Cold fronts are nothing new to April; it’s known for being a windy month. But I can’t remember a year when each passing front brought two days of gale force winds.
Surely by Thursday we will be looking at winds under 10 mph, but by then the damage will be done. By damage I mean dirty water and displaced bait and the fish that pursue them. Realistically it will take till Saturday for the water to clean up enough for the bait to gather. Patterns will need to re-establish and with improving tides later into the weekend we should see a couple of excellent fishing days before the next cold front comes through.
Kingfish inched there way closer to shore by last weekend. Plenty of fish in the 10- to 15-pound range were hanging over hard-bottom areas within a couple of miles off shore. Anchoring and fishing with live pilchards while running a fresh chum block lead to multiple hook-ups from fish this size. If you’re targeting bigger fish try using bigger baits such as live shad, mullet or ladyfish.
Inshore fishing was really good mid-week last week and became progressively slower as we got into the weekend. Slow-moving tides were to blame for the decline in action. As we look toward this up-coming week we see those full moon tides start to take hold and we should see the fishing get hot again. Oyster mounds at high tide have been holding good numbers of redfish and a few snook. Live bait fishing with pilchards, also known as whitebait, can be exciting, but sometimes not as effective as a fresh cut bait either ladyfish or shad, placed right along the outer edge of the bar.
Trout fishing remains strong as numbers of fish are holding along spoils island drop-offs. Sand/ shell bottom is the preferred habitat of the spawning sized trout. Free-lining live pilchards up-tide and letting them swing through the zone is a slam-dunk when the fish are turned on.
Tyson Wallerstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To get a fish photo in the paper, send the photo along with your name, when and where it was caught to editorial@TBNweekly.com or mail it to Tampa Bay Newspapers, 9911 Seminole Blvd., Seminole, FL 33772.