Sanibel Fishing Report – April 2020

Blind Pass

Blind pass is still open for fishing and the bite is on! With water temperatures around 80 degrees, Snook and Redfish are fired up. They are eating live and dead bait and a variety of lures. Best live baits include pinfish, pilchards, threadfins, shrimp, and ladyfish. Best dead baits are chunked ladyfish, mullet, and threadfin herring. This time of year we experience strong tides so adjust your weight according to the tide. Generally 1/2oz-3oz egg sinker depending on the strength of the tide. Snook have been crushing a variety of lures as well, especially at night. Slow rolling 4-6 inch paddletail swimbaits (Storm and Berkley Powerbait) around the bridge pilings is tough to beat. Also 1-1.5oz First Light Snook Jigs have been working great for bigger Snook. DOA Shrimp and Rapala Xraps are also great choices. Speckled Trout, Pompanpo, Mangrove Snapper, Jacks, Ladyfish, and Mackerel are also biting live shrimp, small jigs, and gold spoons.

man fishing at blind pass sanibel fishing spot

Ding Darling

Snook and Redfish have been plentiful around the mangroves and culverts of Ding. Best baits include live shrimp, pinfish, and finger mullet. Paddletail swimbaits like the Zman Deizel Minnowz or DOA CAL have been working great on ¼ or 3/8oz jigheads. Topwater plugs like the Zara Spook or Skitter Walk are hard to beat around the sandbars and flats. Juvenile Tarpon can be spotted rolling in the culverts around sunrise and sunset. They will readily eat live shrimp under a cork and small paddletail swimbaits. These small Tarpon also make a great fly fishing target. Small Clousers and EP baitfish flies work best.

sanibel back bay fishing family


Some Snook are starting to show up on the beach and more will follow in the next few weeks. On calm days these fish can be spotted cruising the shoreline in the first trough. Remember, when snook fishing from the beach don’t wade in the water, stay on the beach so you don’t spook the fish. Best live baits are pinfish and pilchards. Cut bait works great for big beach snook. Use chunked ladyfish, threadfin herring, and whiting. Paddletail swimbaits, suspending plugs, and spoons work great as well. Sightcasting to cruising snook with a fly rod can make for an amazing fishing experience. Small clousers and EP baitfish flies work great. Shark fishing is great with the warm water temperature. Anglers are catching big sharks kayaking their baits out off the beach. Best baits include Mullet, Jack, Stingray, Mackerel, and Ladyfish. Theres also a chance of hooking a big Tarpon shark fishing off the beach right now!

sanibel beach fishing at island inn

Inshore/Nearshore Boat

Inshore fishing has been excellent all over the Pine Island Sound. Redfish and Snook are plentiful in the mangroves, oyster bars, and docks. Live chumming with pilchards is the most effective way to catch them, but cut pinfish or ladyfish work great as well. Also topwater plugs, weedless gold spoons, and soft plastics have been working great. The grass flats have been loaded with Speckled Trout, Ladyfish, and Spanish Mackerel. Soft plastics on a jighead and kastmaster spoons are tough to beat for steady action on the flats in 3-6ft. Tarpon season is in full swing with big numbers of fish in the bay, beaches, and passes. Tarpon will eat a variety of baits so it’s a good idea to have multiple baits. Best baits include live crabs, threadfins, pinfish, and chunk mullet or ladyfish. Our captains have been on the Tarpon everyday, book your charter now to have your shot at the mighty Silver King!

sanibel inshore fishing

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