Captain Jason Long of Best Bet Sportfishing Charters out of Marathon reported he has been experiencing mutton snapper action in depths from 60 to 200 feet. On almost every trip this past week, they had mutton snappers up to 20 pounds. Best baits have been live and fresh ballyhoo and pinfish. Long leaders and fluro carbon material are a must when fishing for mutton snapper. A few keeper cobias are being caught and some real nice kingfish. Plenty of schools of ballyhoo are on the reefs. Mangrove snapper fishing is hot on the patch reefs.
Captain Jay Cohen from Spellbound Fishing Charters out of Haulover Marina reported lots of bonitos and a good number of kingfish can be found from the outer reef out to 120 feet off of Haulover Inlet. Best baits have been strips of bonito trolled deep on a planer and live pilchards, Spanish Sardines and threadfin herring. Nick Conomos from Anglin’s Fishing Pier off of Commercial Boulevard reported it has been mostly jacks, mangrove snappers and snook being caught off the pier. Mullet schools are passing by and pilchards and Spanish sardines are holding in the trough.
Captain Rick Stanczyk out of Bud N’ Mary’s Marina in Islamorada reported fishing with his father, Richard Stanczyk, and photographer Ron Modra in Florida Bay and Flamingo last week. Fishing with live shrimp and pinfish, they had action from tarpon up to 40 pounds, redfish and snook up to 12 pounds and small goliath groupers and black drum. George Poveromo of George Poveromo’s World of Saltwater Fishing fished with Charlie Johnson of SeaSquared Charters out of Marathon and caught and released a bunch of large lemon sharks on the Gulf side of Marathon.
Captain Kevin Drennan of Slammer Guide Service out of Stuart reported recent heavy rain runoffs, and Lake Okeechobee’s draining has sparked some great snook action around the flood gates. Top baits have been Bomber lures and Wind Cheaters. River fishing is limited to redfish, jacks and ladyfish due to the freshwater in the river. Best action has been around the islands. Offshore bait has been scarce, but there is kingfish and a few sailfish around the Six Mile Reef. Bottom fishing around the Loran Towers and the Roosevelt Bridge Rubble is producing plenty of vermillion and lane snappers, trigger fish and porgies. Captain Glyn Austin of Going Coastal Charters out of Sebastian reported plenty of bonitos, jacks, redfish and sharks are biting in and around the Sebastian Inlet. Some decent sized snook, bluefish and ladyfish are also biting along the jetties. In the river, large schools of finger mullet are attracting the attention from flounder, big sea trout and redfish.
Captain Jim Hobales of Caught Lookin Charters fished the Day on the Bay Tournament with a few of his buddies in Flamingo and took Top Angler, Biggest Bay Slam and Top Guide honors. Captain Jason Sullivan of Rising Tide Charters reported finding a good number of small- to medium-sized tarpon along the islands in Florida Bay and along the coast. Redfish have become more scattered over the Florida Bay shallow flats since Isaac.
Captain Lisa Williams from Sea Gone Fishing Team out of Marco Island reported plenty of hungry redfish have been biting along the outer edges of the mangroves and around oyster bars. Cut bait, live shrimp and top water lures have been the best baits. Strong winds from two tropical systems messed up the grass flats, making locating big sea trout a challenge. Offshore fishing for gag and red grouper has been good in 40 to 60 feet. Best way to locate the grouper is to troll large lipped plugs.
Captain Pat Stevens from Slim’s Fishing Camp in Belle Glade on Lake Okeechobee reported largemouth bass have been biting on soft plastic swim baits, frogs, lizards and buzz baits. Live shiner fishermen are catching bass up to 8 1/2 pounds. Best areas to look for the bass have been along the outer grass lines to the shallows near Bear Beach and the East Wall. Bluegills are starting to thin out but the speckled perch are showing up in the Dynamite Holes and in the Rim Ditch. Live minnows are getting the panfish. Plenty of catfish are being caught on live red worms fished on the bottom.
Capt. Alan Sherman