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

File Photo: Captain Bouncer Smith catches a mackerel near Bug Light on December 15, 1997.


    Popular artificial reef and live bait spot Bug Light demolished

    Bug Light was demolished and removed, which means anglers and charter captains have to look elsewhere for live bait.

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Good to go:</span> Ryan Bancroft of Weston measures one of the lobsters he caught in the waters of Biscayne Bay near Fishermen’s Channel in July 2013.

    Lobster fishing | Annual two-day miniseason (Wed.-Thu.)

    Claw and order expected for Florida’s annual two-day lobster miniseason

    Florida’s largest undeclared state holiday — the annual two-day lobster miniseason — arrives Wednesday and Thursday. Thousands of hopeful scuba divers, snorkelers and bully netters will crowd the state’s waterways, vying for neighborhood barbecue supremacy.

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Saving the day:</span> John Long releases a tarpon caught on fly rod by Sue Cocking off the Marquesas Keys.

    In My Opinion

    Tarpon make for nice backup plan

    Captain John Long and I zipped west in his skiff from Key West to the Marquesas Keys on Wednesday, filled with anticipation of permit. A few days earlier, anglers competing in the three-day Del Brown Invitational Permit Tournament had released 15 on fly and the winner, Nathaniel Linville, had five releases. That might not sound like much to a non-fly angler, but it’s huge. And on the previous day, Long and a friend had no less than 40 shots at permit on the flats west of Key West. They hooked two and lost them.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category