Otto Hough (myhometownfishing.com) says, “Mother Nature pretty much ruined the fishing this past weekend with the storm system moving through the Big Bend bringing a final dose of winter in its wake. It looks like she will make it difficult for weekend anglers again over the next three days. On Friday, rain coupled with strong southerly winds are expected to create extremely choppy conditions over Apalachee Bay. Probably a “relax on the hill” type day. On Saturday, the winds will turn from the north. These winds will make it choppy over the offshore waters, however, if you plan to fish the inshore waters close to the hill, fishing conditions should be tolerable. The hill should lessen the chop about a mile offshore. What it takes is plenty of sunshine with air temperatures in the upper 70s to start pushing lean water temperatures back into the upper 60s. A few degrees increase in water temperature will go a long way in stimulating biting after the full moon.
“With the vernal equinox occurring on Sunday, late evening low tides will become stronger with the onset of spring. Expected northerly winds on Saturday and Sunday will cause mid-morning negative tides to drop more farther than the tide charts reflect.Remains true also during late afternoon receding tides.Take care when traversing lean waters during the morning hours before and after low tide.The same degree of caution should be used if you are running indoors before sunset, as there will be a strong low early in the morning and the tides.
“When conditions permit, the Unfair Lures Rip-n-Slash 70s, 90s and Arrowhead slow suspension lures have produced well, as have the Mirrolure 17MRs. which feed on the hard bottom plateaus from the rocky mouth to the east of the lighthouse.
“A big change has been the reduction in water clarity and lower salinity levels around river mouths, especially outside the Aucilla and Econfina rivers after rains last weekend through April. midweek. Fortunately, the waters west of Live Oak Island in Panacea are still in very good shape. shape clarity as are the waters west of Alligator Point in Lanark. In the newly stained waters of tannin near Aucilla work lures with chartreuse patterns produced For soft bait glow/chartreuse jerk shads should work well If you cast AquaDream spoons for reds solid white red eyes are a good favorite color in darker waters. If you’re drift fishing, a glow/chartreuse shad jerk on a 1/8 ounce jig head under a Cajun Thunder or Equalizer will attract good trout.
“Remember these low tides will have the skinny water coming down with lots of rocks just below the surface from the Rock Garden to the east, so navigate carefully, especially if you are running inland. As always, wear a PFD self-inflating for safety reasons. is prohibited, but have fun Saturday and Sunday. Sail safely. Just FISH!”
ST. GEORGE ISLAND
Captain Russ Knapp (850-653-5072) reports, “Well folks, I’d like to report that the weekend is looking good and the fish are going to have two hunger points, but the weather gods still have other plans for us. This week’s cold front number two is expected to arrive on Friday and leave northwesterly and northerly winds at 20 knots for Saturday and Sunday with seas 3 to 5 feet offshore and the bay having a moderate (read rough) chop. .
“In the bay, the rivers send us a lot of dirty fresh water, which will make fishing in East Bay a challenge, so if you go there, I suggest you fish up Hwy 98 and look for clean water. I’m hoping trout will be hanging out on the flats near the highway, so I’d start with a bright Gulp on a Jighead, either on the bottom or under a Cajun Thunder. Look for low tide in mid morning both days so at least you don’t have to get up early.The deck pilings and oyster bars should still hold some lovely Sheepshead and Black Drum with a live fiddler crab the bait of the day if you You can get them.Captain Jeremey Willoughby (850 323 0769) reports that the Pompanos are roaming the waters off Panama City, so brace yourself because they’ll be here soon.
“Offshore the fish have enjoyed a great and safe week as most offshore captains have wisely stayed in port. Captain Clint Taylor (850 370 6631) says don’t lose hope as things will soon get worse Capt Clint also reminds you that if you want to charter a Federal Waters Red Snapper (beyond nine miles) with the For Hire season opening June 1, you must book it NOW!
“Tip of the Week: Captain Ron Copeland of Wefings Marine in Eastpoint, reminds you to remove your propeller and inspect the hidden fishing line behind it and remember to generously lubricate the shaft with marine grease to avoid the grief of a stuck prop.”
Captain Kevin Lanier, (KC Sportfishing 850-933-8804) reports, “Spring fishing is off to a slow start, but things are looking up. Weather is always a factor, but breaks between systems provide a great opportunity to get out. Some of the best fishing in our area is near the mouth of St. Joe’s Bay and areas near the Port St. Joe Marina.
“A variety of fish are caught on shrimp and slipper sinkers. This is not an all day bite and tends to occur throughout the day. Fishing at Sheepshead and Pompano should improve over the over the next few weeks as we hopefully pass the last real cold weather of winter.Offshore fishing continues to be erratic but productive in our area.Triggerfish are open for retention and fishing for them is always good. As always, be careful and happy fishing!”
Captain Pat McGriff of One More Cast ([email protected]) says: “Trout came back strong but not quite to a fish like they were last week at 77 degrees on Tuesday 8. Our temperature of the water crashed from 20 degrees to 57 on Monday and despite that Capt Dave Malone and I caught our limit of trout and two 26 inch reds double from a school of reds pushing tiny dead baits on the tide high. We caught all our trout and reds on Assassin’s 5″ shads in “Money, Watermelon Slice and Drunk Monkey”. Jan Grantham of Douglas, Ga. We caught our fish on live shrimp under a Back Bay and on Paul Brown Devils in the color “98.” 2.0 to 2.5 feet was the ticket both days.
“The water color is “TOO bright” from Keaton until about Adams where you start to pick up a slight stain; but that tannic color is more substantial after passing the Warrior Marker. Doug Garwood is from Dalton, Ga. with his buddy, Jim Baker and they handled 5 guardian trout and a red, Tuesday, in an hour and a half before the storm hit. On Wednesday, this same couple had 6 trout and two red. Doug and Jim were fishing the ole’ Walmart Renegade plugs (Lipped Jerkbaits) alternate days in 2.0 to 2.5 feet of water.”
Otto Hough, (myhometownfishing.com on FB) reports “The bream are on the beds in Iamonia and the speckled perch, aka crappie, are in full spawning mode. That cold weather last weekend brought down the bed bass, but a return of warmer days and nights this weekend should serve to get the bed-sitters biting again. With the onset of the spring water snake outbreak, these bed guardians are aggressively attacking Zoom Speedvibes and Z-man FattyZ worms.
On Jackson Lake, even with the nearly four inches of rain that fell on the Jackson Drain last week, the news is not good. Only minimal amounts of water remain in the northern and southern basins. Water continues to flow through Porter Sink. Fishing was restricted to anglers using kayaks, canoes, or extremely small jon boats.
Captain Paul Tire reports, “Seminole Lake bass fishing has been awesome this month! As we enter April, bass will enter their post-spawning patterns. If you’re planning a trip to Lake Seminole in April, make sure you have some Topwater bait in your tackle box.
“April is a great month for Top water lures, a Buzzbait is my top choice as it is very productive for covering the water to find active areas holding the Bass. I prefer a War Eagle buzzbait in chartreuse and white fished on and along the grass lines on the main lake. My second choice is a Rebel Pop R fished along the grass lines. The Pop R has a unique sound that will attract explosive strikes!
“The Shellcracker will be down in April and is an exciting way to introduce kids to fishing. For a Seminole Lake Fishing Adventure for Shellcracker and/or Bass in April, call me to check availability at 850-264- 7534, follow us on Instagram @ Capt.paultyrefishing or email me @ [email protected]”