Paddle Power in April

by: Alex Gorichky

April is a month full of choice from spawns to transitions, keeping anglers on their toes from east to west coast. Bait species of all sorts will flood the flats and fill our lakes. Gamefish like the snook will look to evacuate their backwater winter holding areas and make fast for the inlets, passes and beaches of both coasts. Yet another really warm winter all but ensures that our snook stocks will be through the roof. The east coast didn’t have the die-offs as severe as the west coast did a few years back so some of our east side fish are bordering on the ridiculous size. All salty areas of the state should have very good catches as we roll into summer. One fishery I always look forward to is the mega jack crevalle off the Space Coast beaches. Crazy hard fighters are the 25-50 pound jacks that will test your tackle and stamina. This fishing is not for the faint hearted, as the jack’s strike alone is liable to stop it from beating. Typically right on their heels or tailfins in proper speaking will meander in our massive tarpon. The west coast almost always see tarpon flood in a little sooner, so be prepared for the rollers to be coming to your neck of the preferred coast. For those sweet water kayakers, be looking for the bass to dial in a shift from the bedding/spawn mode to a more smash every baitfish school moving mind frame. One of my favorite times to hit the “low sodium” for sure is in April.

I would be negligent as a guide, writer, and fisherman of the central Florida waters if I didn’t include some seatrout talk in an April fishing forecast. With the spawn going wide out, bait flooding the flats, and warming waters the best chance for a trophy “gator” trout is now. You can catch a seatrout in at least 1,000 different ways, and all are fun in their own respects. However in my book there is but only one true way to fish for large seatrout, a topwater plug! Fished early or late in the day at lower light time periods for the best results, and always a Walk-the-Dog style to tempt the biggest ole girls. I say girls for a reason and this bit of knowledge can go a really long way. All seatrout over 25 inches are female, and a good portion of the fish 23-25 inches are too. Below that 23(ish) inch mark it’s anyone’s guess, and makes me extremely selective of the fish I’ll keep to help maintain the brood stock. I prefer to look at a trout in the 18-22 inch range as the perfect dinner guest to invite home with you. I always use best fish handling practices to guarantee the heathy release. I also swap a good portion of my topwater plugs to an in-line j-hook (made by VMC) and ditch the standard treble hooks. Much less chance of damage to the valuable breeder fish and they seem to give my clients/self a considerably better caught fish ratio with big trout. Less foul hooked fish, so way less fish pulled off in the fight.

No matter east or west coast, April fishing is sure to keep anglers busy…Capt. Alex Gorichky.

Local Lines Charters and Capt. Alex can be reached by calling (321) 480-3255, or visit www.locallinescharters.com.

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