Fernandina Beach

“Coastal Angler Fernandina Beach” April Fishing Report


Author: Terry D. Lacoss

              Amelia Angler Outfitters

              111 Centre St.

              Fernandina Bch, Fl. 32034


Cobia fishing along the beaches, inlets and near shore wrecks and rock ledges should produce hard fighting and excellent eating cobia during the month of April.  Fishing dead on the bottom at the tip of the St. Mary’s south jetty rocks with live mullet, croaker or menhaden is a deadly tactic when cobia are not holding close to channel markers and surface schooling menhaden

Offshore fishermen will drift live baits deep over structure when targeting cobia.  When a cobia is hooked up from a deep water structure, be prepared to see several other cobia following your hooked cobia to the surface.  Having on board and ready 20-30 pound spin tackle rigged with chartreuse and white buck tail jigs is key when hooking multiple cobia.

Bass fishing in many of Northeast Florida’s tidal rivers and small lakes should be excellent during the month of April where a few bass will be still spawning during the full moon.  A Full moon will take place on March 1st & 30th.

Working a cigar shaped plug including the Zara Spook and Top Dog during early morning and late afternoon hours when winds are light is key to catching that giant Florida largemouth bass.  Fishing with local wild shiners is a sure tactic for catching trophy bass as well.  Many of the deep river bends in Lofton Creek are a sure bet for hooking up to early Spring are key for catching that largemouth bass of a lifetime.

The black drum bite should still be taking place during the few days prior and right on the full moon.  Prime black drum fishing waters include a deep depression located just off from “Main Beach” located at the east end of Atlantic Ave.  Here drum fishermen will be fishing just offshore of the pounding surf while fishing dead on the bottom with a half blue crab, conch and large shrimp combination.

Red drum will be migrating along the beaches of Amelia Island after spending the winter at offshore fish havens.  Schools of red drum totaling well over 100-fish will roam the beaches hunting large concentrations of menhaden that have also migrated inshore for the spring, summer and fall fishing seasons.

Blue water fishermen will continue to troll high speed lures for fast swimming wahoo during the month of April as well.   However large concentrations of excellent eating and hard fighting dolphin will steal the show, especially when blue water lures are trolled close to large concentrations of floating Sargasso weeds.

Near shore live bottoms including FA, FB, KBY, FC and HH fish havens will be teeming with black sea bass weighing to 3-pounds.  Bottom fishermen will also hook up to hard fighting red snapper and gag grouper which will need to be vented and released.  Northeast Florida’s gag grouper season will open on May 1st.

Depending on the water temperature and bait fish concentrations, HH and the Amberjack Hole should hold a few kingfish during the later portion of April.  Also look for good numbers of barracuda, Spanish mackerel and cobia too!

Beach fishing at the very southern tip of Amelia Island and at the deep waters surrounding Fort Clinch at the northern portion of Amelia Island will produce excellent eating whiting and hard fighting bluefish.  Fishing just outside of the surf where shallow bars are located with barbed sand fleas will produce excellent eating pompano.  Best surf fishing also comes during the last and the first of the falling tides when water clarity and bait fish are key.

Large schools of redfish will also be schooling in the bays during the month of April where a flooding shallow flat will showcase how many saltwater fishermen are now targeting redfish.  Look for the last hour of the flood and the first half hour of the falling tide to produce exciting wading action at many of Amelia Island’s backwater bays.  Be sure and were a good pair of thick rubber sole shoes to avoid those sharp oyster shells.

Best baits include Berkley Gulp shrimp, or Berkley crab barbed with a 1/8th ounce jig head and cast just ahead of a tailing redfish.  Allow the jig and plastic bait to sit dead on the bottom until the foraging redfish detects the smell and picks up the bait.

Sea trout fishing should improve during the month of April as water temperatures warm and bait fish schools are plentiful as well.  Look for the high incoming and falling tides to produce the best action while casting a Storm “Chug Bug” when there are large schools of bait fish on the surface.  Drifting a live shrimp under a small float just off from the bottom in water depths from 5-10 feet will produce excellent sea trout action as well.

For more fishing and charter fishing information, please visit www.ameliaangler.com, of call 904-261-2870.