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Yeah! April is finally here!!!! This is the time of year that all Nature Coast anglers look forward to the most. Warmer weather, longer days, lighter winds, gin clear water and the spring arrival of some of the “Worlds” most sought after game fish are what anglers are looking forward to this month. Speckled Trout, Spanish Mackerel, TripleTail, Sharks, Grouper, and Cobia are all on the list, but none of these species compare to the “Silver King” when the April migration of fish rolls around.

The Tarpon that roam the flats off Bayport, Homosassa, Crystal River and Yankeetown have all been known as the staple of the fly fishery here along the Nature Coast for years. Numerous world records have been set in our backyard and if this year is anything like years past we may see a few records fall again this year. Interestingly enough the records that most likely will be challenged this year are the records that are held by WOMEN! That’s right myself and a number of other local guides from the area are lining up trips with some of the best flyfisherwomen in hopes of challenging line class records on 4-12lb tippets. Now most of these fish will have to be over 40lbs but it will be very possible for a female angler to shatter a record by 50-70lbs. Keep in mind folks Nature Coast Tarpon average 70lbs and we are still home to the only 200+lb Tarpon ever landed on fly. (If you’re interested in seeing the fish and hearing the story Daryl Seaton at the Nature Coast Fly Shop has the actual fish mounted outside the fly shop in Crystal River.)

Now that we are all excited about the arrival of the “Silver Kings” first we’ll need to warm up with a few less challenging species to build up our fishing MOJO. Fish like Speckled Trout, Redfish, Spanish Mackerel and Tripletail will all be in abundance this time of year and all are more than willing to take a stab at a live bait, lure or fly from time to time. Lately my clients and I have been targeting Redfish and Speckled Trout along many of the rocky points, oyster bars and shallow flats scattered through out the area. I normally will start my day by jigging Berkley Gulp! Shrimp in large areas where fish should be holding and then once I find areas of good fish I will switch to live baits to trigger more strikes. Gulps! Make great search baits, but topwater lures in the morning and jerk baits in the afternoon have also seen there fair share of action.

Kayak fishing is also beginning to heat up!!! Just ask Jane and Van Sayler who spent a recent morning with me and were rewarded with some great Redfish, Speckled Trout and Flounder Action. The morning started off with a great Topwater Speckled Trout bite in water ankle deep or only where kayaks could float. Walk-the-Dog style of lures worked best but there were plenty of fish willing to take a stab at Berkley Gulp! Jerkbait. After sliding a few of these toothy fish over their kayaks we decided to make our way towards some of the areas best Redfish grounds. As the warm Florida sun finally rose above the mangroves and tall palms, tailing Redfish became more prevalent on some of the skinnier flats scattered across the Salt River area. I did my best to position Jane and Van in some areas where Redfish were working but they could not have prepared themselves for the action that was coming up next. Upon coming up to a little island we noticed tons of mullet jumping and fining as the full moon tide made its way out. Every once in a while a bigger tail was spotted glistening in sunlight. The first two shrimp that hit the water were immediately donated to pinfish for the cause. However, the next two shrimp were destined for the Reds. Wham! Van hooked up! Wham! Jane was hooked up! Redfish double header on kayaks. Life is Good!!!!!! Throughout the rest of the day there were plenty of Reds, Speckled Trout and Flounder caught but none were more special than the two Reds that were involved in the double of the day!!!!!!

If you’re interested in a great fishing, fly fishing or kayak fishing adventure feel free to give Red Hot Fishing Charters a call to day.

Capt. Kyle Messier

(352) 634-4002


Red Hot FIshing Charters - Captain Kyle Messier

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