Article Courtesy: | Article Updated: 3/15/2021 | Click here for original article


Where to Fish in April

Find the best spots to find your favorite species in April.

The Salt Water Sportsman editors list the best two locations to go in April for your favorite saltwater species, plus notes for each location about why the bite there is hot.


Pacific Blue Marlin

Pacific blue marlin
Pacific blue marlin Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Costa Rica

Second choice: Ecuador

In Costa Rica, the seamounts are hot this month, and big-game anglers are likely to enjoy 10 or more hookups a day, making the required long runs and overnighting worthwhile. The warm, fertile waters around the Galapagos Islands continue to attract good numbers of blues for another couple of months, but larger specimens this time of year are usually found off Salinas, Isla de la Plata and Manta.


Atlantic Blue Marlin

Atlantic blue marlin
Atlantic blue marlin Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Dominican Republic

Second choice: Grenada

April brings with it an increasingly consistent blue marlin bite near Dominican shores as more and more blues show up to forage within the triangle formed by Punta Cana, and the islands of Saona to the south and Mona to the east. Expect the action to improve as May approaches. Blues also increase in numbers off Grenada and St. Vincent, and the fishing improves accordingly.


Black Marlin

black marlin
Black marlin Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Ecuador

Second choice: Costa Rica

The warm, fertile waters surrounding the Galapagos attract solid numbers of big blacks this time of year, especially off Esmeraldas and San Cristobal Island, where the abundance of prey species keeps plenty of 400- to 500-pounders on the prowl. In Costa Rica, the bountiful offshore banks yield similar rewards, but the average fish is smaller, and distance from the coast requires overnighting at sea.


White Marlin

White marlin
White marlin Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Dominican Republic

Second choice: Portugal

Now is when white marlin migrating across the Caribbean start reaching Dominican waters in great numbers, resulting in six or more daily hookups for boats spending enough time on the water to keep tabs on the moving fish. The latter part of the month, that same billfish parade continues northeast into the Atlantic, kicking off white marlin season off Portugal’s Madeira and Azores islands.


Atlantic Sailfish

Atlantic sailfish
Atlantic sailfish Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Mexico

Second choice: Florida

Sailfishing doesn’t get much hotter than what game boats experience in Mexico’s Yucatan Channel this time of year. Expect waters off Isla Mujeres to yield the highest release numbers, followed by neighboring Cancun, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen. In Florida, sailfish fanatics wear a big smile this month as kite-fishing and trolling with liveys, and even dead baits, produce results from Key West north to Stuart.


Pacific Sailfish

Pacific sailfish
Pacific sailfish Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Guatemala

Second choice: Costa Rica

April is synonymous with superb sailfishing in Guatemala, where local fleets historically have registered insane release numbers during spring. Expect the trend to continue this year. Sailfishing also gets a boost in Costa Rican waters as the hot bite extends northward, enabling boats out of Golfito, Quepos, Los Sueños and Puerto Carrillo (even Tamarindo and Flamingo as May approaches) to enjoy an uptick in hookups.


Striped Marlin

striped marlin
Striped marlin Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Mexico

Second choice: New Zealand

Waters off Mexico’s Baja Peninsula host great numbers of striped marlin, and this time of year the hot bite doesn’t just occur near Cabo San Lucas but extends southward, allowing boats out of Puerto Vallarta and Zihuatanejo to also get in on the action. The warm East Auckland Current keeps delivering stripes for game boats trolling Kiwi waters, especially off the northern half of renowned North Island.



Wahoo Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Cayman Islands

Second choice: Puerto Rico

Action with ‘hoos off Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac heats up considerably this month. High-speed trolling with Ilander lure-ballyhoo combinations is the time-proven method around these parts, but some crews are enjoying good results live-baiting along offshore banks. In Puerto Rico, boats out of San Juan hook decent numbers of fish trolling along nearby drop-offs this time of year.


Yellowfin Tuna

yellowfin tuna
Yellowfin tuna Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Panama

Second choice: Bahamas

Schools of 40- to 60-pound yellowfins invade Panama’s Pacific waters this month. The fish are unpredictable, and while dedicated crews look for birds, dolphins or surface boils to pinpoint the tuna, most simply enjoy the sporadic action they provide between billfish strikes. An annual migration brings schools of 30- to 75-pounders to the southern Bahamas this month. Feathers and cedar plugs do the trick.


