This May, the temperatures were unusually hot, and so was the fishing ! The action has been great, both inshore and off-shore !
Inshore, the red fish have been everywhere. Back in the creeks and bays, as well as on the outer islands and keys. Live shrimp is always a go-to bait, but this month the big reds wanted a larger meal. Free lined live pin fish was the ticket to success ! I always like cutting off the tip of the tail giving the pin fish a more erratic action, and also more scent to attract the reds. Use a circle hook, and when you feel the line moving off, all you have to do is just start reeling !
Along with the reds, more and more snook are showing up in the same area. They too like a live shrimp or pin fish free-lined back to them. Your favorite artificial should also produce. The first of the outgoing tide seems to be the provide the best bite.
Staying inshore, the tarpon are making their migration from the South to the North, with the big push coming in June. From Pine Island to Crystal River, these "silver kings" are showing themselves as they daisy chain along the flats. Homosassa is famous for the big tarpon on the fly, but a live blue crab or pin fish will get the job done too. The DOA "Bait Buster" is also a good artificial to put in front of the rolling schools of tarpon.
Offshore on the deep grass flats in 8-12 feet of water, the trout bite has been steady. A 1/8 or 1/4 oz jig in bourbon or watermelon colors worked well. Sea bass, Spanish mackerel, grouper, and shark were also ready and waiting to put a bend in the rod.
Grouper season opens on June 1st, so plan on hitting your favorite number. There have been keeper size grouper on the shallow rocks, but the best bite will be in the 20-40' range.
Again, Thanks for another fun and productive month of fishing Crystal River and Homosassa. Hope to see you in June ! Capt Mark
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