Alan Zaremba of Worldwide Sport Fishing Inc. reported that despite recent heavy rains, the waters in the Everglades Conservation areas continue to drop, pushing thousands of freshwater fish into the canals. During a recent three-day charter with anglers Gary Hamilton of Delaware fishing the L-6, L-29, L-67 and L-35 canals, a total of 463 largemouth bass to 4 lbs., 36 peacock bass to 4 lbs., 13 snakeheads, five chain pickerel and an assortment of other species were caught and released using Rapala floating Minnows and Urban jigs.
Locals Marty Engels and Bob Hyman fished with captain Steve Amarant of Davie offshore of Triumph Reef and caught several mutton snappers, bonitos and released an estimated 55 pound sailfish. They also fought a giant hammerhead shark, but it escaped. Their catch was made with live pilchards and split tail goggle eyes. Olga Mellon and her husband David of Miami fished North Bay and caught and released lots of bluefish, ladyfish, barracudas, jacks, mangrove snappers and large sea trout. They fished with captain Alan Sherman of Get Em Sportfishing Charters, and the catch was made with live pilchards fished under a Cajun Thunder float and with Rapala Skitter Walks and SubWalks. Captain Orlando Muniz of Nomad Fishing Charters out of Miami reported his clients have had decent offshore action from a few sailfish, large kingfish, dolphins, barracudas and sharks on the surface, and then on the bottom, large amberjacks have provided plenty of action over the wrecks. The keys to his good offshore fishing have been quality bait and a good north current in blue water.
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Captain Jason Long of Best Bet Sportfishing Charters out of Marathon reported finding plenty of heavy lifter dolphins in the blue waters outside of Marathon. Fishing over the reefs, his clients are enjoying a steady yellowtail bite. During the Inaugural Islamorada Spring Fishing Classic held at the Lorelei in Islamorada, anglers Mark and Asher Cockerham of Islamorada took the first-place place prize by releasing 38 fish over two days. The catch included snapper, snook, redfish, jacks and sea trout. Anglers were allowed to fish Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Asher Cockerham also took home the Grand Champion Junior Angler Award by catching the largest mangrove snapper, a 1.4 pound fish as well as tallying up 18 of the 38 fish releases. The anglers fished aboard the Key Hopper. Captain Pete Rapps of Captain Rapps Fishing Charters is taking advantage of what is shaping up to be another phenomenal tarpon season in the Middle Keys. Fishing around the Bahia Honda Bridge with live crabs and mullet his clients are enjoying steady tarpon action.
Nedra Maxwell with the Sebastian Inlet District reported before the unsettled weather in their area, jetty anglers were catching medium-sized flounder, black drum, mangrove snappers, oversized snook, redfish, large sea trout, sheepshead and bluefish. The best action has come from the south jetty. Best baits were clams, shrimp, greenies and pinfish.
Captain Jim Hobales of Caught Lookin Charters reported finding plenty of nonresponsive tarpon over the shallow waters just north of the Flamingo Marina. Working the mangrove shorelines with top water Rapala lures, his clients have had decent action from large snook and sea trout. Working areas that had large mullet muds, his clients had steady action from jacks, ladyfish, snook, sea trout and redfish in Florida Bay.
Captain Todd Geroy of Captain Todd G. Geroy Charters out of Naples reported he is finding very big snook in the inside protected bays. The snook are going for DOA Baitbuster lures, cut ladyfish and mullet. Large tarpon have been in the same areas along with redfish. On many of his recent charters, his clients have released more than 25 snook during half-day trips. Some very large bull, lemon and blacktip sharks are in the area as well. Most of this fishing is taking place in fewer than 5 feet of water.
Jim Crego from Slim’s Fishing Camp in Belle Glade reported largemouth bass fishing has slowed but an 11.8 pound bass was recently weighed and then released. The big bite this week has been from shellcrackers, bluegills and speckled perch. The panfish have been eating crickets and can be found along the Rim canal bank, in the areas of Tree Island, South Bay and the Dynamite holes.
Capt. Alan Sherman