The spring-time fishing has been great as we see more bait showing up along the Treasure Coast with warmer waters, and it should only get better. During May, permit can be found spawning along structures and humps in 20 to 40 feet of water. They mostly like crabs and jumbo shrimp. Cobia are also a big target in May at the reefs and wrecks while on the lookout for big rays and chumming sharks. We also use two- to three-ounce jigs tipped with squid. It’s a great time to target mutton snapper outside Peck Reef, the Loran Ledge, and some shallow wrecks 30 to 70 feet. We mostly use live baitfish with long 20-foot 40-pound fluorocarbon leaders with a 5/0 Mustad Demon Circle hook. Hold position away from the wrecks to draw the muttons away from the other fish.
Lots of baitfish are showing up inshore, and this pulls the juvenile tarpon out of their hiding spots to start rolling in the St. Lucie River. Live finger mullet and pilchards are the best live baits for them. My favorite lures for these tarpon are D.O.A. TerrorEyz, Hogy shads, and Yo-Zuri twitch minnows. Sunrise and sunset are the best hours to look for them rolling near docks, bridges, and oyster beds. There are also some good options in the Indian River throughout May. Drifting the flats between the causeway bridges on the west side of the river can be fun for snook, trout, and snapper in two-to-five-foot depths using Gulp Shrimp and ¼-ounce bucktail jigs tipped with a piece of fresh shrimp. We use that same tackle later in the morning while drifting under the causeways near the fenders and abutments.