Blackfin Tuna

blackfin tuna
Blackfin tuna Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Mexico

Second choice: Florida

Sailfish and marlin aren’t the only gamefish feasting on schooling sardines along the shoals off Cancun and Isla Mujeres this month. Blackfin tuna also make the scene, providing ample opportunity for anglers trolling small feathers, or casting lures or free-lining liveys from a drifting boat to take home supper. In Florida, chumming around shrimp boats anchored in the Gulf continues to pay off.



Bonefish Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Bahamas

Second choice: Belize

More consistent weather bodes well for those hoping to stalk bones increasingly widespread on Bahamian flats. April is a breezy month in the region, but the fact that the wind helps conceal approaching anglers counteracts the casting challenges it presents. In Belize, bonefish this month are most abundant around the outer atolls, and the inside grass flats extending from just south of the nation’s capital to New Haven.



Snook Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Florida

Second choice: Mexico

Florida linesiders begin moving toward open water prior to summer spawning. Points and creek mouths are likely ambush points, as are docks and piers. On the Gulf Coast, special catch-and-release-only regs remain in effect in Gordon Pass in Pasco and Collier counties. In Mexico, snook are active and hungry in the back bays and mangrove lagoons on the north and south of the Yucatan Peninsula.



Tarpon Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Florida

Second choice: Mexico

Florida truly becomes the tarpon mecca in April as water temperatures reach the magic number that gets the big, annual silver king migration going along both coasts. Expect to find schools on the beaches and across deeper flats near deep inlets, passes and coastal river mouths first. In Mexico, the Yucatan’s lagoon nurseries get an influx of larger fish, and even bigger fish travel along the north end of the peninsula.



Permit Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Belize

Second choice: Florida

Belize’s renowned permit fishing continues to attract anglers from all over, and justifiably so, as countless fish ranging from 6-pound schoolies to 30-pound singles provide targets for light- and fly-tackle enthusiasts. In Florida, permit remain schooled up around nearshore wrecks, where they can be temped with free-lined live crabs, jigs tipped with shrimp, or artificial crustacean imitations.


Red Drum

red drum
Red Drum Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Louisiana

Second choice: Texas

In April, the abundance of 5- to 12-pounders, which greatly outnumber the big bulls, becomes the main story in Cajun waters, especially because many venture into inside bays—often called lakes in Louisiana—and small duck ponds, where they are easily targeted with light and fly tackle. In Texas, bays with expansive grass flats, like Laguna Madre and Matagorda, are where redfishing shines this month.


Striped Bass

striped bass
Striped bass Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Delaware

Second choice: New Jersey

Climbing water temperatures in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions signal wintering stripers that it’s finally time to move toward open water. Expect the bass action to improve steadily inside various inlets along the Delaware and New Jersey coasts, as well as in major bays like Delaware and Barnegat, and also in the surf along the beaches of both states.



Swordfish Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Florida

Second choice: New Zealand

Strong winds and choppy seas characterize the South Florida offshore scene this time of year, but anglers with the boat and stomach to fish under those conditions find plenty of willing broadbills, including some eyebrow raisers. April is autumn in New Zealand, which happens to be the peak time for swords in those waters. Top areas include the Far North, Mayor Island, and the trenches near the Garden Patch.


King Mackerel

king mackerel
King mackerel Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Florida

Second choice: Louisiana

With water temps on the rise, kingfish along Florida’s Gulf coast feed more frequently on or near the surface, often revealing their whereabouts with their skyrocketing and topwater explosions. Now is a great time to catch some on surface walkers and shallow divers. Kings also stage outside Louisiana passes this month. Plugs and large, flashy spoons cast or trolled around bait schools catch their share.



Seatrout Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Texas

Second choice: Louisiana

April yields many of the largest trout of the year in the Lone Star State as the action becomes more predictable and consistent. Locating bait is crucial; find some schooling over oyster reefs or just outside marshes, and speckled trout won’t be far. In Louisiana, now is when specks move inshore from the open Gulf. Early-morning patrols pay off. Look for slicks and bird activity around shoals.



Dolphin Illustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Hawaii

Second choice: Florida

Mahi continue their great seasonal pilgrimage through Hawaiian waters. Expect some fish on the prowl along the first drop, letting small-boat anglers and even kayakers cash in thanks to the proximity to island shores. In South Florida, the big run doesn’t go strong until May, but this month already brings an increasing number of days with solid dolphin fishing, especially in the Keys and Miami-Dade County.


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