Pier and Surf: 04/2017

Wow, this is the earliest spring run ever! What a wacky winter or the lack of a winter. Because of that, the Pompano arrived at least a month early. This month is shaping up as the best April ever in the 40 years I’ve been surf fishing. All of my favorites are on fire! Black Drum, Redfish, Whiting, Pompano, and the Blacktips that eat them are all in the surf.

Let us start with the right bait. Fresh shrimp will get the job done but for more success, let’s match the hatch. Right now my go to baits are clams and sand fleas. Fresh clams can be found at the better seafood markets. Live sand fleas can only be acquired from the surf. The best beaches to catch sand fleas on are the ones with soft sand. My favorite beaches from north to south are American, Ponte Vedra, and Flagler. If you have never caught sand fleas successfully, try watching my friend’s YouTube video….Catching Sand Fleas…by 311Pope. Jerry, aka 311Pope, also has other informative videos on surf fishing that will help you.

My favorite way to fish clams and fleas are on a double dropper rig with 2/0 circle hooks. Fish can be finicky so I always start off with a flea on the top hook and a clam on the bottom. Then I pay attention to what hook produces fish. Sometimes they will prefer one bait over the other ten to one. When that happens, I will switch to the better bait on both hooks. Here is my pro tip of the month…To keep track of what baits you put on what hooks, use where they swim in the water column. Of my four go to baits, shrimp swim the highest, then sand fleas, then crabs, and finally deep in the sand are clams. So put them on your double dropper rigs in that order until you see a pattern on which bait works the best for that day. Then you will match the hatch!