As we transition from spring into summer, tropical species like snook, tarpon and jack crevalle return to the nearshore waters off of the Canaveral Bight and the beaches along the Space Coast. When water temperatures heat up, pods of silver mullet and Atlantic menhaden (pogies) move in close to the beach, bringing the predator species with them. This same scenario unfolds in the inshore lagoons, marking the return of silver mullet and the feeding transition of redfish and sea trout from crabs and shrimp to finfish.On the flats of the Northern Indian River and Mosquito lagoons, the return of silver mullet also signals the return of top water plug action, with early morning and late afternoon/early evening as the primary times to target redfish, sea trout, ladyfish, and jack crevalle. Two of my favorite lures to fish in areas of concentrated baitfish are the Rapala Skitter Walk and the Storm Chugbug. Once the top water bite slows down, switch to subsurface soft plastics like the DOA CAL on a Woodies Rattles Hook sight fished on the deeper edges of the flat.When fishing along the beaches, concentrate your efforts in areas of bait pods (Atlantic menhaden). Species often encountered around these bait pods in May and June are kingfish, tarpon, cobia, sharks, redfish, and jumbo jack crevalle. As we move into June and the summer doldrums begin to settle in, sea conditions will allow smaller vessels to venture offshore in search of these gamesters. When venturing offshore in a smaller vessel, remember safety is of the utmost importance, so watch the seas, fuel levels, and the return of afternoon storms.Calm seas also make May a prime month for blue water anglers with the dolphin migration north being the primary focus. Also in the mix are tuna, wahoo, kingfish, sailfish, and an occasional marlin for adventurous offshore anglers. When targeting these species, look for color and temperature changes (rips and lines), in 120 feet of water and deeper, and in areas of concentrated flotsam. In addition, let’s not forget the kingfish, cobia, and assorted bottom species available on the nearshore reefs and wrecks of Chris Benson, 8A reef, Pelican Flats and Bethel Shoals to the south.Remember, May and June are tournament months out of Port Canaveral, Ponce and Sebastian Inlets, so please be courteous and patient at the ramps and on the water, and let’s catch some fish this summer.Good luck and good fishing.
Capt. Tom Van Horn is a Florida native with over 30 years experience fishing on the estuaries of east Central Florida. Capt. Tom specializes in light tackle saltwater fishing on the Mosquito, Banana, and Indian River Lagoons. Species targeted include redfish, sea trout, snook, tarpon, cobia, tripletail, and kingfish. Capt. Tom is sponsored by RipTide Lures, Evolution Rods, Lipper Tools, Maui Jim Sun Glasses, Woodies Rattles, Mosquito Creek Outdoors, Frog Toggs, and Team Daiwa. He writes weekly fishing reports, fishing forecast, and articles about his outdoor adventures. Contact Info: Capt. Tom Van HornMosquito Coast Fishing Charters540 Lake Lenelle DriveChuluota, FL 32766(p) 407 366-8085(p) 866 790-8081 Toll Free(p) 407 416-1187 Boat(e) firstname.lastname@example.org(w) irl-fishing.com