fishing Forecast

  • 07/02/2017 10:50 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Water temperature is key
    by Captain Michael Manis

    Understandably, this month begins a period where I prefer fishing early.  The cooler morning water temperatures present the best opportunity to look for redfish and snook outside the cover of mangroves where they’ll spend most of the day as soon as the water temperature rises. Overall, rainfall amounts factored in with tide help determine where I’ll look on any given day. For instance, if we’re getting consistent afternoon soakers, I like looking around tidal creek areas on an early morning outgoing tide.  The east side of the harbor anywhere south of Ponce Park in Punta Gorda and all the way down to Matlacha can be good under this scenario. 

    If we haven’t had a whole lot of rain, I like to look around flats adjacent to mangrove shorelines that are in close proximity to the Intracoastal Waterway.  As it receives flow from the passes, it holds good amounts of clean oxygenated gulf water. Here, I’ll generally load at the Placida ramp and cover ground anywhere from outside Catfish Creek to all the way down to the Cabbage Key area in northern Pine Island Sound. This is a lot of ground and only a fraction can be covered in the limited time we have on any given morning. 

    This time of year, it’s not unusual to find yourself with calm conditions and a flat that can be very visual. By this, I mean the mullet are very apparent as well as pushes from both redfish and snook. You may not see the fish at first but you may begin noticing single V wakes pushing off. Slow it down and some sight fishing opportunities may materialize. It’s also the time you want to be on the poling platform and not running the trolling motor.

    Off the flats, this is one of the best times of year to do some mangrove snapper fishing. Inside Boca Grande Pass in about 20 or 30 feet up on the hill is a great place. Live bait or shrimp dropped to the bottom can provide some great fun. Inside the harbor, the Alligator Creek Reef is another good spot.

    Tarpon should start grouping up in the upper harbor at the mouths of both the Peace and Myakka Rivers. The bridges are always good places to keep an eye on.  In addition, the canal systems of both Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda hold small tarpon as well as lots of mangrove snapper and some good-sized black drum. The perimeter canals are the best place to look.

    Until next month, good tides,

    Captain Michael Manis
    Punta Gorda Fly Charters
    (941) 628-7895

    mike@puntagordaflycharters.com
    www.puntagordaflycharters.com

  • 07/02/2017 10:45 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Kingfish and Tarpon on the Beach
    by Captain Tom Van Horn

    There’s no doubt about it, summer has arrived in Central Florida and the mid-summer doldrums are currently upon us. It's also the time of year when tropical weather systems and offshore water temperatures are unpredictable. Just when you think you've got the fishing figured out, a summer squall (tropical system) will blow in and kick up the seas, or the cold water Labrador Current (upwelling) will chill bottom water temperatures and shut down the seaward bite. Setting all these possibilities aside, many opportunities for angling adventure exists both inside and outside. 

    Near-shore, kingfish will be the staple on the reefs and wrecks in 70 to 90 feet of water, with a mixed bag of three, wahoo, dolphin, and an occasional sailfish, thrown in. The preferred method for targeting these species is slow trolling live bait (pogies) on steel stinger rigs in the areas of the Chris Benson, 8A, and Pelican Flats reefs. Currently the water temperatures are starting to drop.

    On the Port Canaveral buoy line and along the beaches when the water is clean, an assorted beach bag is available with smoker kings (large king mackerel), silver kings (tarpon), sharks, and gigantic jacks (school buses) all available at any given time. To target these species, focus your attention in areas of bait concentrations. This past week, large tarpon and sharks were located between Patrick AFB and Satellite Beach. As the month progresses, these fish should begin moving north along the beach to their favorite summertime haunt into the bight of the Cape. 

    In the Port and inlets, snook, Spanish mackerel, flounder and mangrove snapper number should remain steady. To target the flounder and snapper, try using DOA Shrimp on a ¼ to ½ ounce jig head in the areas of structure and along sandy drop-offs. For flounder or snapper cast the jig as close to the structure as possible without getting snagged, and let it sink to the bottom. Once it's reached the bottom, slowly drag it back letting it rest every foot or so. When jigging for Spanish mackerel or other toothy critters, use the same jigs, but retrieve it quickly to avoid getting cut off by not allowing the fish to strike the line. 

