A Look Into May
May is here, and coastal anglers can count on air temperatures reaching into the 80’s and 90’s as we progress through this month and into the next. Inshore water temperatures will also recognize a climb in May as we anticipate the warming of the climate to take area bay waters to a temperate 75 to 80-degrees. This means local shallows will come alive once again with thriving sea grasses and a multitude of aquatic species, some of which are actively sought after by predator game fish such as the speckled trout and the red fish.
As May arrives, we are generally already into the annual speckled trout spawn which usually gets underway in most coastal regions of the Gulf of Mexico by mid-to-late April. The male trout will be actively ready to spawn every night, while the larger females will look to spawn anywhere between once a week to once a month throughout the summer months and on into the month of September in many cases. The month of May will be a time of a heightened trout appetite, and due to this hunger anglers can often expect the bite to become somewhat aggressive in nature.
Due to the air and water warming this month, and because of a fierce trout hunger right now, anglers should look to find an early morning and late evening bite in some of the skinniest water they’ve fished in since October of last year. Look to focus much of your May effort atop flats areas consisting primarily of sand and grass, and expect to locate baitfish activity, which will almost certainly lead you to some hot trout action. Anglers should try to be in place along the flats prior to sunrise, but then be prepared to follow the baitfish as they migrate away from shore later in the morning as the sun rises high into the sky and is given a chance to heat the shallows to a point that drives the fish into the comforts of deeper, cooler water.
For all the artificial-bait enthusiasts out there, now is a great time to polish your top water skills and techniques. As mentioned earlier, the trout bite can become nothing less than ferocious during this part of the year, and there is absolutely nothing more exciting than having a hungry sow trout take her aggravation out on your top water lure. And for all those who like fishing solely with live bait, look for this month to be the start of what is sure to become yet another fine summer of croaker fishing. Good luck, and keep grindin’!