South Florida fishing report: Feb. 26, 2014



Captain Bruce Andersen of Captain Easy Fishing Charters out of Islamorada reported offshore fishing outside the reef has been very good for sailfish, kingfish, blackfin tuna, mutton snappers, an occasional wahoo and some slammer size dolphins. All of these fish are eating live baits. When the conditions allow deep dropping is producing quite a few queen snapper, blue line tilefish and snowy grouper.


Lester Wenger of Lester’s Live Baits out of Haulover reported offshore fishermen are catching scattered kingfish, Spanish mackerel, large dolphins and a lot of sailfish using live pilchards and threadfin herring for bait. Canadian fishing guide Christopher Schock, his wife Susan and their son Chris fished with captain Alan Sherman of Get Em Sportfishing Charters in Biscayne Bay and along the shallow flats of South Bay. During their day on the water they released over 30 sea trout in the 16 to 20 inch range, 11 ladyfish, jacks, a yellow jack and nine barracudas to eight pounds. All of the fish were caught on Hookup lures tipped with Gulp baits and Rapala plugs. Fishing offshore of Miami for swordfish during the day on the Hawkeye a 26 foot Pro-Line local angler Keith Bilotta hooked and landed a 144 inch measured from tip of bill to tip of tail swordfish with a girth of 62 inches. Bilotta fished by himself and fought the fish for seven hours. Not being able to pull the fish by himself into the boat Bolitta tied the massive fish to the side of his boat and towed it in.


Captain Scott Yetter of Sight Fish Charters out of Little Torch Key reported with summer like conditions the tarpon fishing has been very good. Tarpon are being caught on the flats, the channel edges and laid up in the basins. Permits are biting well on the windy days. Captain Bob Fernicola of Backcountry/Ocean Charters out of Key Largo reported he has been working the inside reefs and doing very well on mutton and mangrove snappers, black grouper, cobias, big porgies and sheepshead, sharks and big cero mackerel. Live ballyhoo has been the best baits.


Captain Charlie Conner of FishTales Charters out of Port St. Lucie reported black drum sheepshead and redfish have been biting the best this past week in the St. Lucie River. The docks and mangrove shorelines seem to be holding the most fish. Whiting, a few pompano and jacks are being caught off the beaches. Plenty of Spanish mackerel, bluefish, ladyfish and jacks are being caught around the ocean inlets.


Captain Jim Hobales of Caught Lookin Charters reported the big tarpon have been plentiful one day and then scarce the next along the outside shorelines north of East Cape. Sea trout have been available in decent numbers and snook and redfish are holding ion the runoffs in Florida Bay. Captain Nestor Alvisa of Hooked on Flamingo reported that there has been a pretty good Spanish mackerel and cobia bite outside the parks boundary markers.


Captain Jon Fetter of Catching the Cure Backcountry Fishing Charters out of Ft. Myers reported the redfish bite has been good around the mangrove islands and oyster bars around Estero Bay. Jig heads tipped with shrimp have been getting the most strikes. Plenty of ladyfish and jacks are in the same areas. There is still plenty of sheepshead around the blow down tress. In the passes loads of silver trout, ladyfish, whiting and an occasional mackerel are hitting live shrimp. Over the near shore reefs a good amount of mackerel, whiting, porgies and small groupers can be caught on live shrimp.


Captain Michael Shellen of Shellen Guide Service out of Bulkhead Ridge on Lake Okeechobee reported water levels are holding at 14 feet on the Lake. Shiner fishing is producing catches of 25 to 40 largemouth bass each morning. Bass to eight pounds have been caught recently. The best areas to fish for the bass have been the North Shore, Eagle Bay and the east side around J&S. Speckled perch fishing has been outstanding and many limit catches are being made. The speck’s are holding in areas that have spike rush and grass lines. Alan Zaremba reported his clients have been catching largemouth bass using Rapala plugs and soft plastics while fishing the L-29, L-35A and L-60 canals.

Capt. Alan Sherman


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Miami Herald

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