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Where to Fish in March

Find the best spots to find your favorite species in March.

Updated:

February 16, 2022

The Salt Water Sportsman editors list the top two locations to fish in March for some of the most popular species, plus notes about each fish-location pairing.

Pacific Blue Marlin

Pacific blue marlin
Pacific blue marlin Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: New Zealand

Second choice: Panama

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With forage abundant and temperatures on the rise, Kiwi waters welcome a seasonal influx of blues this time of year. Expect reliable action from the Bay Islands to North Cape during this peak period, with a high percentage of With forage abundant and temperatures on the rise, Kiwi waters welcome a seasonal influx of blues this time of year. Expect reliable action from the Bay Islands to North Cape during this peak period, with a high percentage of specimens in the 300- to 400-pound range. In Panama, blue marlin numbers diminish along the country’s left coast, but trolling liveys should continue to produce decent results. 

Atlantic Blue Marlin

Atlantic blue marlin
Atlantic blue marlin Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Brazil

Second choice: Bahamas

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While March is a transitional period that makes blue marlin somewhat more scarce off Canavieiras, Brazil, chances of raising a grander now are as good or better here than anywhere else. Meanwhile, in the Bahamas, blue marlin season starts this month with fish first showing up along the edge of the Gulf Stream, near Bimini, before becoming more abundant and widespread throughout the region.

Black Marlin

black marlin
Black marlin Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: AustraliaPanama

Second choice: Panama

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Gold Coast, Australia, remains the mecca for juvenile blacks, still offering plenty of shots at aggressive 75- to 150-pounders in surprisingly shallow water. A few inshore charter operations even sight-fish them over sand in depths of less than 10 feet. March still promises reliable action with blacks of 300 pounds or better along Panama’s Pacific coast, but the fishing will likely decline as April nears.

White Marlin

White marlin
White marlin Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Brazil

Second choice: Mexico

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Large whites, including trophies exceeding 100 pounds, mix with average-size fish to provide ample opportunity for big-game anglers plying the coastal waters off Vitoria, Brazil, where finding the bite often requires only a run to the first drop 18 miles out. In Mexico’s Yucatan Channel, pods of migrating white marlin show up to feast on baitfish schooling off Isla Mujeres, Cancun and Cozumel.

Atlantic Sailfish

Atlantic sailfish

Atlantic Sailfish

Atlantic sailfish Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Mexico

Second choice: Florida

March marks the start of peak sailfish season in Yucatan waters, so count on the fish being plentiful and aggressive. However, sails in this part of the world are notorious for keeping banker’s hours, much to the relief of visiting anglers who overindulge on margaritas the night before fishing. In South Florida, sailfish continue to hunt for ballyhoo around the shallow patch reefs, providing dependable sight-fishing opportunities.

Pacific Sailfish

Pacific sailfish
Pacific sailfish Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Guatemala

Second choice: Costa Rica

Big-game fleets out of Iztapa and neighboring Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, keep anglers plenty busy this month, hooking sailfish and taking advantage of the impressive numbers to hone their fly and light-tackle skills. In Costa Rica, their Tico counterparts also partake of the hot sailfish bite, which historically spreads northward from Golfito and Quepos to Los Sueños and Carrillo this month.

Striped Marlin

striped marlin
Striped marlin Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Mexico

Second choice: New Zealand

Cabo San Lucas is renowned for its world-class striped marlin fishery, and most nearby banks and canyons should afford multiple daily shots this month. In Kiwi waters, peak season for striped marlin begins. Fish steadily increase in numbers, and so do large specimens—some known to surpass the 400-pound mark—especially around the Bay Islands, an area famous for producing monster stripes.

Wahoo

Wahoo
Wahoo Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Louisiana

Second choice: Cayman Islands

Venice, Louisiana, may be better known for its tuna fishing, yet wahoo action this time of year rarely disappoints. In fact, trolling around oil rigs and nearby floating debris tends to produce half a dozen 40- to 60-pounders on a good day. Fishing for striped torpedoes is also terrific off the Cayman Islands at this time as packs of the speedy gamefish congregate around various nearby seamounts.

Yellowfin Tuna

yellowfin tuna
Yellowfin tuna Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: North Carolina

Second choice: Louisiana

In North Carolina, March brings schools of 40- to 60-pound yellowfins to Outer Banks waters. The action is often fast and furious but short-lived, and with the fish constantly on the move, the search for tuna is a daily guessing game. The yellowfin bite remains promising off Venice, Louisiana, with some of the larger fish making their seasonal visits to Midnight Lump and other underwater structure.

