Late spring is “the season” for the Sebastian River and many of the other freshwater feeders that flow into the Indian River Lagoon. Tarpon and snook of all sizes are at their highest concentrations of the season and they are eager to feed on the variety of baitfish that take up residence in the Sebastian River. Large topwater and shallow diving plugs are excellent choices after dark around lighted docks for big snook. If you can cast net some finger mullet, the tarpon in the north and south forks of the Sebastian River will put on a show before and after you set hook. If you prefer artificials, small diving plugs, MirrOdines and D.O.A. shrimp and TerrorEyz baits will produce snook and tarpon of all sizes throughout the day. Work the docks and cover for snook and cast right on top of rolling tarpon. This is also the prime time for fly fishermen to stretch their line on tarpon in the Sebastian River. Two to four-inch baitfish patterns in white are the local favorite. Watch the major and minor periods of the solunar table for your best results with Sebastian River Tarpon.
The Indian River Lagoon
Some of the largest trout of the year are taken in May, with topwater plugs and jerk baits being favorite artificial baits. Snook will continue to be a consistent catch in the lagoon in May. Docks, mangrove shorelines, downed trees and spoil islands will hold snook. D.O.A. Shrimp, C.A.L. Jigs, and topwater plugs are my favorites to draw strikes from snook in and around cover. Twenty-pound braided line is a must for muscling snook from barnacle encrusted cover.
Daytime anglers using live croakers and greenies should find snook and redfish on both incoming and outgoing tides around the tips of both jetties. Nighttime boaters drifting live bait and trolling diving plugs should also find good numbers of reds and snook. Land bound anglers throwing bucktails and diving plugs can expect good results after dark. Keep an eye out for small crabs drifting out with the tide as the bull reds won’t be far away.
The Near Shore Atlantic
As the winds of April subside, the near shore waters clear and warm attracting a variety of baitfish and the game fish that prey on them. Watch for schools of greenies dimpling the surface or pelicans diving. Tarpon to 150 pounds, big jacks and sharks could be shadowing these pods of greenies. Sabiki up some greenies and freeline them back out to get the party started.
Another crowd pleaser that happens in May is bonito (little tunny) and everything else that come within a mile or two of the beach to gorge on the swarms of glass minnows that generally make an appearance in the late spring and early summer. It can be a true blitz with Spanish mackerel and bonito taking small flies, plugs and jigs up top while tarpon, kingfish, jacks and sharks hang underneath eating the greenies and other baitfish that come to eat the scraps left over by the surface predators. This is a great opportunity for fly fishermen to catch everything from 1-pound Spanish to 100-pound tarpon and sharks.
FORECAST BY: Capt. Gus Brugger