May is the prime month for tarpon and snook in the Sebastian River. Snook of all sizes can be found around docks and shoreline cover throughout the system, but the larger fish, some of truly trophy proportions, are most likely to be encountered between the railroad and U.S. 1 bridges. Large live mullet at dawn and dusk can tempt these behemoth linesiders. Tarpon from 5 to 50 pounds will generally be found in both forks of the river above the railroad bridge with the larger fish often favoring the north fork. Casting D.O.A. TerrorEyz, paddle tail jigs, plugs and flies to rolling fish is a great way to pursue these silver princes. Live mullet can also produce exciting surface strikes throughout the river.
The Indian River Lagoon
Snook of all sizes will be utilizing the shoreline cover of the lagoon in May. Any docks, mangrove overhangs and fallen trees warrant a cast with a jerkbait or D.O.A. shrimp. You may also encounter redfish and gator trout in these traditionally snooky areas. If you can find a school of bait on a shallow flat, preferably with grass coverage, larger trout and some redfish may be close by. Topwater and suspending plugs and weighted and unweighted jerkbaits will do the trick. The spoil island drop-offs will be good areas to look for action. Schoolie trout, jacks, ladyfish, a stray pompano and even some big snook can be found around many of the islands.
Daytime anglers using live croakers, pinfish and mojarra around the tips of the jetties and rip rap areas of the inlet have reported mixed results. Some days are great, others produce nothing. As things warm up and the blustery spring winds calm, the snook should start to stack up at Sebastian Inlet and the boater will be able to get out beyond the jetties on a regular basis to pursue them. May 31 marks the end of the snook season. 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
Glass minnows and the predators that feed on them generally make an appearance in the late spring and early summer. It can be a true blitz with Spanish mackerel and bonito clearing the water chasing glass minnows while tarpon, kingfish, jacks and sharks lurk underneath. The calmer days of May offer a great opportunity to find and catch everything from one-pound Spanish mackerel to tarpon and sharks weighing into the triple digits.
Life’s short, fish hard.
FORECAST BY: Capt. Gus Brugger