The month of May creates a perfect recipe for unforgettable fishing days. The weather is in the upper 70’s, the water is in the low 80’s, the offshore fish are moving in, and the inshore fish are moving out. Fishing just off of the beach can easily land you more species than you can count on one hand.
For one, the kingfish bite remains steady this month. Two, the tarpon are here in large numbers. Three, the snook bite is turning on in the passes and along the beaches. Four, the big jack crevalle are all over the beaches. And 5, the (big) sharks are lurking in close (if that’s your thing). One fish that didn’t make my top 5 most targeted fish this month, which definitely should be worth mentioning, is redfish. Although they are certainly around during this month and we have been seeing steady numbers being caught on our trips, it’s not all that often in May we set out strictly for them. I run most of my trips this month off of the beaches and in the passes, focusing our efforts near Fort Desoto, Bunces Pass, Egmont Key, and into Tampa Bay, sometimes even south of the Skyway, depending on weather and wind direction.
We get a lot of easterly winds this month, which helps to lay the beach down to a ripple, and with crystal clear water it’s tough not to run out there trip after trip. The pilchards, small threadfins, and pinfish, are still all over the flats, which makes catching bait and fishing inshore into an easy change of plans if the weather isn’t cooperating, by keeping out of the wind behind mangroves and around spoil islands. We have a full moon and Total Lunar Eclipse on May 15th-16th, I expect larger numbers of Tarpon to continue moving north during this week and Tampa Bay will see more big fish move in, as we move closer the peak season in June and July.
Certainly a lot to look forward to this month and a massive array of species to target, with this month of great weather and great fishing opportunities, here in the Bay Area.
Good Luck this Month,