INSHORE: Snook were out and active this weekend feeding in the passes and deep cuts. The full moon this time of year makes the big females feel a little amorous. So the smaller males, thinking they might get lucky, are eating all they can to build their strength up. Live bait pitched along the mangroves and pass mouths are hard to pass up for these snook. Small tarpon are in all the back country creeks and rivers, larger tarpon in the passes and bays close to the front. It’s hard to beat "Gods all natural" live bait, but arties work as well. Look for rolling fish and remember to be slow and sneaky in that shallow water. Trout are on fire with limits of upper slot trout pretty easy to get. Soft scented plastics like those from Attraxx are working extremely well. I like a jerk bait in pearl or root beer rigged on a 2/0 or 3/0 weighted worm hook to bounce the bottom. This will also catch the redfish that are in these same areas. Midcoast Products "Extreme Popping Corks" with Attraxx “Mystic Shrimp” is another great combination that is working very well right now. The spanish mackerel are EVERYWHERE. Put anything flashy and shiny in the water and don’t worry, they will find you.
OFFSHORE: I didn’t get out much this week due to the wind. But the permit are all over the near-shore wrecks, reefs, and rock piles. Try a silver-dollar sized crab, hooked through the bottom on one side, and to put more scent in the water, cut off a point on the other side using side cutters. Toss her in, and hang on. The full moon had lots of snapper boats out this weekend and catches of large mangos was the norm. Red grouper on live bottoms 25 plus miles out.
And lastly, don't forget that red snapper season opened June 1st. The season is only 40 days long this year, so you’d better hurry up if you’re going to harvest your share. It’s a bit far for us in the Everglades to get out to them. So towards the end of the month I will trailer the Laura-Ann to Panama City so I can harvest mine.
Remember, there has never been a fish caught from a living room. So get up, get out there, and catch something. -Capt Charlie