Hook, line and sinker

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The arrival of the first day of the month could prove somewhat deceiving because if you haven’t been fishing yet, especially in the past couple of weeks and depending on what you’re targeting, you’ve missed some really good action. The near-shore fishing has been the best that the area has seen in a few years and it’s showing no sign of slowing down in the near future, although at some point it will. Offshore, when the boats can get out, the fishing has also been really good with abundant catches of variety. Inshore, the fishing has remained steady and will surely increase in catches and reports in the coming weeks. Water temperatures are on the verge of breaking the 70-degree mark, so make sure you are prepared for what’s to transpire in the coming weeks.

Offshore, although the weather forecast was a bit off, some anglers managed to push through the unplanned rough conditions toward the Gulf Stream and were rewarded with decent fishing. A good dolphin bite was the main topic with some wahoo, blackfin tuna and even a few yellowfin tuna included in the reports along with a few billfish here and there. Temperature breaks of around 2 degrees are all it took to hold the fish. Areas around the Steeples, Blackjack Hole, Devils Hole and Same Ole Hole all produced in some variety.

Grouper fishing started on May 1 so start to expect some reports from the bottom fishermen in the coming weeks. Black bass are being caught on a regular basis and as the season progresses, the larger fish will be found in deeper water.

Closer to the beach, the main topic of conversation has been the abundance of Atlantic bonito and Spanish mackerel. Anglers are having good luck catching the fish by trolling Clark Spoons and Yo-Zuri Plugs and sight casting small spoons to the schools of breaking fish. Spanish mackerel up to 7 pounds have been reported frequently the past week. There are reports that some much smaller fish are starting to show up, so now’s the time to try your luck for that trophy. The bonito won’t be around much longer, either, so if catching that species is a plan, it’s time to get on the water. Areas around the Liberty Ship and Five Mile Boxcars have been good places catch fish but areas to the south, such as Sheepshead Rock, have been holding the larger Spanish. There are plenty of bluefish in the mix also, so be prepared to get back some damaged tackle.

Along the beaches and off the piers, the Virginia mullet continue to bite fairly well on fresh shrimp. Those anglers are also managing a few black drum here and there. Pier anglers have reported plenty of bluefish and some Spanish mackerel being caught on Got-Cha Plugs.

Inshore, the red drum fishing has been good around the docks and in the creeks. Some anglers have reported a few keeper flounder, which is a good sign for the summer. Baitfish are becoming much more plentiful and should continue increasing in numbers, giving anglers a choice of artificial or natural baits.

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