Editor’s 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.


Question: Scott, where do you find and catch fish this month?
Jordan: 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.

Question: Where else do you catch trout at this time of year?
Jordan: 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.

Two 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.

Question: How big are the redfish you catch?
Jordan: 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.

Question: In a day of fishing, what do you expect to catch?
Jordan: 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.

Question: How long will the trout fishing stay this productive?
Jordan: 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.

Question: What do you mean the teeth show-up?
Jordan: 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 platforms.

To contact Captain Scott Jordan, call 251-649-5198.