April is a great month for kingfish on the reefs of Fort Lauderdale. The kings have been almost non-existent the past few months, few and hard to come by. This month is when the kingfish return to the reefs and begin biting in good numbers again. Kingfish make up most of our catch this time of year and they are our main target on our daytime drift fishing trips. When they here and biting and you find a school of them, you can load the boat. Swimming right along with the kingfish are blackfin tuna, bonito and wahoo. They all hunt the same prey, so if you are catching kingfish, those other species are probably mixed in with the same school of fish. April is also a good month for wandering cobia on the reefs. Cobia are a good sized gamefish that inhabit the reefs and wrecks. They are curious fish, so don’t be surprised if you see a cobia swim right up to the boat to see what’s going on. Fastest angler with a pitch bait ready gets the bite! Always be ready as cobia, dolphin and sailfish will all swim up on you right when you least expect it. Especially this month.
Night fishing is my favorite trip this time of year because of so much action. At night we anchor and chum the water to fish for snappers on the reef. Yellowtail snappers bite very good in April and the average size for them is getting bigger and bigger. They are much larger in size than the winter yellowtails. We’re back out to fishing deeper water as the Spring fish move out further offshore. Mangrove and mutton snappers are biting okay, averaging a few each trip every night. Ballyhoo plugs on the bottom work good for these larger snappers. Groupers are out there and biting good too, but the closed season is still in effect until May 1. Sometimes in April, schools of jacks, blue runners and bluefish come through the chum line, hitting every bait you have set all at once. There’s generally good action on the night trip.
Good luck to everyone fishing this month. I’ll sea ya on the water.
Capt. Paul Roydhouse