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May is the perfect cure for what turned out to be a long off-season.

By Fred Golofaro  |  April 30, 2018
Mixed bag catches like this one made aboard the Shinnecock Star in Peconic Bay are not uncommon in May.

May is my favorite month for a lot of reasons. It’s what I consider the real start to the fishing season as a variety of species provide numerous options on any given day. Striped bass are solidly entrenched in Long Island waters this month; in any given year, it is prime time to score a tiderunner weakfish; the first real wave of fluke enter our bays, and there is always a shot at a true doormat, especially in the Peconics; porgies are big and plentiful out east; bluefish explode on the scene, inundating South Shore inlets and infesting Long Island Sound by the end of the month; flounder fishing is better in May than it is in April these days; the spring surf run has been more consistent and produced better quality fish than the fall run, and you can catch more cod now than you could in the winter and do it in shirt sleeves. And there’s more – less traffic from jet skis and weekend sailors than the summer months; no sweltering heat and humidity; you can fish most nights without donating a quart of blood to swarms of mosquitoes and the weather is usually more accommodating with major storms like hurricanes and northeasters mostly out of the picture.

The variety of species lends itself to some great mixed bag fishing opportunities. In places like Jamaica Bay, Great South Bay, Peconic Bay and Long Island Sound, it’s not impossible to score fluke, striped bass, porgies, weakfish, flounder and bluefish, or any combination of these popular inshore species on any given day with a little bit of planning and a touch of good luck. You can also add sea robins to the mix. Whether you want to or not, you can count on them showing up. And, if you’re serious about making a run at The Fisherman Dream Boat Challenge, May is a great time to get a jump on the competition.

You’ve probably had your fill of trout by now, thankful for the relief they provided until our key inshore species settled back in. And most anglers won’t have to be torn between fishing inshore or running offshore until the calendar shifts to June and shark tournaments draw them away from the inshore scene. I can probably think of more reasons why I love May, but I think by now you get the point.

By now you should have had your reels serviced, rods repaired and restocked your tackle inventory after investing in more than you need at outdoor shows and flea markets. And of course, all your gear is nicely organized and ready to go. So, what are you waiting for?