Captain Mo Estevez of New Dawn Charters reported bonefishing turned on again once the water temperatures stabilized in South Bay. The best action came on the incoming tides along the western shoreline flats and along the Oceanside flats south of Soldiers Key. Over the western grass flats, large sea trout were eating artificial hard plastics. At night, tarpon and snook were eating live shrimp in and around Government Cut.
Captain Bouncer Smith of Bouncers Dusky out of Miami Beach Marina reported during a recent charter he chose to troll feathers and rigged baits in depths from 400 to 700 feet of water offshore of Government Cut and had steady action from dolphins in the four- to 10-pound range. The offshore waters have been very green because of the strong west winds that have pushed the Gulfstream way offshore. Closer to shore, there has been a good amount of Spanish mackerel to target. Nighttime tarpon action along the beaches has been fair.
Captain Bill Hauck from the party boat Sea King out of Marathon reported that his day trips are producing near limit and limit catches of yellowtail snappers. His clients are also catching some hogfish on shrimp and releasing a lot of out of season red and black groupers. The action has been in 50 feet of water offshore of Marathon. The yellowtails are feeding on small cut baits. Brett Hogan out of the Holiday Inn in Key Largo reported the offshore fleet had mixed results. On the bottom over reefs and structures, yellowtail and mutton snappers plus some hogfish were in good supply. Some of the captains were shark fishing and having good success with blacktip, bonnethead and reef sharks. Around the Humps and outside the outer reef there were blackfin tuna and a few nice wahoo caught. The inshore guides were doing well with sea trout, redfish and mangrove snappers.
Freddy Caimotto from Snook Nook Bait and Tackle in Jensen Beach reported offshore fishing has been up and down with the unsettled weather and the full moon of last weekend. Those who did go out over the past week found sailfish hot one day and slow the next. Some big blackfin tuna were caught with many of the fish in the 20- to 30-pound range. Trolling ballyhoo was the way to go for the offshore fish. Spanish mackerel continue to be thick in 30 to 40 feet of water, but the fish have been finicky. Inshore fishing has been good with redfish being the hot fish. Good numbers of redfish are being caught on soft plastics and jigs tipped with shrimp. The action has been around the docks. Loads of bluefish are in the River. The blues are eating almost anything thrown in their direction.
Captain Jason Sullivan of Rising Tide Charters reported finding hungry snook for his fly-fishing clients in the backcountry of Whitewater Bay. On the outside around the creek and canal mouths there has been an outstanding snook bite with anglers using shrimp on a jig head. In the creeks and rivers, black drum sheepshead and redfish are also eating the shrimp and a jig head.
Captain Terry Pitz out of Fort Myers reported he has been finding resident tarpon in the deeper creeks feeding on live and dead baits. Schools of medium-sized redfish have been around but are not easy to find. Look for the reds over the flats and along the deeper mangrove shorelines. Snook are holding in the mouths of the creeks and passes. Live shrimp on the bottom is the ticket for these catch-and-release snook. Sea trout have been thick over the grass flats in three to five feet of water as well as in sandy pot holes and in many of the creeks. On the outside there have been Spanish mackerel, tripletail, cobia and jacks and ladyfish.
Jim Crego from Slim’s Fishing Camp in Belle Glade reported the best fishing this week because of high winds, high dirty water and lots of rain in protected waters where plenty of speckled perch are being caught. Areas such as Tree Island, the Dynamite Holes and the Rim canal have had good spec fishing. The best bait has been live Missouri minnows. Largemouth bass fishing has been fair.