Kayak anglers have great fishing opportunities in May

Bass have finished spawning and are on the prowl for food. This one missed a topwater lure several times but connected with a jerk shad quickly cast to exactly the same spot.

Yes it’s getting hotter, but so is the fishing. Spring is winding down and the extreme summer heat has not yet arrived. May offers great fishing for kayak anglers, whether you choose to pursue fresh or saltwater species.

For the most part, bass across the state have completed spawning and they are on feeding missions. Topwaters, buzz baits and jerk baits pro-vide great action on and near the surface. In addition to your topwater rod, have another rigged with a jerk shad or suspending lure. If the topwater bite fails to connect, quickly toss the other offering to the same spot. Many times this one/two punch does the trick.

If they are a little lower in the water column, try spinnerbaits or crank-baits. For working the bottom or fishing grassy areas, Texas rigged soft plastics can’t be beat. The venerable plastic worm remains an all-time favorite and is easy to work from the seated position in a kayak.

From freshwater lakes to side-of-the-road canals, good bass fishing can be found all across the state. Panfish action is also in full swing in the same areas. With simple cane poles, light fly rods and ultralight spinning gear, kayak anglers can load up on these hand-sized battlers.

Teeming with catfish

Fresh and brackish areas are also teeming with catfish. Blue, channel and flathead catfish all provide great sport in the kayak. All three of these species are hard fighting and offer excellent table fare. Anchoring up and soaking a variety of dead baits on the bottom is a great way to enjoy a relaxing outing on the water. Cut bait like herring, mullet, pogies and dead shrimp all make great baits for catfish. Flatheads generally prefer live baits and a small bream may be just the trick. Of course, time-tested large nightcrawlers also work wonders.

For those ‘yakers looking to ply brackish and saltier waters, May is one of the prime months for the speckled trout spawn. The action a few days before, through a few days after the full moon offer the best opportunities. Big trout can’t resist an enticing topwater lure. The tried and true walk-the-dog rhythm can’t be beat for coaxing a massive explosion from a big sow trout. Kayakers looking for big trout action need to head to saltier areas near the coast. Lakes Pontchartrain, Borgne and Calcasieu are perennial big trout hotspots. Of course, Grand Isle and the surrounding areas are also great areas easily accessible by kayakers.

Speckled trout are in prime spawning mode across the coast. Try topwater and suspending lures near schools of mullet for some great action on these plump females.

Live bait season is in full swing with shrimp, minnows and croakers available at marinas across the coast. Big schools of mullets are a great sign for the presence of speckled trout. Use the stealthiness of the kayak to follow the schools as they slowly move along. Stay at your maximum casting range to avoid spooking the mullets. Cast on the outer edges of the school and be ready for a strike. It is hard to believe that a trout will find your single bait amongst the thousands of live mullet, but they do. Topwater, suspending baits or live offerings free-lined or under a popping cork are all great choices.

Smaller trout

Smaller trout can still be found in the interior marshes and of course, redfish are ever-present. Grass beds are growing thicker, so look for reds cruising the edges or even right in the thickest areas. Jigheads with thin wire weed guards or weedless spoons make a big difference in getting and working your baits through the thick grass. Although some of these areas look impenetrable from the surface, there is plenty of open areas underneath for the reds to swim and ambush bait. Look for small pockets and channels to cast to and slowly work your baits through the grass.

Many brackish marsh areas also have their fair share of bass mixed in with the trout and reds. All can be caught on the same bait and lures in the same areas. Other common species available are white trout, black drum, sheepshead and flounder. The occasional jack crevalle may show up offering one of the best battles a kayak angler can have.

Although not summer, days can get hot and proper clothing, sun protection and hydration are a necessity. The glare off the water can intensify sunburn. If you wear shorts, your legs can quickly get fried. Long pants and long sleeve technical shirts avoid the need for messy sunscreen and keep you cool. A wide-brimmed hat and face buff protects those areas. Drink plenty of water.

No matter where you choose to kayak fish this time of year, some level of success is almost a given. You may even have one of your best trips ever.

About Chris Holmes 247 Articles
Chris Holmes has kayak fished in the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and many places in between.

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