By Lauren Eissey, Loggerhead Marinelife Center Contributing Writer
South Florida is known as one of the best spots to fish in April, especially with warmer temperatures gracing the southern hemisphere. Coming this spring, average temperatures will fluctuate between 79.3°F (26.3°C) and 73.8°F (23.2°C). Anglers can expect to enjoy warmer days with light showers throughout the month.
Bluefish, found throughout tropical and subtropical waters, will soon be spotted at the Juno Beach Pier (JBP). Anglers looking to catch bluefish should use bait and lures. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) notes that wild-caught bluefish are a smart seafood choice as they are sustainably managed and responsibly harvested under U.S. regulations.
Other fish that can be caught at the pier using bait and lures are blue runners and crevalle jacks. When feeding, schools of crevalle jacks corner a pod of baitfish at the surface as these fish mainly feed on small fish. Anglers can identify adult blue runners, both inshore and offshore, by their light-olive to bluish-green color back and silver-gray golden belly.
Commonly found near the pier, pompano, are best caught using bait and jigs. Pier experts recommend catching pompano with sand fleas and shrimp. Whereas pier goers can use lures and jigs to catch Spanish mackerel. Anglers can catch up to 15 Spanish mackerel per day per harvest. Atlantic croakers, the smallest of the drum family, are often spotted at the pier during spring months. Expert anglers advise catching these fish with whiting and sand perch as bait. South Florida locals endorse lightly breading and pan-frying the fish.
During sea turtle nesting season in Palm Beach County, FL, the Juno Beach Pier adjusts its angling and spectator hours to accommodate nesting and hatching sea turtles. From March 1 through October 31, the pier opens a half hour before sunrise and closes at sunset each day. The pier encourages anglers and spectators to turn to Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) and FWC for best practices regarding sea turtle safety.
As part of LMC’s Responsible Pier Initiative, the Juno Beach Pier practices sustainable fishing and recycling. The JBP encourages anglers and spectators to dispose of used monofilament lines in the designated recycling containers and report any accidentally hooked sea turtles.
LMC offers private fishing lessons for adults and children (ages 8 and older). One-hour lessons are offered daily and scheduled based on availability. Cost: $25 per angler (without gear); $35 per angler with rental gear included. Cost does not include bait. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register. The full-service Pier House features a snack bar as well as a variety of fishing tackle, including rental poles and bait.
Randy Yent, Pier Coordinator
Juno Beach Pier (561) 627-8280 x140
Facebook.com/junobeachpier • Instagram & Twitter:@junobeachpier