It sure has been a tough couple of months for all of us. As we return to some level of normalcy, my recommendation is to get out on the water and enjoy some beautiful weather, great fishing and peaceful relaxation. It's a great way to have a good time while still being socially responsible and maintaining a healthy distance from others.

May is a fantastic time to fish our area, thanks to a wide variety of inshore and offshore species. Primary targets for flats anglers will be speckled trout and redfish, both of which can be found in the shallows throughout our bay systems. They’re usually aggressive in the early morning hours and late in the afternoon when it’s cooler and there’s less light. Their willingness to chase down and eat many types of artificial and natural baits is a big part of their appeal. Plus, they’re pretty good on the grill so it’s no wonder why they are so popular among anglers.

Aside from trout and redfish, there are many other species of fun-to-catch fish that just so happen to also be good eating. Using live bait around shallow water structure is a good way to fill the cooler with mangrove snapper, flounder and sheepshead. The best part about this kind of fishing is that anyone can do it and it requires no specialized equipment. I usually flat-line live shrimp if possible but, depending on the water depth, I sometimes use a light split shot. It’s important to avoid using too much weight because that pins the bait in place. Instead, use just enough weight to allow the bait to sink slowly as it drifts in the current through the target area. When fishing structure, you’ll sometimes feel inclined to use heavier tackle but that’s not always a good idea. Fish can be finicky and you might not get any bites on heavy tackle, so I prefer using a lighter setup and then doing whatever it takes to land the fish. That usually puts more fish in the boat.

If you like the thrill of catching bigger fish, there are several species to target this month. Along the beaches, cobia, sharks, jack crevalle, bull reds, kingfish and tarpon present exciting options. It helps (but isn’t required) to have a tower on your boat so that you can spot these fish easier. Be respectful of other anglers and find a clear patch of water and begin cruising along the coastline. If you have rods pre-rigged with a big topwater bait, big jig and live bait setup, you should be able to catch anything on the big fish list.

As always, if you have questions about what’s biting, how to catch them or want to book a trip, give me a call or shoot me an email. Good luck!

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