I’m typing this on March 24th, and although we are still enjoying the last of the Winter Redfish fishery, it’s officially Spring and things are heating up.
Water temps inshore are sitting around 60 deg F, and even warmer than that in the back creeks. Mullet, Needlefish, Stingrays and other critters have begun their return to the flats. Some of the Redfish schools are already breaking into smaller packs and spreading out, something they’ll continue to do over the next month until they are in Summertime mode.
In April the Redfish may gather in smaller groups, or break up completely, but they are more aggressive at the same time. We usually get a decent topwater bite starting in April, which will just get better through the Spring and Summer. We should see our first few tailing Reds in April, with more popping up in May, and it really gets good in June.
I’ve got all of the tailing tides for 2022 sorted out and rated on quality. Unfortunately, we don’t have as many tailing opportunities this year, but we do have some really good ones available. If any of you want to talk about what dates look best for tails, let me know and I’ll get the info to you.
Along our nearshore waters, the temps right now are perfect for False Albacore, and we’ve had a few showings in the last week. The last few years, we’ve found Albies off the beach through the second or third week of April.
The Atlantic Bonito is my favorite Springtime target here on the Crystal Coast. They generally show up over the wrecks and hardbottom ledges within a few miles of the beach as the water temps rise. 58-60 deg F is the magic range where they show up. It’s currently 58 so they should be here any day now. We usually have them around through early May. I think of them as a lighter weight (5-10lb) version of an Albie, that blitzes the bait, burns drags, and taste great. This is the fish I most love to chase during the month of April.
April is also the month for “big fish” along the Crystal Coast. You never know what you’ll find as the waters warm up along the beaches. The pursuit of Albies, Bonito and Bluefish can quickly become interrupted by a school of jumbo Redfish or a Trawler loaded with hungry Sharks in it’s wake.
On April 29th, I’m heading up to the Roanoke River, to chase Striped Bass through May 14th. I still have a handful of half and full days available on the Roanoke. It’s an awesome fishery with absolutely gorgeous surroundings. On an average day you will usually go double digits on Stripers on fly or spin, with the opportunity to pick up a few other freshwater species.
If there is anything that looks interesting, please don’t hesitate to message or call me with any questions you have. Thanks so much for your time and I hope we can chase some fish together in 2022. - John