Captain Bouncer Smith on Bouncers Dusky out of Miami Beach Marina reported offshore fishing and fishing in and around Government Cut had been outstanding before the bad weather from Tropical Storm Debby hit South Florida, and Smith expects that fishing to resume after things settle down this weekend. Fishing on Bouncers Dusky for three days last weekend, Don Dietrich and his daughters, Camille, Elsie and Marina (all from New York), caught two sailfish, five dolphin, king mackerel, large blackfin tuna, hammerhead shark, jacks, a 40-pound wahoo and bonitos fishing offshore of Government Cut. Fishing around Government Cut, they released a 15.5-pound snook and an 80-pound tarpon using live threadfin herring and live crabs for bait.
Captain Mo Estevez of Miami Bonefishing.com reported that he expects to see hungry bonefish and permits return to the shallow flats of South Biscayne Bay. During the 15th Annual Bimini Fishing Extravaganza held out of Bimini Sands, a total of eight blue marlin and four sailfish were caught. Top offshore catch was a 349-pound blue marlin caught by Ron Crowder on Mad Man. Top inshore catch was eight bonefish made by Ron Winget on Native Sun. Top Junior Girl was Katherine Kemp on the Bad Girl. Top Junior Boy was Dominic Garssi on The Right Way. Top reef catch was made by Terry Flora on T-Wrecks. Top female angler was Deborah Puglisi on High Noon and top male angler was Steve Hathaway on Rock Boat.
IslamordaFishing.com reported recent bad weather has kept most boats at the dock this past week, but those that did go offshore found scattered dolphin and small blackfin tunas outside the reef. Anglers working the shallow patch reefs had catches of mutton, lane and yellowtail snappers plus plenty of undersized grouper. Anglers working the Florida Bay channels had lots of action from sea trout and snapper. During the Burdines Waterfront Dolphin and Blackfin Tuna Tournament held in Marathon, captain and angler Bruce Coles of Marathon took top honors with a 20.6-pound dolphin and a 20.2-pound blackfin tuna. Steve Ward of Texas took the Grand Champion Award during the 49th Annual Islamorada Gold Cup Invitational Tarpon Tournament with two weight fish and nine releases. Ward was guided by captain Rick Murphy of Homestead.
Captain Kevin Drennan of Slammer Guide Service out of Stuart reported before the stormy weather hit his clients were limiting out on of vermillion and lane snappers, trigger fish, porgies and releasing lots of undersized grouper working the bottom outside of 80 feet of water with cut bait. A few kingfish were being caught on the Sand Pile in 60 feet of water along with some bonito and small dolphin. Captain Tom Van Horn of Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters reported the Indian River Lagoon had about an extra foot of water covering the shallow flats allowing for easy access to the edges of the shorelines where large sea trout and redfish over 30 inches have been holding.
Captain Bob LeMay reported working the shorelines and mouths of the rivers along the Gulf coast with chunks of ladyfish and jig heads tipped with Gulp soft plastics has kept his clients busy with steady catches of snook, redfish, sea trout, Spanish mackerel, cobia, flounder and large lemon sharks.
Captain Rob Modys of Soul Mate Charters out of Fort Myers reported that before Tropical Storm Debby hit, his clients were catching plenty of Spanish mackerel, big trout, sheepshead, flounder, pompano and snapper fishing live shrimp on the May Reef. Fishing chunk baits on the bottom, grouper and sharks were being caught on the reef. Lots of sea trout could be had in the backcountry flats of Estero Bay. Best baits for the trout were live shrimp, Berkley Gulp shrimp and DOA shrimp under a popping cork. Redfish were hitting along the mangrove shorelines. Best baits for the redfish were shrimp, cut ladyfish or herring on a jig.
Captain Alan Zaremba has been working the C-4 and L-30 canals hard recently, and his clients have had up to 61 largemouth bass, 14 peacock bass plus cichlids, snook, red midas, tilapias and Jaguar Gaupotes using Rooster tail jigs, floating Rapalas and Gambler Flappin shads and Ribbon tailed worms.
Capt. Alan Sherman