Capt. Pete Rapps
Spring is here and April is a more than welcomed month here in the Ten Thousand Islands. Spring is here, the cold fronts and windy days are about over, and the fishing is typically fantastic! Near coastal water temperatures are averaging 80 degrees, with air temperatures in the mid 80’s.
The full moon this April falls on the 4thth and the new moon is on the 19th. April is the first month of the year that we will not have any extreme negative low tides to be concerned with. We will have some very low tides from the 17th-22nd due to the new moon, but those negative low tides are in the middle of the night and will not affect the day time fishing.
Looking at the moon phases, tides, and the Solunar calendar, I like whatI see for peak bite days on the 2nd through the 5th, and the 17th through the 20th. Refer to my website for the current Solunar Calendar. There is a link on the bottom of my home page for “Solunar Bite Times.”
Redfish are beginning to show up a little better than the past few months. Most seemed to take a winter vacation but are coming back home now. We have been getting them on the oyster bars using live shrimp. Speckled Sea Trout have been around in decent numbers on the grass flats. We like using soft plastic “Gulp” Shrimp under popping corks for them.
Snook are on the move from the back country to the near Gulf river mouths. Best bets for catching Snook during this time is live bait like Pilchards and Thread Herring. Try the mangrove shorelineswhere the water is moving over deeper cuts. Typically there is an eddy of still water around each point. The Snook will be lying in there waiting for bait to be swept by with the current. Drift your baits into the eddy for your best chance.
If you want to hook up with the “Silver King”, Tarpon are beginning to show on the shallow flats. They are on the move and are feeding on many things like Thread Herring, Pilchards, Ladyfish, and crabs. Rig a good rod with a 8/0 circle hook, tied to 4’ of 60lb Fluorocarbon leader, on a spinning reel filled with 30-40 lb. braid. Don’t forget to point your rod tip at him each and every time he jumps so that he can take drag easier without pulling the hook or bending it straight on you.
IfTarpon are on your “bucket List”, you should think about joining us down in Big Pine Key at the Bahia Honda Bridge. I am there with some of our top guides doing Tarpon-Only charters from the middle of April through the middle of June, averaging several of these “Silver Giants” on just about every trip.
Captain Rapps’ Charters & Guides offers year round expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips in the 10,000 Islands of the Everglades National Park, and spring time Tarpon-only charters in the Florida Keys. Capt. Rapps’ top notch fleet accommodates men, women, & children of all ages, experienced or not. Between our vast knowledge & experience of the area, and easy going demeanors, you are guaranteed to have a great day. Book your charter 24/7 using the online booking calendar, and see Capt. Rapps’ first class web site for Booking info, Videos, Recipes, Seasonings, and more at www.CaptainRapps.com