Boca Grande snook fishing in April is hard to beat.

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Spring time on the Southwest Gulf Coast is time to get out on our beautiful waters and enjoy our fabulous fishing. Snook are in season and hungry. Reds and trout are available too. Pompano are traveling up our coast and offer some awesome fare for fish dinners. The migratory schools of Spanish and king mackerel, sharks and baitfish are all passing now. They offer lots of action and enough fish to feed your neighbors. I’ll be surprised if we don’t get some tarpon this month! Just find time to enjoy spring time on the water.<br />
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Snook are our most popular inshore gamefish. They are fun, fight so good they’ll ruin a bass fisherman for life, and fry up wonderfully. Linesiders are rebounding well and seem to have survived the winter in good shape locally. The only problem is they are being loved to death. You can still enjoy some good action but the slot is tight 28-33 inches. Lots of anglers are looking for the slot fish. Fun fishing after the season will offer better catching just don’t overdo it they will be spawning. We need to be very considerate of this special fish and handle them with care. Wet your hands or use hook removers. Hold big fish horizontally for photos and have camera ready before you remove fish from water. Hold your breath while your trophy fish is in the air; you’ll get it back in the water alive. Use only circle hooks with bait or waste fish. Sorry but this is absolutely a fact. I seen too many gut hooked fish with j hooks and will not use them on gamefish. The circle hooks will actually catch you more fish if you give em the chance and leave more snook healthy for tomorrow. We hurt less snook per season now than we did per day with j hooks. Please consider circle hooks today for your kid’s sake. Fish will be scattered from the creeks to the Gulf Beaches. This was a strange winter and the fish are confused.<br />
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Reds and trout have bounced back well and offer a better shot at catching your dinner. They are mixed in the same areas as snook so target all three and have fun catching fish and bagging dinner. With so many flats fishermen these days you want to take your time and fish slow and carefully for quality fish. Everyone knows the good spots so it’s worth the effort to find new ones. The traffic will force fish to move more, take advantage and look around the area before you blast off. Idling in and out of spots will help if you can do it. Everyone benefits for happy fish.<br />
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Pompano have provided us almost steady action between fronts for the last couple of months. The passes have been best but some fish are around the flats too. Small metal Doc’ Goofy Jigs and pompano jigs are your best baits here. Tip jigs with a small taste of fresh shrimp or a sand flea. Short hops are the key to successful catching here; imitate the sand flea burring in the sand. Lots of ladyfish and jacks, etc… keep kids of all ages smiling with bent rods. 10 – 15 pound braid on spinning gear and fluorocarbon leaders help produce more bites. Fish have been very large up to 5 – 6 and even 7 pounds. Slot is 11 to 20 inches to the fork with only one over 20 inches. <br />
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The big mack attack is back. Our spring mackerel run offers your best opportunity to shine as a skipper, dad, or friend sharing your expertise with family and friends. Take a little time to shop at a local tackle shop for necessary gear and instruction. Most will find lures or hardware easier to learn and rig up. Use short piece of wire for the kings and carry a few extra rigs because you will need to replace lures that get cut off. I choose 40 pound mono for macks because we get many more strikes without wire here. Carry plenty of ice to keep you dinners fresh. You can use other boats to help you locate schools of feeding macks just remember to be considerate and not hamper the boats that helped you be your son’s hero. Many of us get excited and try to troll against the flow of busy traffic. Life baits are better if you have the knowledge to locate, capture and hold baitfish. Most beginners will spend a lot more time catching plenty of macks with those spoons and lures. Watch for screaming flocks of seagulls to help you locate your own schools of fish. Be careful of those teeth, they are sharp! Speaking of sharp teeth, big sharks offer big game fishing opportunities for any with the stamina to call em out.<br />
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It’s very early for silver kings but they could surprise us so I’m going to be prepared. Don’t miss this special time of year to enjoy our fishing. Let’s Go Fishin’ Soon. Captain Van Hubbard. <www.captvan.com><br />

Captain Van Hubbard

P.O. Box 146
Placida, FL 33946

941-468-4017

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