Captain Bob Brown of Sundance Sportfishing Adventures out of Marathon reported kingfish to 40 pounds, and sailfish and cobias to 80 pounds have been feeding just outside the outer reef line. Blackfin tuna are being caught over the Humps on live pilchards and butterfly jigs. Schoolie and slammer-size dolphins have returned along the blue water edge, and yellowtail snapper fishing has been excellent on the reef.
Local angler Jack Garamelo was fishing the surf off of Hollywood Beach hoping to catch some bluefish or Spanish mackerel with his gold spoon but was pleasantly surprised when a 6-pound, 4-ounce, 21-inch pompano ate the offering. Captain Mike Johnson of Local Knowledge Charters out of Fort Lauderdale reported fishing offshore in depths from 80 feet out to 500 feet of water his clients have had plenty of action from sailfish, sharks, smoker kingfish, blackfin tuna and mahi mahi. The best action has come when using live speedos and bullet bonitos for bait. Captain Thomas Zsak from Fishing Fort Lauderdale on the charter boat Happy Day Today reported working depths around 265 feet of water with live goggle eye baits purchased from T&T Bait in Fort Lauderdale his clients have had plenty of action from dolphins and hammerhead sharks.
Joe and Mary Hayes of Missouri fished a half day in Hawks Channel with captain Chris Johnson of SeaSquared Charters out of Marathon and caught Spanish mackerel, lionfish, hogfish, yellowtail, lane, mangrove and mutton snappers plus grunts, bluerunners, porgies and four different varieties of groupers all on cut bait and shrimp fished on the bottom. Captain Rick Rodriguez of Sundance Sportfishing Charters out of Marathon reported his day trips are producing steady catches of sailfish, kingfish, blackfin tunas and dolphins on the surface and mutton snappers and amberjacks on the bottom. Captain Bob Fernicola of Key Largo Charters reported working the backcountry of Florida Bay is producing large spawning sea trout. Redfish have been feeding along the mangrove shorelines. Plenty of jack crevalles and ladyfish are available, and snook have been scarce since the weather got cold.
Captain Charlie Glyn Austin of Going Coastal Fishing Charters out of Sebastian reported working the inshore waters of the Indian River is producing steady catches of pompano around the islands and sea trout, bluefish, jacks and ladyfish over the shallow flats. When the weather allows, cobias are being caught along the beaches as they follow big rays and on the shallow reefs plenty of grouper for catch and release, black sea bass and some large flounder are being caught.
Local anglers Marjorie Adis, Lisa Powell and Michael Tahnura of Chicago fished Florida Bay out of Flamingo with captain Alan Sherman of Get Em Sportfishing Charters and released six redfish, more than 20 sea trout and a bunch of jacks and ladyfish. All of the fish ate live shrimp under a Cajun Thunder float and live shrimp hooked to a red Hookup lure jig. Captain Neil Baron reported slow fishing in Florida Bay out of Flamingo. Working the channels, grass flats and open water, he made up a decent catch of sea trout, black drum and jacks using live shrimp under a float.
Captain Lisa Williams of SeaGone Fishing Charters out of Marco Island reported high winds and murky water have made fishing along the coast tough so they have been concentrating their efforts around the passes where pompano are biting live shrimp on a jig head. Silver, sand and speckled sea trout are being caught over the inside flats using a modified Carolina rig with a live shrimp. Working the mangrove shorelines up close with live shrimp, redfish and black drum are being caught. Snook and tarpon have been hard to come by.
Captain Michael Shellen of Shellen Guide Service out of Buck Head Ridge reported with warmer temperatures last week, largemouth bass fishing took off in the areas of Grassy Island, J&S, and the mouth of the Kissimmee River in Lake Okeechobee. The bass were eating top water, spinner baits and soft plastics. Captain Alan Zaremba reported with lower water levels out in the Everglades Conservation Areas his anglers have caught up to 300 bass. Most are yearlings but many are more than 3 pounds.
Capt. Alan Sherman