by Capt. Greg Stamper
The back bays and shallow water fisheries have been outstanding and will continue to be that way. Redfish are being caught daily from 2” all the way up to 32” plus. Redfish can be found often now, and shrimp or cut baits will work best.
The simple use of two or three rods with baits thrown along oyster bars or mangrove shorelines is common this month. Snook are already out of their Winter haunts and ready to eat before they get ready for their spawn in a month or two.
Trout fishing will be the backup plan on days when the bite is tough, or you just want to have a lot of action. Lastly, we still have a chance in April to catch big black drum. Look for these fish close to, or in the passes. Black drum enter our bays in search of all the crabs, so keep that in mind as your bait of choice.
Nearshore now becomes a lot about the tarpon fishing. Schools of tarpon will now be found from the 10,000 islands all the way up past Boca Grande. 40lb leader and a 5/o circle hook should get the job done. The popular baits for tarpon are crabs, threadfin, and ladyfish. Permit fishing is another great option, as there has already been a bunch of them caught last month. Snapper, black drum, and even snook around the wreaks and reefs will be the bi-catch.
Offshore started up at the end of March, as the winds finally allowed fisherman to get out far. Far is at least 30 plus miles here, and those at the end of the month that got to 110 feet crushed it. This pattern will only get better as we move through April. Grouper, big mangrove snappers, lane snappers, African pompano, AJ’S, kingfish, and porgies will be the targets. Should you get out even deeper you will have a good chance at catching some tunas, and possible a sailfish.
Capt. Greg Stamper
Fort Myers Beach