Note: Captain Scott Jordan of Dauphin Island, Alabama, guides on the
Mississippi Sound and in the Mobile Bay. This month, Jordan will tell us where
to find the best inshore fishing in May.
Scott, where do you find and catch fish this month?
Early in the morning and late in the afternoon, we catch speckled trout on
top-water lures, like the Rapala Skitter Walk, the Zara Spook or the MirrOlure
Top Dog. The big trout are inshore now, and they like to eat big baits. The trout
seem to be holding on shell-bottom points in 2 to 4 feet of water, and high
tide is the best time to catch them. One of the best spots to catch quality-size
trout in May is around the Dauphin Island Bridge, because there are numbers of
shells around that area and plenty of shallow water next to deep water. That’s
the key to catching numbers of trout at this time of year. Look for big trout
where you find shallow-water flats dropping off into deep water. The big female
trout like to move on and off these shallow-water flats, but they want to have
deep water where they can retreat to, especially when the tide starts falling
out. You can fish miles of shallow flats and catch numbers of trout. However,
to catch the big trout, you need a region with deep water close to shallow
water, like you find at the Dauphin Island Bridge.
Where else do you catch trout at this time of year?
We also catch trout along the gulf beach bars. Anywhere you find a tidal
trough, you’ll find big trout. On low tide, you often can find deep-water
gullies close to the beach. On high tide, the drop-offs between the beach and
the sandbar often will fill up with big trout. I primarily fish around the west
end of Dauphin Island, but you also can pinpoint these types of troughs around
the Fort Morgan area. Search for white, foamy water washing over a shallow sandbar
into a deep trough close to the shore. You’ll be surprised at how many trout
and redfish are holding in those 3- to 4-foot holds. When I’m fishing the
troughs, I’ll usually be fishing with live shrimp and a Cajun Thunder cork or with
soft-plastic lures, like the D.O.A. shrimp, minnow-crankbait type grubs and
plastic grubs. I’ll be fishing root beer, chartreuse and white colors, if the
water’s off color. If the water’s clear, I’ll be fishing more-translucent
colors, like smoke or root beer. I anchor my boat on the outside of the
sandbar, cast toward the beach, let that soft plastic fall in the trough, and
then fish it up the sandbar. Using this tactic, we also catch a lot of incidental
flounder and redfish.
other good places to fish this month for trout are Heron Bay, next to Cedar
Point Pier, and Portersville Bay, which are both little feeder bays off
Mississippi Sound. All these little bays have bayous emptying into them on the
north side of the bays. At the mouths of these bayous, where they empty into
the bays, you’ll find trout you can catch with live shrimp with a cork.
How big are the redfish you catch?
The redfish will weigh up to 15 pounds. Most of the fish you catch in the tidal
troughs will be within the redfish slot limit, averaging from 3 to 7 pounds.
The flounder will weigh up to about 4 pounds, and we mainly catch them on grubs
and live shrimp. If the water’s muddy or stained, your best bait will be live
shrimp under a popping cork. Most people like to pop the cork and then let it
sit still. I prefer to anchor up-current of a trough or an oyster bar. Then as
soon as I pop my cork, I strip the line and let that cork and shrimp move with
the current. After the cork drifts back about 4 or 5 feet, I’ll pop it again
and let it drift another 4 or 5 feet. If you pop the cork and then keep a tight
line, the current will cause your shrimp to rise up rather than stay down where
the trout are located. I’ll often let my popping cork and shrimp drift back 75
yards and out of sight. Oftentimes my line will get real tight and start to
bend my rod, which lets me know there’s a fish on the line. To have a good day
of fishing for reds at this time of year, let your bait cover a lot of water.
In a day of fishing, what do you expect to catch?
In May, catching 50 trout or more often weighing from 5- to 9-pounds each,
isn’t unusual. In a half-day of fishing, you often can catch 20 to 50 trout.
How long will the trout fishing stay this productive?
We always can catch trout down here, but the best trout fishing is from now
until the weather gets so hot that the teeth show-up.
What do you mean the teeth show-up?
When the salinity in the water gets extremely high, we start having sharks,
bluefish and Spanish mackerel move into shallow water. Shallow-water fishing
will be good, but when the teeth show-up, you’ll have to fish the deeper water
to get away from the teeth and catch the trout. Our shallow bite is usually
good until the first week or two of June. After the full moon in June, I start
fishing deep water around the rigs in the bay, the wrecks and the bridge
contact Captain Scott Jordan, call 251-649-5198.