April was a great month to visit Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach.
“Postcard” days with air temperatures in the mid 60s to the low 80′s were interrupted by a day or two of wind and rain. Conditions rapidly improved after the fronts pushed thru, and the fishing was quite varied.
Spanish mackerel have been active in the mornings. These toothy speedsters like to snack on live baits such as shrimp and minnows, but will also take cut bait and are eager to bite many types of lures, especially the flashy ones. The Macks have been running 12″ to 20″, and some days even larger.
We were happy to see Pompano show up with some regularity in April. Anglers had their best success using the goofy Jig, with the teaser. Pompano can also be enticed into biting a sand flea or live shrimp.
Flounder continue to make a strong showing on Clearwater Beach. Anglers had good success using live shrimp, small greenback minnows, and lures like the grub tail jigs in a yellow or chartreuse color.
Sheepshead are still hanging around the pilings. The best technique to catch them is usually a strong small hook and small piece of crustacean like crab or shrimp. Sheepshead have a sensitive bite that results in a bare hook if you’re not vigilant or lucky.
Silver Trout were seen in some abundance this month, but fewer and fewer will be around once water temperatures get up into the 80′s. The Silver Trout like shrimp and squid; some anglers have good luck using the larger Sabiki rigs once the schools are located.
We saw a few Whiting this month and those we did see were pretty good size; 10″ to 12″ but there was no great quantity.
Many varieties of Sharks were caught and released on Pier 60. BlackTip Shark, Spinner Shark, and BonnetHead Shark were all represented.
Spotted SeaTrout fishing was pretty good this month with quite a few large fish taken. We had some larger fish during the daytime, but most of the best SeaTrout fishing is later at night. Sometimes the fish arrive after sunset, and sometimes later, even into the wee hours.
Other species caught this month include Ladyfish, Black SeaBass, Lizardfish, Grunt, Blue Runners, Jack Crevalle, Cobia, Bluefish, and small Mangrove Snapper.
Love bugs showed up one day and many believe that this is a sign that the Tarpon are arriving. We have seen some Tarpon off the end of the pier early in the mornings. Snook are going to be coming out of the passes to feed heavily and spawn any day now. Baitfish are abundant around the pier. Snook season will open Sept. 1st in the Gulf of Mexico.
Some of the best fishing in the year should be just ahead.
Pier 60 is open 24 hours a day until October 1
Your fishing day is 6 AM until 6 AM the following day
Good luck fishing!