Capt. Joel Gant
April 8, 2016
Hernando Beach - Saltwater Fishing Report
Finally May is here, this is one of my favorite time of year to target multiple species. As we move into May, the fishing should continue to get better and better. The water clarity should improve with the winds letting up and the temperatures are getting just right. The fish will begin to get into their summer patterns. On recent charters we have been getting a lot of big sharks, Spanish mackerel, grouper, sea bass, trout, cobia and kingfish showing up. This tells me the summer run is here. You can almost pick which species you want to target.
The offshore bite has continued to be great. Bottom dropping has been producing really well. Use either frozen threadfins, cut squid or live bait on a stout rod with at least 60 lb line and a 7/0 circle hook. With this set up, look for grouper (gags closed season till June 1st with size move to 24" to the tail) to be your first target fish with some nice hog, mangrove and gray snappers mixed in. While anchored, put out a free lined threadfin or live pinfish and be ready for a line ripping kingfish or cobia to take this bait. Sometimes you may need to use just a fluorocarbon leader (like 40-60 lb) rather than a steel leader if they seem leader shy. It's always a good idea to put out a chum block to help draw them in. If you're looking for some big sharks, use steel leaders and try adding some old fish fillets to your chum bag.
Inshore, look for the trout, redfish and snook to start moving out to the shallow grass flats and cuts in 2 – 6 feet. Use live shrimp or white bait under a strike indicator. Keep these baits just above the grass and let them free line with the current. Try to have them drift near any ambush point area, as in grass points or rocks. You can also use artificial baits like top water or jerk baits. Once you catch a fish, work that area and you'll probably pick up a few more.
With spring break, a lot of my charters have been with families down from up north visiting relatives and trying to get away from the cold weather. I love it when a youngster on my charters catches his or her first fish or a nice shark. Their excitement and the look on their faces are priceless. I've been blessed with a grandson nicknamed RJ. I've been fishing with him since he was 2 1/2 years old ( he is now 3 1/2). RJ has already caught multiple different fish with me. If you have a chance, take a kid out fishing.
Get out there on the water and make some memories with friends and family!
Capt. Joel Gant operates Fishdaddy Charters out of Hernando Beach, he knows the local waters like the back of his hand, and works both inshore and offshore trips. Check him out on face book or you can reach him at (352) 279-1615 or visit his website, www.fishdaddycharter.com
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