South Florida fishing report


Captain Jamie Owens from the party boat Atlantis out of Haulover Marina reported a run of 1- to 3-pound mackerel that was taking place along the beaches near Haulover Inlet. Along with the mackerel were lots of bluerunners and a few large kingfish that could be seen sky rocketing on baitfish.


Captain Mo Estevez of New Dawn Charters reported if you are lucky enough to be on the water during an early morning low tide between the rain storms and when the water gets slick, calm tailing bonefish can be seen and caught along the western shorelines of South Biscayne Bay. His clients are catching a lot of sea trout using Gulp shrimp fished under a Cajun Thunder float over grass flats in 3 to 6 feet of water. Local Alex Hershey, 7, caught and released a large grass carp that ate his dough ball. Bobby Hershey, 11, aided in the landing and release of the large carp in their family’s backyard lake. Shane Cromie traveled all the way from Australia to catch a daytime swordfish. Fishing with captain Dean Panos on the Double D based out of Keystone Marina, Cromie landed a 400-pound swordfish that ate a rigged squid in 1,700 feet of water offshore of Hollywood. The fish was manually reeled in.


Captain Bill Hauck from the party boat Sea King out of Marathon reported baitfish schools have returned to his area sparking a good bottom fish bite on the reefs. Fishing the deeper reefs has produced some hot yellowtail and mutton snapper action plus some nice black groupers. Captain Steven Lamp of Dream Catchers Charters out of Key West reported shallow water flats fishing has been very good with plenty of shots at tarpon, bonefish and permits. Offshore boats are finding sailfish and dolphins in 240 feet of water. Kingfish to 35 pounds are being caught on the reef. Yellowtail fishing has been very good and at times the tails are eating plugs. Mutton snappers are being caught on the deeper reefs. During the Islamorada Invitational Fall Bonefish Tournament, the team of Islamorada residents Paul Nute and Bou Bosso took the Grand Champion award.


Mike Scheele from the Juno Fishing Pier reported tons of baitfish settled in around the pier, and the fishing for snook, mackerel, bluefish, bonitos, jacks and ladyfish has been awesome. There also have been a few nice kingfish caught recently. Captain Charlie Conner of FishTales Charters out of Port St. Lucie reported recent rains have made things tough in the St. Lucie River. One bright spot is at the Ft. Pierce Inlet, where lots of jacks, mackerel, bluerunners and an assortment of other predators are being caught. Plenty of bait is around and attracting some large tarpon. Under the mullet schools on the east side of the river, redfish, large sea trout and hungry snook are feeding.


Captain Bob LeMay reported doing some scouting in the backcountry of Flamingo. In Whitewater Bay, he found hungry snook that eagerly ate his top-water baits. Once out along the coast, he found more snook, with some being quite large, and big schools of small baitfish. LeMay also saw small schools of finger mullet and a lot of laid-up tarpon in the 30- to over-100-pound range. LeMay had action from grouper and said a lot of sharks were in the area as well.


Because of recent heavy rain and thunderstorms, captain Dave Hanson of FishBuster Charters out of Bonita Beach has been targeting the outside shorelines and the back bays of Estero Bay, where his clients have had no trouble getting action from slot-size redfish. Included in his recent catches have been lots of Spanish mackerel, snapper, snook, jacks, sheepshead and some goliath groupers to 100 pounds. Most of the fish are eating live shrimp.


Captain Michael Shellen of Shellen Guide Service out of Buckhead Ridge reported most of the largemouth bass have moved way up into the heavy grass on his side of the Lake. Bass fishermen are throwing plastics, flipping craws and tubes, and with 10-inch senko worms. Lots of bass are holding along the outside grass lines on the east side of the Lake. Blue gills are being caught in big numbers on red worms and crickets. The panfish are scattered in areas of weed cover.

Read more Outdoors stories from the Miami Herald

  • Fishing report

    Captain Pete Rapps of Captain Rapps’ Charters and Guides out of Chokoloskee reported snook are feeding on a good moving outgoing tide around the outside barrier islands. Live baits such as the pilchards, pinfish and threadfin herring and the DOA Terrorize soft plastics have been producing some of the best snook bites. Sea trout are feeding over grass in 3-5 feet of water. The redfish have been feeding along the oyster bars on the incoming tides. Popping corks with shrimp or pilchards have been getting a lot of the redfish strikes. Big tarpon are still around, holding in the open outside bays and flats, and have been feeding best during early mornings. Live baits such as small ladyfish, large threadfin herring, pinfish and mullet have been getting the most tarpon strikes.

  • Outdoors notebook

    Make plans to catch fish in the Mako Owners/Bass Pro Shops Fishing Funament, held Thursday through Sunday in Islamorada. TV personality George Poveromo will host. Entry fee is $100 per boat. A kickoff party will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Worldwide Sportsman. For more information, visit

A huge snook patrols the wreck of the DMC Barge about 60 feet deep off Fort Pierce.

    In My Opinion

    Outdoors feature: St. Lucie County artificial reef dazzles divers

    This 60-foot dive had all the hallmarks of a coddled, shallow multispecies tour of Disney World’s “Living Seas” aquarium: a cornucopia of marine life ranging from small colorful tropical fish to what scientists like to call “charismatic megafauna” — really big fish.

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