MAY FISHING REPORT:
Spring is here and a wide variety of species have shown up. I have seen Snook, Red fish, Black Drum, Sheepshead, Gag Grouper, Spanish Mackerel, Mangrove Snapper, Flounder, Pompano and a few Tarpon around Merry Pier.
The surprise species this Spring has been the Pompano. I have seen a few caught almost every day. All of the fish have been 11-14 inches. Pompano must be 11 inches from nose to the fork of the tail to keep. A bright yellow and white pompano jig (3/8 or 1/2 oz.) with a pink teaser have been working the best. Cast your jig out away from the pier and let it hit bottom. Retrieve your lure by bouncing it off the bottom, this will send up “puffs” of sand that will get the fishes attention. If you have a boat, the prime Pompano areas are the passes. Try to fish a strong incoming or outgoing tide and drift through the pass while making repeated casts.
Snook will continue to increase in numbers at the pier as they work their way out to the beaches. To catch Snook along the beaches, you should concentrate on the first swash channel. Fish will tend to travel within ten feet of the shore. The best baits are Pinfish and Pigfish. Set up a few rods and put them in sand spike rod holders. Let the bait swim freely and wait for a bite. You can use light drags when beach fishing because the fish has no structure to cut your line. Snook are now “catch and release” until the season re-opens again in Sept. The bait at the pier has been sporadic, which is odd for this time of year. Hopefully it will settle in by mid-May.
More Mangrove Snapper show up every day, but the bulk of them are still coming. The larger fish tend to hang out back under the bait house, mixing in with the Snook.
The Miss Pass-a-Grille and Offshore Hustler have been doing real well offshore. On half-day trips: Key West Grunts, Black Sea bass, Porgies, Red Grouper, Hogfish and Spanish Mackerel. On full-day and extended trip: Amberjack, Kingfish, large Red Grouper, Mangrove Snapper and a few Blackfin Tuna.
Be respectful of all fish. If not within the legal sizes please release them in a timely manner. It is your responsibility to know the Florida fish limits, if unsure please ask us at the pier and we will be happy to help you out.
Thanks, Merry Pier