We are in it!
by Capt. Greg Stamper
Well, here we go everything is now in play as water temperatures, bait, and even the winds will move toward a summer pattern. Redfish are being caught all the way up to 32” plus. Redfish can be found often now, and shrimp or cut baits will work best. Spreads for reds along your favorite shorelines or bars will be the way to go moving forward. Spreads means 3-4 rods with cut baits or shrimp thrown on shorelines with a wait and see technique.
Snook are already out of their winter haunts and ready to eat before they get ready for their spawn, in a month or two. Trout fishing will be the backup plan on days when the bite is tough, or you just want to have a lot of action. I have not yet given up on the 20-40-pound black drum this year, but they have only come into the bays a few times last month.
Tarpon fishing is now full speed. Schools of tarpon will now be found from the 10,000 islands all the way up past Boca Grande. A 50lb leader and a 5/o circle hook should get the job done. The best baits for tarpon are crabs that are 2-3-inches, live threadfin herring, and ladyfish both cut our live. Permit fishing is another great option, as there has already been a bunch of them caught last month. Snapper and even snook around the reefs will be the bycatch along with mackerel.
Offshore fishing should be more reliable as the winds finally allow fishermen to get out far. Far is at least 40 plus miles here, and those that got out last month to 110 feet crushed it. This pattern will only get better as we move through April. Mangrove snappers up to 8lbs, lane snappers, African pompano, AJ’S, porgies, and even some kingfish will be the targets. Should you get out even deeper you will have a good chance at catching some tunas, and possibly a sailfish, or perhaps a wahoo.
Capt. Greg Stamper
Fort Myers Beach