South Florida fishing report: April 23, 2014




Captain Rick Thomas from the charter boat Thomas Flyer out of Bayside Marina reported large amberjacks are spawning over the County wrecks and can be caught on vertical jigs and live baits. The wrecks are also producing nice catches of cobia. Mark Escobar of BJ’s Bait & Tackle in Plantation reported all of the canals in the Everglades Conservation areas are producing almost nonstop action from largemouth bass to seven pounds, plus Oscars, bluegills, pickerel and lots of gars and mudfish.


Captain Dean Panos of Double D charters out of Keystone Marina reported the sailfishing offshore of Miami has been real good one day and not so much the next. On a few recent charters, his clients have had double-digit releases of sailfish. The top sailfish bait has been a live threadfin herring. A few big blackfin tuna and kingfish to 50 pounds have eaten their baits recently, as well. Captain Bouncer Smith on Bouncers Dusky out of Miami Beach Marina reported offshore catches of sharks to 250 pounds, sailfish, dolphins, amberjacks, cobia, cero mackerel, bonitos and cobias. Captain Mo Estevez of New Dawn Charters out of Miami reported large tarpon have started their southern migration along the Oceanside flats.


Captain Scott Yetter of Sight Fish Charters out of Little Torch Key reported tarpon are migrating into his area. The tarpon can be found in the backcountry basins, channels and channel edges where they are eating crabs, large shrimp, mullet and artificial lures. Permits can still be found on the flats but soon will start migrating offshore. Captain Rick Rodriguez of Sea Horse Deep Sea Sport Fishing out of Islamorada reported dolphins, blackfin tuna, wahoo and sailfish have been moving through the offshore waters of Islamorada. Over the Humps big amberjacks and almoco jacks are biting.


Captain Glyn Austin of Going Coastal Fishing Charters out of Sebastian reported recent dredging in the Sebastian Inlet has sparked an excellent pompano bite. The dredging is stirring up bait that the pompano are foraging on. There are still some mackerel and bluefish in the inlet as well. In the Indian River along the mangrove shorelines that have schools of mullet there are some large sea trout, redfish and snook to be targeted.


Captain Nestor Alvisa of Hooked on Flamingo reported having plenty of action in Florida Bay during some awful weather. His clients had nonstop action from ladyfish and jacks using artificial baits and live baits. After catching their fill of jacks and ladyfish they turned their attention to redfish and quickly hooked up to some large redfish using ladyfish chunks fished along a mangrove shoreline. Later in the day, they fought a huge sawfish to the boat and then released two tarpon in the 80- to more than 100-pound range. Captain Jason Sullivan of Rising Tides Charters reported because of high winds he has been concentrating on the backcountry shorelines out to the protected shorelines along the Gulf where his clients continue to hook up with tarpon, snook and redfish.


Captain Jon Fetter of Catching the Cure Backcountry Fishing Charters out of Fort Myers reported sea trout in the 12- to 14-inch range were tearing up their shrimp and popping cork rigs in the back bays in two to four feet of water. Lots of ladyfish and jacks and small sharks were eating the shrimp, as well. Using chunks of ladyfish for bait, plenty of redfish were caught along the mangrove shorelines.


Captain Michael Shellen of Shellen Guide Service out of Buck Head Ridge on Lake Okeechobee reported big largemouth bass were being caught on spinner baits and swim baits fished along the grass. These largemouth bass, with some reaching 11 pounds, are post-spawn fish. The largemouth bass are moving to the outside edges where they are chasing baitfish. Pan fishing for bluegills and shellcrackers has been fair, with average catches of 30 to 40 fish. The panfish are eating worms, crickets and grass shrimp in the local canals and in the Kissimmee River. Local angler Lester Wenger fished out of Holiday Park and caught over 40 largemouth bass, panfish, mudfish, gars and pickerel on soft plastics and floating Rapala’s.

Capt. Alan Sherman

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  • Fishing report

    Captain Gil Gutierrez of Lucky Fishing Charters out of TNT Marina in Keystone reported that nighttime snapper fishing on the reefs offshore of Miami has been red hot. Plenty of mangrove, mutton and yellowtail snappers are biting cut bait over the reef in depths of 25 to 60 feet of water. Captain Bill Hauck from the party boat Sea King out of Marathon reported the nighttime mangrove snapper fishing on the reef is off the chart. Nighttime snapper anglers are having no problem catching a limit of snappers, which are eating ballyhoo and threadfin herring.

  • Outdoors notebook

    Off-road vehicles such as swamp buggies, street-legal 4x4s, ATVs and UTVs will be allowed back in the Big Cypress National Preserve on Friday, marking the end of the annual 60-day recreational closure to ORV access. Only the designated primary trails in the backcountry will be open. All secondary trails will remain closed for an additional 60 days. The closure does not affect landowners’ access to private property using permitted trails. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/bicy.

Miami Herald

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