Fort Pierce Inshore: April 2022

Johnny with a solid cobia that ate a pinfish while out running the beach.
Johnny with a solid cobia that ate a pinfish while out running the beach. PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Adam White.

Spring has arrived on the Treasure Coast. Typically, in April the winds start to subside slightly where we start having more days to pop out the inlet and change the scenery. Overall, the winter was fairly mild, and we have had quite a bit of good fishing opportunities.

On the calmer days this month, I’ll find myself out on the beach looking for the large schools of jacks. The schools can range from 10 fish to 200-plus and can range from 10- to 30-pounds plus. They can be found roaming in anywhere from 15-to-40 foot of water. These are some of our most underrated hardest fighting fish in our region. I often say if they jumped, they would be more sought after than tarpon. Use heavier gear than you think you need. We use 5500 size reels with medium heavy action 7-foot rods. You want to enjoy the fight but also need to be able to land the fish quick if a shark shows up. A large casting spoon is a good lure to use for the larger jacks. I like the Kastmaster brand spoons in the 1.5- or 2-ounce size. They cast 10-to-20 percent farther than any other brand I have experience with. Removing the treble hook and replacing it with a large inline single will speed up the releasing process.

You can cover quite a bit of water when running the beach. Don’t go out there with tunnel vision. Many other opportunities can arise while you’re just off the edge of the nearshore reefs. Cobia, permit, tarpon, and kingfish are all likely species to stumble across while looking for the jacks. Having a couple extra rods rigged for live bait, a cobia jig, or swim bait could make or break the day. Every one of us has been caught unprepared, and has watched a big fish swim out of our life.

FORECAST BY: Capt. Adam White
(609) 820-6257