Captain Rick Thomas on the charter boat Thomas Flyer out of Bay Side Marina reported offshore fishing has been pretty good despite the recent strong winds. Fishing along a deep blue water edge located just outside of Government Cut with live threadfin herring that were fished under a kite, his clients had steady action releasing five of the six sailfish they hooked. They also had kingfish to 30 pounds plus a large dolphin.
During the 2014 Mercury/SeaVee Pompano Beach Saltwater Shootout, lots of kingfish and tuna were brought to the scales. Team Makin Time/LivingWater took first-place honors with four blackfin tuna that were all over 20 pounds and four kingfish up to 53.7 pounds for a total of 252.7 pounds of fish. Team Makin Time/LivingWater set a new tournament record with its total pounds of fish caught. Team Makin Time/LivingWater also had the Bluewater Bonaza, second-place Big Three, first-place Holy Mackerel, first-place Ante Up, third-place largest king mackerel and the Top Captain award. Captain Bouncer Smith of Bouncer’s Dusky out of Miami Beach Marina treated his sister Sue Singer of Miami to a short inshore fishing trip in North Biscayne Bay. During the trip, Singer caught four sea trout to 4.5 pounds using live mojarras fished under a float.
Captain Mark Schmidt of Sundancer Charters out of Murray’s Marina in Key West reported the strong winds have been affecting all of the Keys guides, but there are tarpon in the protected waters. Permits are on the flats and over the reefs. Sharks and barracudas are up on the flats as well. Captain Bill Hauck on the party boat Sea King out of Marathon reported his clients have been catching large yellowtail snappers, mutton snapper to 13 pounds and a few black groupers working the reefs and wrecks outside of 100 feet of water. Captain Jorge Valverde fished out of Islamorada during the Keymorada Fishing Tournament and had action from redfish, permits, tarpon and sharks. Valverde fished the flats around Rabbit Key to Garfield Bight in Florida Bay.
Captain Charlie Conner of FishTales Charters out of Port St. Lucie reported the best inshore action has been along the mangrove shorelines where sea trout over 20 inches, large redfish and big snook are eating soft plastics, surface lures and live baits. In the Fort Pierce Inlet bluefish, a few Spanish mackerel, nice-sized mangrove snappers, jacks and ladyfish can be caught. Henry Caimotto from the Snook Nook Bait and Tackle in Jensen Beach reported the windy weather has hurt the fishermen recently but not the fish. There are plenty of large kingfish in the 60-foot depths. Sailfish and dolphins have been out in 100 feet of water. Plenty of blackfin tuna are around but in deeper water.
Captain Bob LeMay reported finding plenty of snook and redfish along the interior island shorelines with the best action coming off the shorelines facing east. Tarpon have been in the back rivers and creeks and will go for a live ladyfish or pinfish. Redfish are also holding along the mangrove shoreline points in the Shark River area. Captain Jason Sullivan of Rising Tides Charters reported tarpon have been available in areas that have two to four feet of water. The tarpon can be caught on Rapala SubWalks. Because of the winds, Sullivan has been hitting the Gulf shorelines, and he is having action from snook and redfish.
Captain Todd Geroy of Naples reported hard winds have made it tough to fish the tarpon that are along the beaches, but the fish are there. Snook and redfish are biting along the mangrove shorelines, where they are eating live baits. Soft plastics and Mirrolures are also getting the strikes. Back in the rivers, in the deeper holes, gag and goliath groupers are there to be targeted for catch and release.
Mark Escobar of BJ’s Bait and Tackle in Plantation reported water levels continue to drop in the canals and conservation areas of the Everglades, concentrating a lot of largemouth and peacock bass and panfish. The bass are eating Flukes, swim baits, frogs and seven-to-10-inch plastic worms. Live shiners are also getting the bites. The bass are averaging one to seven pounds. The panfish are eating red worms, crickets, wigglers, minnows and small jigs. The best spots have been the Holly Land, Holiday Park, Sawgrass Recreation Park and Alligator Alley.
Capt. Alan Sherman