Exciting opportunities await for surf fishing anglers during the month of April. Traditionally the spring pompano run has coincided during these warming months, and this year looks no different. Pompano fishing looks to continue its reign at the top of the target species list, but don’t overlook the diversity of other fish to target. This transitional time represents a smorgasbord of species for shore based anglers fishing the surf. Spanish mackerel, whiting, flounder, black drum and sharks will be on tap for our Space Coast beaches.
As mentioned above, pompano fishing will hold steady as the fever for the spring run won’t be diminished for beach fishing anglers. Finding optimal water clarity remains the single most important factor for targeting pompano in the surf. Southeast trade winds take hold this month and can thwart any surf angler’s hopes with multiple days of southeasterly blows. Look for shades of blue and green water as you research the surf fishing conditions from Cocoa Beach south to Sebastian Inlet. The cleanest water should be sought out even if it means driving and checking multiple locations. Once you find the clear blues or green shades, setup on those waters where outflows, eddies, troughs and holes are present. Pompano rigs with chartreuse, white, and orange floats will be better for the greener water, while white, pink and purple will perform better in blue water. Tip your pompano rigs with Fish Bites in white crab, pink shrimp, chartreuse clam and sandfleas flavors, in combination with live sand fleas or fresh dead shrimp. This combination will produce the best results for pompano, whiting and black drum.
For those wanting to pursue and target species on light tackle, I recommend throwing swim baits, diving plugs and spoons in the first and second trough for Spanish mackerel, flounder, bluefish and snook. Depending on the food sources identified at your area beach, match the hatch with similar size lures. If you’re identifying lots of ladyfish, mackerel and blues, most likely they’re feeding on glass minnows, and a spoon or gotcha plug works best. For flounder, snook and redfish, cast swim baits or diving plugs forty-five degrees from the shoreline and retrieve steadily.
Shore based shark fishing will continue to be red hot this time of year as the waters warm. Blacktip sharks will remain the top species to target—which put on quite the acrobatic display! Opportunities for big fun abounds this time of the year as shark fishing charters have a chance at multiple catches per trip. Surf fishing equipment with 80 lb. braided line and short cable leaders to the large 10/0 circle hooks prove the most reliable for the task. While blacktip sharks will be the most commonly caught species on these shore based trips, expect lemon sharks, sandbar sharks and nurse sharks to frequent the same waters.
April looks to provide all the thrills any beach fishing angler could ask for, so get out there and have fun!