The bite for the most part has been good! Redfish on the flats! These fish are feeding on glass minnows and fiddler crabs. There hasn’t been lots of bait showing up. Nonetheless, mud minnows can seen swimming close to banks. Seatrout and redfish will readily eat mud minnows. We’ve caught most of our fish on live or dead shrimp under small adjustable float rigs or pitching 1/4 ounce and smaller jigs. The bite has been mostly black drum and redfish with an occasional bonnet head shark. Those fishing for whiting are catching 25 to 30 according to John the fishing tackle manager at River Supply. This year several fishermen have landed a large red drum while whiting fishing. Seems like more large reds have pushed into the sound systems this year. Large red drum are cumbersome to handle. Despite there cumbersomeness in handling try to make sure your fish is in good shape before releasing. I like to see the dorsal pop up before releasing. The bigger the fish the more care you need to take when releasing. You can drop a schoolie in the water. A large red drum you might have to hold for several minuets. Today I saw large red that was minus his tail. The red probably weight 25 pounds likely the fish was tired after a long fight and was easy pickings for a shark.
Red drum over 23 inches are not legal for taking and must be released! In recent days I’ve heard of two large fish that killed for food. Remember, red drum over 23 inches must be released.
Last week we caught some nice reds (several limits) by fishing where the birds are feeding. Birds feeding means there’s a food chain going. Bait can mean fish! The more bait, the more fish!
There have been few recent reports of hooking a fish then a massive run. Seems too early for big sharks. My guess some large bull sharks have already moved in. Salinity is off. Bull sharks can tolerate lower salinity levels. A bull will usually give a powerful long run in one direction. With the right tackle this fish can be handled. If you want to land one fish heavier tackle is needed (tarpon tackle is fine). Remember May is the month for cobia! Its possible to hook into a large female cobia in the sound! Cobia will often come to surface. Cobia can give a great fight and is a great eating fish!
This year appears to be an off or at least a late year for seatrout. There has some seatrout action but until the water straightens out (less muddy and less fresh) the seatrout will likely be off.
When conditions improve the will bite improve. Pretty good red fish action near sounds! John at River Supply is stating lots of over sized reds in sound. John’s best bait: Gulp shrimp on a jig. Red fish action has been good with most of the fish in the 16 to 17 range and some large fish mixed in.
Hope this is of interest and help!
Fish On! Capt. Jack McGowan