With the cold and windy weather we have been having this past week, the Sebastian Inlet again is our best bet. Nedra Maxwell of the Sebastian Inlet District reported jetty fishermen continue to catch oversized catch-and-release redfish in the 20- to 40-pound range. The redfish are eating chartreuse-colored Flare Hawk jigs cast more than half the way across the inlet and then retrieved back to the rocks. Medium-sized bluefish and a few catch-and-release snook are also being caught on the jigs. Closer to the rocks, sheepshead, black drum, Spanish mackerel, a few flounder and some large pompano are also coming over the rail. The outgoing tide seems to be the best at this time.
Captain Dave Kostyo of Knot Nancy Charters out of TNT Marina in Keystone reported having mixed results out of Haulover Inlet. During recent charters, his clients have boated kingfish and dolphins and released a few sailfish. Most of the action took place in depths between 100 and 250 feet of water and it was live pilchards and threadfin herring that the fish ate. Captain Thomas Zsak of Topshotfishing Charters out of Fort Lauderdale reported his clients are catching dolphins, blackfin tuna, trolling bonito strips and feathers in 100 to 188 feet of water and big shark on the bottom in 400 feet of water offshore of Port Everglades.
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Captain Rick Rodriguez of Sea Horse Deep Sea Sportfishing Charters out of Islamorada reported during recent charters his clients have done well on kingfish and blackfin tuna along the deeper reefs. Sailfish have been hit and miss, and amberjacks are thick over the Humps but so are big sharks that are eating the catch on the way up. Captain Chris Johnson from the charter boat SeaSquared out of Marathon reported during recent offshore bottom-fishing charters his clients are catching mutton snappers to 12 pounds, lane snappers and legal-sized yellowtail snappers.
Captain Charlie Conner of FishTales Charters out of Port St. Lucie reported inshore anglers can expect to find hungry sea trout over the east side flats in three to five feet of water. Sheepshead and snapper will be feeding along rocky structure in the River. Pompano can be found around the spoil islands and along the beaches. The pompano can be caught on Doc’s Goofy jigs. In the ocean inlets pompano, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jacks, ladyfish and black drum can be caught on jigs and cut bait. Look for redfish to be holding under docks that have that have bigger boats that require deeper water to float in.
Local anglers Gil Muratori and his wife Mary fished structure in Florida Bay and caught and released two redfish in the 20- to 25-pound range. They also caught sheepshead, bluefish, jacks, ladyfish, snapper and tripletail. All of the fish ate jigs tipped with shrimp. An estimated 50-plus-pound cobia was missed when the fish tried to eat a live jack that was being used as bait. Captain Bob LeMay reported having some decent action along the shorelines and creek mouths north of Little Shark River. His clients have had some excellent tripletail action, loads of small sea trout and jack crevalles, and then hooked some large snook and groupers. Most of the action was with jigs and jigs tipped with shrimp.
Captain Jon Fetter of Catch the Cure Fishing Charters out of Fort Myers reported the sheepshead bite is in full swing in his area. The sheepshead are being caught on small pieces of shrimp hooked to a No. 1-size short shank hook and fished on the bottom. The sheepsheads are feeding along oyster bars, mangrove shorelines, docks and bridge pilings. Sea trout are plentiful over the three- to five-foot grass flats, and redfish can be found up close to the deeper mangrove shorelines.
Alan Zaremba of WorldWide Sportfishing Inc. reported the freshwater out in the Everglades continues to be high and the fishing tough. The mornings have been the best time to fish the Glades. In the urban canals, moving water has made fishing difficult but still productive. During a recent trip with three generations of the Ditchek family, all from the Miami area, Norman, his son Jordan and Jordan’s son Eric teamed up to catch and release 10 peacock bass to three pounds. They were fishing the C-4 canal.