Local anglers Dr. Steve Magilen and Dr. Joel Dokson fished the Finger Channels of South Bay with live pilchards and caught 25 mutton snappers to 17 inches, three gag groupers to seven pounds, mangrove snappers to three pounds, yellowtail snappers and a bunch of porgies. Captain Robert Probst from the party boat Mucho K out of Haulover Marina reported offshore fishing for king mackerel has been slow, Spanish mackerel are biting just offshore of the beaches. Mutton and yellowtail snappers are biting cut baits on the bottom. Along the blue water edge blackfin tuna, dolphins and a few sailfish are being caught.
Captain John Barker on the charter boat Blue Waters II out of Bayside Marina reported having good action from sky rocketing kingfish and a few dolphins offshore of Miami Beach. His clients were fishing with live pilchards, threadfin herring and cigar minnows fished from a kite. Captain Mo Estevez of New Dawn Charters reported nighttime tarpon trips have been fair along the bridge shadow lines in Biscayne Bay. Bonefish have been eating crab fly patterns on the western shoreline flats in South Bay.
Captain Chris Johnson of SeaSquared Charters out of Marathon has been keeping his customers busy catching mutton, mangrove and yellowtail snappers plus a lot of yellow jacks. Most of the action is taking place over the shallow reefs on the Atlantic side. Captain Rick Stanczyk out of Bud N Mary’s Marina in Islamorada, Rick Berry of Key Largo Rods in Islamorada and Roger Camacho fished with captain Skip Nielsen on the charter boat Foxy Lady and caught mutton snappers to 12 pounds plus yellowtail snappers and a bunch of groupers fishing the bottom in depths from 40 feet out to 90 feet of water.
Captain Charlie Conner of FishTales Charters out of Port St. Lucie reported pompano are being caught on live shrimp and jigs in the river around sandy bottom and spoil islands. Sea trout are plentiful over areas grassy areas in three-to-six feet of water. The trout are eating soft plastics and live shrimp. Redfish and snook are holding in channels near mangrove shorelines. DOA shrimp have been getting the snook and redfish strikes. The inland bridges have black drum, croakers, sand perch and sheepshead holding close to the pilings. These fish are eating live and dead shrimp. Flounder are moving into the inlets and into the river. The flounder are going for mud minnows and finger mullet.
Captain Jason Sullivan of Rising Tide Charters reported finding some red hot snook action in the backcountry of Whitewater Bay. On recent charters his clients have caught and released snook to 30 inches and baby tarpon using soft plastic jerk baits. Fishing in Florida Bay out of Flamingo, David Goldberg of Philadelphia and his niece Ruby Kresch age 7 1/2 of New Jersey each caught their first snook at the same time. After that they went on to catch 11 more snook, redfish, sea trout, jacks, ladyfish and sheepshead during a short four-hour trip with captain Alan Sherman of Get Em Sportfishing Charters. All of the fish were caught on live shrimp fished under a Cajun Thunder float and tipped to a 1/4-ounce Hookup lure jig head.
Captain Todd Geroy of Naples reported the colder water temperatures are affecting the fishing in his area. When the weather is warm snook for catch and release and redfish can be found along the deeper mangrove shorelines in the inside bays. When the temperatures drop the best fishing is for gag grouper for catch and release plus black drum, sheepshead and snapper. Live shrimp fished near the bottom has been the best bait for all of these species. Sea trout, jacks and ladyfish are plentiful along the outside points and grass flats.
Captain Pat Stevens out of Slim’s Fishing Camp in Belle Glade reported largemouth bass to 8.6 pounds are being caught on beds near Ritta and Kramer Islands and in the canals. The top bass bait has been live wild shiners but the bass are also eating Skinny Dippers.