By Pat McGriff
April should be a great month in Keaton Beach as the weather should stabilize and the last of the arctic blasts should be gone. Expect trout to settle into spring patterns and leave the shallows (under 2’) to seek food in the form of pinfish, shrimp and pelagic white bait, including ballyhoo, pilchards and glass minnows. These 65-70 degree water temps will bring the pinfish out of their long winter naps and have them active and frisky. This will surely stimulate the need to feed. Most any live bait, cut bait or synthetic bait will catch trout in April; add to that list any type of artificial bait you can catch trout on, and it should take fish this month. Topwater stickbaits and propbaits, lipped jerkbaits, soft plastics, both in the flukes and shrimp tails, combined either simply with a jig-n-grub combo for bouncing, or rigged under a Cajun or Back Bay Thunder; all these types of artificials will take trout in April.
Specifically, I would start out shallow with a stickbait (SheDog in ChPR or BLCHO) in the early mornings then switch to a lipped jerkbait (B-A-B fighter in the GG or Clown pattern) when you get out in 2 – 3 feet. After that, move into a fluke bait (5″ Shad Assassin in Panhandle Moon or Violet Moon) bounced in 4 – 5 feet or use an Elite Shiner in the Wagasaki pattern under an Original Cajun Thunder) in those same depths. That should cover a day on the water at Keaton, at least for trout.
Now, if I was seeking a redfish I would pull out my jig spinners from Precision Tackle. I keep the copper bladed Thunder-Spin rigged with a Chicken-On-A-Chain sea shad for clear water, then switch to the larger, willow-leafed blade Cajun Flash rigged up with an Assassin Stinky Pink 5″ Shad for stained or turbid water. It never hurts to toss an Intruder Spoon at reds especially if you are in skinny, say less than 2 feet, water. I like the Copper 1/2 oz. Intruder as I can cover much more water with longer casts.
Of course, I have to mention that my mid-April, One More Cast charters will probably be throwing a bunch of live pinfish rigged up on 30# Trik Fish 32″ under Back Bay Thunders and catching everything that swims on the flats under them.
Spanish mackerel love striking Clark Spoons either casted or trolled. Look for the birds and get over to them for mackerel in April. The size #00 silver Clark Spoon is my favorite rigged behind a clear 2.5″ oval water bubble float.
Can’t imagine many months I like better than April in Keaton Beach!
Let’s Go Fishing!
Pat McGriff dba One More Cast guide service for 23 years!