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May 1, 2017 Fishing Report Fishing Report Archives

Courtesy of

Coastal Angler Magazine


FORECAST BY: Chris Sharp

It'sMay and this time of year it's hot with afternoon showers. Permit love warm water and we have good fishery of permit. You just need to find some up-close reef and clean water. You can find them offshore off the boils, near the power plant, but right in that same area you can get them at Walton Rocks Beach. You have to get there at first light; they will be feeding on crabs on the shore reef. Just tip a shrimp on a jig head and throw it in front of them. I use 30-pound leader tied to a half-once jig head.

You can also use sand fleas on a pompano rig to get them too. Snook fishing in the surf will make getting up early worth it. First light with a high tide is the best. There will be some big ones in the group, so be careful to release them unharmed. Tarpon fishing will be hot on bridges and inlets, with night time being the best time. I like to use 80-pound leader tied to 50-pound braid and throwing plugs with circle hooks to get hooked into their jaw. Look for water that is moving to get a hook up - inlets and bridges, where ever the water is moving. Hold on to these fish because they will be big and sometimes they will be only eating the little baits. Fly guys this is your chance. Keep the beaches and rivers clean and tight lines!


FORECAST BY: Capt. Scott Fawcett

After a choppier than normal April, we can only hope that this May is a little more normal. Aside from grouper season opening, May is traditionally one of the best months for big dolphin. It's a great time of year to slide a couple bigger baits out and cover some more ground by increasing your trolling speed. In addition to my normal ballyhoo spread of four smalls, I will usually pull a couple horse ballyhoo or even marlin lures in my short riggers these next few months. Scylla Lures makes a couple great heads which troll very well at slow speeds and big dolphin are suckers for big baits. This time of year, I will often sacrifice a dredge and replace it with a planer rod or down bait fished off of my Cannon downrigger. The downrigger on cycle mode works especially well on hotter, calmer days. I feel like cycling the 10ts definitely triggers bites from lazy fish. A wire leader with either a ballyhoo or mullet covered with a Hawaiian Eye is a great bait for that rod. 

Focus on depths from 130 to 500 feet of water, but dolphin are definitely one fish that can be found anywhere, especially on the deeper side. Keep your eyes out for pieces of float, color changes and weed lines. I've already seen much more sargassum weed compared to the last couple years, so I suspect this May we will see some epic weed lines and good dolphin fishing as well. A couple other favorites of mine in May would be running the beach looking for tarpon, permit, cobia and jacks, and heading out to the trenches in 1600 feet of water targeting swordfish. We've caught some of our biggest fish this month, so I know we'll be heading out there again as much as we can. 

May is also a great time of year to fish the bottom. Make sure you check out Capt. Rocky's report to hear all about the snapper and upcoming grouper season! 


FORECAST BY: Capt. Rocky Carbia

Full contact bottom fishing will highlight the warm spring days of May as the Florida sun illuminates an offshore playing field that will be ripe with grouper and snapper.  The catch and keep season for grouper will open on the first day of May, ending a four-month closed season on these tasty bottom brawlers. 

Near coastal anglers will break out their heavy tackle and target the many species of grouper that inhabit the wrecks and reefs, east of Stuart.  Gag, red, black, and scamp groupers are some of the most prevalent species of the family that will be found just offshore of the St. Lucie Inlet.  The naturally occurring coral reef line in depths of 110 to 160 feet of water, generally known to locals as the 8 Mile Reef, will be the go-to-zone for dialing in successful grouper fishing.  Deploying live baits from an anchored or drifting boat will produce the best results for Grouper Digging.  The velocity of the horizontal flow or current and bottom temperatures are the main variables for strategy decision making when positioning one`s boat over top of a grouper honey hole. Heavy tackle will be a mandatory necessity for steering a big grouper to one`s floating platform - 4/0 to 6/0 reels spooled with heavy braid of 100- to 200-pound test and terminal tackle to match the main line will yield the most successful end results. 

Grouper species can also be found and targeted in shallower depths, especially on reef structures in 70 to 80 feet of water that comprise the natural reef line known as the 6 Mile Reef. Natural coral ledges east and north of Jensen Beach in these depths, historically are home to large gag and red grouper, and will be hot spots for grouper grocery getters.  While bottom fishing at these depths, anglers will also be pleasantly surprised to get attached to jumbo mutton and mangrove snapper, who are reef mates and will live right alongside the grouper family.  May will provide a toasty backdrop for exciting bottom fishing for the offshore anglers of Martin County.


FORECAST BY: Capt. John Young

In May, the snook will be moving towards the inlets and near shore reefs in big numbers preparing for the summer spawn. Big schools of snook are being spotted on the Sailfish Point flats with many over 40-inches. Most of the fish we have seen, are over slot so to get a keeper is tough. Topwater plugs like the old reliable Zara Spook, D.O.A. Bait Busters and Skitterwalks fished up on the bars and channel edges on the last two hours of the outgoing tide or first two hours of the incoming have been best. Live bait has an upper hand during the middle of the day. 

Check out the docks and bridges in the St. Lucie River.  A jig and shrimp combo or live crab on a jig head flipped near the pilings will be another way to go. Gator trout will be on the rampage this month ready to take down a well presented topwater plug. A walk the dog style plug or D.O.A. Bait Busters will work fine during low light conditions. Look for reds cruising the potholes and spot cast with a gold spoon or soft rubber bait. Hopefully, the winds will lay down to enable smaller boats to run the beach to look for tarpon. When spotted, anticipate their swim pattern and shut down the engine to fire a live mullet, greenie or crab as they approach. Depending on bait size, 7/0 hooks with 60-pound leader is fine with the clear water. 
Big jacks in the green water are cruising up the beach and cannot resist a big noisy topwater plug. Rip the plug back and hang on.

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