Captain Bouncer Smith of Bouncer Dusky Fishing Charters out of Miami Beach Marina reported having a banner week of fishing offshore of Miami. During this past week, his clients have caught and tagged cobia, tagged a giant whale shark, and caught sharks, bluefish, sailfish, big barracudas, kingfish and many dolphins. On Wednesday morning’s offshore charter, 13-year-old Jack Branthover of Maryland hooked and released an estimated 55-pound white marlin. The marlin ate a live ballyhoo in 180 feet of water and was released in great condition after being tagged.
Captain Mo Estevez of New Dawn Charters reported having good action from tarpon that were eating large live shrimp and medium-sized blue crabs in and around Key Biscayne. Estevez reported having action from large mutton snappers and yellow jacks in the finger channels in South Bay. The Kelley Fleet out of Haulover Marina reported nighttime bottom fishing trips were producing big catches of yellowtail snappers. During day trips party-boat anglers were catching lots of blackfin tuna, kingfish, bonitos and a few dolphins. The day action was taking place in depths from 100 to 300 feet of water.
Brett Hogan out of the Holiday Inn in Key Largo reported the offshore fleet in his area has been doing very well on wahoo outside the outer reef line. The offshore Humps are producing nice catches of small blackfin tuna. In the blue water, dolphins are being caught along the weedlines and from under floating debris where some nice wahoo are holding. Deep dropping in 600 feet of water is producing nice catches of snowy grouper and tilefish. Over the reefs there have been good catches of yellowtail snappers, a few kingfish and a few sailfish. Captain Dexter Simmons of Key West Fly Fishing Charters reported big tarpon have been plentiful in his area. When the water temperatures are above 80 degrees, the tarpon have been very hungry. Permits are being encountered on many of the shallow flats around Key West.
Nedra Maxwell with the Sebastian Inlet District reported jetty fishermen have been having a field day catching fish from the jetties. Big jack crevalles, lots of bluefish, Spanish mackerel, black drum, sheepshead, snook, big redfish and good size pompano have all made their ways over the rails through the day on the Sebastian Inlet jetties. The fishermen are using shrimp and clams for the drum and sheepshead, Doc’s Goofy jigs for the pompano, large live shrimp and mullet for the snook, and redfish and shiny lures for the mackerel and bluefish.
Captain Jim Hobales of Caught Lookin Charters reported going way back into the backcountry to get his clients on the fish. Throwing mostly jig heads tipped with Gulp shrimp and Rapala hard plastic plugs, his clients had steady action from large snook, redfish and sea trout. Big tarpon were in the area but would not eat their baits. Locals Ino Halegua and his fishing buddy, Jeff Rosen, fished with captain Alan Sherman of Get Em Sportfishing Charters out of Flamingo in Everglades National Park. During their six-hour charter, the anglers caught four redfish to 22 inches, sharks and five tripletail to 10 pounds. The fish were caught on live pilchards and shrimp fished under a Cajun Thunder float.
Captain Jon Fetter of Catch the Cure Fishing Charters out of Estero Bay reported the passes and nearshore reefs have been producing big numbers of fish recently in his area. In the passes whiting, silver trout, sharks, ladyfish and Spanish mackerel are going for jigs and shrimp. The nearshore reefs will keep your rod tips bent with hungry Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, sheepshead, gag groupers, snapper and pompano. Bouncing jigs tipped with shrimp over the bottom is getting the strikes. In the back bays, redfish are being caught along the oyster bars.
Jim Crego from Slim’s Fishing Camp in Belle Glade reported largemouth bass numbers are down from a few weeks ago but the sizes are up. The bass have been mostly eating live wild golden shiners but for the purists dark colored lures that have gold and glitter in them are getting the strikes as well. The bass are along the outside weed edges and in areas that have cattails. Ritta and Tree Islands and Pelican Bay are all producing bass. Speckled perch and bluegills are hitting crickets in the Rim Canal and at the levees.
Capt. Alan Sherman