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April is a great time for gulf fishing

Capt. Dave Pinkham
April 6, 2010
Venice - Saltwater Fishing Report

March was windy and wet so I'm betting that April will be sunny and sunny. Did I say sunny twice? If you get my drift, I'm looking forward to lots of sunny weather. I've got a good feeling that April will bring plenty of sun as well as some awesome fishing action. There's all kinds of grouper offshore right now and April 1st there're back in season, which puts grouper back on my menu

This month anglers fishing the Gulf can expect lots good days to run offshore. Following are some of the fish we'll be targeting over the next month or so aboard the Legacy.

Kingfish and Spanish mackerel action should really start heating up in the next few weeks. Provoking them into biting your hook can be a cinch by using simple proven techniques. Live baits will usually out fish artificial baits this time of the year so it's always worth the effort to load up the bait well. Keeping your terminal rigs as light as possible will help to account for more hits. You may consider using a light gauge single-strand piano wire for leader to help avoid cutoffs. The same areas where the bait is located will also be homing magnets for large gamefish such as little tunny, barracuda, cobia, and sharks. Trolling with planning boards towing spoons behind is a great way to cover a lot of ground and locate feeding fish.

Grouper are back in season! If you plan on targeting gag grouper try fishing around a wreck or some good broken bottom. There are plenty of two foot ledges or breaks scattered all over the floor of the Gulf so keep your bottom machine running. When you notice a change on you bottom graph indicating a possible rock crevice below try tossing a marker jug and give the new spot a try. Normally if you hook into gags or fish like mangrove snapper then you're in the right place. When bottom fishing be sure to put out the extra effort and keep a couple of livies free-lined out on top. You never know when a mid-water fish such as a kingfish or blackfin tuna may be in the area. As the water continues to warm up, red grouper should take the spotlight for those anglers looking to put some meat in the box. For the keepers concentrate your efforts out past the 20-mile mark. Red grouper have a reputation of sucking up just about anything they can get in their mouth. Drift fishing with large lead head jigs tipped with squid is a great way to locate these bottom feeders. Keep your marker jug handy and when you get one on your line throw the jug to mark the location. Now you can re-drift the same spot over again.

Black fin tuna should make a good showing this month in the 80' to 120' deep water range. A good place to seek them out will be around the deeper wrecks and springs. Live baits such Spanish sardines and spot tailed grunts make excellent baits. Trolling and or live bait fishing around anchored shrimp boats is another great place to look for tuna. The shrimpers often will toss bycatch into the water, which often attracts the tuna to the area.

Cobia fishing should also be good this month. These big brawlers are known to hang around bottom structure such as wrecks and the artificial reefs. When fishing these types of areas be sure to keep an eye out for them to swim up around the boat, as they are a curious fish. Closer to the coastline, another method used to fish for cobia is sight fishing for them. On a clear sunny day, cobia can be seen swimming at or near the surface. Casting a live bait out in front of them should provoke a hit. The key when sight fishing is not to spook the fish with the boat.

Like I said, there'll be plenty of fishing opportunities in next month. Remember, if you're too busy to go fishing you're just too busy. Get out and go fishin cuz' it's good fer ya!

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Having worked as a fishing guide on Florida's west coast for 30 years, Capt. Dave can show you how to rig your boat and fish from Sarasota to Boca Grande

Contact Info:

Capt. Dave Pinkham' Fishing Service
Phone: 941-223-9352
Email the Captain
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