    Inshore, July is one of the best times of the year to catch redfish in shallow water. Water conditions remain good in most areas of the lagoon with some signs of algae blooms beginning to show up.  Redfish schools have already started forming up. In deeper water, look for ladyfish and small trout to be shadowing schools of bay anchovies (glass minnows) under clouds of feeding terns. These feeding frenzies are great fun, especially when fly fishing using a top water popping bug. Additionally, Calm conditions are ideal for paddlers wishing to venture back into the No-Motor Zone, where tailing redfish make great targets for both fly and spin anglers.

    On the St Johns River water levels have increased due to recent rainfall setting the stage for the catfish spawn.  As the water levels and volume increase, catfish move upstream out of the big lakes into the creeks and river.  When targeting these fish, try fishing in the deeper bends on the bottom and step up your tackle size to safely manage these larger fish.

    Remember, as the water temperatures increase, dissolved oxygen levels decrease, so it is important to step up your tackle and line size to facilitate a shorter battle, and to revive your catch completely before releasing them.

    As always, if you have any questions or need more information, please contact me.

    Good luck and good fishing,

    Captain Tom Van Horn
    http:www.irl-fishing.com
    407-416-1187


  • 07/02/2017 10:43 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Read the water
    by Captain Charlie Conner

    July brings hot weather, chances of afternoon rains and Fourth of July parties. Oh....and lots of great fishing out there, too!  Watch out for afternoon thunderstorms this month.  Mornings on the river will bring action at first light on top water lures for snook or trout along the flats. They will seek deeper water as the sun rises.  It’s a hot, but very productive month around the Treasure Coast. 

    I will be fishing along the mangroves for snook and redfish with DOA shrimp, CAL jerk baits and top water lures, like the DOA Airhead, where the water will be 2-3 feet deep.  Trout will move to deeper flats in 2-6 feet of water and will most likely hit pigfish, DOA 2 ¾” shrimp or Deadly Combos.  Look for the trout to move to the deeper edges of the flats as the sun warms up the water.  Fish the sand holes on the flats!  You will find the bigger fish sitting in these holes waiting on the tides to bring the food to them.  

    It has been another banner year for big trout around the area.  Redfish will continue to hold up on the flats.  Read the water as you move across the flats and look for any activity that might be a school of reds.  Gold spoons, soft baits, like DOA shrimp or CAL jerk baits will work best for them. Search along the docks during the day for snook or redfish hanging around there as well.  It’s a fantastic month to be fishing!

    Bridges will be producing snapper, drum and sheephead during July. Live or dead shrimp will be hard for them to resist.  Watch the tides and fish the slower sides of them for best results. Whiting will continue to be in the surf with the occasional bluefish and Spanish mackerel. There will be larger snapper in the river around structure and along channel edges.  Sharks will be patrolling along the beach also.  The glass minnows will be flowing into the river in huge schools.  Watch for these bait schools and fish the edges for your best action. 

    Areas to fish in the river for July: Bear Point, Queen's Cove and Round Island.  South of Harbor Branch will be a great area to work for trout in the mornings before the sun heats up things. The flats in front of the power plant taper off to 3-5 feet and will be holding trout during the day.  Live pigfish are the favorite food for trout this time of year.  It’s time to set the traps to feed these hungry fish!  Try a DOA TerrorEyz or the DOA Airhead during the day also for trout.  The west shore down there will be good areas to search out redfish. Channel edges will be yielding snapper on structure.  Tripletail will be around channel markers and pilings to the south towards Jensen Beach.  Have a fun month out there!

    Remember, as always, fishing is not just another hobby……it’s an ADVENTURE!

    Good Fishing,
    Captain Charlie Conner

    www.fishtalescharter.com
    captaincharlie@fishtalescharter.com
    772-284-3852


  • 07/02/2017 10:30 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Respect the summer storms
    by Captain Greg Stamper

    Crazy that we’re half way through the year, and smack dab into our summer. July fishing has a theme that we’ll probably stick with us through mid-September and that’s “Start Early”. The afternoon heat can make for some rather tough times when hanging around islands with no breezes. It’s just flat out hot once you get to about 2pm around here. With that said as we get further into the month, the water in the back bays becomes a bit warm pre-thunderstorms.

