Fishing Report May 2018

Expect good things this month especially as the winds lighten up. Fishing will keep getting better and better. Looks like the best days will be the first and third weeks of May, so make sure to check your tide charts for moving water.

Snook seem to be everywhere and should continue to bite. Good tidal grass flats, passes or cuts from upper Tampa Bay all the way to Sarasota will prove productive. Live baiter’s remember to use caution when chumming with greenbacks too much and they get full. If you fill them up with chummer’s, they stop eating. Nose-hooked, free lined greenbacks always do the trick along with a few dead baits on the bottom. And of course artificial lures are always fun for the true fishing enthusiast.

Spotted Sea Trout should continue improving especially as bait moves onto the flats. Look for green flats grass with plenty of sandy potholes. Remembering, those potholes are usually holding plenty of trout and often produce the good sized ones. Frequently schools of trout will gather around the large sandy area and if you’re lucky enough not to spook them you can catch plenty using small popping corks, shrimp, or free lined greenbacks. Occasionally, you can find some really nice trout in deeper rocky bottom water.

Redfish should start settling in for the summer. Check your favorite oyster bars, mangrove cuts and broken bottom grass flats on the last of an outgoing tide and the first of an incoming. Don’t forget those large schools of mullet as redfish feed inside and often follow large mullet schools.  Live greenbacks and crabs, and cut bait works well as live bait.

Cobia should start cursing the grass flats and markers looking to eat just about anything tossed in their direction. You’ll find them following rays and manatees. And often traveling in groups of two more, be prepared with enough tackle and bait for multiple hookups.

Spanish mackerel Threadfin Herring throughout Tampa Bay usually means the Spanish and blues are here and they should be in full swing this month. Good catches already reported some weighing in at 3 to 5 lbs. Chum them up with some live cut threadfins or greenbacks, send one up current on a free-line with at least 50# Seaguar leader and a Daiichi long shank silver 2/0 hook and hold on to the rod and reel.

Tarpon are showing around the Skyway with a few on the beach. They should move inside during the summer around deeper flats. Expect plenty of activity by months end and on through the summer. Try free-lining threadfins, greenbacks or small crabs.

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