Fishingcast: Conditions for Southwest Florida, May 25-31

Capt. Bill Walsh

Red tide levels reported by region (below). Storms begin to abate late week. Salinity levels low. Water clarity negatively affected inshore. Tides to full moon mid-week, strong p.m. outgoing.

The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel fishing on the gulf of Mexico.



  • Backwater: Red tide levels, low. Weak tarpon season finishes, action to Boca Grande. Mangrove snapper; best opportunity on tidal-fed mangrove edges Addison, Johnson Bays. Mackerel action, passes first hour incoming.
  • Nearshore: Snook action on beaches, first light incoming, pilchards. Mackerel et al; First Reefs, tipped jigs over chum. Walton, Five Mile corners, weighted tipped jigs, snapper.
  • Offshore: Deep wrecks, amberjack to 30-pound, harvest closes May 31. Clean water 15-plus miles, wrecks with live bait for kings, cobia, permit, cuda.


  • Backwater: Red tide levels (May 18 report), low; Keewaydin, moderate. Snook, first light, Gordon to Port Royal, first light incoming, pilchards. Snapper, all edges, shrimp, last and first hour either tide.
  • Nearshore: Mackerel and Bluefish, spots Pier to Doctors, 20-30’ tipped jigs over chum. Lane and mangrove, east edges Gordon Five on weighted jigs.
  • Offshore: Red grouper, some shifting east, 55-60 ft. hard bottom, drift live pinfish. Yellowtail snapper, reefs 40-50,’ freelined chum bits in slick. Cuda, sharks on deep wrecks with bait.


  • Backwater: Red tide levels (May 18 report) high level Sanibel-Estero seen easing. Spotty snook action Carlos and New Channel, on pilchards incoming. Few redfish circa Round Key bars, late incoming.
  • Nearshore: Pelagics, first reefs holding bait, tipped jigs over chum. Some snook off beaches north of Carlos, Coon Key, pilchards. Snapper east edges MAY complex.
  • Offshore: Amberjack to 30-pound plus, deep wrecks, vertical bait drop, harvest closes May 31. Red grouper, sliding east, try 60 ft. hard bottom, live pinfish on drift.