The last weekend of April is shaping up to be a disappointment for anglers wanting to get into some early summertime action.

Often, in fact most years, fishing is beginning to reflect summertime catches by the end of April, with a bonus of overall larger fish being caught.

While the beach water temperature is cooperating, live bait, particularly shrimp, is in short supply, which reflects what is out there for fish to feed upon.

Greg Hagerud, who fished the surf Saturday morning, reported lots of small shad in the surf and that is good news.

Shad are one of the favorite baits for most fish. Live shad, especially the smaller ones, are a good substitute for shrimp when it comes to fishing for trout.

The problem is keeping the bait alive and on the hook.

During Hagerud’s fishing trip, which was off 14th Street, he landed lots of whiting between 6:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. using dead shrimp for bait.

Another huge trout was caught Thursday by Jake Wollem who used a bone-colored Super Spook Jr. to land the big sow. The fish, measuring a little longer than 30 inches, was caught in the vicinity of the South Jetty.

Wollem also landed limits of reds both Thursday and Friday using a Cocoho Minnow for bait.

Melissa Green fished off the dock with her father, Frank Hester, at Tiki Island and landed a 16-inch flounder and two sheepshead using peeled dead shrimp for bait. Green’s husband Danny came up with only hard heads for his effort fishing at the same spot.

Several readers have asked about this year’s black drum run with most saying that it was a big disappointment to them and they were curious as to what other anglers had experienced.

The best summary of this year’s drum run came from Capt. Mike Williams, Tarpon Express Guide Service, who said “With the passage of Easter, I think it would be safe to say this was one of the most erratic drum migrations I have seen in my lifetime.”

While it was overall a disappointing run, Williams did have some days that were quite productive for drum.

Capt. Joe Kent is a columnist for The Daily News. To get your catch in the Reel Report, call 409-683-5273 or email

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