April is such a great fishing month, where do you start?
Tarpon fishing in the river is under way with resident species being caught on everything from bottom chunks to lures.
Big snook are looking to feed heavily and start the spawning process in and around the passes and along the beach. Find snook up and down the river structures on the way to the Gulf as well as lit docks at night.
Capt. George Tunison
Now is a great time to catch your snook of a lifetime, especially at night. I offer trophy night time snook hunts, but for only one angler at a time due to the inherent danger factors of night casting, boat control and, if luck is on our side, big angry fish.
Trophy trout are feeding heavily on grass flats mixed with potholes. Verified trout to just over six pounds have been caught this past week. Make sure two anglers stand side by side on the front deck when casting for trout. Thursday, every really big trout I hooked was followed right to the boat by another much bigger trout or two, trying to get the hooked trout's food or mate.
As soon as you see your trout being shadowed by another, make the second short flip cast to the follower with a similar lure, for an instant doubleheader.
Right now is definitely the time to bag a gator trout and serious hunters are tossing lures before the sun rises. The DOA Cal Jig or DOA Shrimp on an eighth- to a quarter-ounce jighead, tied to a 15-20-pound fluorocarbon leader is a killer if you like to cast and retrieve. Color is vital. Besides my secret color, right now "new penny" is a good choice for both reds and trout.
The real brawlers are showing up and their names all start with jack. If jacks jumped, would you need to fish for anything else? Sheer brute strength, never-quit attitude, lure and fly friendly, and they even loudly cuss you and give you the old evil eye while unhooking them. What a fish!
Big jacks sometimes live around structure and many large structures upriver hold the biggest jacks I've seen in these parts. I'm talking 20-pounders. A big jack on a 6-7-8 weight fly rod is double guaranteed, money back fun!
I just booked a guide on the East Coast to put me on jumbo jacks in the 40-pound range which live on the Atlantic side. (Even guides book guides, as it always saves time and money when exploring new turf.)
Can you imagine the strike of a 40-pound jack on a topwater plug? I may have to move to Jupiter Inlet for the jumbo jacks and truckloads of monster snook that live there.
Grouper? Yes! Offshore, nearshore, and under the bridges. I watched an angler nab a fine grouper under the Sanibel Causeway recently.
With the sub-tropical heat and sun soon arriving think sun protection. Long sleeves, long pants, sun gloves, face and head coverings, and high SPF sunscreens reapplied regularly. I use 100 SPF and stay covered as well.
It's serious business as Capt. Roy Bennett can attest to as he just had four areas of skin removed and, hopefully, that will be the end of it for him. Get checked at least once a year.
Bring children to the 24th annual Cape Coral Kiwanis Club Fishing Derby on Saturday, April 21 at the Cape Coral Yacht Club Pier, 8:3011:30 a.m. Open to boys and girls age 5-15. Plenty of prizes. Rods, reels, bait provided. Limit 375.
Derby starts promptly at 8:30. Come to the pier and check in before the derby starts. This is a wonderful event for all. Bicycles will be given as door prizes and trophies for the largest and smallest fish! Young children need an adult companion.
Call Wally Laumeyer for information at (239) 772-8678.
Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at 239-282-9434 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.flyingfinssportfishing,com.