The fishing is incredible right now! Whether it’s inshore on the flats, in the bay on structure or along the beaches, many species of fish are moving through our area and are eager to eat.
There is a ton of life on the flats. Pinfish and glass minnows have made their way back into the shallows where they've taken up residence on grass and sand flats. Mullet are working in big schools along the shoreline, milling around the bottom and filling themselves with mud. Speckled trout and redfish are patrolling around the mullet schools, eagerly waiting for shrimp, crabs or baitfish to be flushed out by the mullet doing their thing. During periods of high water, you can find small groups of redfish right up along the shoreline where they become great targets for spot and stalk sightfishing. Once the tide drops out, you can cruise around and throw soft plastics in slightly deeper potholes where the speckled trout tend to congregate while waiting for the water level to rise again.
Mangrove snappers, a favorite of mine because they’re easy to catch and taste great on a taco, have started showing up in all their regular spring haunts. Mixed in along the jetties, bridge pilings, sea walls, docks, and many other shallow water submerged structures, mangroves offer a fun fight on light tackle with little specialized gear needed. A flat-lined or lightly weighted shrimp or baitfish is the perfect offering for a hungry mangrove.
A few sheepshead are still being caught in the inlet along the jetties and around other submerged structures. I find the best action is on the change in tide when the water slows down and alters direction. Right at slack tide, you can often see the sheepshead come up from the bottom of the rocks and start suspending over the top of them. At this point, you can throw a split shot with a shrimp or fiddler crab and have solid chances of getting into a good bite window while reducing your chances of getting hung in the rocks. A small #2 circle hook will help get the finicky feeders hooked up when they do bite.
In the troughs along the beaches, a wide variety of fish are being caught right now – Spanish mackerel, pompano, jacks and redfish, to name just a few. Each of these species have a unique appeal and require specialized tactics to get them to the boat. For Spanish mackerel, you can either troll small spoons or mackerel rigs behind the boat to locate fish or, if the fish are feeding on the surface, you can run from school to school and cast plugs or jigs into the feeding fish. Both techniques offer a high level of success although I think casting to them is slightly more fun.
If pompano is your target, then you’ll want to focus your efforts on working the surf and pockets along the beach where the water is turbulent and stirring up sand fleas, crabs and shrimp. The corners of the jetties where the rocks meet the beach are other good areas to look for pompano. Natural baits work well when fished from shore on a #2 hook rig; however, one of the most productive and exciting ways to catch them is by using small hair or metal jigs fished along the bottom. You’re more likely to catch the smaller fish but they fight hard and taste delicious.
If you have questions about what's biting, how to catch them or would like to book a trip of your own, then give me a call or shoot me an email. Tight lines!