APRIL 2019 Fishing Report and MAY Forecast

Fishing Report APRIL 2019

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

Sea Hag APRIL Report

Another fantastic fishing month at the Sea Hag Marina. Near the end of the month, one of the longest running local tournaments set a record. The Fishing for Kids tournament, sponsored by the Shands Hospital Engineering Department, raised over $28,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network. Congratulations to all who participated. The fishing has been on fire inshore. There have been constant limits of very nice-sized trout, with some schools of really large ones, and the redfish have been absolutely over the top with many overslot fish being caught. The weather has remained temperate and the water has been clear for the most part. The grass is teeming with pinfish. Just about everything was successful this month, from topwater and subsurface lures to soft plastics and popping corks. Here are a few pics from April.

Steve Bradford landed this giant trout.
Vinny Phu scores again this month with this gator trout.
Will Freeman, Al Gifford Senior and Junior, and Keith Fennel came down from Stone Mountain, Ga to catch this fine bunch of fish.
Rachel Barthle landed this Spanish mackerel.
McKenna Douglas with a beautiful trout.
Madi Overstreet with her best redfish ever.
Joseph Jacobs from Lake Worth came up to catch this 26 inch trout.
Jimmy Barnhouse with another upperslot redfish caught during the Rescues tournament.
Greg Clements and Adam Mobley brought home some nice flounder dinners.
Gary Wood from Moultrie, Ga. with a massively oversized redfish caught just offshore.
Craig Duke with a really really nice trout.
Courtney Brown from Locust, Ga. with a nice keeper-sized trout.
Chris Moody fished with his dad to find this nice redfish.
Brody Hurst fished with his dad and targeted these nice-sized flounder.
Sea Hag’s Derek Snyder took his relatives Brad and Mitch out for some great redfishing.
Austin Hunt with a giant overslot redfish.
This trout won Andy Phillips first place in the Reeling for Rescues tournament.

Sea Hag MAY FORECAST

Florida Fish and Wildlife Commissioners are considering a spotted seatrout rule that could dramatically affect the Big Bend area. Limits would decrease from 5 to 3 fish per person; February would be closed; and guide limits would no longer be included in boat limits.  For four people fishing, the boat limit would go from 20 to 12; for a four-person charter, this would decrease the kept catch from 25 fish to 12. A public meeting to discuss these changes is being held on May 1 at 8:30AM at the Public Safety Institute, 85 Academy Drive, Havana, Fl.

(Editor Update: at the May 1 meeting, any decision to make changes in the spotted sea trout regulations were tabled, pending further research and public input.  However, starting 5/11/19 and ending 5/31/20, seatrout, redfish and snook are catch and release ONLY from the Pasco/Hernando county line south to the northern tip of Marco Island, in Collier County. )

Tournaments coming up:

May 4: Taylor County Optimist Club tournament

May 4: Florida Lure Anglers tournament

May 18: Fishing for Vision tournament

I’m expecting another fabulous month on the water in May. Most of the keeper trout limits have been coming in 3-5 feet of water, the clearer the better. Drifting over mixed sand and grass bottom is always the best way to find schools of fish. Re-do your drifts if things slow down. Larger trout have been more closely related to structure this past month, so you can find them in the same areas as redfish: rocky areas or oyster bars. We caught some nice fish this month fishing multiple rocky areas outside of Sand Point to the south and the flats outside of Dallus Creek to the north. For specifically targeting redfish, fish the shoreline behind Big Grass Island focusing on rocky areas. May is usually a month that the migrating pelagics, Spanish mackerel, kingfish and cobia, start showing up in our waters in decent numbers. Watch for migrating schools of whitebait, and troll spoons or bucktail jigs on 12 inch wire leader to find some Spanish mackerel or the occasional kingfish. For a day with the kids, anchor up near one of the nearshore bars or banks (9 Mile or Little Banks) and throw over a chum bag. You’ll attract baitfish, ladyfish, blue runners, cobia, and likely Spanish mackerel. It’ll usually provide enough action to keep your kids busy and help prevent boredom. Take advantage of this great fishing month before the temperatures soar.

Capt. Kyle Skipper, www.m1fishing.com (352) 317-1654

The fishing has been great and I don’t think that’s going to change for a while. A few fronts coming through have made a few days a little tougher than others but great fish are getting caught every day. I have plenty of availability this month if anybody would like to come see for themselves. 

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