South Florida fishing report

BEST BET reported offshore boats working the Humps were having plenty of action from amberjacks. Along the reef, sailfish were available in good numbers and eating live ballyhoo, and kingfish were eating slow trolled deboned ballyhoo. On the bottom, anglers were doing well on large mutton and yellowtail snappers. Fishermen working the edges of Florida Bay and into the Gulf were catching Spanish mackerel, but not in the numbers they had months ago.


Gary Schermehorn of Key Biscayne and his buddy Don Franks of Satellite Beach fished with captain Alan Sherman of Get Em Sportfishing Charters in Biscayne Bay and caught and released mutton, mangrove and yellowtail snappers to two pounds, porgies and sea trout, bluefish and five gag groupers. The fish ate live pilchards and 1/4-ounce Hookup lures tipped with Gulp bait. Captain Quinton Dieterle from the charter boat Cutting Edge out of Crandon Park Marina reported fishing offshore of Key Biscayne, and his clients have had action from sailfish, big kingfish, dolphins and blackfin tuna. Captain Mike Johnson from the charter boat Local Knowledge out of Fort Lauderdale reported working the bottom in depths over 200 feet of water offshore of Port Everglades. His clients have been wearing their arms off fighting and releasing hammerhead, mako and thresher sharks. On the surface, sailfish, large kingfish and dolphins are being caught.


Captain Bill Hauck from the party boat Sea King out of Marathon reported limit catches of yellowtail snappers to 16 inches are being made by his customers while fishing over the offshore reefs. A few mutton snappers and kingfish are being caught, plus many groupers for catch and release. During the 17th Annual Jim Bokor Islamorada All tackle Bonefish and Redfish Shoot Out, Grand Champion honors went to angler Jeff Parrish and captain Chuck Schaftstall with two slams and the most points overall. Local angler Rob Preihs and captain Brian Gwilliam took the largest redfish award, and Parrish, of Buffalo, N.Y., and Schaftstall took the largest bonefish award.


Captain Tom Van Horn of Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters reported that despite nasty windy conditions in the Mosquito Lagoon, his clients continue to have success with slot-size redfish by blind casting the shorelines and shallow flats with DOA Cal three-inch soft plastics. Captain Charlie Conner of FishTales Charters out of Port St. Lucie reported working the mangrove shorelines with DOA shrimp, and his clients are doing well on redfish and a few snook. Working the docks and flats, pompano, sheepshead, black drum and sea trout were being caught in good numbers.


Captain Nestor Alvisa of Hooked on Flamingo Charters reported working the islands and shallow flats in Florida Bay has been hot one day and tough the next, but when the fish are eating, he has had good action on redfish and sea trout. On calm days, running the crab-trap buoys has resulted in good action from tripletail. Local angler Scott Eney and Josh Poncianno of Ohio fished Florida Bay with captain Jim Hale of Florida Sport Fishing Charters and found plenty of hungry snook and redfish that were eager to eat Berkley Gulps. The duo released more than 20 snook, redfish and sea trout to 23 inches.


Captain Jason Sullivan of Rising Tide Charters reported working the outside shorelines of Chokoloskee, and his clients have scored well on redfish and plenty of snook. Key to the action has been finding schools of glass minnows along the points and shorelines. Captain Rob Modys of SoulMate Charters out of Fort Myers reported hitting the mangrove points with live shrimp on a jig head is producing plenty of sea trout, and fishing a shrimp under a cork is getting pompano in the same spots. Redfish have been most active late in the day and can be found under the mangrove branches, where they will eat a well-placed live shrimp.


Captain Michael Shellen of Shellen Guide Service out of Buck Head Ridge reported working the grass lines and hydrilla areas in the areas of Horse Island, Grassy Island, Eagle Bay and Kings Bar in Lake Okeechobee is producing great action from largemouth bass. Best baits have been top water plugs, flukes, plastic worms and Senkos. Fishermen looking for panfish can find steady action in the areas of Observation Shoal, Indian Prairie and the North shore. Live crickets, worms and small jigs have been getting the panfish action.

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