STEINHATCHEE: April Fishing Report

I find April to be most exciting month of the year for fishing.  It’s not just the good fishing, but rather the excitement of what is to come.  I liken it to throwing a party, and the anticipation of the guests arriving, and the fun to begin.

The sheepshead have already started, but the bite should last until the early part of April.  Typical lightweight trout gear with ten to twelve-pound test main line with a twenty to thirty-pound leader—fluorocarbon preferred—and a terminal jig head or knocker rig of proper weight, are the go-to tackle.  The lightweight gear puts more fun in the experience.

Spanish mackerel will be running amok.  If they are exploding bait pods, toss silver spoons or flashing jigs into the fray.  Unless otherwise necessary, use a thirty-pound fluorocarbon leader to start.  If cutoffs become an issue, twist on a short section of #1 to 2 single strand wire leader.  Amateur anglers use store-bought pre-made wire leaders that actually can quell the bit.  An Albright knot, and a haywire twist aren’t that hard to learn, and directions for which are graphically demonstrated on the back of the wire package, or You Tube videos.

Kingfish will be hot on the tails of the baitfish and Spanish that trail behind. Though the Spanish mackerel are kin to the king, the king love to eat them, because the Spaniards are high in protein and fish oil.

Trolling for kingfish around bait pods, or even blind trolling over hard bottom or structure is productive in this area.  You Tube has a plethora of how-to kingfish troll, using large spoons or plugs. I use a blue back white belly tiger striped Rapala CD 18, which best mimics the Spanish they like to feed on.

However, there is a double phase option I often use.  Folks can cast for Spanish mackerel off the bow, stern or leeward side of the boat, while one or two free-lined live baits—whatever you can catch– are drifted back from the windward side.  The free-lined baits need to be attached to a double hook wire harness with #3 to 5 single strand wire.  One “smoker king” will make the day, and enough steaks for all off the grill.
Just some ideas to think about.  Enjoy fishing however you like.
Capt. B.