South Florida fishing report


Captain Jamie Owens from the party boat Atlantis out of Haulover Marina reported having spotty action offshore, but on the good days the fishing has been very good. On recent day trips the Atlantis has had mutton snappers from 8 to 16 pounds, cobias to 20 pounds, almoco jacks and yellowjacks, lots of bonitos and vermillion snappers. Captain Bouncer Smith of Bouncer’s Dusky out of Miami Beach Marina reported having plenty of action from snook, jacks, barracudas and snapper fishing in Government Cut.



Captain Freddie David of Frick & Frack Charters reported fishing offshore of Haulover Inlet has been red hot for drag screaming false albacore or the better-known bonitos. Big schools of bonitos are feeding just outside the outer reef and have been eating almost anything that hits the water. A few kingfish, blackfin tuna and wahoo have also been feeding in the same depths. Plenty of dolphins are available from two to eight miles offshore. Most of the dolphins are undersized, but many will make the 20-inch to the fork legal size limit. Zachary Sherman of Miami caught a limit of lobsters while diving offshore of Haulover Inlet and then moved inside of North Biscayne Bay where he caught and released one snook, jack crevalles to 8 pounds, ladyfish and 13 sea trout to 5 1/2 pounds.


Captain Mark Schmidt of Sundance Fishing Charters out of Murray’s Marine on Stock Island reported bottom fishing the offshore bar is producing limit catches of yellowtail. Bottom fishing the patches in 30 to 40 feet of water has produced lots of lane and mangrove snappers, small sharks and plenty of jacks. Plenty of small dolphins and a few wahoo are available offshore in 600 feet of water. Captain Rick Rodriguez of Sea Horse Deep Sea Sportfishing out of Islamorada reported excellent blackfin tuna action over the Islamorada Hump. Most of the tunas are in the 10-pound class and eating live baits, trolled feathers and vertical jigs.


Captain Tom Van Horn of Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters reported seeing big mullet schools in the Indian River Lagoon. Schools of finger mullet are also being pushed out of the backwater creeks by recent heavy rains. Feeding on these mullet schools are snook, redfish, sea trout, jack crevalles, small tarpon and ladyfish. On the beaches, lots of bonitos have been feeding on small baitfish schools.


Local Vicky Horn fished in the FNGLA Day on the Bay Fishing Tournament and caught five species of fish including a 141/2-inch snapper and a 60-inch shark that earned her the top Female Angler. Vicky fished with her husband, Dennis, in Florida Bay out of Flamingo with jigs tipped with shrimp and chunks of ladyfish. Pat Sunman of Miami welcomed in the 2013 snook season by catching three slot size snook to 30 inches, losing one and landing three redfish and many sea trout to complete a Backcountry Slam. Sunman fished with live pinfish hooked to a quarter ounce red Hookup lure in Florida Bay with captain Alan Sherman of Get Em Sportfishing Charters.


Captain Matt Hoover of Night Flight Fishing Charters out of Naples reported he is seeing signs of a fall migration in his area. The beaches off of Naples and Marco Island are filling up with small baitfish, and hungry snook, redfish, sea trout and jacks are smashing into the baitfish schools. Working shorelines that are lined with trees and have moving water with live whitebaits are producing slot size snook, redfish, ladyfish, jacks and sea trout.


Captain Pat Stevens out of Slim’s Fishing Camp in Belle Glade reported last weekend’s bass tournament had stringers to 28 pounds, and the largest largemouth bass weighed in at 9.44 pounds. Largemouth bass are feeding on Rattle Traps and Zara Spook plugs fished tight to the outside grass lines early in the mornings. Once the sun is up, the fish are moving way up into the cover. Best areas to fish for largemouth bass have been Pelican Bay and the west side of Ritta Island. Speckled perch are being caught on jigs and live minnows in the deeper holes in the lake. Plenty of blue catfish to 5 pounds are being caught on chunks of shiners fished on the bottom.

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

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