The end of March and the beginning of April brings much warmer temperatures that often stay within the lower to mid-80s range in the 10,000 Islands region. With these warmer temperatures, you also find warmer water at around 75-78 degrees. Spotted sea trout and pompano are two of the fish to target during April because of this weather. These fish tend to hang out around the flats where you see the grassy bottom and the sand meet.
Pompano and trout also prefer to hang out in water between three and five feet in depth. When fishing for these fish, use a quarter ounce bucktail jig tipped with fresh shrimp. Bouncing the jig off the bottom will get their attention.
Tarpon will also start to make a showing during April and can be found around the shallow flats. They prefer feeding on ladyfish, pilchards, thread herring, and crab. For these fish, try using a circle hook tied to a piece of 50-pound fluorocarbon line. The best time to fish for Silver King Tarpon is the middle of April to the middle of June.
If you aren’t familiar with the technique used to catch these fish, it might prove to be more of a challenge. Once the Tarpon has taken your bait, raise the rod tip and let the circle hook drive the hook home. The rod tip should always be pointed at the tarpon when it jumps; this allows to line to move with the head shake as he jumps. Once the fish is back in the water, pull and reel.
If you want snook, now is the time for these fish as well. This is the time of year when snook begins to make their way from the backcountry out to the edge of the Gulf. They prefer pilchards and thread herring and hang out around the mangrove shorelines where the water moves over the deeper cuts.
Springtime in the 10,000 Islands is a great time to find plentiful fish and a fun fishing experience. As long as you come prepared, know what fish you want to target, and are up to date on the best spots to go to catch those fish, you are sure to have a great time out on the water.
If you don’t know a lot about fishing in the 10,000 Islands, don’t hesitate to charter a boat. You will have guidance from a professional who is knowledgeable about the area, the best fishing spots, and the local rules and regulations. Tight lines! Captain Brandon.
Captain Rapps Fishing Charters is located at Everglades City Marina, 200 Collier Avenue, Everglades City, Florida, 34139. Call 239-571-1756 or visit www.captainrapps.com.