May is a great month for fishing on the Treasure Coast. Typically, calmer than average days tend to be more frequent, which creates plenty of opportunity to fish both inshore and nearshore most days of the week.
Fishing inshore we can expect great snook fishing this month. I typically catch more keeper size snook during this month as we approach the annual summer snook spawn around the St. Lucie inlet. Larger fish means using larger tackle and slightly heavier leaders to increase your catch ratio. Live baits such as pilchards, pinfish, croakers, and mullet work well around structure for snook, jacks, snapper, redfish, trout, and tarpon. To get the job done, use 40- to 60-pound Tsunami fluorocarbon leaders with 5/0-6/0 2x circle. Using your power pole or trolling motor, position yourself up current and pitch baits down current near structure for good bait presentation. Cast near the structure and hold on! Jacks can be upwards of 40 pounds this time of year so be sure to have plenty of braided line to enhance your reel line capacity.
Nearshore action can be phenomenal this time of year. Running the beaches can be very rewarding for individuals looking for multiple sight casting opportunities. Jacks, snook, tarpon, cobia, permit, sharks, king mackerel, and even goliath groupers can be sight fished along the beaches around structure and or near bait schools. Nearshore reefs and wrecks hold a decent amount of snapper, cobia, kingfish, barracuda, and permit this time of year.
Using your fish finder, check multiple wrecks to see which one is holding fish on the particular day you are fishing. Anchoring/drifting live baits around these wrecks will catch plenty of apex predators. Fishing large spinning reels with a knocker rig and a small weight to keep the baitfish down 10- to 20-feet works well if the fish are not actively feeding on the surface. Anchoring up and chumming will also work and tends to work better if you are targeting snappers. Fishing directly on the bottom with chicken rigs and or long leader rigs will get plenty of snapper bites. I recommend 30- to 50-pound test with appropriate weight based on current conditions. Reel fast, as the goliath groupers sit and wait for any and every opportunity to steal a snapper from the end of your line.