April 2015 Fishing Report and Forecast

Fishing Report April 2015


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Capt. Rick Davidson, Editor (grassflats2@yahoo.com)

Sea Hag April Report

 

It’s been a great month, in spite of some windy and rainy conditions. Trout have been slow to arrive on the flats in great numbers but within the last two weeks they’ve become much more accessible. The sheepshead bite was also late this year, and is winding down now after a good year. Redfish have been present in large numbers, both as schooling fish and as singles. They’ve been taken on just about anything….gold spoons, topwater and suspending plugs, live shrimp, jigs and plastic tails and cut bait. The trout bite has been improving, with most people fishing popping cork rigs with live shrimp or Gulp-laden jigs. Offshore, the kingfish and Spanish have shown up, cobia are being found on offshore structure, and the red grouper bite continues to be good. The Ship’s Store now has live pinfish and shrimp in good quantities. There’s every plug you could need, from small crankbaits to large amberjack poppers. And if you’re planning a trip to Steinhatchee, the recently renovated cottages provide a great place to stay that is as convenient as any accommodations in town….and rumor is that there will be a pool coming soon.

 

Here are some pictures from this past month’s fishing trips.

I had several good trips this month with John Price from Trenton, who caught this nice upper-slot redfish on a Z-man weedless soft jerk bait...
I had several good trips this month with John Price from Trenton, who caught this nice upper-slot redfish on a Z-man weedless soft jerk bait…
...and Evan and Don Lester from Atlanta. Evan scored on this upper-slot fish using a Live Target suspending lure.
…and Evan and Don Lester from Atlanta. Evan scored on this upper-slot fish using a Live Target suspending lure.
Andy Phillips and Grant Wilson took first place in the Veteran’s Division of the Greg Bishop Memorial Fishing Tournament.
Andy Phillips and Grant Wilson took first place in the Veteran’s Division of the Greg Bishop Memorial Fishing Tournament.
Chris and Tommy Ballard with two fine amberjack.
Chris and Tommy Ballard with two fine amberjack.
This month the big kingfish arrived, which turned out great for Colton Connor!
This month the big kingfish arrived, which turned out great for Colton Connor!
The rest of the Connor family, from Macclenny, with their great catch.
The rest of the Connor family, from Macclenny, with their great catch.
Claudia Lake Park from Georgia with a fine redfish.
Claudia Lake Park from Georgia with a fine redfish.
Keith Kelly enjoyed the early season kingfish run as well.
Keith Kelly enjoyed the early season kingfish run as well.
Steve Bradford with a fine gator trout.
Steve Bradford with a fine gator trout.
Jackson Swisher from Lake City with a great sheepshead catch.
Jackson Swisher from Lake City with a great sheepshead catch.
Jason Boan from Macon with an armful of amberjack.
Jason Boan from Macon with an armful of amberjack.
The LBC group with a fine mixed inshore catch
The LBC group with a fine mixed inshore catch
Tonya Stalvey and Tiffany Murphy with a nice keeper redfish.
Tonya Stalvey and Tiffany Murphy with a nice keeper redfish.
Nick Oelrich from Newberry with a fine red grouper dinner.
Nick Oelrich from Newberry with a fine red grouper dinner.
The Jarrod and Ring families with this board of amberjack and sheepshead.
The Jarrod and Ring families with this board of amberjack and sheepshead.
Lee Hurst from Cook’s Hammock with his upper-slot redfish
Lee Hurst from Cook’s Hammock with his upper-slot redfish
The Austin and Moody families love sheepshead and kingfish.
The Austin and Moody families love sheepshead and kingfish.
The Hedgecock crew found lots of sheepshead as well.
The Hedgecock crew found lots of sheepshead as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sea Hag Fishing Forecast Report for May

As usual, the trout will be on the flats, and in the shallows in early morning. Fish around sand/grass areas and always cast toward sandy spots in the grass. Trout, being predators, will sit in the grass outside the sand waiting for pinfish to swim out of the grass. Areas of mixed bottom outside of Dallus Creek, Rock Point, and south of Rocky Creek would be good areas to start. Redfish are being caught both north and south of the river, from Pepperfish Keys to Big Grass Island. Most catches are coming in the two hours before and two hours after a flood tide, in close to the grass and around rocky areas like Rock Point to the north or Sand Point to the south. Use great care in motoring around these areas. The shoreline south of the Pepperfish Keys is another hot spot. The big news is that the pelagics have arrived in town, looking for food. Kingfish and Spanish mackerel have been found near the offshore bars like 9 Mile Bank or the bars outside of Dallus Creek. Look for schools of whitebait and troll or cast silver spoons or Floreo jigs…and whatever you do, don’t forget the wire leader. If the weather’s good, and you want to catch a mess of fish, consider taking a chum block to these bars when there are baitfish around. After 20 minutes you should have all the Spanish you want, with the occasional kingfish mixed in. It’s always worth throwing out one live bait if you’re anchored up. Another recent arrival are bluefish, which are hanging in the same areas. You may run into gigantic schools of bluefish which can save the day if the fishing is tough. Throwing topwater plugs toward bluefish is about as much fun as you can have on a fishing trip. They’re even more fun on a fly rod. Cobia are on the flats and around structure in 15 to 20 feet of water. Red grouper are available in deeper water, and the tail end of the sheepshead bite might still be going on for a week or so. The prescription this month is: keep moving. There are lots of fish around, and if they’re not where you are, you’re in the wrong place.

 

 

Here are some reports from our guides.

 

Captain Randall Hewitt 386-208-3823  http://www.hookedonreds.com/

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I am glad that April follows March … because things really turned around in April.  Lots of different species are on the prowl and taking bait . Trout , Spanish mackerel, bluefish and jacks  are prevalent. The redfish bite was strong and I expect it to continue. We have caught a number of oversized fish including a 40 inch red.   Schools of redfish were readily found producing non-stop action while on them.  We have landed a number of cobia as well. These guys always make for a good time.  I expect things to get even better as we move into the first of May. This is typically the best time of the year to fish the Nature Coast out of the Sea Hag Marina. Visit our website at www.hookedonreds.com for more information. Don’t forget to book your scallop trips now as the season is just 2 months away.

 

 

 

Captain Steve Rassel  352-359-5902  http://www.lastcastras.com/

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April again proved to be a great month to be fishing on the flats in Steinhatchee.  There were plenty of trout and red fish to be caught. May will be just as good or better. I first want to thank all my loyal customers for a great April and again for filling my calendar for May.  Still have a few days open for what promises to be another great June.  Tight lines and great fishing

 

 

 

Captain Scott Peters, Jr  352-356-7502    http://badtothebonefishingcharters.com/

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Captain Tommy Thompson  352-284-1763   http://www.flanaturecoast.com/capttommy

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Steinhatchee and the waters of Taylor and Dixie counties consistently produce great catches throughout the year.  On warming spring days  we’ll target big seatrout and reds along the rocky shoreline using gold spoons or suspending plugs.  And expect a great topwater bite for both trout and reds to get started this month.  If you’re looking for a great day of sportfishing, give me a call!

Steinhatchee is exceptional for the fact that we have relatively crowd-free waters and excellent marine services.  For those of you fishing with live bait, it’s available at the Sea Hag—along with ice, fuel, drinks and snacks.