Fishing with captain Bouncer Smith on Bouncer’s Dusky out of Miami Beach Marina, local anglers Rob McCully and David Spain, and Jonathan Lapin of New York limited out on kingfish using a No.4 planer and drone spoons. Later during their trip, fishing further offshore along a weedline, the anglers landed 30 dolphins to 20 pounds, plus six small wahoo.
Captain Jay Cohen from the Spellbound charter boat out of Haulover Marina reported 6- to 12-pound kingfish have been plentiful offshore of Miami Beach and have been eating trolled bonito strips attached to planer that keeps the bait deep. The best action has been in depths from 100 to 240 feet of water. Over the wrecks, plenty of vermillion snappers and a variety of jacks are biting baits fished on the bottom. Captain Paul Roydhouse of FishingHeadquarters.com out of Fort Lauderdale reported having a lot of action from snook while fishing with live pilchards and mullet. Most of the action has come along the sea walls in the Intracoastal Waterway. Captain Mo Estevez of New Dawn Charters reported sea trout action in Biscayne Bay has been fair. Small tarpon have been feeding on pilchards along the Oceanside islands south of Soldiers Key.
Captain Rick Rodriguez of Sea Horse Deep Sea Sport Fishing charters out of Islamorada reported finding a good amount of dolphins and blackfin tuna in the area of the 409 Hump. Captain Brett Hogan out of Key Largo reported offshore dolphin fishing has been good in 600 to 800 of water. In the same area, there have been a few large wahoo and quite a few blackfin tuna. Captain Bill Hauck from the party boat Sea King out of Marathon reported night fishing has slowed. Daytime yellowtail snapper action has been good in 45 to 60 feet of water. On the outer reef in 140 feet of water, mutton snappers and a 38-pound black grouper have been caught on the bottom.
Captain Charlie Conner of FishTales Charters out of Port St. Lucie reported lots of finger mullet continue to school up in the St. Lucie River. Snook fishing has been best at night along the bridges, in the inlets and along the mangrove shorelines near the inlets. The snook are eating mullet, DOA Bait Busters and top water plugs. Redfishing continues to be good along the mangrove shorelines. Sea trout are biting in the areas of Harbor Branch, Queen’s Cove and Middle Cove. Captain Tom Van Horn of Mosquito Coast Charters reported that smoker kingfish, large tarpon, big jack crevalles, big sharks and Spanish mackerel are feeding on the big menhaden and glass minnow schools along the beaches.
During the Annual Herman Lucerne Memorial Backcountry Championship held out of Islamorada, Richard Campiola caught all seven species to take the Grand Champion award. Campiola caught redfish, snook, tarpon, snapper, black drum, sea trout and bonefish. Local angler Pete Silot had a banner day fishing along the shorelines near Shark River. He and three other anglers limited out on redfish and mangrove snappers to 16 inches. His group had redfish to 34 inches. The fish ate live pilchards fished on the bottom. Captain Jim Hobales of Caught Lookin Charters reported having up to 50 snook that were all released while fishing shorelines north of the Marina. The snook were eating live pilchards.
Fishing with captain Phil Dugger of Podzilla Charters out of Boca Grande, WFOR/CBS4 news reporter Gary Nelson landed a 32-inch snook that ate a live pinfish. The snook was caught next to a sandbar near the mangroves. Captain Jon Fetter of Catching the Cure Backcountry Fishing Charters out of Fort Myers reported redfish are schooling up over the shallow grass flats near the oyster bars and mangrove shorelines. The redfish are eating shrimp, pinfish and chunk baits hooked to a 1/8 ounce jig head. For fast action from ladyfish, snapper, jacks, flounder and grouper, fishing jigs tipped with shrimp in the passes has been real good.
Alan Zaremba reported that plenty of largemouth and peacock bass have been eating gurglers and poppers worked aggressively in the L-30 canal. Peacock bass have also been biting in the 35A, G-15 and the C-100 canals. Cary Schumacker of Jacksonville caught and released 24 largemouth bass and 15 peacock bass in the L-30 canal.
— Capt. Alan Sherman