May is here and the water temperatures are up to the high 70’s - summer fishing has begun! It already seems like forever since those cool mornings and relentless winds we had last month.

May is generally a mild month as the winter winds are finished, and the summer storms have not yet begun. Because of this, you can travel further distances, and work different wrecks and areas less fished by others. If you get out to the shallow wrecks, look for larger schools of Permit. They will happily feed on small live crabs, artificial crabs, and jigs. Cobia will be available on the same wrecks. Bring a few live finger mullet out to these guys for a little drag screemin’ fun!
The flats are alive with Speckled Trout this month. Drift grassy areas in the 3’-5’ depth range. Throw ¼ and 3/8 oz buck tail jigs tipped with a small piece of shrimp for some fast action. Also try all types of soft plastic jigs, spoons, & top water plugs. Trout will happily hit live baits like shrimp and Pilchards. Most of what you catch will be in the slot. When you find one, mark the spot and keep coming back and drifting past it, or just stake off and work the school.
The big “momma” Snook are beginning to show their faces. We will all be welcoming them with open arms and cheering them on to make LOTS of babies! If you are targeting Snook, please take extra care to not wear them out with light tackle, and to take an extra couple of minutes to assure a full revival when releasing them.
Redfish are around and will gladly accept live bait like Pilchards, Thread Herring, Shrimp, or Fiddler Crabs. Also be sure to try a GULP shrimp on a weighted jig head, or a gold spoon. Look for Reds around oyster bars, especially the last part of the incoming tide.
Take a kid fishing and target Mangrove snapper. They are plentiful around the mangrove roots and can be caught on live shrimp. Remember, keep a child busy catching a lot of small fish. Their day will be much more memorable catching 20 Snapper vs hunting for a couple of trophy fish all day!
This month through June I will be in Big Pine Key to get in on the annual Tarpon run at the Bahia Honda Bridge. I still have a few openings left for my Florida Keys Tarpon-only charters so drop me a line and let’s get you hooked up to some giant Tarpon!
Captain Pete Rapps
Captain Rapps’ Charters & Guides
Captain Rapps
Captain Rapps’ Charters & Guides offers expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips in the 10,000 Islands of the Everglades National Park, and Tarpon-only charters in the Florida Keys. Capt. Rapps’ top notch fleet accommodates men, women, & children of all ages, experienced or not, and those with special needs. Between their vast knowledge & experience of the area, and easy going demeanors, you are guaranteed to have a great day. Book your charter 24/7 using the online booking calendar, and see Capt. Rapps’ first class web site for Booking info, Videos, Recipes, Seasonings, and more at

Captain Pete Rapps
Chokoloskee, Everglades City, and the 10000 Islands of the Everglades National Park