Cat Country's Fishin' Hole Sponsored by Capt. Rob and SoulMate Charters
SUBMIT YOUR FISHIN' PHOTOS
SoulMate Charters and Captain Rob Fishing Report
This Month's Fishing Outlook
It seems that most Southwest Florida anglers are very happy that the month of March is in the rearview mirror! Cold, blustery weather has given way to beautiful sunny days in April and the fish are feeding well in both the backwaters and Gulf of Mexico. It's time to get out there and wet a line!
The vastly improving weather means that the fish will be more than happy to go on a Spring feed. The flats will also come alive as the days get longer and warmer.
Redfish will continue to be a target for inshore anglers. Look for them on the edges of the mangrove islands just under the overhanging branches. A good cast up under those branches should be rewarded with a solid strike. Live shrimp will work just find but don't overlook trying cut ladyfish. It smells good to a redfish and can help bring them to your location.
Sea trout will be working the flats in about 2 to 3 feet of water. A popping cork rig with live shrimp as bait is the old standby, but be sure to try artificial soft plastics as well. You can substitute a real shrimp with a fake one and have just as much success without having to constantly rebait after each hit.
The nearshore reefs will be loaded with spanish mackerel. Any shiny artificial will work, along with live shrimp on brightly colored jigs. Move your offering quickly for a strike. You'll also find a nice mix of grouper, snapper, flounder, trout and other fish on the bottom.
Reports of tarpon are already on the rise. The peak of our season is May and June but it's not unusual for them to show up in April. Be on the lookout and carry some stout tackle with you just in case.
Note... The water is warming up fast and this is when I like to get out the topwater lures and go after sea trout, redfish and snook. Both the Heddon Zara Spook and the Rapala Skitterwalk are favorites of mine. I look for natural colors and stick to the old rule, light colors on sunny days and dark colors on overcast days. There's nothing like a topwater strike to get your blood going!