South Florida fishing report: March 19, 2014



Alexander Marikos of Rippy’s Bait & Tackle in North Miami Beach reported pier fishermen from the Newport Pier on Sunny Isles Beach have been catching lots of pompano in the surf using sand fleas for bait. Large Spanish mackerel, bluerunners and jacks are being caught off the tee using live baits and silver spoons.


Captain Bouncer Smith of Bouncer’s Dusky Fishing Charters out of Miami Beach Marina reported his clients have had exceptional fishing offshore of Government Cut where large dolphins, king mackerel and sailfish have been providing plenty of live bait action. On the beaches tarpon to 90 pounds are eating large live shrimp. Miami Herald outdoor writer reported a strong run of pompano this past week in the surf at Hollywood Beach. Local angler Tamray Kahn caught a whopper seven pound pompano and a legal limit using sand fleas for bait in that area. Captain Mo Estevez of New Dawn Charters out of Miami reported the best bonefishing this past week has been on the Oceanside flats south of Soldiers Key. Nighttime tarpon action has been excellent along the bridges in Biscayne Bay.


Captain Nick Stanczyk out of Bud N Mary’s Marina reported offshore boats are catching some real nice flag yellowtail snappers on the reef. Over the deeper ledges and shallow wrecks mutton snappers in the eight to 18 pound range are being caught. A few dolphins, kingfish to 35 pounds and sailfish continue to be caught just outside the outer reef. Cobia schools continue to move through the area and are being sight fished by anglers that have a tower that lets them see the cobias as they follow large rays over sandy bottom. Live pinfish cast into the cobia schools means an instant cobia hookup. In the deep water golden tilefish to 37 pounds have been caught on the bottom in depths from 550 to 700 feet of water. Tarpon are being caught in good numbers on along the bridges and channels in Islamorada. Captain Dexter Simmons of Key West Fly Fishing Charters reported the tarpon fishing continues to be good in the Gulf and Atlantic basins in Key West.


Captain Charlie Conner’s of FishTales Charters out of Port St. Lucie reported fishing around the docks in the river has produced steady catches of black drum, redfish and snook. Shrimp and soft plastics has been the top bait around the docks. Sea trout are scattered over the grass flats. The turning basin is producing steady catches of Spanish mackerel, bluefish, grouper, snapper, jacks and ladyfish. Along the surf fishermen are catching whiting, bluefish and some pompano.


Captain Nestor Alvisa of Hooked on Flamingo Fishing Charters reported lots of sea trout have been biting on the last of the outgoing tide in the Snake Bight area. A few redfish, black drum and sheepshead are being caught on live shrimp in the Florida Bay channels. Snook are scattered along many of the outside islands in Florida Bay. Quite a few tarpon are holding in the Florida Bay channels and along the coast north of East Cape Sable. Tripletails have been in good numbers and eating live shrimp under floats in the open waters of the Gulf. Captain Jason Sullivan of Rising Tides Charters reported redfish have been tailing and a good number of snook have been available on top of some of the shallowest flats in Florida Bay.


Captain Jon Fetter of Catching the Cure Backcountry Fishing Charters out of Ft. Myers reported high winds and dirty waters have made sight fishing redfish in the back bays tough. Fishermen targeting redfish during the high tides with jigs tipped with shrimp are catching some redfish along the mangrove shorelines and oyster bars. Sea trout are scattered over grass flats that have clear water. A live shrimp fished under a popping cork has been working on the trout. In the passes when the water has been fishable plenty of silver trout, ladyfish, jacks, sharks and Spanish mackerel have been eating jigs tipped with shrimp bounced along the bottom in seven to 14 feet of water.


Devin Cole fished the L-6 and C-13 canals for two days with guide Alan Zaremba and caught and released 90 largemouth bass to 5.5 pounds, a chain pickerel, 15 peacock bass and six snakeheads using floating Rapala’s, Spro baits and Sanko worms.

Capt. Alan Sherman


Read more Outdoors stories from the Miami Herald

File Photo: Captain Bouncer Smith catches a mackerel near Bug Light on December 15, 1997.


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 <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.

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 <span class="cutline_leadin">Saving the day:</span> John Long releases a tarpon caught on fly rod by Sue Cocking off the Marquesas Keys.

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    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

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