Captain Lou Brubaker out of Islamorada reported that snapper and sea trout action has been off the charts in the western part of Florida Bay. Some of his clients have been catching more than 100 fish during a full-day charter. Most of the action is taking place in the deeper channels and over the deeper grass flats. Catching your limit of sea trout and mangrove snappers has been easy. Tarpon are still taking baits fished on the bottom in many of the deeper channels.
Wendy Krawczynski from the Kelley Fleet out of Haulover Marina reported that their day boats are catching lots of bonitos, a few kingfish, an occasional wahoo on the surface and some snappers on the bottom. The night boats continue to do well on mangrove, yellowtail and mutton snappers on the bottom reefs using cut bait. … Captain Mike Johnson from Local Knowledge Charters out of Fort Lauderdale reported his clients have been catching wahoo to 40 pounds offshore of Port Everglades. The wahoo have been going for pink, orange and dark purple or black Islanders and Sea Witches with a double-hooked ballyhoo trolled along the blue water edge in 200 to 400 feet.
IslamoradaSportfishing.com reported dolphins continue to be caught in decent numbers 12 to 16 miles offshore. Most of the dolphin action is taking place under small black birds. On the reef, yellowtail and mangrove snappers continue to be caught in good numbers by bottom fishermen using cut bait. … Captain Bill Hauck from the party boat Sea King out of Marathon reported day fishing on the shallower reefs has picked up with nice catches of mangrove, yellowtail and mutton snappers. A few large kingfish have been caught in the chum line on dead ballyhoo and jigs. Nighttime snapper fishing on the reefs continues to be good.
Captain Kevin Drennan of Slammer Guide Service out of Stuart reported that dirty water in Lake Okeechobee has made fishing in his area difficult. Live bait has been hard to find. Offshore in clean water some dolphins, an occasional sailfish and some large kingfish are being caught along with some cobia. Most of the action is coming in depths from 40 to 200 feet of water. Bottom fishing has been good for black sea bass, porgy, lane and vermillion snappers, bluerunners and small sharks. … Katherine and Alexander Marikos of North Miami fished the Sebastian Inlet two days in a row and Katherine caught and released an estimated 25-pound snook. The pair released four more snook and landed a nine-pound cubera snapper. All of the fish ate free-lined live shrimp.
Captain Nestor Alvisa of Hooked on Flamingo Charters reported getting into some hot mangrove snappers fishing in the channels right outside of the Flamingo boat ramp. His clients have released tarpon, snook and redfish on recent charters using live pilchards for bait. … Evan Darling and David Masher of Oakland Park fished the backcountry waters of Flamingo with captain Alan Sherman of Get Em Sportfishing Charters and caught and released a dozen snook, redfish to 26 inches, sea trout, jacks, ladyfish, snapper and bull sharks to 40 pounds. All of the fish were caught on live pilchards.
Captain Butch Rickey of BarHopp’R’ Kayak Fishing out of Pine Island Sound reported working the shorelines of the Pine Island Sound and Saint James City on the high falling tide and making long casts that would lessen the chances of spooking any fish in the area. His clients have been doing well on snook to 33 inches and slot-size redfish. Most of the action took place using artificial lures during the first three hours of the morning. Once the sun gets up high almost all the fishing in the backcountry has shut down.
Charles Corbin from Slim’s Fishing Camp in Belle Glade reported that with very high water in Lake Okeechobee, the largemouth bass have moved into the weedy areas of Pelican Bay and the Airport Hole. They are being caught on spinner baits, swim baits and floating worms. Schools of smaller bass are chasing schools of gizzard shad along the outside weedlines and can be caught using fast moving hard plastic lures.