    Yep, thunderstorms become a big factor and often dictate what’s going to happen next. There are good parts about having thunderstorms however. One good thing is we don’t see too much of them until the sea breeze takes over in the mid-afternoon, so you can factor that into the days fishing plan.

     Another good thing about the thunderstorms, is that they cool things off and hopefully keep the water somewhere in the high 80’s. The bad part about thunderstorms is you need to get off the water and take shelter as things can be quite dangerous when they push through. Today’s phones or boat electronics can warn you when lightning is approaching, so they’re a great tool as you’ll need time to get somewhere safe. 

    So, what are we going to target down here in Southwest Florida? Tarpon, snook, redfish, sharks, trout, jacks, permit, and snapper are a few of what we’ll be targeting all based on time of day and weather outlooks. The mid-afternoon low tides make things tougher as the water gets rather warm pre-storms. Working the stronger tides will help as the water temperatures increase. Warm water has less oxygen, so moving water brings more with it, thus making fish more active. Get good strong tides early in the mornings and “Fish on”! 

    We say, when living in Southwest Florida, if you don’t like the weather, just wait an hour. So, fishing after a thunderstorm can be excellent. The rain these storms bring, cools things off and gets fish giddy. Redfish on the open flats are one of my favorite targets just after a good storm goes through. Often, you’ll see a few degrees difference post storm and that’s all it takes to get the bite going again. Snook that aren’t on the beaches can be found moving to creek mouths and areas where water drains into, as small bait fish get flushed out and are easy pickings. Snook fishing can be epic for the next few months so they’ll be in play for awhile.

    Tarpon fishing shifts a bit in July, even though we still find big fish patrolling our beaches and nearshore waters. Most of the fish during this time of the year are locals. This means the big spawn is over and things get bake to the standard quo. We’ll find a lot more juveniles in the backwaters usually between 10 to 40lbs milling around in small schools. When targeting these small fish, you can throw fly’s, small artificials, and whitebaits under a cork, they all work well. With tarpon in July the early bird usually gets the worm, or the bird that doesn’t sleep as the midnight to sunrise hours can be fantastic.

    The nearshore wrecks and reefs are another option as snapper, cobia, permit, grouper and an assortment of random species can be caught. There’s lots of bait this time of the year so the fish are happy. There’s no telling what you may run into while cruising around from place to place. It’s not uncommon to see random cobia moving around or big sharks cruising. So, when your moving to another area keep your eyes open as you may get a lucky surprise.

    Tight lines,
    Capt Greg Stamper
    Snookstampcharters.com
    239-313-1764

  • 05/31/2017 5:16 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Snook patrol
    by Capt. Greg Stamper          

    Summer time fishing patterns are in full swing starting in June. Starting up the Summer heat, June brings us near 90 degrees daily and with that begins our late afternoon thunderstorms. We fish early as long as the tides are good to take advantage of calm conditions and morning temperatures in the 70’s. Anglers can target just about anything now, so based on the winds and their direction we can go after different things.

    Tarpon fishing is still the big deal throughout this month and will continue to be great. However, with so many anglers targeting tarpon it leaves many of the backcountry areas, rivers, and bays less pressured thus that fishing is excellent. So, if you have low winds you have the nearshore option available to target tarpon and nearshore species like permit, or play in the back bays and beach shorelines for snook, redfish, trout, etc.

    Snook fishing is one of the finest things to do this time of the year. Snook patrol the beach shorelines in good numbers and can be targeted many ways depending on the anglers’ experience. We target them with artificial lures, swimbaits, flies, and of course live bait. Snook will not be back in season till the Fall so handling these beautiful fish correctly is important for a good release especially in the warmer water. Typically, I’ll just hold them in the water and take the hook out, have the client get the camera ready to go and a quick out of the water photo opt then we’re done. Once you get the fish back in the water, just let her suck on your thumb till she’s ready to go and that fish will be just fine.

