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Inshore Fishing Update | April 2024 | St. Croix USVI


Inshore Fishing Summary:

April has been a very good month for inshore fishing here on St. Croix. We’ve added two new species to our list: Croaker and Black Grouper. This brings our total unique species count to 32! While the Pilchard spawn is wrapping up, bait remains plentiful along many Bays and Flats. Gamefish continue to take advantage of large schools of bait with Tarpon, Snook, Bonefish, Jacks, Barracuda, Grouper our most common catches this month. Bird activity, due to the plentiful bait has also remained good in most bays. Activity at Great Pond has cooled off the most, with the Flat going from having dozens of birds to only 1-2 by late April, a clear sign the spwan has wrapped up there. Permit sightings remain common and we’ve even seen video from one of our clients of Parrotfish and Permit tailing together on the Northshore. As we start to head into Summer we’ll start to see some more changes as water and air temps rise. Baitfish will find deeper potholes and bays to hide in while new born Sprat will start to flood the the Flats.



The below shows the size range of the Silver Kings we hooked into in April:


Tarpon: 1 - 65lbs


Bonefish: 3.5 - 7lbs


Snook: 28” - 40’+


Permit: 8 - 20lbs



Trending Species of the Month


TARPON


We are seeing an incredible diversity of sizes from 12” to 60”. Large schools of Fun-Size tarpon (18” - 36”) have been finding potholes in shallow murky colored water to stack up and ambush prey from. Larger Tarpon can be found in the mangroves or in deeper channels. On the beaches, mats of sargassum will hold schools of Tarpon if you cast along the edges. Keep an eye out for their signature Roll or for a loud splash. We’ve seen dozens of Tarpon fly full out the water as they chase baitfish in 2-6ft of water. Darker colors have worked best for Tarpon, but bigger White artificals have also been successfully. When using bait, you’ll often not have to wait long, but be sure to use an Inline Circle Hooks (non-offset) to ensure you don’t Gut hook these fish. Tarpon are one of the oldest growing saltwater fish, with a lifespan of nearly 70years. Replacing quality fish takes generations, which is why proper handling techniques (learn more at BTT.org) are key to ensure a healthy population!








Honorable Mention:


BONEFISH


The Bonefish bite has picked back up again in April. With multiple spots producing quality Bonefish, we are seeing a range from 3.5lbs to about 7lbs. A new development has been trolling for Bonefish. We landed 4 Bonefish while trolling the Flats since deploying a new technique last month.. In fact, our biggest Bonefish of in April was caught on April 17th while trolling a Swimbait. Whether on Fly, on Foot, or from the Kayak, these fish will always surprise us and leave you with a lasting memory!







Fly Pattern of the Month:

This month we’re giving the title to the Tarpon Toad. A bait designed specifically for the Silver King itself, it has a good balance of cast-ability and profile.


Lure of the Month:

There is no question this month as to which artifical lure has been the best. The Wildeye Swim Shad gets our vote for the best all around lure. From Tarpon, to Jacks, to Bonefish, these baits work great.

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