old salt blog

Captain Greg’s Space Coast Fishing Report for May 2019

Covering Port Canaveral, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, and Orlando

Last Month’s Action
None of us should really have any complaints about April 2019. The beginning of the month gave us good cobia fishing and mixed throughout the month some fantastic mahi days. The king mackerel showed up and just like always when they do, everything else is also good. Near shore action throughout the month was fantastic. Pompano, black drum, snook, flounder and even a few kings and tarpon already showing along the beach.

May Near Shore Fishing Forecast
Everything is looking really good temperature wise, clarity wise and bait wise for a fantastic May. Right now expect to find some nice king fish and a few cobia in about 30 to 40 ft on the color change. Once you see the color change ride South until you start marking scattered bait (you are not looking for huge bait marks like pogy pods, you are looking for the scattered greenie & threadfin marks).

snook fishing

When the pogy’s show any day now the near shore fishing will be easy, inexpensive and productive. King mackerel, tarpon, cobia, jack crevalle, sharks, barracuda, red drum and snook will all be on the hit list when the perfect fish catching cocktail of clean water and bait fish arrive tight to the beach. We don’t receive very many request to tarpon fish so our daily fishing reports never show us catching many. Just a heads up for those who are really into it, everything I am seeing is showing the real possibility of early tarpon.

May Offshore Fishing Forecast
Yay for May! This is the month that everything comes together offshore the Space Coast. This May we have great potential for everything so this report may…… get a little long 😉 pun intended. The ocean starts to consistently be calmer and we have a lot of different species to target and keep. We also don’t have to worry as much about giant swells messing up water clarity or crazy water temperature changes that can happen in the winter or thermo-cline in the summer.

grouper fishing

Groupers open up and this creates a lot of excitement for those who like to bottom fish. May is not the best grouper month but out of all the months we can keep them May and December are the best. The trick to a successful grouper trip is big baits and avoiding red snapper the best you can. This usually means fishing deep, so hopefully you took my suggestion for scouting January through April and have a idea where to start. Current will play a big factor the deeper you go but don’t think all current is bad. A little current actually helps you stay in line on the drift, covering more productive bottom and helps you get the grouper turned. This just takes a lot of practice on the captains part to set the boat over the fish at the same time the lines get into the strike zone. It takes some practice on the anglers part to know how to present the bait and get everything down in a timely manner to hit the strike zone. This is why you consistently see the same boats and crews with great catches. If either the captain or angler do not know what they are doing then grouper fishing is very tough. Also you have to be realistic in this day and age of snappers and sharks. A great day of grouper fishing is 10 grouper bites. Out of those 10 bites if you get 5 turned that is a good average. Out of those 5 you got turned if you get 3 of them up past the sharks you are doing good. Three groupers at the end of the day is a phenomenal day of grouper fishing.

May is also great for mahi. A lot of people like to say the mahi are running or the mahi run is on. Out of Canaveral it doesn’t quite work like that. It would be much more realistic to say this is the time of year we might get a mahi wave. Mahi fishing is day to day and has everything to do with the intensity or how defined the current edge is on this side of the gulf stream. Yes we have real time temperature charts that give you a idea but as far as I know we don’t have accurate current speed. Current does you no good when mahi fishing if it is a gradual change. You need no current to a rage and when that happens you will have caught a good mahi wave. The only way to know is to go and this is why you see reports of great mahi catches one day and none the next day. Yes if you spend a entire day trolling and picking weeds you will probably luck into a mahi or two but most of us would rather put the flare gun to our temple than do that all day.

red snapper fishing

The best thing about May is the variety that can be found on the 60 to 100ft reefs slow trolling or live bait trolling. Yes the broken record that is me is back. We have a little saying that we joke about amongst the Sea Leveler Captains. “if you go past 100ft, you lose”. Live bait trolling is hands down the most productive fishing you can do. A lot of people call this king fishing. I am not really sure why because it should be called everything that swims fishing. I can guarantee we will catch king mackerel, cobia, mahi, sailfish, red snapper, sharks, barracuda, bonito, jack crevalle, trigger fish, mutton snapper, black fin tuna and wahoo all by slow trolling this month. Yes the kings are dominant but man is it fun to pull on fish all day long.

May is going to be awesome and I hope this report gives everyone a better understanding on how fishing really plays out in our area. We look forward to some fantastic catches this month!


About Captain Greg’s Reports and Forecast
Captain Greg has been fishing the waters of Port Canaveral and the Atlantic for over 30 years. He has the largest and most highly rated private charter business in Port Canaveral, Sea Leveler Sport Fishing Charters. Greg and his team of full time captains fish well over 200 days each per year. We have kept detailed catch history for every trip ran since 2010. You can access this history at www.sealeveler.com/reports. His engineer wife, Amber, has analyzed the catch history along with other historical data such as water temperature and weather patterns. Greg uses his fishing experience and knowledge along with his wife’s statistical analysis to bring you the best fishing report available for Port Canaveral. Greg will give you the honest truth on how the fishing has been along with his best prediction of what to expect by using all of this information.

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