Can you believe it’s already June and soon the year will be half way over? May was another great month of fishing here on the coastal waters of Central Florida. While we received about 20 inches of flooding rains at the end of the month, I found numerous fish when it ended and the bite has been better than before the rains. The main story for me heading into June is tarpon fishing, my personal favorite target. Loads of resident juveniles are out and about and we are jumping fish from 20-50lbs nearly everyday. May is normally our peak month for catching big speckled trout, and this past month certainly didn’t disappoint as we caught several trout between 7-10lbs. The Redfish bite is fantastic! There are plenty of schools to target as well as tailing singles, doubles, and small pods. During the past 10 days we’ve been posting double digit redfish catches. It’s no wonder I fared so well in a couple recent tournaments...
Most recent was the annual FishStock Redfish and Trout Challenge out of New Smyrna Beach. This year’s two-day event saw 88 teams vie for $15,000 in cash and prizes. I fished with my teammate Capt. Tony Pantuso and we captured 4th place with a 34.28 pound total, just missing third place by less than 5 ounces. The tournament literally started a day after the week long rain ended; but we were on the fish and caught over 30 redfish and a half a dozen big trout over the two day event. Earlier in the month I also guided my son to a 3rd place finish in two categories at the CCA Youth Inshore Classic. He took third in his age group for biggest redfish and biggest trout. I often say he’s a star in the making and he proved that with the catching display he exhibited that Saturday, complete with a stud 7lb trout.
Our resident juvenile Tarpon have scattered throughout the lagoons and are a daily target. We’re jumping fish nearly every day now in various areas from New Smyrna down to the southern end of Mosquito Lagoon. While there are loads of baby (1-5lb) tarpon taking advantage of the higher waters and outflows, my main tarpon targets right now range from 20-50lbs and can be caught on light tackle and/or fly, the choice is yours. We’ve jumped 13 tarpon this size in May. It’s a good start and just shy of last year’s pace by this time. Within the next few weeks we will start to see the first wave of migrating adult fish move into the area backwaters and then we’ll start looking for those 60-100lb fish too. I’ve got locations we can target tarpon at any time of the day now, even laid up fish.
May is generally the best month of the year to catch big Spotted Sea Trout and this May again proved that true. We caught loads of fish between 4-5lbs and several from 6-8lbs during the past month. Our best producer lately for big fish has been a free-lined live mullet and the bite explosions are awesome to watch. If you want to stay busy casting, the Mirrolure top dog and mirromullet have been the choice when working surface plugs around the bait pods. When they won’t quite commit to the surface plug we have used soft plastic shad imitations like the Strike King Zulu for a finesse bite. There should be some excellent schooling activity for the big trout over the first half of this month as they prepare to spawn.
It’s hard to talk about Redfish third, considering how good the bite is starting in June. The past 10 days had to be the best in two months. After the rain ended, I relocated all of the fish I had been fishing and the catching exploded. The flooding rains we received raised water levels quite a bit and pushed many of the average size redfish up against the shorelines. But there are still plenty of fish schooled out on the open flats shadowing bait pods in clean water. For my artificial casters, the same lures mentioned above for trout have also been consistent producers for redfish. A DOA shrimp has been deadly for those pods of skinny water tailers. Cut mullet and cut pinfish have been the hot ticket when we can't sight cast. May was a great month of fly fishing for redfish, several anglers caught their first redfish on fly with me during the month. My top fly choices lately have been a seaducer, bendback, or ep mullet. There are schools of GIANT reds everywhere in both the Mosquito Lagoon and North Indian River, although the water dirtied up quite a bit lately in the river. Summer is the peak time to catch those GIANT trophy redfish between 20-40lbs. While they are here every month of the year, this is the best time to find them tailing and finning on the surface. Most of the schools are starting to grow in numbers as these fish prepare for their annual spawn cycle. This is also an easier time of the year to catch these bruisers on topwater plugs and fly.
Good opportunities for Snook, especially lately targeting the outflows and creeks draining all the flooded rain water. The warmer water tends to move snook all around the lagoon, concentrated in creeks, channels, and tidal areas areas where there is more water movement. But as I said last month, it’s an early morning event and I typically skip them over in favor of tarpon. So not much to report in terms of catching because I haven't been looking.
May was another busy month for charters. June dates are pretty limited with about 11 openings still remaining as of today. Call now to reserve a date as June is usually a fully booked month. Read my fishing charter page to view the top reasons why you should book your trip with me today. I look forward to fishing with you soon…386-212-4931.