April 3-5

Fishing continues to be some of the best we’ve had in a long time. The lack of pressure on the water, due to some ramp closures, excellent water quality, and schools of bait everywhere are helping. Those that can get out and spend time with a few family members or just on your own, will do your sole some good. I’ve been out a few times this week and it’s unfortunate with how good things are that we all must lock down right now.

Anglers who want some soar arms can test their skills, as tarpon are full speed. Tarpon schools can be found feasting on threadfins and crabs sometimes within yards of our beaches out to 40 feet. 5/o circle hooks and 50lb leader should get the job done. Those scooting around the same nearshore waters also have great opportunities for permit on some of the wrecks as well as cobia. If you get lucky enough to find a shrimp boat while out there, slow down and check things out. Often sharks, cobia, and even blackfin tuna can be found around them.

The backwater fishing continues to reap the benefits of our big three closures. Redfish, snook, and trout are all caught regularly now. Backcountry slams have become common again, which creates a bunch of smiles. Snook are probably going to be working the beaches earlier this year for two reasons. First, we’ve had very warm conditions which has kept our water temperatures in the high 70’s all last month. Second the amount of white bait is ten-fold what it was last year same time frame. Slow rolling the beaches on your trolling motor will be worth your time especially as the winds are low from the East very soon.
A few of those that got way out, i.e. 100 feet plus have done well this past week. Moving forward when the winds are low, this may be one of the extreme means of social distancing. Mangrove snappers, yellowtail, porgies, and even a few triggerfish were caught by many that got out far. I don’t see this bite changing anytime soon, as less pressure certainly means better fishing.

Capt. Greg Stamper

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