Captain Wayne Conn of the Reward Won party boat out of Bayside Market Place reported his clients have caught up to eight large gag groupers during their full-day, bottom-fishing trips. Along with the groupers, his clients are catching kingfish, an assortment of jacks and a few mutton snappers. The bottom fish have been eating live pinfish, goggle eye jacks, large threadfin herring and large strips of bonito. The kingfish are eating vertical jigs, drifted fresh Spanish sardines and ballyhoo.
Captain Jimbo Thomas from the charter boat Thomas Flyer out of Bayside Market Place reported offshore fishing outside of Government Cut has picked up with catches of kingfish, blackfin tuna, bonitos and dolphins being caught on the surface along the blue-water edge. Over the wrecks and reefs, gag groupers and large amberjacks have been biting. Catching quality live baits has been tough. Captain Jay Cohen from the charter boat Spellbound out of Haulover Marina reported sailfish action has picked up offshore of Haulover Inlet. Along with the sailfish, there are kingfish and bonitos being caught by trolling spoons and feathers deep, and out in 550 feet of water, dolphins and blackfin are being caught.
Captain Bruce Andersen of Captain Easy Fishing Charters out of Islamorada reported that dolphin fishing has been great offshore of Islamorada. Some of the bigger dolphins are being caught under frigate birds while the schoolie fish are working broken weed lines. Over the Humps and wrecks, a few amberjacks and almoco jacks are eating live baits and vertical jigs. Mutton snappers, groupers and blackfin tuna are biting the same baits in the same areas. On the reef, the yellowtail snapper bite has been hot, and on the outside of the reef, lots of kingfish, a few blackfin tuna, wahoo and sailfish can be targeted. Captain Richard Burson of RUFISHINGYET charters out of Key Largo reported the tarpon fishing in his area has been red hot. The tarpon have been eating live mullet. In Everglades National Park, the snook fishing has been good with plenty of fish around the island motes.
Captain Tom Van Horn of Mosquito Coast charters reported the Lagoon flats have been producing nice catches of redfish and sea trout. The trout are biting best at first light and can be found along the spoil islands and over grass flats in three to five feet of water. Look for the redfish along the deeper mangrove shorelines. The DOA Bait Busters and soft plastics are getting most of the strikes. Along the beaches, schools of pogies are attracting big tarpon, large jack crevalles, redfish, cobia and sharks. Offshore, big dolphins, sailfish, blackfin tuna and large kingfish will be pushing through the area all month.
Tim Fearnley of Australia fished Florida Bay out of Flamingo in Everglades National Park, and during his full-day charter, he not only caught his first-ever snook but he followed that by catching and releasing 60 more. Along with the snook, Fearnley caught sea trout, redfish, jacks, ladyfish and mangrove snappers to complete a Backcountry Slam. All of the fish were caught on Zman soft plastic lures rigged on weighted jerk bait hooks. Fearmley fished with captain David Accursio of Draggin it Out Charters.
Captain Jon Fetter of Catching the Cure Fishing Charters out of Fort Myers reported high winds and no tidal flow has hampered his fishing recently. Fishing the back bays around oyster bars and mangrove islands is producing catches of snook and redfish. The best action has come with live white bait. Chumming the area with the white baits has increased the action and helped locate the fish. Some mangrove snappers in the 12- to 14-inch size have also been eating the white baits. There have been a good number of snook under the floating docks as well.
Alan Zaremba of Worldwide Sport Fishing Inc. reported fishing the C-8 canal his clients have had up to 20 peacock bass to five pounds and snook up to 12 pounds. Most of the fish are being caught on Urban Jungle jigs and Rapala floating minnows. During a busman’s holiday, captain Alan Sherman fished the freshwater canal system along the Alligator Alley and caught close to 80 fish, with most of the catch being largemouth bass to 3.8 pounds. The fish were caught using Rapala floating minnows.
Capt. Alan Sherman