    Redfishing gets good in June as the afternoon rain storms cool off the water a bit in the evenings allowing for what is usually a good bite through the next morning. We target them on the open flats, around oyster bars, and as the tide rises along the mangrove shorelines. There’s plenty of bait around so you can go with the live stuff or throw artificial baits and do well. Some of my best redfish days have been throwing D.O.A shrimps or Rapala skidderwalks early in the morning.

    Trout, snappers, jack crevalles, pompano, and sharks are just a few of the other targets during June that gives anglers of all skill levels a chance to bend a pole and catch some fish. Every day is different and trips are catered to the clients wants so having options is a good thing. Besides it’s fishing sometimes you just know when what your trying to catch isn’t cooperating. Having a backup plan is always a good thing and mine usually consist of a popping cork with a shrimp below it. So popping corks in 3-5 feet of water usually in grassy areas with some sandy potholes can help anglers on those tough days. There’s going to be a ton of sharks around for the rest of the summer. We’ve already been catching a bunch of them as bi-catch when tarpon fish, so if you really try for them that will be a no brainer as well.

    Tight lines,

    Capt Greg Stamper
    Snook Stamp Charters
    239-313-1764

  • 05/31/2017 5:10 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Stay cool if you can
    by Capt. Tom Van Horn, Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters

    There’s no doubt summer has arrived on the Indian River Lagoon coast.  With temperatures and humidity levels rising, it’s wise to concentrate your angling efforts during cool hours of early morning, late afternoon, and night. I know the best time to fish is whenever you have a chance, but stay cool if you can.  Fishing in June, July, and August requires some adjustments in your fishing routine, but it doesn’t mean the fish aren’t biting.  June will provide some of the best opportunities for shallow water anglers to tackle major fish along the Lagoon coast.Near-shore opportunities are typically the best you will see all year for skinny water boats along the beach.  June is the time of year when the kingfish move in close shadowing schools of Atlantic menhaden (pogies) along the beach and in the Port Canaveral buoy line.  When the summer doldrums set in, the waters clear up, and the seas flatten out, the window of opportunity opens for flat bottom boats.  

    Also along the beach, look for the tarpon and shark number to increase, and let’s not forget the large schools of jack carvalle and the tripletail fishery will be cranking up.  Remember, snook season closes this week, so lets give them a chance to relax and get jiggie. I try not to target them, and if I do manage to catch one, I handle it gently and release it with care. 

    Offshore, look for the dolphin bite to slow as the schools begin to spread out.  The kingfish concentration will remain good along the inshore reefs and wrecks of 8A Reef and Pelican Flats slow trolling with live pogies producing the most action. Bottom fishing will remain good for snapper and grouper until the first summer squall (tropical system) blows in and muddies up the water. 

    On the flats, focus your efforts in the morning and in the late afternoon after the thunderstorms dissipate.  Night fishing will also produce descent catches of redfish and trout. When fishing the flats at night, I prefer fishing real slow with glow in the dark shrimp imitation baits like the DOA Shrimp.  If you can only fish during the heat of the day, target docks with deepwater access.  In the early morning look for trout and redfish up in the skinny water around concentration of bait, and toss them your favorite top water plug.  Also look for schools of bay anchovies (glass minnows) in deeper waters near the end of June.  These schools can be located by watching for small terns and other sea birds working, and they usually are shadowed by concentrations of small trout and ladyfish.

    Currently the water conditions are the best I’ve seen in years, let’s just hope the summer rains and nutrient loads do not trigger another alga bloom. 

    Also remember as the days heat up, long battles will kill the larger fish, if you plan on targeting them, you may want to step up your tackle to shorten the battle.  Also leave them in the water as much as possible, and revive them completely before releasing them. 

    As always, if you need more information or have questions, please contact me. 

    Good luck and good fishing,

     Captain Tom Van Horn
    www.irl-fishing.com
    407-416-1187

  • 05/31/2017 5:02 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Work the beach and passes
    by Captain Michael Manis

    There’s nowhere I’d rather be right now than off the beaches. Because of the light winds and cooler air temperature, first thing in the morning will be best. Of course, first and foremost, it’s all about the tarpon. The migration out of the keys is in full swing and some fish are already moving north out of our area and other groups are just arriving. As usual, Boca Grande Pass is at the center of this activity, so I’ll spend my time looking both north and south of the pass.  I prefer throwing flies, but live crabs and threadfins are also fun.  fishing, Florida Guides Association

    Snook are also on the beaches right now and there just as easy to fish without a boat as with one.  In fact, this is one of the best times of year to fish from land as snook are easily within reach as they like to move up and down the trough where the surf meets the sand.