Blackfin Tuna

blackfin tuna
Blackfin tuna Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Florida

Second choice: Louisiana

Several humps off the middle and lower Florida Keys Atlantic coast hold blackfin tuna this time of year. The more abundant small footballs rarely leave surface baits unmolested, so fish weighted liveys to target trophies of 20 pounds or better in midwater. Shrimp boats anchored in the Gulf off the Louisiana and Florida coasts still attract hungry blackfins. Chumming with shrimp-boat discards ensures success.

Bonefish

bonefish

Bonefish

Bonefish Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Bahamas

Second choice: Mexico

As winter gives way to spring, bonefishing in the Bahamas becomes increasingly consistent, with more fish patrolling the flats in search for food. March is a windy month, however, so telltale signs like wakes, muds, and tails piercing the surface will be more evident in protected coves and along tall, leeside shorelines. Bones are also plentiful and on the move in the southern bays of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Snook

snook
Snook Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Florida

Second choice: Costa Rica

With temperatures on the rise in Florida, snook begin to transition out of their winter hangouts. Look for them in shallow bays, increasingly closer to open water, and key in on sandbars, sand holes and light-bottom troughs during sunny days. In Costa Rica, big linesiders congregate inside the mouths of the Rio Naranjo and other coastal rivers, from Quepos south to the Panama border.

Tarpon

Tarpon

Tarpon

Tarpon Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Florida

Second choice: Puerto Rico

In Florida, tarpon begin trickling in from the Gulf during warm spells, and March usually means warmer waters and more fish pushing in. Flamingo, various southwestern banks in Florida Bay, and most backcountry basins in the lower Keys produce the most early tarpon. In San Juan, Puerto Rico, the urban lagoons of San Jose and Torrecilla now teem with fish ranging from 10 pounds to over 100.

Permit

Permit

Permit

Permit Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Belize

Second choice: Florida

Belize’s grass flats and shallow shoals afford fly and light-tackle devotees plenty of shots at permit this time of year. In Florida, March is a top month to target them on the flats of Biscayne Bay and the Keys because most permit have not yet made the move to the wrecks for spawning. Windy conditions help conceal poling boats, and baits and flies landing too close to the fish.

Red Drum

red drum
Red Drum Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Louisiana

Second choice: Texas

In Cajun country, bull reds remain on the prowl around the outer islands and shoals in Breton and Chandeleur sounds. Slot-size fish are widespread throughout the myriad bayous and tidal creeks, looking for easy prey along grass edges and oyster clumps. In Texas, schools of reds feed along the Intracoastal’s marshes and oyster bars, as well as the grass flats of Laguna Madre, Matagorda and other major bays.

Striped Bass

striped bass
Striped bass Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: California

Second choice: Maryland

California’s Sacramento Delta and San Francisco Bay are the most dependable striper fisheries this time of year. There, trolling and jigging around various reefs and other sunken structure is the ticket to success. In Chesapeake Bay, the vast system of creeks, mudflats and marshes harbors a variety of forage and provides excellent staging locations for stripers before they make their move toward open water.

Swordfish

swordfish

Swordfish

Swordfish Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Florida

Second choice: Mexico

South Florida remains the top spot for broadbills this month. Expect consistent action from Palm Beach to the Keys. High winds, however, can make drifting in deep water uncomfortable and even risky, especially after dark. So, anglers aboard small boats will be wise to stick to daytime fishing. In Cabo San Lucas, big-game fleets cash in on an influx of swords, and many will be spotted on top, surfing the waves.

King Mackerel

king mackerel
King mackerel Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Florida

Second choice: North Carolina

In Florida, the hot smoker king bite west of Key West should continue this month, and solid prospects usually expand along the Sunshine State’s Gulf coast all the way to the Panhandle. Live-chumming there is the key to sustained action. In North Carolina, the king mackerel fishery is past its prime, but enough fish linger to make efforts worthwhile, especially off the Outer Banks and Crystal Coast.

Seatrout

seatrout
Seatrout Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Louisiana

Second choice: Florida

March is a good month for speckled trout in Louisiana waters. While the bulk of the fish that move out to the Gulf don’t usually return until April or May, a number of trophy fish remain inshore. They frequent sheltered coves and mudflats to ambush prey around oyster bars, and soak in the sun’s warmth during clear days. In Florida, trophy trout leave deeper water to forage on the shallow grass flats in the mornings.

Dolphin

mahimahi
Dolphin Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Panama

Second choice: Mexico

Panama’s Pacific coast offers the best chance to score big dolphin this month. Trolling bonito or tuna—a bit smaller than those used for marlin—around flotsam along the color change is close to a guaranteed tactic. The west coast of Mexico also hosts excellent numbers of dorado in March and often in nearshore waters, enabling anglers aboard small pangas to partake of the action.

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