Rivers to Bay Report By: Capt. John Rivers

March was cold and windy with cold front after cold front, but now that is over. April has arrived and the bait is back on the flats and all of us fishermen are raring to get back to Springtime fishing. Even though we had a lot of cold fronts in March, the last two weeks’ fishing was very good.

April is probably the best month, other than May, to fish Tampa Bay for all the species that Tampa Bay has to offer. With temperatures ranging in the lower 80’s and water temperatures in the mid 70’s, the fish are hungry, the bite is good and that means a lot of bent fishing rods.

When targeting snook and redfish in April, check the tides to make sure you have good water movement. I like an incoming tide when targeting snook, and I like an outgoing tide when targeting redfish. Now it doesn’t always work out that way, but I’ve done pretty good on following these types of tides when targeting snook and reds. A good rod and reel combo for snook and reds might be a 7-foot 2-inch fast tip, medium action rod; I use Bull Bay rods, but you can find one that suits your style. Matched up with this rod, I like a 3000 style fishing reel–any good 3000 reel will work; I use Shimano’s Stradic but, if you don’t want to spend the money on a Stradic, check out the new Spheros that came out in 2020. I have four of them, and they are very good.

Back to the report, you can’t go wrong when fishing in April; I’ve had some of my best fishing trips with clients and with my family and friends in April. So, if you’re thinking about visiting Tampa to do some fishing, or if you live here, April or May are the months to fish the Bay; it’s not too hot, not too cold, but the bite is on fire!

Capt. John Rivers operates Rivers to Bay Fishing Charters out of Tampa Bay and Tarpon Springs. With 18 years guiding experience and over 40 years of fishing knowledge, he can assure you a professional / fun fishing adventure. Single or multi boat trips available. www.tampabayinshoreguides.com