Captain Jimbo Thomas from the charter boat Thomas Flyer out of Bayside Market Place in Miami reported there has been a nice run of heavy lifter and gaffer-size dolphins offshore of Government Cut. The dolphins have been under frigate birds and heading south. The action has been in the blue water in depths from 160 feet of water out to 800 feet of water. The fish have been averaging 10 to 25 pounds and are chasing flying fish and ballyhoo schools. The challenge has been in catching up to fish so you can pitch a bait or troll your baits to the dolphins.
Captain Quinton Dieterle from the charter boat Cutting Edge out of Crandon Park Marina reported large kingfish in the 10- to 40-pound range are being caught offshore of Key Biscayne. The kingfish have been feeding just outside the outer reef. Large threadfin herring, goggle eye jacks and silver mullet fished under a kite are getting the majority of the strikes. Large blackfin tuna and a few sailfish are being caught in between the kingfish bites. Captain Dave Kostyo of Knot Nancy Charters out of TNT Marina in Keystone reported the late night tarpon bite has been good in Biscayne Bay.
Captain Dave Schugar of Sweet E’Nuf Charters out of Marathon reported grouper season has reopened in the Florida Keys and his anglers are catching lots of big black groupers while fishing over deep ledges and wrecks. Brett Hogan out of the Holiday Inn in Key Largo reported the offshore fleet has been doing well on blackfin tuna and large dolphins. The dolphins have been caught in depths from 400 feet of water out to 1,200 feet of water. Along the reefs edge, yellowtail snappers are keeping bottom fishermen happy and on the bayside big tarpon are bending the tourist’s rods. Team Reel Screamer racked up the awards during the 10th Annual Tom Thumb Marathon Offshore Bull & Cow Dolphin Tournament. Team members Ryan Acres, Micaela Acres, Aston Acres, Chris Schucart and Matt Coffen from Naples fished aboard a 34-foot Yellowfin powered by Mercury outboard engines won prizes for the biggest bull dolphin, a 55.7-pound fish, the biggest wahoo, an 18.9 pound fish, the largest bull and cow combined weight (76.4 pounds) and second place for the largest cow dolphin. There were 98 boats and 784 participants.
Scott Collins of Getting Lucky Sportfishing Charters out of Jupiter reported the kingfish action offshore of Jupiter Inlet has been excellent. His clients have had kingfish over 50 pounds. Mixed in with the kingfish are scattered dolphins. The snook fishing around the inlets is picking up. Nedra Maxwell of Sebastian Inlet District reported the fishing has been sporadic around the inlet. During the day, fishermen are catching a few pompano, summer flounder and snappers, but at night snook, bluefish and redfish have been biting.
Captain Jason Sullivan of Rising Tide Charters reported the tarpon fishing in the backcountry and on the outside of Flamingo has been great. Sullivan reported he is seeing more tarpon in the Flamingo area than he can remember in a long time. The tarpon are eating artificial flies and plugs. The snook fishing is starting to heat up in Flamingo.
Captain Terry Pitz of Fishing Southwest Florida Charters out of Pine Island Sound reported the tarpon are there. His clients are seeing tarpon in the 40- to 200-pound range almost daily now. Redfishing has picked up in his areas and the fish can be targeted up on the flats as well as along the mangrove shorelines. Big schools of baitfish have the snook schooled up and hungry. Look for the snook around mouths of creeks, passes, in the canals, pot holes and along the points. Sea trout are being caught in good numbers. The sea trout have been in the sandy holes, the creeks and over grass. Offshore there are jacks, tripletail, mackerel, pompano, cobia and grouper.
Melandi Dean from Slim’s Fishing Camp in Belle Glade reported the crazy weather this week has kept the fishermen on shore. The few that did go out had mixed results on panfish and largemouth bass. Alan Zaremba of World Wide Sportfishing Inc. reported the water levels in the Everglades Conservation Areas is slowing falling pushing more bass, panfish and pickerel into the canal systems.