    As with just about any month, redfish are a good bet. Only this time of year, I like to concentrate on grass flats that receive flow from the Intracoastal Waterway. Shorelines and adjacent flats where Bull Bay intersects with Gasparilla sound can be good. A bit further south, northern Pine Island Sound has lots of potential. Here, there’s a lot of real estate to explore and anywhere from Mondongo Island down through Cabbage Key can produce on any given day.

    Even though it’s starting to warm up, there’s still a good spotted sea trout bite going on if you get out early. Deeper flats in three to four feet with good salinity will fish best.  It’s not a coincidence that some of the best trout fishing takes place where the highest bait concentration exists. Typically, good grass flats that lie just inside passes tend to hold good numbers of scaled sardines or whitebait. Throwing top water first thing in the morning is a great way to look for trout.

    Sharks are prevalent throughout the harbor right now and there’s a good chance of seeing anything from a small bonnet head cruising the flats to a large bull or hammerhead anywhere in the vicinity of the tarpon. However, black tips are around in good numbers and are lots of fun.  Just drop a bait, live or cut, anywhere around one of the many schools of threadfin herring scattered throughout the harbor and see what happens. You just never know; that’s what keeps us coming back for more. 

    Until next month, good tides,

    Captain Michael Manis
    Punta Gorda Fly Charters
    (941) 628-7895
    mike@puntagordaflycharters.com
    www.puntagordaflycharters.com

  • 05/31/2017 4:50 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Expect the fish to be feeding shallowExpect the fish to be feeding shallow
    by Capt. Charlie Conner

    Summer has arrived and you can bet on hot afternoons and lots of great fishing action around the Treasure Coast during June.  The mornings will be calm and it is certainly to your benefit to get out early to beat the afternoon heat.  Being on the water at first light is worth the effort to watch the sun rise.  Expect a chance of afternoon thunderstorms each day…we can always use some rain around the area this time of year!  Watch the weather each afternoon out there.  It’s a fantastic month to fish.Fishing, Florida Guides Association

    Inshore will provide lots of redfish, snook and trout action on the flats.  Get those top water lures cleaned up and plan an early morning to get some of that explosive action in the shallows.  Try the DOA Airhead or Bait Buster for great top water action.  Switch to DOA shrimp or a CAL jerk bait as the sun warms up to continue your success.  Watch for bait schools on the flats and you can be assured there are fish nearby.  You can expect the fish to be feeding shallow early and move to the edges of the flats as the sun rises.  Look for sand holes on the flats!  Fish are traditionally lazy and love to sit in a sand hole and wait for the tide to bring the food for them to ambush.

    You should be able to find plenty of redfish around the shallows.  The population this year has been outstanding and they have been growing all spring.  Redfish schools will be feeding on the flats, so be on the lookout for them.  Most will be slot size to just over the slot.  I love using a DOA shrimp or CAL paddle tails while fishing for reds.  Try along the mangroves as well.  Lots of fish will move under the mangroves as the sun heats up for the day.  Trout will be on the grassy flats and feeding on the same food out there.  Move out to three to five feet of water as the day heats up to continue your action.  A Deadly Combo can provide inexperienced anglers with lots of fun learning to fish artificials.    Don’t forget to fish the docks around the river.  Lots of big fish will be hanging around many of the docks along the Indian River.  Live bait, TerrorEyz and DOA shrimp can find some exciting action in June.  Harbor Branch, Queens Cove and Bear Point will all be hot spots for action all summer. Fishing, Florida Guides Association

    Snook will provide plenty of action around the bridges and jetties this month.  Snook season closed on May 31 and won’t open again until fall.   Night anglers will be heading to the jetties for catch and release snook and maybe some tarpon action.   Top water lures, feather jigs, TerrorEyz and Bait Busters can all get you in on some fantastic action.  Handle the snook carefully and release them quickly and safely so that they will be there this fall.  Jacks will also be hanging around the inlets and give you some rod bending activity.

