Captain Chris Johnson of SeaSquared Charters out of Marathon reported his clients have been catching their limits of mangrove snappers on the shallow reefs, catching gaffer-size dolphins 20 miles offshore of Marathon and snorkeling up limits of lobsters on the patches and shallow ledges. Captain Dean Panos of Double D Charters out of Keystone Marina reported finding large dolphins 12 to 18 miles offshore under birds. Smaller-size dolphins are being caught under the large mats of Sargasso weeds.
The Kelley Fleet out of Haulover Marina reported nighttime snapper fishing continues to be excellent. The snappers are being caught on and near the bottom over the natural reefs offshore of Miami. The snappers are biting when current and wind has been favorable, and are eating silver sides, cut fresh Spanish sardines, threadfin herring, ballyhoo and squid. Captain Paul Roydhouse of Fishing Headquarters out of Fort Lauderdale reported his boats have being doing well on large fish. Working the deeper wrecks offshore of Port Everglades is producing big sharks and sailfish. During a recent daytime swordfish charter, his boat hooked and landed a swordfish that was estimated at 500 pounds. The giant fish was hooked 20 miles offshore and required more than two hours to land.
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Brett Hogan out of the Holiday Inn in Key Largo reported the offshore fleet in his area continues to do well on the dolphins offshore of Key Largo. The dolphins are eight to 15 miles offshore and some of the fish have weighed in at 34 and 44 pounds. On the reef, the charter boats are catching mutton snappers and hogfish, and the tarpon and snook bite continues to be good in the backcountry of Florida Bay. Captain Bill Hauck on the party boat Sea King out of Marathon reported the nighttime snapper fishing continues to be good. The snappers have been biting in 60 to 70 feet of water. Hauck reported the size of the snappers is smaller but the numbers are still there.
Captain Kevin Drennan of Slammer Guide Service out of Stuart reported recent rains have hampered their fishing, but on recent charters his clients have had catches of blackfin tuna in 350 feet of water near the Push Button Hill. The tunas were eating feathers and jet heads. Dolphins and decent-size kingfish were also in that area. Snapper fishing in the area of the old Loran Tower has been very good. Near the beaches, large schools of baitfish continue to attract tarpon, snook, big jacks and bonitos.
Santiago Pujals Jr. of Key Biscayne and Richard Bokum of Las Vegas fished Florida Bay with captain Alan Sherman of Get Em Sportfishing Charters and caught seven redfish to 26 inches, three snook to 26 inches, jack crevalles to five pounds and a nice tripletail. The fish were caught using Rapala Twitchin Raps, Hookup lures tipped with a Gulp bait and live baitfish suspended from a Cajun Thunder float. Captain Bob LeMay reported during recent charters his clients have had plenty of action from snook, redfish, tarpon, snappers, sea trout, jacks, gag and goliath groupers, barracudas and sharks. Most of the action took place along the shorelines outside of Shark River as well as in the creeks and river mouths of Shark River.
Captain Jon Fetter of Catching the Cure Fishing Charters out of Fort Myers reported fishing in his area has been a bit more difficult than in recent weeks. Snook seem to be leaving the areas that they have been holding in recent weeks. Snook can still be found in the passes, along mangrove shorelines and under many of the docks. Redfish were eating live pinfish fished along oyster bars and mangroves on the high water, and snappers were plentiful around the oyster bars, mangroves and rocky structure. The snappers were eating shrimp on jig heads.
Alan Zaremba of Worldwide Sport Fishing Inc. reported largemouth bass fishing continues to be good in some of the freshwater canals in the Everglades. Casting Gambler Flappin Shads in the mornings and Rapala X Raps in the afternoons has kept his clients busy catching up to 35 largemouth bass in a half day. Fishing the urban canals with top water baits such as the Heddon Baby Torpedos and Storm Chug bugs, his clients are catching peacock pass to three pounds plus Mayan cichlids, snakeheads, gars and bowfins.
Capt. Alan Sherman