During the Bimini Big Game Wahoo Smackdown Tournament held out of Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina on Nov. 16-18, team Ocean Alley out of Hollywood took top honors with a total catch of 225 pounds of wahoo plus the largest fish, a 61.4-pound wahoo. The team consisted of locals Todd Smith, Tony Provenzano, Alfonozo Llanes, Alex Antunez and Joey Jordan. The tournament attracted 60 anglers who caught close to a ton and a half of fish.
Captain Bobby Probst from the party boat Mucho K out of Haulover Marina reported having plenty of action from school-size king mackerel that were caught in 140 feet of water last week. Those fish have thinned out, but some are still available. Besides the kingfish, a few schoolie dolphin, blackfin and skipjack tuna and sailfish are being caught on vertical jigs and jigs tipped with a ballyhoo fished on the surface. On the bottom, large mutton snapper, grouper and an assortment of jacks and trigger fish are being caught. Captain Dean Panos of Double D charters out of Keystone Marina reported fishing offshore of Haulover Inlet with live threadfin herring, his clients are starting to see double-digit releases of sailfish, such as the recent trip that produced 10 out of 12 sailfish. On other charters, his clients have limited out on schoolie-size dolphin.
IslamoradaSportFishing.com reported a few dolphin catches are being made way offshore. Sailfish and quite a few kingfish are being caught in depths from 90 to 180 feet of water. Yellowtail snapper are available on the reefs, and a lot of cero mackerel are prowling the patch reefs. Bonefish have been active on the oceanside when the water has been calm. Richard Stanczyk out of Bud N’ Mary’s Marina in Islamorada reported while fishing in the Gulf over structure his clients had action from large Spanish mackerel, goliath grouper, tripletail, oversized redfish and cobia.
Captain Kevin Drennan of Slammer Guide Service out of Stuart reported big schools of Spanish mackerel are feeding south of the St. Lucie Inlet. Along the beaches, bluefish and jacks are plentiful. Pompano are being caught off the Stuart Causeway Bridge and over the Sailfish Flats by the House of Refuge. Snook continue to be caught off the bridges. Offshore, there are a few dolphin and sailfish being caught. Captain Tom Van Horn of Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters reported the flounder had moved out of the Sebastian Inlet during the windy days and high seas. Very high tides have allowed redfish to get up close to the mangrove shorelines.
Captain Jim Hobales of Caught Lookin Charters reported finding a lot of slot-size sea trout, jacks, ladyfish and redfish in the backcountry of Flamingo. Working the waters of Florida Bay with live shrimp on jigs and under floats, his clients have caught more than 50 redfish, a lot of sea trout and plenty of jacks and ladyfish while working the channels and flats.
Captain Butch Rickey of BarHopp’R Kayak Fishing out of Fort Myers reported working the shallows of Pine Island Sound, his clients had plenty of action from sea trout up to 21 inches. Most of the trout came off the deeper edges of the channel and in the sandy pot holes. The best bait for the trout was the DOA CAL jigs and top water lures. Plenty of small mangrove snappers are available, as well as a few redfish, jacks, ladyfish and an occasional flounder. The recent red tide has killed a bunch of mullet.
Captain Michael Shellen of Shellen Guide Service out of Buck Head Ridge on Lake Okeechobee reported speckled perch fishermen are catching them one day and at night and not the next. Best baits have been tiny jigs, and the fish have been in the Kissimmee River and along the grass lines or hydrilla edges of the lake. Anglers targeting largemouth bass are finding that the best action has been late morning and early afternoons when the water is at its warmest. Live wild shiners and artificial lures are getting the strikes. Look for the bass along the grass edges as the fish seem to be looking for bedding areas. Don Thompson and Bill De Deugt of Fort Myers fished Lake Ida with captain Alan Zaremba and released 13 peacock bass, 17 largemouth bass and a sunshine bass using floating Rapalas for bait.
Capt. Alan Sherman