by Capt. Tom Van Horn
As spring wanes and water temperatures grow hotter, so do the fishing opportunities along the Lagoon Coast of Florida. May is one of the best fishing months on east Florida's coastal waters, so make sure your lunch is packed, and I will see you on the water.
Near-shore along the beaches, concentrate your efforts in the areas of active bait pods (pogies). Typically, when you see concentrated areas of bait with birds feeding on the surface, big fish are just as active underneath. Species feeding on these pods include tarpon, jack crevalle, redfish, cobia, and sharks. Near the end of the month, you can add kingfish into the mix. Also, tripletail and flounder numbers should be improving around the Port Canaveral buoys. At the inlets and beaches, Spanish mackerel, snook, redfish, jack crevalle, bluefish, flounder, sheepshead, and black drum are just some of the species available this month. With the lack of a cold winter, the snook bite has and will remain hot croakers serving as the optimal bait.
On the lagoon flats, redfish and spotted sea trout will provide the majority of the action for light tackle and fly anglers. For sea trout, fish your favorite top-water plugs at first light in about two feet of water concentrating in areas were baitfish are active. After the morning top-water bite slows, switch to your favorite soft plastic jig fished in three to five feet of water along the edges of flats or spoil islands. The water has warmed to the point where the jack crevalle, ladyfish, snook, and tarpon will begin to show up in good numbers. In addition, there is a huge showing of finger mullet this season, so it's time to break out your DOA Bait Busters. Redfish and other predators find the Bait Busters difficult to resist when retrieved quickly just under the surface of the water in areas of concentrated mullet schools. Remember when using the technique; keep your lure moving until you feel the fish on the line.
On the St Johns River, channel catfish are my primary target in May. As our rainfall increases and the river level rise, large catfish move off the connecting lakes to spawn in the current. In this situation, I like to position my boat in a deep bend and fish with freshly peeled shrimp on the bottom. These fish pull hard and are quite tasty.
As always, if you need information or have any questions, please contact me.
Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters will reopen May 4, 2020 with the following COVID-19 Mitigation Plan – Capt. Tom Van Horn
Our world as we have known it has changed drastically due to the pandemic, and as we adjust to the new norm it is up to us to help mitigate the spread of this virus. With this said, we plan to open for business May 1st utilizing the following protocols for the safety of both clients and crew for the time being. These measures will only be temporary and will be adjusted as time allows:
- 1. Clients will be required to bring their own food and drink for the day and crew and client food will be stored in separate locations.
- 2. All clients and crew will wear facial covers (buffs)when social distance cannot be maintained.
- 3. If clients are not from a family unit, social distancing must be maintained as much as possible. In this situation, a maximum of two anglers per charter will be enforced.
- 4. If clients are a family unit, social distancing is not required, and face coverings can be remover.
- 5. Hand sanitizer will be available on deck for all to use.
- 6. Both the vessel and tackle will be sanitized after each charter.
- 7. Clients who are not within a family unit will not share tackle (rods and reels).
- 8. No clients or crewmembers displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will be permitted to board the vessel.
Good luck and good fishing,
Captain Tom Van Horn
Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters