The Kelley Fleet out of Haulover Marina reported during their 12-hour trips on the party boat Mucho K with captain Jamie Owens that the fishermen caught 10 nice dolphins, a bunch of porgies and grey triggerfish and more than 50 vermillion and yellowtail snappers. All of the fish were caught offshore of Haulover Inlet in depths greater than 100 feet.
Captain John Baker of Ace Blue Water Charters Inc. out of Miamarina at Bayside reported running 12 miles offshore looking for dolphins and found plenty of temperamental dolphins under floating weed patches that would not eat. While trolling a drone spoon, a 43-pound wahoo was caught along with lots of bonitos and a chunky blackfin tuna. Captain Mo Estevez of New Dawn Charters reported finding schools of small permits on the western shoreline flats of South Bay. The permits were eating shrimp lures. Quite a few small tarpon were in the area but not feeding.
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Captain Bill Hauck from the party boat Sea King out of Marathon reported that the mangrove snapper bite slowed during last week’s full moon at night, but fishing deeper waters in 110 feet, his clients are catching large yellowtails, big mangrove snappers and mutton snappers. Captain Nick Stanczyk out of Bud N Mary’s Marina in Islamorada reported that offshore boats looking for birds, floating debris, or just free-swimming dolphins have been doing well on gaffer-size dolphins in the 7- to 25-pound range. A 59-pound dolphin was recently caught by the Catch 22 charter boat. Some nice mutton snappers are being caught on the deeper ledges, and big swordfish are being caught on the bottom during the daytime in 1,800 to 2,000 feet of water.
Captain Tom Van Horn of Mosquito Coast Lagoon Charters reported finding schools of small- to medium-size black drum up on the flats. These black drum have been very cooperative, and his clients have landed as many as 15 in a half day. Redfish have also been on the flats, but not as cooperative. Nedra Maxwell with the Sebastian Inlet District reported schools of small baitfish are getting attention from lots of mangrove snappers this week. The snappers are holding tight to the jetties and eating shrimp and pilchards. Quite a few snook for catch-and-release are available, and a few nice redfish are being caught. Jacks and ladyfish are plentiful, and at times schools of bonitos have attacked the bait pods near the jetties.
Captain Jim Hobales took a day off and fished with a friend on the flats of Florida Bay. During the day, the two had steady action from snook, jacks and ladyfish that ate artificial lures. There were plenty of tarpon on the flats, but none that seemed too hungry. Loads of sharks were in the area, and a few took the artificial lures intended for the tarpon. Almost all of the action took place in mullet muds. Captain Jim Hale of Hurricane Sportfishing Charters reported finding schools of up to 500 black drum and a lot of redfish in big pot holes up on the flats of Florida Bay. Casting chartreuse minnows on fly tackle got the redfish bites, and the black drum went for a tiny Kwan fly and new penny Gulp shrimp.
Captain Rob Modys of Soul Mate Charters out of Fort Myers reported that in the upper areas of the Estero Bay, snook, redfish, jacks, mangrove snappers and ladyfish have been eating shrimp under a floating popping cork fished up tight to mangrove and island shorelines. In the passes, trout, whiting and snappers are going for a jig tipped with shrimp. On the offshore reefs, Spanish mackerel, pompano and sea trout are eating free-lined shrimp, and there have been some large free-floating tripletail available in these areas.
Mark Escobar from BJ’s Bait and Tackle in Plantation reported that largemouth bass in the one- to seven-pound range are being caught in the canals of the Everglades Conservation Areas. The best action has been during early mornings. The bass are eating top-water lures early in the day and then seven- to 10-inch soft plastics as the sun starts to get up high. Live shiners are also getting some good bass. Panfish are eating red worms, crickets, minnows and wigglers. The better canals have been Alligator Alley, Sawgrass Recreation Park and Loxahatchee.
Capt. Alan Sherman