South Florida fishing report



Best bet

Mark Escobar of BJ’s Bait and Tackle in Plantation reported water levels continue to fall in the freshwater areas of the Everglades. Largemouth bass are being concentrated in the canals and large numbers of largemouth bass are eating a wide variety of soft plastics and floating Rapala’s. A few good areas to try for the bass have been Sawgrass Recreation Park, the Holley Land and Alligator Alley. Plenty of panfish are available in these areas as well.


Jimbo Thomas from the charter boat Thomas Flyer out of Bayside Marina reported finding quite a few large schoolie dolphins in depths from 150 feet out to 300 feet of water offshore of Government Cut. Most of the dolphins where in small groups and ate trolled baits and baits fished under a kite. Fishing with captain Alan Sherman of Get Em Sportfishing Charters, Bill Vandermay of Broward, his son-in-law Hal Phillips and Hal’s son Silas, both from Maine, fished in North Bay and offshore of Miami Beach and caught and released more than 15 Spanish mackerel and juvenile king mackerel, bluefish and jacks. All of the fish were caught using live pilchards for bait. Captain Paul Roydhouse of FishHeadquarters.com out of Fort Lauderdale reported working the depths between 100 and 150 feet of water offshore of Port Everglades with live goggle eye jacks and mullet fished under a kite has produced steady action from sailfish and large schoolie dolphins. Some large wahoo are also being caught along the Gulfstreams edge.


Captain Mark Schmidt of Sundancer Charters out of Murray’s Marine on Stock Island reported despite high winds the offshore boats are still doing well on sailfish and blackfin tuna. On the reef, the yellowtail bite is still strong but large sharks are stealing some of the best yellowtails. King mackerel are showing up on both the Atlantic and Gulf sides along with cero and Spanish mackerel. The rock piles on both the Atlantic and Gulf has been good for lane, mangrove and mutton snappers plus red groupers. On the flats it’s been mostly a few permits, sharks and barracudas, and on the Gulf side there have been redfish, sea trout, jacks and ladyfish in the basins and channels.

Treasure coast

Captain Charlie Conner of FishTales Charters out of Port St. Lucie reported in some areas of the St. Lucie River water temperatures are holding around 62 degrees so if you can find an area that has 70 degree water temperatures this is where you are more likely to find hungry redfish, sea trout, jacks, sheepshead and black drum. Along the beaches and in and around the ocean inlets, look for pompano and whiting in the surf. Live sand fleas, shrimp, clams and Doc’s Goofy jigs will work on these fish. Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jacks and ladyfish are in these areas and will eat anything shiny. Captain Tom Van Horn of Mosquito Coast Charters reported fishing longtime regular customers Joe Klair and his grandson Weston Jefferson of West Palm in the Banana, where they each caught large redfish and black drum along the mangrove shorelines.

Florida Bay

Ashley Cornelius of Ashley’s Bait & Tackle in Homestead reported a good amount of redfish, snook, black drum, sheepshead, sea trout, jacks and ladyfish are being caught along the shorelines from the Harney River north to Lostman’s River. Captain Jim Hobales of Caught Lookin Charters reported windy conditions have him concentrating his efforts in the creeks and backcountry of Whitewater and Oyster Bays and along in the area of Shark River, where his clients are catching redfish, sea trout, jacks and ladyfish, and hooking but losing some large groupers.

Southwest Coast

Captain Rob Modys of Soul Mate Charters out of Fort Myers reported that the May Reef has been producing nice catches of Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jacks, sea trout, flounder and large sheepshead. These fish have been eating live shrimp. In the backcountry, large jack crevalles to 15 pounds are taking live shrimp fished under a popping cork. In the deeper holes of the backcountry, large sheepshead are eating live shrimp fished on the bottom.


Alan Zaremba reported the peacock bass fishing has been very good in the local canals because of the warm weather. Casting Torpedos and Rapala’s along the shorelines and sight casting to laid up fish along the banks is producing peacock bass up to 5 pounds.

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

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category