by Capt. Greg Stamper
Well, not a lot is going to change as we enter May and continue to catch all kinds of fish. Tarpon will continue to be a big draw throughout the area this entire month. Snook fishing gets better and better as the fish start cruising the beaches. Redfish of all sizes become plentiful in our back-bays along with the possibility of some trout sprinkled in. Even the passes and jetty’s will be great for action with fish such as pompano, mackerel, sharks, etc.
Tarpon fishing throughout the area will be done a lot of different ways. Some anglers will focus primarily on the schools of big fish found along our beaches and sometimes several miles offshore. These big schools of fish can be seen rolling on the surface, free jumping at times, and with the new technology side scanned on your GPS. Crabs, threadfin, ladyfish, and even catfish are the typical baits for the tarpon. In the back bays we’ll have a bunch of smaller tarpon typically ranging from 10-60 pounds. These are fun sizes to catch as they can be landed in a generally short amount of time on both spinning gear and fly rods.
Snook are going full speed now and can be found both on the beaches as well as stacked up on the local wrecks and reefs. Anglers can go after snook several different ways. Leader size and length can make or break the day. Depending on the size of the snook that you’re catching as well as the clarity of the water, I recommend 30 pound fluorocarbon in general. Snook leaders should be a minimum of 3 feet in length and artificial baits, live white bait, and flys that mimic them all work effectively. When the fish get big bumping up the leader size a bit is a good idea. Snook over 30 inches or so can chew through 30lb rather easily so bumping it up to 40lb and occasionally 50lb may be necessary.
The passes throughout the areas will be loaded with all kinds of different fish at different times. I use the passes as a starting or stopping point for fishing the change of tides. Basically, those areas will have the first moving water and the last in general. One thing for sure moving water is a key component down here for catching fish. So, when we get close to that last hour of tide that’s a good place to be.
Capt Greg Stamper