Warm weather has arrived and with it comes a host of seasonal species like Spanish mackerel, shark, and ladyfish. The traditional targets, redfish and trout, feed more aggressively as bait fills our waters. Our fishery is teeming with action and opportunities for anglers are endless. You have more reasons now than ever to get fishing!
It’s time to make the most of live bait when fishing for redfish. Menhaden is a favorite choice whether fished as cut bait or live. We’ve caught some big redfish by pitching chunks of menhaden under docks. You’ll need to use enough weight to keep your bait in place so it won’t drift and get snagged. I use pinch-on split shot that can be easily adjusted and just add or remove these weights as needed.
Topwater trout action at first light has returned! My favorite lure is a Heddon’s Super Spook Jr. in chartreuse and black while an easy fallback is their silver mullet color. Make sure to try a variety of retrieval speeds when working these lures. When that fish hits, resist the temptation to lift the rod tip and reel the trout tight instead. It’s hard to beat those amazing strikes!
Spanish mackerel are beginning to arrive, especially in the harbor, and can be best found at first light. If you find schools of fish slashing across the surface, throw reflective casting jigs and reel them quickly through the school. Alternatively, if you think fish are present but not eating on the surface, try trolling Clark Spoons at different depths and different speeds. Check your leader often as it only takes catching a few of these teethy fish to cut through it.
Per usual, sharks have arrived with the warmer water temperatures. Just watch the shoreline and you’ll witness bonnethead sharks slicing through the water as they seek out prey. These predators will eat most anything, but live shrimp and chunks of blue crab can be especially productive. Shark fishing is a great way to get younger anglers involved as sharks are usually hungry and put up hard fights.
See you on the water!