Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Forecast, April 2008

Compliments of Mosquito Creek Outdoors, Apopka Florida

Reflecting back on past fishing adventures, April stand out as one of the finest months to experience the true diversity of the fishery existing along the Indian River Lagoon coast of Florida. April serves as a transitional period where the winds of March give way to the heat and humidity of summer. As spring progresses and water temperatures rise, fishing opportunities abound with the influx of bait moving north within the lagoon and closer to the shoreline along the beaches.

April marks the beginning of the fishing season for many blue water anglers, representing the start of the northern migration of dolphin in deeper water, 120’ and beyond. This first wave of dolphin is usually credited with some of the largest bulls taken all year. It also marks the beginning of the spring kingfish run on the near-shore reefs and wrecks off of Port Canaveral. Traditionally, April is the time of year when the larger kingfish, 30 to 50 pounds, are caught off of 8A Reef, and Pelican Flats.

As we move into the near-shore waters, we can only hope the cobia are still around. The cobia run was going on last month with some great catches reported in between passing fronts. On flotsam and along the Canaveral buoy line, tripletail should become more dependable throughout the month. Along the beaches, pods of Atlantic menhaden (pogies) have been showing up south of the Cocoa Beach Pier, and the arrival of these bait pods is a sure sign of predators lurking in their shadows. Look for tarpon, jumbo redfish and jack crevalle, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, blacktip sharks, cobia, and smoker kingfish to begin showing up in the vicinity of these bait pods.

Inside Port Canaveral and Sebastian Inlet, look for a good number of sheepshead and black drum to be holding around structure such as jetties and docks and look for Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and jack crevalle in deeper water areas. Also look for nighttime snook and tarpon action to begin heating up in both the Port and in Sebastian Inlet as we move deeper into the month.

On the Lagoon flats, it’s time to start fishing the early morning and late evening bite with your favorite top water plugs for extreme sea trout and redfish action. During midday periods, work the deeper areas, 2 to 3 feet, with your favorite soft plastics, jerk baits, or jigs. Remember, April is one of the months where the larger sea trout (all females) become egg laden for the spawn, so it’s very important to handle and release these larger fish with extreme care. Sea trout have one of the highest mortality rates of catch and release game fish on the Lagoon.

Last but not least, look for the large mouth bass action to heat up on the St. Johns River. Look for schooling bass at first light feeding on menhaden from the Osteen Bridge to the Econ Creek. Some of my favorite places to look are the river bends between Lemmon Bluff and Lake Harney, and the south end of Lake Harney where the river dumps in. To locate the areas of schooling fish, I simply look for congregations of white pelicans and other wading birds lined up along the riverbanks waiting for an easy meal when the hungry bass push the bait to the surface along the shore. When in the feeding mood, these fish will eat just about anything, but the heavy bite usually only last from first light to the point where the sun crosses the eastern horizon, so an early start is essential.

Seminars and Events

April 18th, 19th, 20th, Coastal Angler Magazine Boating and Fishing Expo, Melbourne, Florida, Angler’s Improvement Clinics Sponsored by Mosquito Creek Outdoors, RipTide Soft Plastics, Woodie’s Rattles, TTI-Blakemore Fishing Group, and D.O.A. Lures

Future Hook Kids on Fishing! Program Dates

April 19 - Melbourne: To register contact the Melbourne Leisure Services 321-255-4608.

As always, if you have any questions or need more information, please contact me.

Good luck and good fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn

Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters
407-366-8085 landline
407-416-1187 on the water
866-790-8081 toll free

Book a charter, and let’s go fishing.

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