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.
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.
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.
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.