Warming Waters

By: Capt. Bart Marx

April in Southwest Florida marks the water temps getting warmer day by day. This is a good thing as we had a long winter this year where the water temps were in the low sixties for a couple of months. With the rising water temps happening, it brings the bait into the harbors and there are species that thrive when those baits are around. The snook are more predictable when you have white bait and there is a transition from shrimp that is naturally in the harbor in the winter from November to March. Then as we get deeper into the summer months, the white baits migrate back into the harbor. This is when you put your bait cast net back on the boat, so when you see some of these baits you have the tools to harvest some and use them for your bait for the day. When you see the one you think you want to put a hook in, cast it in the strike zone hang on to your rod, and don’t set the hook if you see the fish take the bait. Wait till the line comes tight then it is game on. Snook, reds, and trout are a good bet this month along the mangroves and drifting across the grass flats. And on some of the grass flats there may be a large sand hole which the reds and trout like to use these as ambush spots. The reds will hang out in the open and the trout will hang on the edges of the grass. Offshore the snappers should start feeding. On the close reefs and the natural bottom ledges, lane snapper, mangrove and a few yellow tails. Here on the West Coast if you find a ledge twelve inches high that is a fish haven! With the new technology of side scans and front scans you can follow a ledge till it fades away into the sand. This way you have the tools to follow the ledge and find the best part of it. You may also find red grouper for you to harvest. If you anchor up to bottom fish, put out a bonus rod with a bait behind your boat with a short piece of wire and loosen your drag for the possible king mackerel/smoker . They are fun to catch, and they are good eating. When I clean a king I stake them, and when I am going to cook them, I usually soak them in teriyaki sauce over night and cook them on the grill three or four minutes each side. So yeah if you would like to come along with me and learn some of these techniques give me a call at 941-979-6517 or e-mail me at captbart@alphaomegacharters.com  If you have your own boat or new to the area and need a training session, I will come on your boat too. This will help you to shorten your learning curve. Singing drags and tight lines make smile!