Spring really did arrive early and all of the fish were tired of that winter time low water temperature and came on big time. The Spanish mackerel and kings have arrived in big numbers and seem to be very hungry. Along the beach the Spanish are ready for almost any bait you want to put out and they are larger than normal as well. The king mackerel are in the buoy line and even in the deeper part of the bay as well as a little offshore around the artificial reefs. There were many, many pompano caught by the tourists along the beach this year and it made everybody happy with the spring fishing. The pompano should still be around during the month of May so get a shrimp (live or dead) and fish anywhere along the beach and you should have plenty of fish for lunch.
Offshore fishing has been exceptional during the month of April and I expect it to only get better as May comes around. Our only problem is still the same, government control on which fish we can actually bring home. At least there is still plenty of trigger fish of sufficient size to bring home but I don’t know when the National Marine Fishery Service will shut down the harvest of trigger fish in that they have already shut down the commercial harvest of trigger fish for the entire year. There seems to be plenty of gag and red grouper offshore as well as a lot of large vermillion snapper. If the rest of the year turns out as good weather wise and plenty of fish it is going to be a fantastic fishing year. All of the indications that I see now seem to support a great year for fishing along northwest Florida.
Don’t forget to file a float plan, and let somebody know when you are going to return.