Captain Dick Vance with Hot Shot Charters in Charleston, 843-209-1630, reports that May is the best month to go offshore fishing and that he will be booked everyday of the month. He also states that the wind will blow some days and that that is just part of the normal weather pattern for May, but the calm days after the wind are the right time to get out on the ocean.

"The dolphin get thick about the first or second week in May and we can expect 25 to 35 fish per day. Some smaller fish will show up first but as the month progresses expect to see more gaffer dolphin including some 50-pounders," said Vance.          

Vance uses satellite technology to locate likely fishing spots in the ocean using forecasting sites like Rutgers University and Roffer's. "I'm looking out past 300-feet of water for temperature breaks and color changes that indicate warmer waters, said Vance. "Then when I get out there I look for weed lines and will troll up to ten lines to check around for the dolphin. To start with I use Sailures and Squitches in different colors and sizes to see what the dolphin want to eat."

"We keep lots of extra 6-foot leaders rigged up with extra ballyhoo so if we catch a fish when can get back to fishing as soon as the dolphin goes into the fish box," said Vance. "We won't stop fishing or reel in all our lines when we are hooked up either, because I like to keep them out near the fish because when you catch one dolphin there are some more around. When I ease the boat back into gear, sometimes that surge of motion draws a strike."

Sea and sky conditions can dictate the way the fish bite and Vance likes to go with pink and white skirts on the long riggers and uses a Mustad 7692 8-ought J-hook for the dolphin. Look for flying fish in order to locate schools of dolphin.         

Blackfin tuna like smaller baits and they like them fished way back behind the boat. Ballyhoo on Lehi squitches work well but so does a cedar plug. "Those cedar plugs have been around forever and we fish them about 200-yards back", said Vance. "They dart around and the tunas go crazy on it." When you are catching tunas Vance says that wahoo are usually in the area too.

To read all of the May fishing forecast in the May edition of South Carolina Sportsman magazine, purchase a copy of our digital edition.