bassturds

April fishing advice

34 posts in this topic

My buddy and I are doing a road trip  to Florida for the first week of April. march 30-April 8 heading to Tampa first, then Naples for peacocks then to Vero Beach. 

we want to catch as many fish species as possible,.   Salt - Tarpon, snook, redfish sea trout, lady fish, jacks, Goliath groupers ect
Fresh-Giant largemouth, peacocks, snakeheads, gar, clownknife fish, miyans, cichilids and what ever else we can catch. 

any info you could share would be greatly appreciated.  PM me locations if you could share some spots

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2 hours ago, bassturds said:

heading to Tampa first, then Naples for peacocks then to Vero Beach. 


Fresh-Giant largemouth, peacocks, snakeheads, gar, clownknife fish, miyans, cichilids and what ever else we can catch. 

 

Bassturds,

 

For the above bolded species, you're gonna have to head east and south, to the Miami Canals or the Ida/Osborne Lake/canal system.

 

Since the cold a month or so ago, very few Peacocks in Naples. 

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I will concur with Stuu, no peas in Naples as of my third day looking for an. 

Large mouth bass and tilapia all over the ponds but my usual pea hunts so far are dry.

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You wading from shore or do you have a boat or kayak?  Just fyi, as you see inland waterways beside roads they probably hold big bass and usually at least one gator.  Snook, reds, trout and some jacks are biting if you can find them.  Haven't seen tarpon yet but they may be down in the Naples area.

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11 hours ago, kayak99 said:

You wading from shore or do you have a boat or kayak?  Just fyi, as you see inland waterways beside roads they probably hold big bass and usually at least one gator.  Snook, reds, trout and some jacks are biting if you can find them.  Haven't seen tarpon yet but they may be down in the Naples area.

ill be wading, no boat or yak. so i just have to move to find fish? like usual up here in MA. just keep moving till you find active fish. 
do they get picky?  just need to find what they are feeding on? 

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have many many plastics, shrimps and zoom flukes mostly with jig heads but bringing alot of gear. crab baits, jerkbaits, topwaters. lots of gear.

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For freshwater the X raps do well for me for lmb and peas.

I prefer swim baits 

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Posted (edited)

Don’t overdo it on gear.  You won’t need it and you can pickup a few things as needed.   Yes you’ll need to find the fish.  Bait shops will steer you right, just make sure you buy a little something.  You would know freshwater so for salt, 1/8 & 1/4 oz jigs with swim baits (with tails), I recommend white with red heads, a couple chartreuse long a bombers for snook.  Keep in mind snook like to ambush bait fish swimming by, day and night.  They love the bridge shade areas especially at night. ( If you find yourself fishing the bridges in the keys use heavier jigs.). You can find crabs under rocks at low tide. Take thick gloves if you plan to hunt crabs else you’ll cut your hands.   Cut crabs in half & take their legs off then free line. Bring a bait bucket, preferably aerated, for shrimp.  Everything eats shrimp, dead or alive.    Free line them or add a little weight just don’t let them sit in the bottom.   Use fleuro leaders and swivels.  You can also use popping corks over shrimp or crab. Remember to wash your gear everyday after fishing salt.

 

 

To address your question about ”picky”,  recently I was wading off Pine Island.  As I waded thousands of greenback baitfish swim around me.  I could also literally see snook under a pier.   Do you think the snook were interested in anything I threw at them?  Nope.  They were fat and full.  That’s an example of Florida fishing.

Edited by kayak99

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im writing a paper with all the areas that look good on the map with access and a description on the structure. river, mangroves, backbays, jetties, holes, stuff like that. going to have a game plan when im down there instead of looking for locations while im down there. 
plan on doing it all, fishing bait, shrimp, crabs, bait fish, what ever i have to do to get some fish i will do it.
 

i got a few setups to bring, mostly inshore/ freshwater gear with 10, 15,and 20lb braid. 20lb floro. do i need to bring lighter floro? will fish be leader shy? also bringing some heaver stuff to use for bigger fish, like grouper, tarpon and big snook from the bridge. also in case there is a good mullet run.   i have some big striper lures i use here in Massachusetts, perfect size of big mullet.

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Don’t buy frozen shrimp, waste of money. Buy live and if they die that’s still ok. In Bonita Springs area there’s Masterbait and tackle on Bonita beach rd. $15 gets you 50 shrimp and now the shrimp have been a good size mix. You don’t need much more than 20lb mono tippet, size 1 hook and 1/8-1/4oz egg sinkers to fish live shrimp. Small jig heads also work good too. I don’t use circle hooks inshore, I use J hooks. 

 

 

Bass. You can rent kayaks at lovers key and fish the mangroves. I do well in the park. Don’t fish the hardwood side of the canal, only the mangrove side. I’m going back out on Sunday this week and will post a report. Keep looking for reports, I tend to get out every weekend. Took a couple weeks off now, moving now. 

 

If you want to fish lovers key by kayak, let me know and I’ll meet you there. From lovers key you can reach the bay easy. 

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change of plans! going to Stuart first fishing the area, from Miami to Vero beach. then going to Tampa for the last 3 days. 

what can i expect to get off the bridges and piers?

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Posted (edited)

On the skyway pier in Tampa, you can expect to catch anything and everything. I don't know much about the Miami area, but you should do well fishing with these same tips.

 

I recommend that you buy a good amount of sabiki rigs and use them to catch your baitfish.

 

Livelineing a live bait fish is your best bet if you want to catch big fish off the piers. Pilchard and pin fish make excellent small bait fish, but don't hesitate to liveline a 15in jack crevele, grunt, or blue runner under bridge and pier pilons.

 

9/0 hooks for grouper and 1/0 hooks for snapper, jacks, and snook.

 

20lb flouro leaders are good for snapper, snook, and jacks. 

 

Don't fish anything less then 50lb mono as a leader for grouper, 80lb to 100lb mono is even better.

 

Lures: bring a couple Kastmasters in 1/2oz, 2oz, and 4oz, a couple gotcha plugs, SP minnows in all three sizes, and some 1oz and 2oz flairhawk jigs. That is about all you might need lure wise.

Edited by Beastly Backlash

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Posted (edited)

I usually have one rod rigged with a sabiki, one rod rigged with a lure, one rod rigged for bottom fishing for snapper or live lining smaller bait fish, and then one heavy set up to cast large live bait.

 

Schools of fish like mackeral or bonito will move into an area to feed and move out of casting distance just as quickly, having one dedicated set up on stand by with a long casting lure to use on those fast moving schools can make all the differance.

Edited by Beastly Backlash

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