May is really the month when Tampa Fishing Guides, who fish both inshore and nearshore, begin to focus the majority of their efforts on the inshore species. Tarpon generally show up in late April, early May along Pinellas County Beaches, while the larger sea trout of winter seem to move out to these beaches as well.  Redfishing just gets better with more fish invading mangrove shorelines on Caledesi and Honeymoon Islands. Snook prepare to spawn in the passes, so larger concentrations of fish begin to show on the beaches, gathering in deep cuts and swashes and along shoreline structure. Simply put, it's prime time.

Clearwater Summer SNOOK Fishing

Usually by mid May, snook fishing is in full swing.  This year, it seems a little late. A week ago, inshore water temperatures were as high as 83 degrees and things were inches from going off then...5 or 6 days of strong east and northeast winds that brought water temps back down to the mid to low seventies...strange weather for May. It looks as if this trend will last a few more days and then summer will be here for good. Regardless of water temperatures, fish seem to be showing up a little better each day and some quality fish were landed on the last few Tampa Fishing Charters. With that said, anyone looking to land big snook on light tackle should make room for a lot of fishing days in the next six weeks as the large female breeders populate inshore waters.


Seatrout fishing has been "easy pickings" for anyone looking to bend a rod.  In a few short weeks, these fish will, once again, be legal to keep. Medium to large trout are often encountered when fishing for snook along the beaches as they frequent the same areas. Like the winter trout in St Joseph's Sound, finding one trout often means finding many so, once located, keep working the area.  Sometimes it takes a few minutes to catch the first fish but shortly after, it's a bite almost every cast.  Whitebait is the key here, although many a large sea trout has been caught on a small or medium grass grunt intended for a snook.


Redfish were numerous in mid April with over 30" specimens making an appearance on more trips than not.  Interestingly, the first good tides in May were productive, but not as many large fish were located.  As the big tides of late May approach, expect a resurgence of quality fish. Redfish are "the largemouth bass" of salt water.  They are abundant, generally willing to eat, fight hard and can be caught in a multitude of environments....providing great entertainment for the angler who takes the time to understand how to catch these fish on a regular basis. Live Pinfish and whitebait, as well as just about any kind of cut fish, will get the job done. Any seasoned Tampa Fishing Captain knows success isn't as much about getting fish to eat as it is about finding them. Redfish rarely refuse a meal.

Looking for a camping trip with the family. Two great choices within easy driving distance are Rainbow Springs State Park and Fort DeSoto Park. Both offer canoeing, kayaking, fishing and a variety of other outdoor experiences.  Good luck and good fishing. 


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