bonefish are nowhere to be found, sharks and barracudas haven't seemed to mind as much.
I fished with Patrick from Pittsburgh, PA today. I was freezing all day and he was in a longsleeve T and shorts and comfortable. It was Patrick's first day fly fishing in the salt and after a couple of tweeks he was casting tight sexy loops and bonking bonnethead sharks on the head. Patrick caught four bonnetheads and a big lemon shark on fly. He also had some bad luck with barracudas with three straight bite offs and a few others not getting hooked. Regardless of what Mother Nature gave us this week, it was a fun, but chilly day on the water. Thanks Patrick.