South Florida fishing report



Lester Wenger of Lester’s Live Bait out of Haulover reported schools of black mullet are sliding south along the South Florida coastline. At times lots of jack crevalles, a few shark, tarpon, large barracudas and snook have been seen crashing into these mullet schools. Offshore there have been small to legal size kingfish in 120 feet of water. Lots of small bonitos and a few blackfin tuna can be chummed to the surface with live pilchards and dolphins from under size to more than 20 pounds have been chasing baitfish schools in depths from 40 feet out to 950 feet of water.


Captain Mo Estevez of New Dawn Charters reported sea trout action has been excellent on the grass flats around Key Biscayne. The trout are eating Gulp shrimp fished under a popping cork. On the Oceanside grass flats, bonefish and permits have been active on the high tides. Most of these fish have been mudding. … Ralph Moule of Hollywood fished with captain Alan Sherman of Get Em Sportfishing Charters in North Biscayne Bay and had nonstop action from jack crevalles in the one to eight pound range. Besides the jacks they released, a 31-inch cobia and a 30-pound tarpon. … Fishing offshore earlier in the day they released more than a dozen bonitos and landed a nice blackfin tuna. All of the action was on live pilchards and finger mullet. … Captain Dennis Forgione of Free Spool Charters out of Haulover Marina reported there has been some nice weedlines outside of 900 feet of water and dolphins are feeding along these weedlines as they head south for the winter.


IslamoradaSportFishing.com reported the charter business in the Keys has been slow but a few captains have ventured offshore and caught dolphins and blackfin tuna. Most of the action has taken place near the Humps. … On the reef kingfish, bonitos and a few blackfin tuna and sailfish are being caught near the surface and mutton and yellowtail snappers are coming off the bottom. … With all of the waters of Everglades National Park closed backcountry guides are fishing the Florida Bay channels for mangrove, mutton and yellowtail snappers or fishing out in the open Gulf for tripletail, cobia and Spanish mackerel.


Captain Tom Van Horn of Mosquito Coast Charters reported big schools of finger mullet have been holding around the Port Canaveral jetties where snook, redfish, jacks, ladyfish and bluefish have been feeding. … In the Mosquito Coast Lagoon big breeder redfish and large black drum are being caught and released using DOA Bait Busters, live shrimp and crab. … Captain Charlie Conner of FishTales Charters out of Port St. Lucie reported finding plenty of sea trout and snook on the flats. The trout and snook were eating DOA Combos. Most of the fish are in four feet of water. There are plenty of bluefish, jacks and ladyfish in the Fort Pierce Turning Basin.


Captain Lisa Williams of Sea Gone Fishing out of Fort Myers reported concentrating on the waters outside of Everglades National Park is resulting in action from redfish, sheepshead, sea trout, flounder, mangrove snapper and black drum. The redfish can be found around the outside channels, oyster bars and along the edges of the mangrove islands and have been eating live shrimp fished under a popping cork. … Sheepshead is moving back into the shallower waters and can be caught on small pieces of shrimp and small hooks. … Sea trout are in the mouths of the passes and can be caught on jigs tipped with shrimp and shrimp under a popping cork. … Flounder are eating slow retrieved jigs tipped with shrimp. Mangrove snapper and black drum are eating shrimp fished along the deeper mangrove shorelines.


Captain Michael Shellen of Shellen Guide Service out of Buck Head Ridge reported live wild golden shiners are getting the bigger bass along the North Shores of the Lake. … Water levels are up to 16 plus feet and the bass are holding in depths of four feet of water along the weed lines. … Other areas to look for largemouth bass are J&S on the east side of the Lake, Grassy Island and Eagle Bay. Pan fishing has tapered off a little but speckled perch fishing should take off once water temperatures start to drop.

Capt. Alan Sherman


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  • Fishing report

    Captain Gil Gutierrez of Lucky Fishing Charters out of TNT Marina in Keystone reported that nighttime snapper fishing on the reefs offshore of Miami has been red hot. Plenty of mangrove, mutton and yellowtail snappers are biting cut bait over the reef in depths of 25 to 60 feet of water. Captain Bill Hauck from the party boat Sea King out of Marathon reported the nighttime mangrove snapper fishing on the reef is off the chart. Nighttime snapper anglers are having no problem catching a limit of snappers, which are eating ballyhoo and threadfin herring.

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    Off-road vehicles such as swamp buggies, street-legal 4x4s, ATVs and UTVs will be allowed back in the Big Cypress National Preserve on Friday, marking the end of the annual 60-day recreational closure to ORV access. Only the designated primary trails in the backcountry will be open. All secondary trails will remain closed for an additional 60 days. The closure does not affect landowners’ access to private property using permitted trails. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/bicy.

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