For the anglers that like to catch smoker king mackerels, there will be a favorable morning bite in general. Typically, king fish can be found in 90 to 120 feet of water from Boynton to Palm Beach inlet. You can also work the general area you see commercial fisherman dragging lines; trolling spoons or slow trolling live bait with down riggers are the best methods for targeting king fish. The blackfin tuna will be abundant too, waters between the Breakers Hotel and the Lost Tree Club is an established hot spot. Look for flying fish and other showering bait fish to find the schools. You can also fish with live bait in 100 to 180 feet of water with a steady current. Another effective area is straight off Boynton Inlet between 70 and 120 feet and also straight off the Boynton Martini Glass. Try live chumming with small baits like sardines, pilchards and threadfins to fire up the tuna during the early morning or low light conditions. The arrival of bait fish will start to show up in our waters this month. I’d suggest pulling out those sabiki rigs, attaching a bucktail jig to the end of it and catching some free bait close to shore! Where you spot birds diving, is usually where the bait fish can be found.
We have quite a diversity of species in our waters right now and May is feasibly the prime month to fish off the Palm Beaches! There are a multitude of factors as to why this is one of the best producing months of the year. High winds should diminish and water temperatures will quickly rise a couple degrees to average of 80°F giving the offshore angler greater opportunities to fill their fish box! The winds this month will primarily blow out of the E/SE quadrant which will trigger some very large pelagics to move closer to our Palm Beach coast. Historically, May has produced impressive local catch records; such as immense mahi mahi and phenomenal blackfin tuna catches. This time of year will continue to produce a strong dolphin bite all the way through June, diminishing when the pelagics start moving further offshore. It’s a good idea for you to pay attention to the dolphin bite taking place off the coast of the Keys and Miami-Dade because it will be good indicator for what you should expect in our waters within a few days time.
Inshore fishing should produce excellent fishing as well! Big jack crevalle’s are schooled up tightly and will eat any fast moving bait within their strike zone. I caught a monster jack in the Palm Beach Inlet that engulfed a large blue runner. Tarpon will start to show up in the inlets and juveniles can be found in the bays and canals. Try using live bait, jigs, and floating lip divers to entice a tarpon. Snook should also produce plenty of exciting action; work artificial lures and flare hawks along seawalls, docks and near structure. Don’t forget, tournament season has officially gone into full swing! Prepare yourself for heavy boat traffic on the weekends, especially on tournament days. Boating safety is always a primary concern for all water lovers alike. So be safe on the water this month and take advantage of the weather and great conditions we are blessed with here in Palm Beach, FL!
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Darcie is a contributing writer for Coastal Angler Magazine since 2013. She writes monthly fishing forecast/reports about her adventures out of Palm Beach, Florida!