Tank tops and flip flops, sunshine and flat seas, you just cannot beat the summer in south Florida.
Fishing is pretty darn good, too. From the beaches to the offshore action, it picks up across the board. The mullet migration begins, and the fish are right behind them. Nothing like watching the sunrise on the beach while taking on the likes of 100-plus pound Tarpon, 20-pound Snook and bruiser Jack Cravelles. It certainly beats going jogging.
After all the "beach re-nourishment," it has finally settled down out there. Whiting, croaker, big jacks, Snook and Tarpon are all making the catch list. Yes, there are still a few bluefish lost in the mix as well.
Early morning top water baits and Yo Zuri crystal minnows will find the Snook, jacks and Tarpon. After the sun gets up, make yourself a drink, relax in the chair and throw out a whiting rig with pieces of shrimp to catch dinner. Beats the couch any day, in my opinion.
The river is starting to fill up with mullet, redfish and big trout, and Snook will be roaming the flats looking for an easy breakfast. The west side of the river has been the best bet on the redfish. Live shrimp, artificial shrimp, and suspension baits like the Unfair Lures Rip n' Slash fished around the docks will all get bites.
The east side has been holding slob trout from nettles island to middle cove, with three to four feet of water being the zone, using top water chuggers and soft plastic baits. Keep in mind it is almost summer, and that sun gets up and heats up the water quick, so get your fishing in early.
Offshore action has been great at times. It's May, and generally speaking, May is for Marlin, May is for Muttons and May is for a ton of fishing tournaments.
Bait has been off the beach to the north in about 28 feet of water. After coming off of two weeks filled with 30+ pound dolphin, the trolling bite has slowed as of late.
Bottom fishing has been great since the opening of Grouper season. Live-baits fishing around the eight-mile reef in 120-foot water has produced gag grouper, black grouper and those automobiles they call amberjacks. As happy Henry would say, "Do not bring a knife to a gunfight."
Fifty-pound class tackle is a must if you want to get those fish off the bottom. Chicken rigs fished with cut squid will get you lane snapper, triggerfish and porgys. The Mutton snapper bite has been great to the south in 60 feet of water; long leaders with a piece of sardine on the end will get you dinner.
That's it for this week, everyone. Get out there and catch a fish!
Henry Caimatto is the owner of the Snook Nook Bait and Tackle shop in Jensen Beach.