South Florida fishing report




Captain Gil Gutierrez of Lucky Fishing Charters out of TNT Marina in Keystone reported lots of schoolie-sized dolphins are feeding 10 to 14 miles offshore of Haulover Inlet. The dolphin are feeding along large Sargasso weed patches. Most of the dolphins are under-sized but plenty of legal-sized fish are mixed in. The dolphin are eating live baits, chunk baits and an assortment of artificial lures.


Captain John Barker from the Blue Waters II charter boat out of Bayside Marina reported finding hungry bonitos, smoker-sized kingfish and a tasty mutton snapper feeding along a current rip inside of 200 feet of water offshore of Government Cut. All of the fish ate live threadfin herring and pilchards. Bob Raulerson of Fort Myers fished aboard the Bouncers Dusky with Captain Bouncer Smith and mate Tony Digiulian offshore of Government Cut inside of 300 feet of water and caught two genuine red snappers, almoco jacks, lost a sailfish and a hammerhead shark. Late in the day, they found a large school of dolphin 12 miles offshore and landed 22.


Captain Bill Hauck from the party boat Sea King out of Marathon reported his night trips continue to produce quality catches of mangrove, yellowtail and mutton snapper. Best water depths have been 60 to 80 feet. The snapper are eating cut bait and live pilchards. Captain Nick Stanczyk out of Bud N Mary’s Marina in Islamorada reported the charter boats out of his marina have been doing well on schoolie dolphin in the 3- to 5-pound range. There have been a few large dolphin in the same area and the best action is taking place along weedlines and under birds outside of 600 feet of water. Some of the charter boats are targeting large vermillion snapper and gray tilefish in 400 to 600 feet of water.


Henry Caimotto from the Snook Nook Bait & Tackle in Jensen Beach reported offshore anglers have been catching some nice wahoo trolling with ballyhoo in 70 to 80 feet of water. The fish are going for the deep baits. Blackfin tuna and lots of bonitos are feeding over the Hill in 300 feet of water. On the beach early in the morning there are big snook, tarpon and jacks. These fish are eating big plugs and live baits. In the Indian River north of Jensen Causeway on the east side of the River, redfish, flounder and sea trout are being caught on soft plastics, surface plugs and live baits.


Captain Jim Hobales of Caught Lookin Charters reported having some hot action from baby tarpon in the backcountry. The tarpon were crushing Rapala Twitchin Raps, artificial flies and live shrimp. Small- to medium-sized snook were also eating the same baits fished along dead trees. Captain Jason Sullivan of Rising Tide Charters reported finding a lot of hungry redfish that ate top-water lures. These redfish were up on top of the shallow flats in Florida Bay. Plenty of sea trout were available over the deeper grass flats.


Captain Matt Hoover of Night Flight Fishing Charters out of Goodland reported finding a lot of small redfish with some slot-sized fish mixed in. The reds are scattered along the outside shorelines and creeks as well as along the mangrove shorelines inside. Some big snook have been biting on the outside beaches and lots of small snook are feeding in the backcountry. Sea trout are biting over the grass flats and a few jacks, ladyfish and lots of mangrove snapper can be had over the grass and along the channels. Best baits have been live shrimp or live baitfish fished under a float.


Captain Pat Stevens from Slim’s Fishing Camp in Belle Meade reported largemouth bass are schooling and eating Rattle Traps fished along the outside grassy shorelines early in the day. By mid-morning, the largemouth are moving to deeper water and eating slow retrieved soft plastics. Good areas to target for the bass are Kramer and Ritta Islands. Large speckled perch with some over two pounds are schooled up along deep ledges and holes and are being caught on jigs. Bluegill are being caught in the Lake and Rim Canal but they are not in large numbers. Live minnows are the preferred bait.

Capt. Alan Sherman

Read more Outdoors stories from the Miami Herald

Greg Shaughnessy, left, and Dillon Justice show off a large snook they caught and released using a SpoolTek lure in Jupiter Inlet.


    New SpoolTek lure catches monster snook in dark of night

    There’s an oft-repeated bromide that nothing good happens after 2 a.m., but that’s not necessarily true when it comes to snook fishing. Snook angler extraordinaire/fishing tackle maker Dave Justice insisted that that’s when he, his son Dillon, 18, employee Greg Shaughnessy and I should test his latest innovation, the SpoolTek, for catching huge linesiders in Jupiter Inlet.

  • Fishing Report

    South Florida fishing report: Aug. 20, 2014

    Captain Jimbo Thomas from the charter boat Thomas Flyer out of Miamarina at Bayside reported that large schoolie dolphins have been pretty thick along a giant weedline that has been located between 20 and 25 miles offshore of Miami.

  • South Florida outdoors notebook: Aug. 20, 2014

    Bassbusters Florida will hold silver and gold division team tournaments Saturday and Sunday out of Roland Martin’s Marine Center in Clewiston. Register at 5 a.m. both days. Weigh-ins will begin at 3 p.m. For more information, call Chris Fickey at 941-232-9539.

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