I hope readers of this column were able to participate in the very good Sailfishing which occurred last month during the “Tailing” and “color change” condition. It was the subject of April’s column, and though it didn’t last long, for about 10 days the Sails poured through.

Now that we are into the Month of May it’s time to get serious about Dolphin first and foremost, but also spawning Mutton Snapper, Yellowtail Snapper and the re opening of Grouper season. As I write this, the Dolphin bite is just beginning. There are a fair number of small fish around, most of them associated with birds, but very few of the large “slammer” fish we expect as the migration begins. Historically the biggest Dolphin of the season will be found in mid May. Watch the weather and try to fish on days with light SE breezes, particularly if they occur after several days of fresh Easterlies. Most readers are experienced Dolphin fishermen (and women) so I hardly need to mention the basics: find the current, find the weed, find birds and keep an eye out for debris.

Grouper season has reopened after a 4 month hiatus. Size and bag limits for Atlantic waters are very specific so be sure you know them. Only 3 Grouper per person, only 1 of which can be EITHER a Gag or Black. Reds have to be a minimum of 20 inches while Gag’s and Black’s must measure 24 inches. As good a bait as any for Grouper are common pinfish- easy to catch and easy to keep.

We have a full moon during the middle of the month. The May moon is the peak period for the Mutton spawn. Sooner or later there will be a closed season during the spawn, and or a reduction in the bag limit which is currently 10. Until then please harvest responsibly- 4 guys could go and legally keep 40 Muttons in one evening, but I think most would agree that’s way too many. Until the laws changes it’s up to us to do the right thing.

Tight lines and good luck.

Capt. Brad