Spring has definitely arrived here in Southwest Florida, and with it comes amazing fishing opportunities in the 10,000 Islands area. During May, Florida weather is typically very mild and dry. The winds should be much lighter as well, which creates an ideal environment for the angler who is interested in fishing local waters.
With the warmer weather, we also see warmer water temperatures. These temperatures can hover in the eighty-degree range, and this is good for attracting fish as they make their annual migration out of the backwaters.
If you love to offshore fish, then this is the time to do so. During the month of May, you will find a fair amount of permit and cobia. When looking to catch these fish, consider using finger mullet, pinfish, pilchards and large shrimp as bait.
Redfish can also be found near the oyster bars. The best time to seek out redfish is during the high tide. In the grassy water areas, anglers have their eye on speckled trout. They are out in abundance in May and can be found in water that is between three to five feet deep. For speckled trout, reach for the bucktail jigs tipped with shrimp since these are definitely a favorite.
Mangrove snapper is also readily available and is native to the Gulf of Mexico. You can find these fish in a variety of saltwater settings, including brackish water areas. For these, use live shrimp, pilchards and crustaceans.
If you are looking for catch and release, then Snook will be a great option. Season Closed May 1st. They can be found in the coastal water near the mangrove shoreline. Again, Snook is strictly catch and release during this time.
May and spring mark the time of year that comes right before those summer storms that hit the area. Many consider it the calm before the storm and is a time of the year you want to take advantage of. If not, you will find that the impending summer storms will have you traveling further out to find more success during your fishing trips.
Don’t hesitate to take full advantage of the fishing opportunities the 10,000 Islands region has to offer you during the month of May.
Keep in mind that if you are interested in learning more about fishing in our area, it’s best to hire a professional guide before going out on your own to gain local knowledge of tackle, baits, areas to fish, local regulations, and more. Send us an email or give us a call to schedule an “on the water” educational fishing charter. Our specialty is getting families out for an enjoyable and memorable day in the shallow.