    Make sure you take plenty of water with you.  It will be hot out there.  Drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated and reduce the risk of heat stroke.  Slather on lots of sunscreen!  Sunburn isn’t a good feeling at the end of the good day of fishing.  A little common sense and a few minutes can a big difference.  Make that part of preparations for your adventures on the water.  It will just make a great day even better!

    Remember, as always, fishing is not just another hobby……it’s an ADVENTURE!

    Good Fishing,

    Captain Charlie Conner
    www.fishtalescharter.com
    captaincharlie@fishtalescharter.com
    772-284-3852

  • 05/01/2017 5:16 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Redfish Rule
    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

    http://www.fishtalescharter.com
    captaincharlie@fishtalescharter.com
    772-284-3852

  • 05/01/2017 5:09 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Variety on the Gulf Coast
    by Capt. Greg Stamper

         May is a spectacular time of the year in Southwest Florida. Tarpon take center stage as the top billing through June; however, there are many other fish species to target. A few of the side shows this month will be snook, redfish, permit, cobia, trout, etc. This means plenty of options for anglers of all levels and ages. Should you find yourself along the Gulf Coast, it’s practically a sin not to wet a line somewhere this time of the year. May is typically a month of good weather as we begin to set into our summer weather patterns of light east winds in the morning, followed up with the afternoon sea breezes taking over, giving us some rain late evening.

         Tarpon will be found along our beaches, in and around our back bays and sounds, along with schools of fish offshore all eating crabs, threadfin herring, glass minnows, and pilchards. Typically, these fish are part of the spawn and can range from a modest 80-pounder all the way up to 225-pound behemoths. We also begin seeing a lot more juvenile tarpon that begin to show up in schools in our back bays and rivers. These juvenile fish are usually between 10 and 40 pounds, will be around throughout the rest of the year, and can be targeted rather regularly.

         Snook are another big target during the month of May and can often be seen cruising down the beaches edges looking for easy meals. We target beach snook often by slow rolling down the shores all ready to throw our choice of bait upon first sight of cruisers. These fish typically swim in packs when they’re big and in larger schools when they’re small, so you’ll see them if the water stays clean. Snook fishing this time of the year is like hunting and can give mixed results as every day is different, and just like hunting, it doesn’t always work out. Snook will take a variety of baits from flies, artificial, and both live and cut baits. As the water gets a bit dirty either from storms or Lake Okeechobee water releases, you’ll still have chances to catch snook by just having faith in the areas you saw them last.

         Redfish, trout, pompano, and jack crevalle will take up another big part of the guide’s life this month. Those clients that aren’t into 30 minute to hour-long fish fights will prefer targeting them. There are plenty of great areas to target these quicker fighting fish throughout my region. Fishing the passes and mouths of rivers and creeks will find anglers catching plenty of different species. Redfish will typically be found cruising the flats during the low tides as they work their way to the mangrove shorelines and bushes during the highs. Trout will be a bit deeper than the reds in general, but will occasionally be found up in the skinny water right next to those reds as well. Trout fishing is great, especially for kids this time of the year, as the action can be almost constant. Pompano, jacks, mackerel, and lots of baby sharks will fill our passes up and can be caught with simple shrimp-tipped jigs worked aggressively.

         Nearshore fishing for permit, cobia, sharks, and tripletail finishes up my list of things to do in May. Permit are a lot of fun on the calm slicked out days as they can be seen in large schools feasting on the crustaceans floating buy. Cobia offer a sporty fight, are delicious to eat, and tend to be a surprise visitor as they meander around with curiosity seeing what’s going on. Most of the time you’ve just got to be ready for a cobia as he may only give you one shot by before he’s on his way. Sharks are basically easy pickings should one target them this time of the year and are often caught as bi-catch while tarpon fishing. Finally, always keep your eye open for a tripletail while moving around as you never know what piece of junk that big one may be found on.

    Tight lines,

    Capt Greg Stamper
    Snookstampcharters.com
    239-313-1764


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