Includes Vero Beach, Ft. Pierce, Stuart, West Palm Beach and Lake Worth
Fishing inshore this week, we can expect to catch plenty of snook and jack crevalle. Live baiting around structure close to shore will give you great odds at many snook and jacks throughout the entire day. Moving tides will greatly increase the number of bites when live bait fishing for snook or jacks. Expect a few tarpon to be around in deeper channels bends, inlets, etc. Large mullet or crabs is a surefire way to catch tarpon in April. Few snappers are being caught locally inshore, but most are small. As we get closer to summer we can expect them to reach a larger size better suited for the dinner table. Bottom fishing with shrimp still remains strong with lots of action from sheepshead, snapper, tripletail, flounder, snook, croaker, redfish, and black drum.
Cobia is our main focus this week. clients are catching two to three a trip on average during the month of April. fish are generally 20 to 30-pounds, but expect a few 50-pounds or bigger during the spring run. Live bait fishing or sight-casting with jigs is an excellent way to target cobia. If you’re not sure if the cobia is leagal size,(33″ to the fork of tail) then use a landing net to ensure a safe release if not legal size. Snapper fishing has been steady over the past few trips with lots of nice lanes, mangroves, and mutton snapper being caught regularly when bottom fishing nearshore. Kingfish and bonito are very active lately so soak a surface bait with wire for kings or a circle hook rig with mono leader for bonito and cobia.
Fishing offshore in April can be very hit or miss when trolling. With that being said, I always have some cut bait or vertical jigs as a back up if the trolling just isn’t happening. If the trolling is hot, expect good action from mahi as we typically get a good migration of them during April and May. A few wahoo are being caught highspeed-trolling around Push Button Hill. Vertical jigging around Push Button will also produce nice blackfin tuna this time of year when the conditions are right. Also, kingfishing with planers and wire rig ballyhoo is an excellent idea if the surface trolling bite looks bleak. Bottom fishing deeper wrecks and reefs will produce good numbers of amberjacks, grouper, and cobia this time of year so make sure your tackle is of adequate size.
Capt. Jonathan Earhart