Fired Up Offshore Forecast – April 2024

Hope everyone had fun cobia fishing last month. Continue to look around the 50–60-foot depth for the rays and leatherbacks holding fish. Free swimmers will be abundant continuing through this month as well. If you find some type of color change, weed line or temperature break in that depth your gold. Buck tails and live bait will do the trick. If they won’t fire on the bucktail jig, follow it up with a live bait of some sort. Cobias are not picky so whatever you have will work. For live bait rigs use 50lb. braid to 60lb. leader to an 8/0 circle hook. This is also the time of year that cobes will come in very close. Don’t hesitate to start or end up in the 20-foot depth. Cover your ground.

Kings will start showing up in better numbers in April. Live bait will be choice this time of year for the big ones that come back through. We were just on the tail end of the smaller fish migration. Soon the 30 pounders will start showing more consistently. Fish your local reefs and any structures that hold bait. Shipwrecks and any other struc- tures work great. You can also sabiki these structures for baits.

Soon you will start seeing the bait pods show up. The water is warming up and the fishing will only get better. Start looking for birds and flipping pogies. It’s been scarce to non-existent lately but don’t worry it’s almost time. Get yourself a good cast net. Tim Wade nets are what you want. Get a little extra lead on it to sink faster. Leave the wally world cast nets at home. That 4-footer just won’t cut it. We normally throw a 10 or 12-foot net.

Bottom fishing for grouper and throwback reds will be good on the 21 and 27 fathom reefs. (check your local regs) Use live bait with 3-ways and knocker rigs. (whatever works best for you) 80 to 100 lb. leaders. 8/0 – 10/0 circle hooks.

To keep the kids busy you can chicken rig all the reefs for trigger fish. Use squid and small chunk baits. Triggers tend to hang a little higher off the bottom so once your bait hits bottom, crank it up a few feet. Mahi are close by so get that gear ready. I will touch base on that in May’s issue. Good luck see you out there, Captain Chris Cameron, Fired Up Charters.