Captain Orlando Muniz of Nomad Fishing Charters reported the Miami offshore bottom fishing has been excellent. Fishing wrecks, ledges and reefs from Miami Beach south his clients are catching amberjacks, almoco jacks, gag and black grouper and mutton and genuine red snappers. The bottom fish have been eating live threadfin herring, pilchards, ballyhoo and squid.
Captain Quinton Dieterle from the charter boat Cutting Edge out of Key Biscayne reported he has been doing well by concentrating his efforts along the outside of the reef in depths from 120 feet out to 300 feet of water. Working these depths with baits fished deep and near the surface, his clients have had kingfish to 28 pounds, sailfish and blackfin tuna over 25 pounds.
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Fishing off in the area of the 409 Hump in 750 feet of water offshore of Islamorada, longtime fishing friends Mike Kello of Cooper City, Forest Williams of Plantation and Ray Trevino of Sugarloaf Key teamed up to boat numerous dolphins that weighed up to 40 pounds. The group also released a large sailfish. The fish ate single hooked naked ballyhoo and black, blue and purple skirted ballyhoo. The group fished aboard the Lady Blue with captain Ron Marrocco of Miami Shores and mate Peter Stevens of Cooper City. Captain Steve Hancock of Fly and Spin Fishing Charters out of Sugarloaf Key reported tarpon fishing has been good on the oceanside and bayside waters. There have been some bonefish to target on the flats, and permits are mostly on the wrecks offshore. Captain Jack Carlson from the charter boat Two Conchs out of Marathon reported having good action from large amberjacks, mutton and genuine red snappers.
Captain Charlie Conner of FishTales Charters out of Port St. Lucie reported despite recent downpours in his area, the snook fishing around the jetties and inshore bridges remains good. Live baitfish, Terror Eyz artificial lures and feathers have been working well on the snook. Snook and redfish are being caught along the mangrove shorelines and from under docks in the St. Lucie River. Big sea trout are still being caught in the River. Good areas to try for the trout are Bear Point, Queen’s Cove and Harbor Branch. The trout are going for top water lures on the calm days and soft plastics when it’s been windy.
Captain Jason Sullivan of Rising Tide Charters reported tarpon in the 30- to 60-pound range have been holding in many of the river and creeks in the backcountry. At times these fish have been eating almost everything thrown in their direction. Artificial flies have been one of the top tarpon baits. Baby tarpon are also showing up in the backcountry, and big spawning snook are starting to take up their post in along the Gulf’s shorelines where their spawning season will take place.
Captain Jon Fetter of Catch the Cure Fishing Charters out of Estero Bay reported warm water and slow tides slowed the fishing in his area. Sea trout are holding in three to five feet of water near the passes. The trout are going after a live shrimp and popping cork. Mangrove snappers are thick in the area. Look for the snappers around oyster bars and mangrove islands. There have been a few redfish on the oyster bars. Big tarpon can be targeted along the beaches and the barrier islands. The tarpon are feeding on large threadfin herring and ladyfish.
Captain Michael Shellen of Shellen Guide Service out of Buck Head Ridge reported warming water temperatures along the outer shorelines on Lake Okeechobee are attracting big schools of shad. The shad are holding along the Kissimmee grass lines and hungry largemouth bass are gorging themselves on these shad in the mornings. Fishermen casting 3/8 ounce and 1/2 ounce Willow Leaf spinner baits are getting plenty of largemouth bass strikes and hookups. Once the sun gets up high the bass are moving up and under the heavy grass where a light soft plastic worked over the grass is getting explosive bass strikes. The hot spots for the bass are Whiddens Pass, Point of the Reef and Brice Fine Pass. Bluegills, shellcrackers and speckled perch are being caught on grass shrimp, crickets and red worms fished near the bottom. Kings Bar and Bird Island areas are producing most of the panfish catches.