Banana River Fishing Report: April 2015

Rick Siira from Maryland got this giant redfish with captain Jim on a live shrimp.
Rick Siira from Maryland got this giant redfish with captain Jim on a live shrimp.

Angler are hoping that sea grass returns to the flats in this body of water. Last spring we had a minor resurgence of grasses due to the restricted use of lawn fertilizers and pesticides that destroy it. This leads to some good spring time fishing for trout and redfish because baitfish like glass minnows, pinfish, pigfish, and fingerling mullet- plus crustaceans like shrimp and crabs rely on these grasses for their survival and of course the larger predatory fish eat these smaller species to survive. Find the grass beds and work them with top water plugs like the Rapala Skitterwalk or new Waking Minnow that imitate injured mullet. These are very effective during dawn and dusk periods. Through the mid-morning and mid-day periods try Houdini or Chicken-on-a-chain colored sea shad style jig tails on a 1/8 to 1⁄4 ounce jig head. These work well on the trout if you swim them over the tops of the grass. Closer to the shorelines I recommend soft plastic jerk baits like the Saltwater Assassin 5-inch shad rigged on a weighted worm hook. The VMC “Drop dead” series of hooks in 3/0 are good for this, or try an un-
weighted version like the X-Point heavy in 4/0 size. All are extremely sharp and work well in the previously mentioned jerk baits. Good color for these include rootbeer/red flake, Houdini, Arkansas Shiner and Native Shiner, but if I had to pick just one it would probably be the Gold Pepper Shiner color. When the fish don’t want to chase lures try feeding them live or cut fingerling mullet or ladyfish rigged on a VMC 7385 circle hook. Some of he biggest fish of the year come on these natural baits.

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