Good Water Clarity Present
By Capt. Dave Pecci
Charlotte Harbor is Florida’s second largest estuary encompassing 270 square miles. Over 80% of its shoreline is reserved land. There are more than 15 boat ramps and many kayak access point on the Harbor providing easy access to great fishing.
April Action: Redfish will be eating flies and lures along mangroves that have oysters and grass close by. You’ll find snook cruising the mangrove points with sandy patches and moving water. Ladyfish and sea trout will be on deeper grass flats. There's been some schools of 10-12 pound jack crevalle cruising the flats - keep a 20# class spinning rod with a top water plug handy or a 10 wt. rigged with a white bait fly. The first of the spring tarpon are now cruising the middle section of the Harbor. There’s not a lot of them yet but by the middle of the month they’ll be here in good numbers! Cobia have been scarce but they will show up soon.
Conditions: Water temps will be rising into the high 70s to low 80s with good water clarity throughout the Harbor. The Lake Okeechobee water releases into the Caloosahatchee have been reduced to just above normal flow so the salinity ad clarity continues to improve in Punta Rasa Pass, along the area beaches and in the lower reaches of Pine Island Sound.
Bait the fish are feeding on: shrimp, crabs, pinfish, ladyfish. Some whitebait in Matlacha Pass, upper Pine Island Sound, Gasparilla sound and on Bokeelia Shoals.
April Fishing Tactics: With the clearer and warmer water, tactics change to fishing moving water along the grass flats and sight fishing for reds and snook on the sandbars and oyster beds. The fish will be more aggressive but also a bit spookier. Stay back and make long casts, if you can see the fish – they can see you too.
My April Fly Fishing Tip: I get asked about bite tippet a lot – Use a minimum of 20# for smaller fish. 25#-30# for baby tarpon and snook. Always use fluorocarbon. Check the tippet after EVERY catch. Not just by sight or touch, do a pull test.
My April Spin Fishing Tip: The same holds true for spinning gear; 20# leader for the little guys and 25#-30# for the biguns. Check the leader after EVERY catch.
Species to fish for this month: Redfish, Spotted Seatrout, Bluefish, Jacks, Ladyfish, Snook, Tarpon.
FMI: for regularly updated fishing reports, photos and videos go to: www.obsessioncharters.com or https://www.facebook.com/obsessionsportfishing/
Capt. Dave Pecci
Obsession Sportfishing Charters
Port Charlotte, FL
207-841-1444 voice and text