South Florida fishing report


Capt. Alan Sherman


Captain Jay Cohen from the charter boat Spellbound out of Haulover Marina reported there has been a good kingfish bite taking place along the outer reef offshore of Haulover Inlet. Amberjacks and almoco jacks are biting on the artificial reefs. An 87-pound warsaw grouper was caught by one of his clients. The fish ate a big chunk of king mackerel. Large vermillion snappers are being caught on the bottom in depths of 250 to 400 feet of water and dolphins are being caught along weed lines out in 600 feet of water.


Gary Ring of Georgia won a fishing trip from Ford’s Fishing Frontiers with Jeff Weakley and Chris Collins of Florida Sportsman Magazine and chose to fish North Biscayne Bay with captain Alan Sherman of Get Em Sportfishing Charters. During their eight hours on the water of North Bay and along the beaches south of Haulover Inlet, the anglers caught and released 14 species up to 8 pounds and lost a huge snook to a piling. Their catch included Spanish mackerel to 4 pounds, sea trout to 3 pounds, jack crevalles to 8 pounds, mangrove mutton and yellowtail snapper. The fish were caught on live pilchards, mullet; Rapala X Raps and Hookup lure jig heads tipped with a Gulp shrimp. Captain Dean Panos of Double D Charters out of Keystone Marina reported having good action from swordfish in the 75- to 200-pound range fishing offshore of Haulover Inlet in 1,800 feet of water during a day charter. The fish were caught on the bottom using rigged squid and fish fillets. Fishing with captain Bouncer Smith of Bouncers Dusky out of Miami Beach Marina 70-year-old Ben Eskanazi of Pembroke Pines caught his first swordfish using a Hooker Electric reel on a Penn International 80.


Captain Nick Stanczyk out of Bud N’ Mary’s Marina in Islamorada reported the charter boat fleet has been having steady action on blackfin tuna over the Humps. Working the offshore bottom in 300 to 400 feet of water is producing nice catches of vermillion snappers. The local party boats are doing very well on yellowtail snappers and a few nice kingfish. Deep dropping outside of 1,000 feet of water is producing steady action from swordfish, queen snappers and blue line tilefish. Captain Bob Fernicola of Backcountry/Offshore fishing out of Key Largo reported bottom fishing the shallower reefs is producing plenty of action from hogfish, chunky mangrove snappers, yellowtail, lane and mutton snappers, cero mackerel, pogies, jacks grouper, barracudas and sharks.


Henry Caimotto from the Snook Nook Bait and Tackle in Jensen Beach reported offshore fishermen are finding small dolphins in 75 feet of water and larger dolphins along weed lines in 250 feet. Blackfin tuna are also being caught at 250 feet on live baits. Along the beaches, whiting, jacks, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and a few pompano are being caught. In the St. Lucie River, redfish and sea trout fishing has been excellent over the shallow grass flats and along the mangrove shorelines. Big snook continue to be caught and released by bridge anglers fishing jigs off the bottom at night.


Captain Butch Rickey of BarrHopp’R Kayak Fishing Charters reported his anglers have had excellent fishing out of Captiva Island and near Buck Key from jacks, ladyfish, sea trout, redfish to 29 inches and mangrove snappers. The best bait was a jig head and a Gulp New Penny shrimp fished under a popping cork.


Captain Dave Lauer out of Slim’s Fishing Camp in Belle Glade reported largemouth bass fishing has been excellent during the mornings. The bass, which have been holding along the outer grass lines near Boy Scout Cut, are chasing shad schools and eating top water lures and weightless flukes. Speckled perch fishing is picking up in the Rim canal and in the holes. Alan Zaremba reported fair peacock bass action in the C-4, and C-100 canals and good largemouth bass action in the C-30 and C-11 canals.

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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.

  • Outdoors notebook

    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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