Captain Gary Mounce of Fishin Finatic Charters out of Everglades City reported snook have stationed themselves in areas that they will spawn. Snook in the 24 to 34 inch range are being caught and released around the outside river mouths and points. A live scaled sardine or finger mullet fished with a small split shot and a circle hook and then cast into an incoming tide have been getting the snook bites. Redfish are available in the bights and bays on the low half tide. Artificial shrimp imitations and live shrimp fished under a popping cork have been getting the redfish bites.
Captain Mo Estevez of New Dawn Charters reported tarpon fishing slowed this past week in the Key Biscayne area but bonefish and permits showed up in good numbers on the incoming tides along the Oceanside flats. The bonefish were eating small crabs, large shrimp and bonefish jigs and the permits were eating silver dollar size blue crabs. Daniel Chocron of the Kelley Fleet out of Haulover Marina reported his night drift boats have been catching big numbers of quality size yellowtail snappers while fishing the offshore reefs out of Haulover Inlet. Mixed in with the yellowtails have been mangrove, mutton and lane snappers plus bluefish, jacks and grunts. On a recent all day jigging trip onboard the party boat Hurricane captain Richie McIntire led his anglers to a catch of 77 blackfin tunas to 23 pounds and several jacks to 30 pounds.
Brett Hogan out of the Holiday Inn in Key Largo reported the offshore fishing tapered off a bit this past week but those that did go out found scattered dolphin as far as 60 miles offshore, swordfish out in 2000 feet of water, grouper, snapper and amberjacks over the offshore wrecks and yellowtail snappers on the reef. IslamoradaSportfishing.com reported permits are spawning over many offshore wrecks and should be handled with care and then released. Patch reef fishing is producing lots of snapper, small groupers, grunts, jacks and hogfish. Tarpon have been thick along many of the Keys bridges, channels and in Florida Bay near Flamingo. The tarpon are feeding on live crabs, live mullet and ladyfish.
Captain Scott Collins of Getting Lucky Fishing Charters out of Jupiter reported the offshore bite has been good with big blackfin tuna along the outer reef and a few sailfish. Further offshore there has been scattered grass that is holding some dolphins. Captain Tom Van Horn of Mosquito Coast Charters reported high water levels has made flats fishing easy. Working the Mosquito Lagoon his clients are catching slot size black drum and redfish to 38 inches.
Captain Jim Hobales of Caught Lookin Charters participated in the two days U.S. Marine Corp. Wounded Warrior Regimen Backcountry Purple Heart Slam this past weekend. With two retired wounded warriors onboard Hobales targeted the backcountry of Whitewater Bay where his anglers caught dozens of sea trout, a few tarpon that were released and lots of jacks and ladyfish. The anglers hooked some sizeable fish that managed to escape. The event had over a dozen guides that donated their boats and time to take over 20 wounded war veterans fishing out of Flamingo. Days later Hobales fished the Florida Bay waters where he found snook to 20 pounds plus sea trout and jack crevalles.
Captain Todd Geroy of Captain Todd G. Geroy Charters out of Naples reported tarpon are in their peak season at this time. Tarpon have been holding along the outside passes and along the outside shorelines where they have been feeding on mullet and ladyfish schools. Big sharks are in the same areas. Snook are stationed along the coast and in the outside passes and points and can be caught on live threadfin herring and pilchards. Redfish have been scattered.
Captain Mike Jones of Mike Jones Guide Service reported the south side of the Lake is red hot right now. Big largemouth bass are eating live wild shiners, white swim baits and top water poppers. The fish have been feeding along the grass weedlines and pockets. Carl Hochrein of Sebring fished a full day in the L-5 canal with fishing guide Alan Zaremba of World Wide Sportfishing Fishing Inc. and caught and released 122 largemouth bass to three pounds, 29 Mayan cichlids, three Florida gar and a bunch of sunfish.
Capt. Alan Sherman