Captain Greg's Fishing Report for May 2021
Port Canaveral, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, and Orlando
Last Month's Action
April was a lot of fun with overall great action for those who just wanted to have fun fishing for whatever mother nature allowed us to target. Unpredictable sea conditions kept us inside the shoal most days. Sharks of all kinds and sizes kept the rods down and smiles up. Goliath groupers have made their way into the channel buoys and shallow wrecks providing additional targets. King mackerel and mahi were consistent throughout the month but the handful of days they decided to disappear they would have made Houdini proud. Yellowfin tuna fishing was game on for those who got to get out on the few days it was calm enough to go. Unfortunately, engine failures kept us from participating but with any luck we have all that behind us now and will be able to get in on the action.
May Near Shore Fishing Forecast
Tarpon time is upon us, but the trick will be getting enough live bait to filter through the bluefish. Look for rolling fish and set up shop, 40lb spinning gear with a circle hook to match your bait size will be the weapons of choice to tame the silver king. Goliath grouper will pile in on all the buoys and shallow wrecks. With a little patience and a lot of muscle this will be a great month to check the goliath grouper box. Shark fishing just continues to get better every year and we expect to continue to see some great shark fishing this month with increased chances of doing battle with some of the bigger sharks such as lemons and hammerheads.
May Offshore Fishing Forecast
If sea conditions cooperate May is such a great month along the Space Coast. Mahi are target species number one, the easy days will be obvious when we have nice weed lines form up and trolling down them produces fish, but the ocean doesn’t always make it that easy. A huge indicator of where to troll for mahi is flying fish. A lot of time it is worth running in and out of the current until you start kicking up flying fish or run into a hard edge. In mahi fishing it is for sure better to fish in the right area for less time than to be in the wrong area all day. If I have a crew that only wants mahi, I will spend a lot of time looking for the correct area if necessary and have spent upward of 4 hours looking. It is not always easy identifying the current by sight so at times you nee to bring the boat to a complete stop to see what your speed is. Out of Canaveral we are looking for 3knts so if you have that you passed the edge and need to work back to the West but put a different angle on it.
Target species number two is gag grouper. The last few years have proven that grouper is one of the most difficult fish to come by, which is very sad because as recent as 20 years ago grouper fishing out of Canaveral was insane. We still have some groupers and we do have good days on occasion, but the number of red snapper makes us go through a lot of live bait and the numbers of sandbar sharks makes it very difficult to get a whole grouper to the surface. Big bait will help you fend off the snapper so you don’t tire out or get discouraged by reeling in one snapper after another. Blue runners, whiteing, porgies and 12 inch or better vermillion snapper make great grouper baits that small to medium red snapper won’t really eat. The sharks are a little more difficult to find an answer for. Fish smaller bottom and that will help. You almost want to avoid spots with big quantities of fish holding and pick spots that are good for a grouper here and there. Most of the wrecks, deep caves and large bottom are covered up with sharks but one thing for sure if your fish gets ate on the way up you need to move. Another option is to invest in powerful electric reels such as LP,s and spool them with 150lb braid. When you hook a fish put it in high speed, drive away and hope it stays hooked up. The sharks will chase it all the way but sometimes you can win.
Tuna fishing is in full swing and we don’t have to go as far this time of year as we do when temperatures warm up. Most of the yellowfin are going to be in the range of 20 to 40 pounds. The key to success is covering ground and fishing as many packs as you can. Different species and size of tuna vary by pack and one pack of fish can produce totally different results than others. We will find a lot of nice mahi holding on any flotsam or weed lines along with having opportunities at marlin for anyone who wants to do more traditional trolling.
We look forward to a phenomenal May and are eager for the consistently calmer seas in the months ahead.
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.