April is definitely our strongest “transition” month for both weather and fish. Wide ranging temperatures, wind, rain, fog, and sunshine may welcome you on any given day, and sometimes ALL on the SAME day! The fish in April can also be just as unpredictable! The good news is many patterns remain fairly consistent and we welcome many of our warmer weather species back to the Golden Isles!
First, go ahead and tighten your drags, and you might as well throw in a little extra terminal tackle as well. Fishing structure, as many of you already know, is not for the faint of heart. Your going to lose tackle, fish, and possibly a small bit of your sanity. Fish holding structure, serious structure, comes in many forms, as well as many techniques to approach it.
A plastic shrimp. Never work. That’s what I thought until I met Mark Nichols about 20 years ago at the old Pine Island Fish Camp in St. Augustine. Mark explained the key to this bait, was nothing. Do nothing. I didn’t completely understand that at the time, but over the years I’ve figured it out. Mark had explained that a shrimp actually moves forward at a slow and meticulous pace. That is the real magic of probably the best shrimp imitating lure on the market. I guess the “do nothing philosophy” probably needs to be explained. This bait needs to do nothing but look natural. It is the angler’s mission to keep this imitation crustacean looking “au natural”.
When negotiating shells, structure and grass, this simple, snag free shrimp works wonders. This particular custom crustacean is created by pairing the popular 3” D.O.A. ¼ oz. shrimp with either a 2/0 or 3/0 red or black Extra Wide Gap worm hook. While it can be rigged traditionally thru the head or front of the bait, I like to rig it thru the tail for a couple of reasons. First, it will look like a fleeing shrimp when twitched, and secondly, this positions the bait weight forward for added casting distance.