Captain Orlando Muniz of Nomad Fishing Charters out of Miami reported the key to having the best offshore action has been getting quality baits, such as live goggle eye jacks and large threadfin herring. When the current has been running fishing offshore of Miami from Key Biscayne to Haulover Inlet is producing steady catches of sailfish, kingfish to 15 pounds, gaffer and heavy lifter size dolphins and a few blackfin tuna on the surface. On the bottom over wrecks and ledges, steady catches of black grouper, mutton snappers and cobias are being hooked and caught.
Mike Rini from the Deerfield Beach Fishing Pier reported early in the week pier anglers were catching Spanish mackerel, pompano, bluefish, kingfish and bluerunners. There has been a good amount of baitfish around the pier. Captain John Barker on the charter boat Blue Waters II out of Miami reported fishing offshore of Government Cut with live baits his clients are scoring on small cobias, kingfish, heavy lifter dolphins and silky sharks.
Captain Bill Hauck from the party boat Sea King out of Marathon reported mutton snappers and lots of kingfish were tearing up the bottom and top baits over the outer reef. Yellowtail fishing has been decent. Hauck reported he now has a smaller boat that allows for some more technical fishing. Captain Bruce Andersen of Captain Easy Fishing Charters out of Islamorada reported the cooler weather conditions have sparked some very good sailfish action outside the outer reef. Along with the sailfish have been kingfish, blackfin tuna, dolphins and a few wahoo on the surface. On the bottom snapper and grouper continue to provide steady action.
Captain Charlie Conner of FishTales Charters out of Port St. Lucie reported winter has arrived in the Treasure Coast area and cold water fishing techniques are necessary to catch the winter species like sheepshead, black drum, pompano, groupers and redfish. Some of the best fishing has been along the rocky shorelines, under docks that have deeper water and along the bridge pilings in the St. Lucie River. Some of the best action has come from live shrimp either on a jig head or fished under a float. The medium to smaller shrimp are now the better baits to use. CAL jerk baits and DOA shrimp are also getting many of the strikes. In and around the ocean inlets Spanish mackerel, bluefish and a few pompano are being caught. Flashy lures and jigs are best for the mackerel and bluefish, and small yellow jigs and sand fleas are catching the pompano.
Captain Jim Hobales of Caught Lookin Charters reported having to use late fall early winter tactics to get the fish biting on recent trips in Flamingo. Fishing as far back as Tarpon Bay south to Shark River, he got action from snook, redfish, sea trout, jack crevalles, ladyfish and gag groupers. The fish were eating shrimp under a float and attached to a jig head. The groupers ate trolled Rapala Clackin Raps. On the Florida Bay side, the fish are mostly in the channels, creeks, rivers and along the deeper edges of the islands. In these areas, the action has been from sheepshead, black drum, snappers, smaller redfish and a few snook. Shrimp fished on the bottom is your best bet at getting the strikes.
Mike Bebczuk and his son David, both from Texas, fished with captain Pete Rapps of Captain Rapps’ Charters and Guides out of Chokoloskee. Fishing the incoming tide their first cast resulted in a redfish. Four hours later, the father and son had caught more than 50 redfish to 26 inches, snook, black drum, large sheepshead plus jacks, snapper and ladyfish. The best action came along oyster bars, and live shrimp fished under a float was the top bait and rig.
Howard Kleeman out of Slim’s Fishing Camp reported limit catches of speckled perch are being made around Tree Island and in the first and second Dynamite Holes. The specks are biting day and night. Live minnows are getting the specks at night and small jigs are doing the job during the day. In the areas of Long Point and Pelican Bay behind the walls of cattails where the waters are clear and shallow, largemouth bass to 10 pounds are bedding. The big female bass are going for live wild shiners, Skinny Dippers and with flipping techniques.
Capt. Alan Sherman