Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dunedin Fishing Report 4-20-10

Catching Up in April! 4/18/2010

Hello Friends. I hope you are having a great spring. Things are starting to take off around here. We are still about a month behind on all of the normal activity, but it has been a great few weeks for fishing. The days are in the 80's with mild overnights in the 60's! That has brought the bait in by the truck loads and the flats are starting to heat up! We are still waiting for that big Mackerel run to hit. They are reported to be well offshore and to the south, but the next week or so should see them coming in closer to shore. The Kingfishing will improve as well as the strong Spanish Mackerel bite. Well I have been very busy out here, so on to the report...

The large Trout are still hanging on in Dunedin. It seems like a prolonged season, but we really didn't get started 'til well into February. Once the whitebait, (as we call them) showed up, we have been cast netting in the morning to fill our wells with the most sought after food around. The Trout have certainly responded to their arrival. Freelined or under corks, they are looking to eat them. I have been focusing on the spoil islands for most of the Trout, but there are still some schools roaming around the flats. They are still averaging around 18 - 21 inches! As summer approaches, the smaller ones will become the norm. Until then, we are taking advantage of these cooperative fish. They are getting timid with all of the pressure, so stealth is key!
Redfishing has been excellent around the stronger moon phases. The high tides allow them to make their way into the mangroves where they can be targeted with cut baits along the edges. I like to trolling motor down the mangroves, peering into the limbs, looking for a couple Reds to move. Once I spot a few, I will set up and start to spread baits out along the bushes. The casts that are actually inside the root systems are most likely to get a hit. Those of you that have done this type of fishing with me know what I am talking about. Skipping those baits deep in the mangroves takes a lot of practice, but can definitely pay off. There are also some schooling fish on some of the better known flats around Clearwater and Dunedin. The falling tides will bring them out of the mangroves to forage on the available bait. The right angle of the sun can help us see them rolling and flashing their white bellies. Once we spot a group flashing, it is a race to get those Sardines in their path. The school can be stopped by throwing a few free baits out. They will be pre-occupied with the chummed baits and run into yours with a hook in it! That's when the fun begins! Redfish are very strong and have worn down many angles on my boat. Be sure to look for the leaping Mullet. That is a dead giveaway. The Reds hang around the Mullet eating the baits they scare up as they are roaming the flats.

man with redfish

The Snook are still pretty scarce. After the cold winter killed so many, I just hope they can recover over the next few years. I think we will see plenty of them as the water continues to warm, however, I am not focusing on them until then. I have only physically seen three so far this year! Normally, we would be catching them from mid March through April! This isn't the first time they have taken a hit. They always seem to rebound well, as long as our conservation methods are continued. That includes closing their season for an extended period, (until September 1st this year). As well as abiding by the one per person limits and good releasing practices.

I shot offshore last week, hoping to find some Mangrove Snapper. We caught a bunch of short Grouper and a few Grunts. The water temps need to rise a bit more to get the larger Grouper closer to shore and bring in the Snapper
The next few weeks should be awesome out here. The Mackerel are around the corner and so are the Tarpon. There are some Tarpon in the upper Tampa Bay area already. I still have some good moon phases available for Boca Grande. Don't wait to book your trip of lifetime. Call or e-mail now to get your day on the water! See ya soon!

Capt. Brian

Capt. Brian Caudill


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