April means spring has usually arrived, but by how cold March was, you’d never think it. We had an unseasonably cold March, and fishing resumed a more winter time pattern than spring. Having said that, the last several days have been in the 80’s and it’s forecasted to stay near that for the next two weeks. With the warm weather moving in, water temperatures have climbed into the 70’s and baitfish are flooding the backwaters. Fishing has been pretty good over the past month. We’ve been catching numerous redfish and speckled trout of all sizes and some black drum too. Small snook are still on deep shorelines and docks and I’m expecting to see some 20-30lb tarpon rolling in the backwaters any day now. Not expecting much to change over the next two months, except those species that dislike cooler water will get much more active as water temperatures approach the 80 degree mark.
Redfish action continues to be superb. Big schools of 5-10lb fish are all over the shallow grass flats in Mosquito Lagoon and smaller schools are working oyster bars and creek shorelines in the New Smyrna Beach/Ponce Inlet area. GIANT bull redfish are schooling up in small pods of 20-50 fish on the bars and deep edges in the North IRL and South Mosquito Lagoon. Sight casting has been excellent when weather conditions permit. We’ve been doing well on lures like spoons, plugs, and soft plastic jerkbaits. A variety of live baits have been good, including shrimp, pinfish, mud minnows, crabs and mullet. Fly anglers have been doing well on crab patterns and spoon flies. Catching numbers have been hard to predict, as it’s been changing as rapidly as the weather. One day we get 15-20, the next is only a few. As the weather gets more consistent we should see our catching success level off in the 5-10+ redfish per day levels.
Big trophy Speckled Trout have been working the baitfish schools on the shallow grass flats in the Lagoons and laid up around oyster bars in the tidal areas. Numerous smaller trout are on the deeper edges and creeks. The up and down weather has been turning the trout bite on and off again. Colder water temps make them lethargic...water temps around 70 degrees trigger them to eat aggressively. This is definitely the time of year to catch the biggest trout. Historically May and June are always when we’re getting trout approaching 10lbs or more. Live or cut mullet have been top choice lately for us catching big trout. We’ve also been getting some on plugs and soft plastic jerkbaits too. Fly fisherman have been struggling with the super clear water and extreme spookiness of big trout in shallow water. Average catches have been 3-6lbs, with a couple bigger ones in the 7-8lb range.
Black Drum are schooling up to spawn in the south end of Mosquito Lagoon and the North Indian River Lagoon around Titusville. I came across a school of 400 free swimming on the surface in deeper water just a few days ago. Average size is 5-10lbs but we’ve found a couple schools of 15-30lb’rs. Since the are in open water, good weather conditions are a must for finding them. Toss them a live shrimp or cut crab for a guarantee hook up. Many times you can catch a bunch of them, but they aren’t a glamour species so we often don’t spent much time fishing them.. Fly anglers will connect on a crab pattern or a dark color clouser minnow...they pull great on fly tackle.
We’re still catching small (10-20inch) Snook in a couple places. It’s been more of a random effort than strictly targeting them because of their size...as in if nothing else is biting or we happen to be passing by. There have been more and bigger fish in the Tomoka River and Spruce Creek area if you want to make an entire day of trying. Expecting to see some 20-30lb Tarpon rolling in the backwaters any day now. Water temperatures and tides only allow for a small limited bite window before they shut it down. Having said that we can fish for small baby tarpon up to 10lbs any day. There are loads of them in some lagoon backwaters and they will generally eat flies, lures or bait.
Unfortunately, my April calendar is totally booked up. I had a cancellation for April 28th, so that is open as of now. Over half of May is already booked, I have about 13 days still left open. June is starting to fill up too. Snooze, you lose, so call or email quick to get one of my last open spots. Short notice trips are available if I have the date open. Call or email to secure a reservation. Read my fishing charter page to view the top reasons why you should book your trip with me today. Read my fishing report archive to review write-ups from the past several years. I look forward to fishing with you soon…386-212-4931.