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Spring Fishing Forecast

by Captain Mark Yanno – 772-559-1422 –

Spring is a great time of year to fish as the water warms, the winds begin to lay down, bait schools show up, and the fish get “reel” hungry. Beaches have pompano, mackerel, some bluefish, and ladyfish in early spring, with whiting and some mackerel and bluefish later in the season. Shrimp and small jigs/spoons are good baits. Glass minnows show up in late May with little tunny and mackerel chasing them. Small spoons, jigs, and flies are best at this time. My favorite fishing of the year is for large Tarpon migrating along the beaches in May, with the peak run usually in June. Best baits for Tarpon are 6 plus inch mullet, greenies, or pilchards with about a 7/0 circle hook and 60 to 80-pound fluorocarbon leader. Very large jacks are also found schooling along the beach in the spring.

Offshore fishing is fantastic with May and June bringing the largest mahi mahi of the year. (enjoy your Mahi Mahi Mexican-style) Trolling ballyhoo and lures at 5-8 knots around weed lines and rips, is the best method to locate them. Cobia can be found on reefs, along with grouper and mutton/mangrove snappers. Both dead and live baitfish are good for these fish. Use heavy tackle for grouper, but only 40-pound leader for snappers, as they are more wary. Fish on reefs from 60-180 feet. Night time around the full and new moons can be very productive. King fishing gets good in June in 15-80 feet around reefs and bait pods. Use wire leader, and live baitfish or trolled strip baits.

Fishing for redfish, snook, and trout in the Indian River Lagoon can be very good in the spring with baitfish schools arriving. Fish topwater plugs early in shallow water and then switch to subsurface lures and live baits in deeper water (3-5 feet) and around mangroves docks as it gets hot. Some of the largest “gator” trout of the year are caught in April and May, with topwater plugs (early and late) and large baitfish as top baits. This applies to snook as well. Sheepshead and snapper can be found around structures such as docks, bridges, and hard bottom along the Intra Coastal Waterway. Use 20-pound fluorocarbon leader with shrimp and small baitfish. Larger snappers arrive in the Lagoon in May and prefer small baitfish. Tarpon are also prevalent in the lagoon in May and June. Be careful of afternoon thunderstorms in late spring.

Sebastian Inlet has good redfish and snook fishing on outgoing tides, with June being the best month. Croakers are the best baitfish for snook, and crabs are best for redfish. The Sebastian River also holds snook and tarpon in the spring and live mullet is the best bait. Lures will also take fish, mainly in lower light conditions.

Tight lines,

Captain Mark Yanno


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