Inshore fishing along the beaches and in St. Joe Bay has just broke open like gangbusters and I fully expect May to be even better. We have had one of the occasional hard winters that falls on Florida, and because of that the fish are behind their normal schedule. I am sure at this time in May that all of the cold weather is behind us and the water temperatures have risen enough to bring all of the fish in for their normal feeding. We already have the sheepshead, pompano, and whiting biting real good. We have had an exceptional run of sheepshead so far this year. The redfish are just now coming out of the deeper water and are beginning to feed like they are real hungry. I expect the speckled trout to come real strong any day. It looks like it is going to be a really great spring and summer for fishing. They have already caught several cobia to the west of us, and they were all very, very large. If we could just keep the water along the beaches clear for more than one or two days, I fully expect the cobia to be along Mexico Beach and St. Joe Peninsula in big numbers by the time you read this.
Offshore fishing has been slow because of the wind and weather, however, each time that we have been able to go offshore fishing we have had very good luck. I believe the fish are hungrier than usual because of the cold water temperature and they have not been able to feed as they normally do. But, all of that is changing and they are coming on strong. There are so many red snapper that it is hard to get a bait down deep enough to hook a grouper, scamp, or even an amber jack. The scamp are showing up in much larger numbers than they have been the last couple years. And all of the trigger fish seem to be large. I can hardly wait until the blue dolphin, wahoo, and large kings start showing up. I am sure the month of May is going to be the better month for all of these traveling fish. I just hope that the black fin tuna that we didn’t catch last year will come back and take a bait with us this year, because there were plenty of them. We will be looking forward to the month of June when we can start bringing home a red snapper. Unfortunately, as of this date, NMFS are only going to let us bring them home for fifty-four (54) days. We are working every direction we can to get that extended, but as of this date we have no indication that they are going to extend it for this year.
Don’t forget to file a float plan, and let somebody know when you are going to return.