Lanark Fishing Report


MAY Fishing Report

May is some of the best fishing in the Big Bend! Like April the spring to summer pattern is in full swing. Large bait pods are starting to move along shorelines in all areas of the Big Bend. With the bait come consistent reports of inshore species such as redfish, trout, flounder and our semi inshore species like tarpon and cobia. The key in May is to target the bait and match the proverbial “hatch”. I will tend to throw baits that mimic finger mullet and pilchards. Heddon One Knocker in bone is a great top water plug to throw with a solid early morning incoming tide. Target shorelines that have exposed grass or oyster outcrops and focus on working your bait as close to the structure as possible. A great middle of column bait would be the time tested spoon. Aqua Dream Living by Captain Mike Hakala makes a great spoon that mimics most bait. Pick your favorite color and work it over mixed bottom and oyster bars.

The trout and redfish bite has been excellent in areas between Alligator Harbor and the Carrabelle River with reports of trout up to 26” and slot sized redfish to 26”. Most trout and redfish reports I am getting are folks set up in 1-4 feet of water drifting over mixed bottom throwing suspending baits in the middle to lower water column and topwater plugs on the surface. The key for anglers is finding clear water to fish. Recent rains have darkened our area waters by pushing some of the ‘coffee colored “water from our shallow water estuaries and rivers onto the flats. Target areas that are that clarity is better and the predator fish can be site casted to. Area guides are telling me that reds and trout are easier to see and responsive to a fly, topwater baits or soft plastics.

Near shore anglers will continue to cash in on an abundance of species in May. Gag grouper is open in state waters. Red grouper, cobia, kingfish, sea bass, flounder and sheephead can all be found mingled in with the gag grouper in the month of May. Always remember to use circle hooks and make sure your vessel is equipped with an unhooking tool to handle under slot fish.

The Cobia bite out of the Carrabelle area has been excellent in May and will continue to be top notch into June. I have historically received reports of multiple fish being caught in 30-40 feet of water. The bait of choice is your favorite color buck tail jig head tipped with a live eel or artificial. Some of these lings will top out over 70 pounds. Grouper season is in full swing from April 1st and into June so get out, support your local tackle shop and bend a rod!