Orlando Area and Mosquito Lagoon Fishing
May’s Fishing Forecast
As the breezes of April give way to the summer doldrums, warmer and calmer ocean waters set the stage for some of the best near-shore fishing experienced all year, especially for the folks running smaller boats. The baitfish have already arrived in good numbers and the strong easterly fetch which set up during the end of April will push in clean water, flotsam and fish inshore.
Near-shore along the beaches, concentrate your efforts in the areas of active bait pods (pogies). Typically, when you see concentrated areas of bait with birds feeding on the surface, big fish are just as active underneath. Species feeding on these pods include tarpon, jack cervalle, redfish, cobia, and sharks. Near the end of the month, you can add kingfish into the mix. Also, tripletail and flounder numbers should be improving around the Port Canaveral buoys. At the inlets and beaches, Spanish mackerel, snook, redfish, jack crevalle, bluefish, flounder, sheepshead, and black drum are just some of the species available this month.
Blue water trolling should be excellent in May, with the larger dolphin being the focus of most blue water anglers. Also in the mix are tuna, wahoo, kingfish, sailfish, and an occasional marlin. When targeting these species, work areas of color and water temperature changes (lines) in 120 feet of water or deeper, and in areas of concentrated floating weeds and debris. In addition, don’t forget that kingfish and cobia are present on the near-shore shoals, reefs and wrecks like Bethel Shoals, Pelican Flats, Chris Benson, and 8A reefs.
On the lagoon flats, redfish and spotted sea trout will provide the majority of the action for light tackle and fly anglers. For sea trout, fish your favorite top-water plugs at first light in about two feet of water concentrating in areas were bait is present. After the morning top-water bite fades, switch to your favorite soft plastic jig fished in three to five feet of water alone the edges of flats or spoil islands. The water has warmed to the point where the jack crevalle, ladyfish, snook, and tarpon will begin to show up in good numbers. In addition, there is a huge showing of finger mullet this season, so it’s time to break out your DOA Bait Busters. Schooling redfish and other predators find the Bait Busters difficult to resist when retrieved quickly just under the surface of the water in areas of concentrated mullet schools. Remember when using the technique; keep your lure moving until you feel the fish on the line.
On the St Johns River, increased rainfall has water levels rising and the menhaden schools are showing up between Mullet Lake Park and Lake Harney with schooling largemouth bass and some sunshine bass feeding at first lights and dusk. Also, increased water levels and current should have the larger catfish on the move, so it’s once again time to start soaking bait in the deeper bends of the river.
As always, if you have any questions or need information, please contact me.
Good luck and good fishing,
Captain Tom Van Horn
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