Hopefully fishing will get even better than it was for May. We had a great month and the fish really started to turn on. The Pogies have been consistent, along the beach down towards the pier and up in the bite. Just look where the fleet is in the morning…you cannot miss them. Do yourself a favor use a quality cast net, either a 10’ or 12’. My choice is a Tim Wade custom. They are definitely not an off the shelf net, nor are they the cheapest, but they are the best.
From the beach to local reefs: Tarpon, Jack Crevalle, Bonita, Spanish Mackerel and Kingfish have been around 30 to 40 feet depth range. Fishing is a blast on light tackle with all these power hitting fish. Use live Pogies hooked through the nostrils on 50lb fluorocarbon leader with an 8/0 circle hook or wired stinger rigs on for those toothy Kings. Keep a jig ready for the Cobia. When you see or mark the bait be on the lookout for a Cobia as this is the time of year they start to show up on the bait pods just off the beach.
The near shore reefs such as Pelican Flats, 8A and Chris Benson have been great for the early morning King bite. Use your stinger rigs and live Pogies for the best catch. During the past few weeks there have been a number of Wahoo, Black Fin Tuna, Mahi and a handful of Cobia all caught while live bait fishing on the reefs.
Offshore of the reefs has been good as well. There were a solid few days in May of great catches of Mahi and we should still see a few more weeks of it. Most fish have been caught from 140-200 feet depth…it’s a day to day thing and up to the winds and weather as usual. Rigged ballyhoo and skirts have been very productive. My personal preference is a chin weighted split-bill ballyhoo. They are simple to rig, look very natural and run just below surface.
Bottom fishing has also been good. Grouper will continue to pick up but, usually once the season opens up they do tend to shut off until fall… Pinfish and croakers are great baits for them. Fish the offshore reefs such as 21 and 27 and if you know of any of the wrecks that would be a good place to start too. Don’t forget about the Amberjacks……they’ve been great and should continue as well. The most productive areas seem to be the City Service Wreck and the Copper Wreck.