Captain Benny Blanco of Fishing Flamingo Charters reported Flamingo is the place to be if you are looking for that special outdoor adventure. The bugs are gone; water levels and water temperatures are dropping, forcing snook, black drum, redfish, sea trout, sharks and a bunch of other fish species to take refuge in the deeper channels in Florida Bay, in the moats along the outside islands, creeks and channels all the way to Lostman’s River and into Oyster and Whitewater Bays. Add to that the opportunity to see dozens of bird species feeding on the flats, bald eagles, crocodiles, alligators, sea turtle, manatees and bottlenose dolphins all in one day. What more could you ask for?
Kelley Valverde fished South Bay with her husband, captain Jorge Valverde of Low Places Guide Service, and caught and released a 61/2 pound bonefish. Captains Dave Kostyo of Knot Nancy Charters out of TNT Marina in Keystone reported snake-size kingfish have invaded the outside reef in depths from 80 to 200 feet of water offshore of Miami Beach. The kingfish are eating live batfishes, fresh Spanish sardines, ballyhoo and vertical jigs. Betty Crump from Deerfield Fishing Pier reported legal-size Spanish mackerel and king mackerel were coming over the rail in decent numbers. The mackerels were eating live baitfish. Slot-size snook were eating large live shrimp and Spanish sardines.
Captain Bill Hauck from the party boat Sea King out of Marathon reported a hot bite from nice-size yellowtail snappers, red groupers and more Nassau groupers that were released. The bite has been in 50 feet of water, and cut bait fished near the bottom is getting the strikes. During the 51st annual Islamorada Sailfish Tournament, 23 boats and 90 anglers caught and released 202 sailfish in three days. Anglers Fenton Langston of Ocean Reef, Jimmy Hendrix of Tavernier, and Debbie and Jimmy David of Fort Lauderdale took first place by releasing 16 sailfish. They fished aboard the Relentless and were guided by captain Paul Ross.
Nedra Maxwell of the Sebastian Inlet District reported inlet fishermen continue to catch good numbers of bluefish, Spanish mackerel, black drum, sheepshead, flounder, pompano, redfish and snook. Top inlet baits have been live shrimp, greenies, finger mullet, sand fleas, silver spoons and jigs. Offshore bottom fishermen are braving rough conditions to get into a great gag grouper and mangrove snapper bite. The bottom fish are eating live and cut grunts.
Captain Bob LeMay reported he has been avoiding the recent high winds by fishing the creeks to the east of Whitewater Bay all the way to the west to the creeks that enter the Gulf of Mexico. In these areas, his clients have caught plenty of medium-size snook, lots of small sea trout, Spanish mackerel, blacktip sharks, a few redfish and had a lot of action from gag and Goliath groupers.
Captain Jim Hobales of Caught Lookin Charters fished in Chokoloskee and found hungry redfish, snook, jacks and ladyfish. Most of the action came around oyster bars and along mangrove shorelines. Captain Terry Pitz of Fishing Southwest Florida Charters out of Pine Island Sound reported the redfish and sea trout action has been excellent. Look for the fish to be holding in the potholes, sand bars and oyster reefs in the Sound. Live white bait, shrimp, pinfish and chunks of ladyfish have been getting the fish. Spanish mackerel, bluefish, pompano and plenty of jacks and ladyfish ate available along the outside coast.
Alan Zaremba of World Wide Peacock Bass charters reported catches of up to 80 largemouth bass have been made in the L-6 canal. The best bait there was a Rapala floating minnow. Working the urban canals such as the C-8 and C-100 with trolled or fast retrieved Rapala floating minnows in the fire tiger color has produced steady catches of peacock bass plus a few snook. Jim Crego out of Slim’s Fishing Camp in Belle Glade reported limit catches (25) of speckled perch are being made by shoreline and boat fishermen. The specks are eating live Missouri minnows at the Hillsboro Canal pumping station and in Sand Cut. Largemouth bass are eating live shiners up in the weed pockets.
Capt. Alan Sherman