April rain showers bring higher water and floating grass in the lagoon system. Bait should be plentiful on the flats so early morning fishing with live finger mullet, top water plugs, or jerk baits work well for spotted sea trout, redfish and snook.
Look for the larger mullet jumping in areas on the flats where it drops off a foot or two into deeper water. Also look for them against the mangroves on the points especially. On windy days, use cut bait like mullet, pinfish and ladyfish with a 3/0 circle hook and no weight. To catch black drum in the same areas, use 1/8-ounce jig head with a piece of shrimp or a whole shrimp. If there is grass on the flats, look for sand holes to throw the bait into.
Cobia fishing will slow down on the beaches especially if you see large schools of jack crevalle around. To catch large jacks, use live menhaden, croakers or big chuggers and use a 40# leader with a 7/0 circle hook. We should start seeing schools of tarpon in April on the beaches. To catch tarpon, freeline live menhaden or croakers on a 7/0 circle hook with 60# fluorocarbon leader. Tripletail should still be on the weed lines and the buoys and use 3/0 hook and freeline a live shrimp on 20-30# leader if they are on the weed lines. If on the buoys use 3/0 hook with 40# fluorocarbon leader and depending on wind and current, either freeline them or use a small split shot. If the water is dirty, use a 5/8-ounce chartreuse buck tail jig with a strip of mullet on it.
Captain Troy Perez April Pro Tip: When top water fishing with lures or bait, wait to feel the weight of the fish before setting the hook. The rod tip should be pointed towards the fish and not above your head when setting the hook. If using a circle hook, do not set the hook, reel in the slack, and get tight on the fish. And finally, take a kid or your parents fishing and only keep what you will immediately eat and let the rest go for future generations.