April is when the weather gets back to what Florida is known for, warm and sunny. The warm weather seems to get every species of fish active and hungry. The resident species such as seatrout, snook and redfish come out of their winter refuges and begin to spend more time feeding in the shallow waters of the Indian River Lagoon. Tarpon, jacks and Spanish mackerel numbers increase as fish that wintered further south expand their range to include the inshore and nearshore waters of the Treasure Coast. It is at this time of year that there is a pronounced overlap of all these different species which makes it a great time to target a variety of fish in a single outing or to play the daily weather conditions to target the species that the conditions most favor that day.
Snook, tarpon and bull sharks are available in good numbers in the Sebastian River in April. D.O.A. shrimp, Terror-Eyz jigs, MirrOlures and live mullet will catch just about everything you will encounter in the Sebastian River. Cast small plugs and jigs to rolling tarpon in both forks of the river and work the docks and shoreline cover with Jerk Baits and D.O.A. Shrimp for snook. Bull sharks can be caught on live and dead baits fished on the bottom or below a float in the lower river between the railroad and US 1 bridges.
Indian River Lagoon
April’s list of available species is the most extensive of the year. Work the shallow backwater flats, shorelines and docks with D.O.A Shrimp, Jerk Baits and plugs for snook and redfish. The spoil islands, open water flats and shoreline points with signs of bait activity should hold good numbers of trout. Deeper areas adjacent to flats and islands offer ladyfish, jacks, bluefish and some pompano. The techniques used to catch just about all the species can be as simple as live shrimp below a float, bouncing a D.O.A. Jerk Bait or working a suspending or topwater plug. Wade fishing with live shrimp is a great way to pursue trout, reds and snook this month.
The cool winter weather this year slowed the snook bite since the season opened in February, but the warm-up that is sure to come by April will again make snook fishing the focus of inlet anglers. Redfish and big jack crevalle will also be available. Live croakers, pigfish, pinfish, pilchards and shrimp will all catch fish during the day. After dark, jigs and plugs are equally effective.
The pompano bite was lackluster this winter so many surf fishermen are hoping for a spring run. Sandfleas and cut clams are the baits of choice for pompano and whiting. The waters from the beach out a couple of miles can boil with schools of Spanish mackerel and jumbo-sized jack crevalle. When the weather is calm, a boat ride down the beach can really pay off, keep your eyes open and have some stout spinning tackle on board.
FORECASTY BY: Capt. Gus Brugger