South Florida fishing report




Captain Bouncer Smith of Bouncers Dusky Fishing Charters out of Miami Beach Marina reported offshore fishing has been slow compared to most Januarys in the past because of unusual warm conditions. Recent cold fronts have dropped water temperatures and fishing is getting better. Along the beaches, tarpon are starting to show up along with a good amount of Spanish mackerel. Outside the outer reef, a few sailfish, blackfin tuna and some large kingfish to 71 pounds have been reported caught.


Captain Mo Estevez of New Dawn Charters out of Miami reported with more stable conditions this week the bonefish action picked up on the western South Bay shorelines as well as the Oceanside flats. A large live shrimp has been the top bait for the bonefish. Over the deeper western grass flats of South Bay sea trout are being caught on soft plastics under a float. A few nice Spanish mackerel are being caught over these grass flats as well.


Captain Scott Yetter of Sight Fish Charters out of Little Torch Key reported the tarpon action has been good over the flats, where bonefish and permits also have returned. Large barracudas that like the colder waters have invaded the shallow flats and are attacking anything retrieved quickly back to the boat. Isla

moradaSportFishing.com reported offshore sailfishing has been slow. Large king mackerel and a few wahoo are being caught near Alligator Reef. On the Gulf side, schools of Spanish mackerel, a few cobias, sharks and snapper are being caught amid the cold fronts.


Nedra Maxwell with the Sebastian Inlet District reported inlet fishing has depended on the weather. When the wind is blowing and the water is stirred up, a lot of bluefish were being caught along with Spanish mackerel, sea trout, a few flounder and pompano. When the water has been clear, sheepshead, black drum and redfish were being caught on cut shrimp and clams.


Captain Bob LeMay reported working the back waters of Whitewater and Oyster Bays and finding plenty of quality fish that were not interested in feeding. On the colder days, the redfish were not interested in flies but would respond to a jig tipped with shrimp slowly retrieved near the bottom.


Captain Jon Fetter of Catching The Cure Backcountry Fishing Charters out of Fort Myers reported all of his action is taking place in the protected back bays. Shrimp on a jig head fished slow over the bottom has been taking a good amount of redfish, black drum and large sheepshead. The sea trout are biting live shrimp under a popping cork in three to five feet of water. Captain Charles Wright of Chokoloskee Charters in Everglades City reported the cold weather cleared out a lot of the plankton, improving sight fishing of hungry redfish with artificial lures and bait.


Captain Pat Stevens from Slim’s Fishing Camp in Belle Glade reported largemouth bass to nine pounds are being caught in the areas of Ritta Island, Long Point and the west side of Pelican Bay. The bass favor live wild shiners, Chatter bugs, jigs and craw baits.

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Shane Hutto of Orlando holds up a large red snapper he caught off Port Canaveral with Cop Out Charters.

    Final red snapper of the season ready to be snapped up

    Only one weekend remains open in this summer’s eight-day red snapper recreational mini-season in federal South Atlantic waters. Anglers have from one minute after midnight Friday until midnight Saturday to bring home one fish per person of any size. After that, the season will be closed indefinitely.

  • Fishing report

    Captain Dean Panos of Double D charters out of Keystone Point Marina reported large amounts of Sargasso weeds in the Gulf Stream continue to attract large numbers of dolphins. Most of the dolphins have been schoolies but a few have been more than 30pounds. The dolphins have been in depths from 400 feet of water out as far as 18 miles.

  • Outdoors notebook

    This page is a regular weekly feature focusing on Florida outdoors adventures. Email scocking@MiamiHerald.com.

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