Inshore St. Augustine Fishing Report: 04/2017

Inshore St. Augustine: April 2017
What an awesome time of year for fishing and for just being on the water in Northeast Florida. The weather is about as nice as it gets… The inshore fish (redfish, trout, flounder, drum, bluefish, ladyfish, jacks, etc.) will be on the feed with the influx of baitfish (finger mullet and pogies). With warming air and water temps the nearshore fishing should be firing up as well with huge jacks, cobia, and maybe even a tripletail or two.
Inshore the redfish will be crushing the finger mullet and that means a top-water plug, especially at first and last light, will be the go-to lure of choice. Look for large concentrations of mullet and toss your plugs around them. There’s sure to be a redfish lurking around looking for an easy snack. Once the sun gets higher in the sky I like to switch to a search bait this time of year. Some of my favorites are spoons, twitchbaits, and one of my favorites, the spinner bait. My clients and I have caught a ton of big redfish on the Slayer Inc. line of spinners. Of course a popping cork with a shrimp or mud minnow will catch its fair share of reds this month as well.
April has always been a great “gator” trout month for me. A top-water plug will account for some of the bigger trout catches this month. The outgoing tide along the ICW banks should be loaded with trout, especially if the baitfish are around. Once the day heats up a bit I like to fish a 1/4-ounce Slayer Inc. jighead paired with a soft plastic for the trout. Use a twitch, twitch, pause method and most of the time they’ll hit it on the pause. A free-lined live shrimp with a small pinch weight a few inches above it is a great was to catch some trout too.
The inlets will come alive with all kinds of fast hitting fish this month. Look for jacks, blues, ladyfish, and spanish macs to be on the feed around all the area inlets. Crankbaits, spoons, and just about anything that’s moving fast through the water will catch these fish.
Nearshore the cobia will be along the beaches following the manta rays. The magic water temp seems to be somewhere between the high 60’s and low 70’s. Pick a calm sunny day and have your shot at some of the most fun sight-fishing Northeast Florida has to offer. Also be sure to bring a few live shrimp when hitting the beach as there may be a few tripletail hanging around as well.
Capt. Tommy Derringer