Planning For May Vacation

April 27th, 2022

Skipping the April report and looking to May. Having run nearly 3 months non-stop with only a weather day here or there, my hot streak came to an end when my boat needed a major repair. A couple of weeks of fiberglass work and some long windy stretches have kept me on land for most of April. I am more than ready to go do all the fun things again. May marks the beginning of multiple options for your next ocean adventure.

The boat is the best it has ever been. I have not had time to pull updated pictures into my website, but the boat is loaded with new electronics and a full second station. This will help me visually spot fish and gives the more experienced anglers the ability to work with me as a team to capitalize on offshore and sight fishing opportunities. This will not apply to all of my trips. I operate mostly family trips with beginners, but I am ready for those anglers ready to go offshore and be blue water gladiators.

fishing from the tower

The big notable changes for May is the opening of grouper season and our deep water bottom fisheries. Up to this point, we released a ton of beautiful grouper in the offseason, but that ends May 1. Sometimes 1 big grouper can take the trip from good to outstanding.

On the reef, fishing for yellowtail snapper is excellent and May has record days of catches full grown spawners up to 24″ long. Mixed in are mangrove and mutton snapper and a variety of groupers. Catches are pretty consistent and provide a challenge for beginners to experts on light tackle. We have the best snapper reef fishing in this part of the word.

yellowtail snapper

On the wrecks we will see improving numbers of large mutton snapper, grouper, amberjacks and other assorted creatures from the deep. This fishery requires more patience and a little more understanding of the tackle used and the mechanics of fighting larger fish. Sharks can be an issue at times. Especially if your arms are not up for the challenge of a solid 5-30 minute fight.

This time of year offshore fishing starts to pick up. Tuna are always at the Marathon Hump 27 miles offshore. They vary in size, but our 5-10lb “footballs” are common with deeper fish up to 20lbs. There are many ways to target them, depending on conditions and your ability to properly use the tackle and technique. High speed vertical jigging is a great way to get the big ones, but you will be challenged on the technique and physicality of the method to work the jig. Then you have to get your fish past the sharks! That will make your arms burn. Along with the tuna we might have opportunities to catch dolphin. They begin to show up now and finding a pack of fish or a piece of floating debris can make or break a day offshore fishing.

a great day offshore

Electric deep dropping is the X factor on our offshore trips. If the seas are calm and the current is not screaming, we can spend some time dropping baits to the bottom in 650-1,000 feet of water targeting a variety of the best eating and strangest looking fish you have ever seen. I really like it, but some find it boring. We are using 8lbs of lead and dropping baits into scary places to hook grouper, snapper, tilefish, barrelfish and even a few kinds of sharks that look like they came from outer space. Most of these fish look alien because they are. They live in cold space-like environment under the enormous weight of the deep ocean and have never seen the sun before. All you do is raise and lower the weight with a push of a button and lever upon instruction as I position and slow our drift over ledges and structure. When it works, amazing things come into the boat.

a blue line tilefish is a common deep catch

In the water activities have been ok and should be perfect for the month of May. The balance of seasonal winds subsiding and perfect water temperatures produce some of the clearest water of the year until the June rains turn the water green. Every day the conditions can change rapidly, but things should become kinder and gentler with more reliability as we go through May.

This is where you want to be!

I want to close this with mentioning our relationship. When you book a charter, we begin our relationship of exchanging information so you are prepared for your trip and I am prepared for your group. Fill out the “notes” section in your reservation. Trust me, don’t leave that blank for any reason. It is important. I have a system that works 100% of the time. It prevents mistakes and issues. Call me 48 hours before your trip in the evening. Leave a detailed voicemail. I’ll get back to you when I open my computer and have answers for our trip plan. I use the 5pm forecast for the most up to date weather information to make the best decision for your group. Thanks all!!

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