MAY 2024 Fishing Report and JUNE Forecast

Capt, Rick Davidson, Editor (

May 2024 Fishing Report

May lived up to expectations, being one of the best months of the year. As the water heated up, trout moved onto the flats and nearshore, and the redfish bite continued last month’s winning spell. May is always a big tournament month, and there were five tournaments to choose from. Offshore, Captains Roper and Norwood continued to bring in some giant snowy and red grouper, and the amberjack bite was on fire as well. Kingfish have moved into the area, along with Spanish mackerel.

Here are some pictures taken this month at the Sea Hag.

June Fishing Forecast

The most exciting thing coming up this month is the opening of scallop season in our area on June 15th. It’s hard to describe scallop season in the Big Bend, but it’s a great family event, and the town can get quite busy. Most of our guides will do scallop trips, and will also do split charters, with a half day fishing and a half day scalloping. But if you haven’t already made plans, now is the time to do it, because both guides and accommodations will fill up quickly.

Fishing on the flats will continue to be excellent. Trout will continue to populate the flats, but as the temperatures rise they may move a bit deeper in 6-10 feet of water over mixed grass and sand. You can’t go wrong fishing popping corks in shallower water, with either live shrimp or Gulp baits, but a simple jig and soft plastic tail will work very well. Always cast to sand holes in the grass on the flats; trout are ambush predators and will sit near the holes to grab pinfish that wander into the open area. Redfish will continue to be readily available, especially on higher flood times along the marshline, especially near creek mouths and oyster bars. If you’re addicted to topwater fishing like me, getting on the water at daybreak is the very best time to catch larger solitary trout and redfish. My go-to lures are a nickel Zara Spook Jr. and the suspending Live Target Spanish Sardine, but this time of year it’s hard to find a lure that won’t work. Nearshore, out to 20 feet or so, look for migrating schools of whitebait. Trolling jigs or plugs is a great way to find mackerel or kingfish. One way to provide some non-stop action for kids is to anchor near one of the offshore bars (like Little Bank or 9 Mile Bank), throw out a chum block, and wait thirty minutes. You’ll have blue runners, jack crevalle, bluefish, mackerel and not infrequently a cobia or two around the boat. Cast spoons or jigs, but if you’ve got a live pinfish or shrimp, throw them out under a cork.

Two tournaments this month, starting with the Nauti-Girls tournament (weigh-in at Good Times Marina) on June 1 and an inter-chapter CCA challenge from the 6th through the 9th.

If you haven’t been by the marina in a few months, you really need to come see the new digs. The newly relocated store is now open, as is the bar. We’ve got food, coffee and dessert trucks and entertainment on weekends. You won’t recognize the place; it’s fantastic. And as always, you can buy tackle, dead bait and live shrimp, and a huge selection of lures and soft baits at the Ship’s Store. Come see us, and don’t forget to make your reservations for scallop season.

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