Fishing out of Flamingo in Florida Bay from the Marina north along the coast to Northwest Cape, captain Jim Hobales of Caught Lookin Charters has been leading his clients to almost nonstop action from large snook, redfish, sea trout to more than 20 inches, jack crevalles, ladyfish, mangrove snapper, large sharks and a few small tarpon. His clients have been fishing live pilchards, pinfish, soft plastics, flies and Rapala Twitchin Raps for bait.
Captain Jay Cohen on the charter boat Spellbound out of Haulover Marina reported his clients have had all the dolphin action that they want offshore of Haulover Inlet, but 95 percent of the fish are undersized. All dolphins must measure at least 20 inches from the tip of the nose to the fork of the tail on the Atlantic coast. The dolphins are being found while trolling feathers and rigged ballyhoo in 600 to 1,000 feet of water. Wahoo to 40 pounds are being caught on strips of bonito trolled in 100 to 160 feet of water while using a planer. Captain Orlando Muniz from Nomad Fishing Charters reported at night his clients are catching limits of snappers while fishing the reefs off of Miami. Mangrove snappers to 5 pounds have made up the majority of the catches, but plenty of yellowtail and mutton snappers are mixed in with the mangroves.
Islamorada guide and expert swordfisherman Vic Gaspeny, 63, caught his 200th swordfish — a 75-pound fish — last week on conventional rod and manual reel tackle while fishing on the charter boat Catch 22 with captain Richard Stanczyk out of Bud N Mary’s Marina in Islamorada. Gaspeny caught all of his swordfish off Islamorada, including his first in 1978, his largest — a 410-pounder in 2009 — and his 200th. Captain Steve Murray from Tarpon Headquarters Charters out of Islamorada reported his clients are still catching tarpon at night in the channels and along the bridges. Redfish are being caught high up on the flats in Florida Bay using gold spoons. Plenty of sea trout in the 17- to 21-inch range are being caught in the mullet muds and snook in the 5- to 14-pound range are being released daily in Florida Bay. Captain Chris Johnson from SeaSquared Charters out of Marathon reported blackfin tuna in the 12- to 15-pound range are being caught on butterfly jigs, trolling small feathers and on live baits fished around the Humps. Nighttime snapper fishing in 40 to 60 feet of water off Marathon has been excellent.
Captain Glyn Austin of Going Coastal Charters out of Sebastian reported early mornings are producing large sea trout around the baitfish pods in the River. Plenty of snook, tarpon, jacks and ladyfish are being caught in the Sebastian River and in Turkey and Crane Creeks. Big redfish are being caught and released day and night in the Sebastian Inlet. Just outside the beaches, flounder, big jacks, redfish, sharks, a few cobias and bonitos are available. Captain Kevin Drennan of Slammer Guide Service out of Stuart reported sailfish have been caught next to bait pods offshore. Loads of bonitos seem to be everywhere. Some big kings are being caught inside of 100 feet of water. Cobias are feeding on sardine schools on the Bull Shark Barge.
Carl Haber from Anglers Resource out of Alabama and Kohsuke ( Kenny) Yamamoto from Kowa Company Ltd. out of Japan fished with captain Alan Sherman of Get Em Sportfishing Charters in Florida Bay and released more than 15 snook in the 6- to 14 1/2-pound range along with redfish, sea trout, snappers and jacks. All of the fish were caught on Hookup lures tipped with Gulp soft plastics and live pinfish.
Captain Rob Modys from Soul Mate Charters out of Fort Myers reported a mixed bag of Spanish mackerel, sea trout, pompano, grunts and sheepshead near shore rock piles. Small jigs are getting most of the strikes. Fishing cut baits on the bottom is scoring strikes from snapper, grouper and then goliath groupers. In Estero Bay, a few redfish and snook can be had along the mangrove shorelines.
Nicole Mejia from the Sawgrass Recreation Area reported that plenty of panfish are eating live worms, and some large largemouth bass are being caught around the spillways. Best action has been on the East Canal.
Capt. Alan Sherman