Out and about

Tomlinson: April fishing is fantastic throughout region

The fishing off Hernando has been fantastic throughout the entire region. The grass flats from 2-10 feet of water has a variety of species like trout, mackerel, pompano, sharks, cobia and more on the move and feeding.

We have had a lot of success on recent trips in the deeper grass flats in the 6-10 foot range. I like to drift these areas and have my clients work 1/4 oz. jigs with a white Gulp shrimp or Lil John jerk baits. Work the offering slow in the grass to get more trout and then bring the same bait higher in the water column and work it faster for mackerel.

Float a pin fish behind the boat in a chum slick while drifting for cobia. Don't be surprised if a shark gets in on the fun. We are starting to catch more sharks in the past week and I expect their numbers to increase more as the Gulf waters continue to warm.

The redfish bite has been productive the past weeks in the back country. I have been getting reports of good numbers of quality reds and snook being caught throughout the entire region. Cut mullet, live pin fish, or white bait are great baits to toss close to the mangroves into mullet schools on a good moving high tide.

April has arrived, which means it is time to get the 12 weight fly rods and heavy spinning rods ready. Tarpon should start arriving by the end of this month as long as no more cold fronts move through and chill the water again. We had good numbers of tarpon move through in years past, and I hope for the same this Spring.

Good luck out there and tight lines!

Capt. Keith Tomlinson runs Bulldog Fishin Charters out of Hernando Beach. Contact him at www.bulldogfishin.com or (352)238-3581.