South Florida Fishing Report


Captain Matt Bellinger of Bamboo Charters out of Islamorada reported the cold weather has black drum, sheepshead and redfish schooled up in the deeper channels of Florida Bay. A few snook and tarpon, jacks and ladyfish are also being encountered.


Captain Bouncer Smith of Bouncer’s Dusky out of Miami Beach Marina reported before this week’s cold front hit his anglers had action from kingfish, dolphins, big barracudas, skipjack tuna, amberjacks, almoco jacks and Spanish mackerel. Captain Mo Estevez of New Dawn Charters out of Miami reported finding some hot action in the Finger Channels of South Biscayne Bay. Using large free lined live shrimp his clients caught snapper, grouper, porgies and bar jacks.


Captain Nick Stanczyk out of Bud N Mary’s Marina in Islamorada reported offshore anglers have been having better action from sailfish along the outer reef edge. Kingfish from five to 30 pounds are being caught along the reef. Trolling black and red feathers around the Humps is producing nice catches of five to 10 pound blackfin tuna. Bottom fishermen are doing well on yellowtail and mutton snappers. Groupers are being caught for catch and release only. Captain Chris Johnson from the charter boat SeaSquraed out of Marathon reported having plenty of action from large mangrove snappers and Spanish mackerel to six pounds.


Nedra Maxwell with the Sebastian Inlet District reported inlet fishermen having action from sheepshead, black drum and redfish. In the surf there have been quite a few bonefish and some pompano caught. Kandiss Molitor from the Juno Fishing Pier reported pier anglers were having good action from large bluefish, Spanish mackerel, jacks and ladyfish. The top bait was a silver spoon.


Captain Raul Montoro of Shallow Tails Guide Service reported large sea trout are being caught on soft plastics and top water plugs fished over grass and pot holes in three to six feet of water in Florida Bay. Henry Monaco and his son Daniel of Del Ray fished Florida Bay with captain Alan Sherman of Get Em Sportfishing Charters and landed snook to 27 inches, sea trout, snappers, jacks and redfish to 26 inches using live shrimp on a Hookup lure.


Captain Dave Hanson of Fishbuster Charters Inc. out of Bonita Springs reported when the weather will allow offshore wreck fishing is producing Spanish mackerel, cobia, snapper, grouper and jacks. Fishing inshore in the Broadway Channel area and around Hickory Bar with live shrimp his clients are catching sheepshead to 20 inches, black drum and pompano.


Jim Crego of Slim’s Fishing Camp in Belle Glade reported the recent cold snap has shut down the Lakes fishing for the time being. Largemouth bass are still in the Lake and holding in the reeds and grass where they are spawning. Mark Escobar from BJ’s Bait & Tackle in Plantation reported the canal systems in the Everglades are producing big numbers of largemouth bass.

Capt. Alan Sherman

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  • Fishing report

    Captain Pete Rapps of Captain Rapps’ Charters and Guides out of Chokoloskee reported snook are feeding on a good moving outgoing tide around the outside barrier islands. Live baits such as the pilchards, pinfish and threadfin herring and the DOA Terrorize soft plastics have been producing some of the best snook bites. Sea trout are feeding over grass in 3-5 feet of water. The redfish have been feeding along the oyster bars on the incoming tides. Popping corks with shrimp or pilchards have been getting a lot of the redfish strikes. Big tarpon are still around, holding in the open outside bays and flats, and have been feeding best during early mornings. Live baits such as small ladyfish, large threadfin herring, pinfish and mullet have been getting the most tarpon strikes.

  • Outdoors notebook

    Make plans to catch fish in the Mako Owners/Bass Pro Shops Fishing Funament, held Thursday through Sunday in Islamorada. TV personality George Poveromo will host. Entry fee is $100 per boat. A kickoff party will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Worldwide Sportsman. For more information, visit

A huge snook patrols the wreck of the DMC Barge about 60 feet deep off Fort Pierce.

    In My Opinion

    Outdoors feature: St. Lucie County artificial reef dazzles divers

    This 60-foot dive had all the hallmarks of a coddled, shallow multispecies tour of Disney World’s “Living Seas” aquarium: a cornucopia of marine life ranging from small colorful tropical fish to what scientists like to call “charismatic megafauna” — really big fish.

Miami Herald

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