Captain Jim Hobales of Caught Lookin Charters fished the Bob Lewis Tournament with two children and their fathers and caught and released lemon sharks and redfish to 33 inches and had snook action but failed to land any. The kids both took second place in their divisions. During charters later in the week, Hobales’ clients caught up to 16 snook and lots of big redfish while fishing the shallow waters of Florida Bay. Most of the action was with live pilchards, chunks of ladyfish and Rapala hard plastics.
Captain Quinton Dieterle of the charter boat Cutting Edge out of Crandon Park Marina reported fishing offshore of Triumph Reef his clients have had spectacular action from blackfin tuna to 30 pounds, cobia to 50 pounds, sailfish and dolphins, and lost a giant yellowfin tuna that ate a bluerunner fished under a kite. Most of the action has taken place outside of 100 feet of water. Captain Dean Panos of Double D charters out of Keystone Marina reported offshore fishing along Miami Beach is producing great catches of large schoolie and gaffer-size dolphins. The dolphins are feeding along weedlines and floating debris, and can also be found under frigate birds. Daytime swordfishing in 2,000 feet of water has been good.
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Captain Chris Johnson of Sea Squared Charters out of Marathon reported his clients have had great rod-bending action from lemon sharks that have averaged 100 pounds on the Gulf side. Daytime bottom-fishing trips are producing large mangrove snappers, a few mutton snappers, black grouper and yellowjacks. Tarpon fishing along the Keys bridges continues to be good. Captain Rick Stanczyk out of Bud N Mary’s Marina in Islamorada reported the inside fishing along the Keys bridges and along East Cape continues to produce steady catches of tarpon. The tarpon are eating crabs, live and dead mullet and ladyfish. Captain Nick Stanczyk reported the offshore boats are catching lots of schoolie dolphins to 12 pounds plus an occasional slammer-size fish. Those have weighed up to 38 pounds. The dolphins have been 15 to 20 miles offshore.
Captain Tom Van Horn of Mosquito Coast Charters reported with warmer days fishing from 5 a.m. until 11 a.m. or just before dark and into the evening might give you an edge when fishing in the Indian River Lagoon. Look for large sea trout, redfish and snook along the potholes on the grass flats, along the mangrove shorelines and under docks that have large boats. DOA shrimp will work well in these areas. Along the beaches, expect to see more tarpon, sharks and big jack crevalles feeding on the baitfish schools. Tripletail can be found around the offshore markers. Look for large kingfish feeding on the pogie schools and further offshore the last of the dolphin schools will be passing by.
Captain Jason Sullivan of Rising Tide Charters reported he is expecting the fishing in Florida Bay to really take off in the upcoming weeks. There are plenty of tarpon in the area and snook and redfish are still being caught in good numbers for catch and release up on the flats of Florida Bay.
Captain Roan zumFelde of Rz’s Fishing Extremes Charters out of Naples reported big tarpon have been roaming the beaches in the Cape Romano Shoals area. The tarpon are eating live mullet, pinfish, ladyfish and an assortment of hard plastic lures as well as a 2/0 purple CJ tarpon fly. Snook are feeding in the passes, bays close to the passes and around many of the inshore docks. Pompano and a few small permits are feeding along the beaches and there have been some very large jack crevalles in the Marco River area that can be caught on fly.
Mark Escobar out of BJ’s Bait and Tackle in Plantation reported despite recent rains water levels in the freshwater canal systems of the Everglades remain on the low side. The low water has concentrated largemouth bass and an assortment of panfish in these canals, where they have been easy to catch. Good areas to try have been L-67 off the Tamiami Trail, Holiday Park, Sawgrass Recreation Park and the canals along Alligator Alley. The bass are eating Rapala floating minnows, Zara Spooks and almost any soft plastic in your tackle box. The panfish can be caught on live worms, small plugs, jigs and artificial flies.
Capt. Alan Sherman