The fishing forecast for May will require an extremely large crystal ball. The lack of typical winter weather this past winter coupled with an amazingly warm spring will only continue to yield outstanding fishing in May. So far in April, Sailfish have been sighted off Crooked Island in twenty foot of water, Tarpon have been hooked off the St Joe Marina seawall, and King mackerel have been landed from the same seawall. Also, the St Joe Bay around Black's Island has given up Triggerfish! Not a standard April.
So here goes the guess-estimate for May – more of the same.
Surf fishing will provide a delicious fare of Pompano, Whiting, and the occasional Bull Redfish. Fresh sand fleas, peeled shrimp, and Fish Bites will entice the wary surf raiders. For extra excitement, Spanish mackerel will play havoc on the unsuspecting surf fishermen. Also, King mackerel will chase baitfish into the surf and the prepared angler could get lucky and hook into a smoker. The sharks will come into the closest sandbar trough during the hours of darkness and can be caught with bonita, skates, or rays.
St Joe Bay fishing will be smorgasbord of fish. Trout will be gorging themselves on greenback baitfish in the shallows during twilight hours and at the edges of channels during the day. Schools of redfish will be travelling the outside weedline from Eagle Harbor north and around the flats off Windmark. Flounder will be in the potholes in the grass flats and in the channels during the day and in the shallow sand flats near the mouth of the intercoastal waterway at night – excellent time and location for fun-filled gigging expedition.
Offshore reefs will be the place to find amberjack, snapper, and grouper – just keep abreast of the most recent regulations. Sheepshead will be at the channel markers off Mexico Beach and dolphin will be around any floating debris 6-10 miles offshore. Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association, MBARA, has an excellent website and marked reef sites for public use. Wahoo and other pelagics will be relative close-in with warm water and ballyhoo getting closer to the beaches than in the recent past.
Get out and enjoy the Forgotten Coast, the outdoors is a wonderful place for family, friends, and fish!