by Capt. Charlie Conner
Finally, the windy months of March and April are almost behind us and we can look forward to the great fishing weather that May has to offer us on the Treasure Coast. Other than the usual windy days, it has been a pretty mild winter and spring has arrived. Look for warmer temperatures and little less blustery days. As the water temperatures climb, the fishing will steadily improve on the river. The water is already in the mid 70’s and that means the fish will be hungry. It will provide fantastic mornings for top water and lazy afternoons to drift the flats. May is one of my favorite months on the water!
Redfish will be our main target throughout the month of May. The past several years have bought us schools of slot sized redfish along the Indian River. Most of the fish we have caught have been in the 18 to 30 inch range. The mangroves have produced lots of redfish action again this year. They have been sunning on the flats and May gets their blood pumping and turns on the feeding. I always have three lures ready during May…DOA shrimp, CAL jerk baits and top water lures. Gold spoons and the DOA 2 ¾” shrimp will also be great additions to the arsenal when fishing for redfish. As the fish school up, look for them around the edges of the flats. Most of the river here on the Treasure Coast has been holding redfish and you should be able to find some on your favorite flats. I tend to enjoy the east side of the river, but we have found many on the west side as well.
Snook fishing in the early mornings will bring some rod bending action as they head up on the flats for an early morning or late evening meal. Top water lures (like the new DOA PT-7), Baitbusters and DOA shrimp are all great lures to tempt a snook into biting. We have been broken off numerous times by big snook under the mangroves. Docks will also hold snook lurking around for an easy meal. Live shrimp is hard to beat around the docks. In the inlet areas, try around the seawalls and bridges with live bait, Terror Eyz, feather jigs or deep diving plugs. I love early morning for great snook fishing opportunities! Snook season will close May 31st.
Trout will continue to feed on top water at first light and live shrimp on popping corks during the day. As the sun rises, they will head off the shallows to deeper water in the two to four foot range. We have had some nice gator trout of late and should see some still big trout throughout the month of May. I have had great success with CAL jerk baits and Deadly Combos this year in place of live shrimp. If you are using live baits, try big shrimp or pilchards on the flats. Both sides of the river have been productive in early mornings. Winter fishing for trout has been good this year and spring should continue to give you some great action.
Bridges will hold the usual sheepshead catch, while snapper will be moving into the river along with flounder. Jacks and ladyfish will be patrolling the areas and creating havoc all over the river. Beaches will produce whiting with still a few catches of Spanish mackerel and bluefish along with the usual whiting. Tarpon will begin their trek into the river and you can start looking for them in the St Lucie River, Big and Little Mud areas and the channels of the river. May is a great month to fish the Treasure Coast….plan on a trip out on the river soon!
As always, remember, fishing is not just another hobby....it's an ADVENTURE!!
Good Fishing and Be Safe,
Captain Charlie Conner