Surf & Pier

Surf & Pier April Fishing Report


Its go time!  Finally our water is spring time warm. With this warming the Pompano have returned in big schools! From Flagler to Fernandina it is the best time of year to score some delicious Pompano. The two best baits to use are Sand Fleas, aka Mole Crabs, and clams. The fresher the better when it comes to bait. You’ll need to catch you own fleas on high impact beaches like South Ponte Vedra or Hammock/ Flagler area. I have my best luck at high tide finding them on those red coquina beaches.

Now let us cover the best rig to fish those productive baits. A Pompano rig is also called a double dropper rig. They utilize two hooks that are usually circle hooks. Circle hooks are most productive because they set themselves while the rod is still in the sand spike. Kahle hooks are also good but I have had much better success with the Eagle Claw 197L 2/0 circle hook. I would suggest buying these rigs from your favorite tackle store, mine is the Strike Zone, or tying them yourself using 30 pound monofilament leader material. Fluorocarbon is not necessary because our surf is very rarely clear enough to make a difference in your success. When you cast to the right spot, you want it to stay there. The sputnik style sinker works best for this. Not only do the wires hold it in place but the sinker is very aerodynamic. However the pyramid sinker is not. This makes it tumble through the air. This tumbling action greatly reduces the distance of your cast.

Do you cast the bait as far as you can? No you do not. The most fishy spot is just inside the sandbar. This is the deepest part of the slough. My favorite targets are Redfish, Black Drum, Whiting, and Pompano and they actively feed there because food is washed off the bar into the slough. Sloughs are not all the same. When you get to the beach, look north and south to find the deepest slough within sight. That one tip will increase your catch.

I am pleased to announce the 14th annual Florida Surf Casters surf fishing tournament! It will be held Saturday April 28th. The format is the simplest ever. You only weigh your largest Whiting and Pompano. You can find all the details at I hope to see you at the weigh in. Come by and introduce yourself so we can talk. Tight lines, Noel

The proud young angler is Ava Donelenko