Captain Dave Kostyo of Knot Nancy Fishing Charters out of TNT Marina reported nighttime inshore tarpon fishing has been off the chart with lots of tarpon strikes and many releases. Most of the tarpon have been eating large live shrimp and have averaged 80 pounds or more. There have been steady shrimp runs at night in Biscayne Bay. Henry Caimotto from the Snook Nook Bait and Tackle in Jensen Beach reported sailfish have almost become a nuisance offshore of Jensen Beach. The magic depth is 80 feet and out and a few dolphins are in the same area. Cobias are being sight fished in 20 to 40 feet of water. Spanish mackerel are all over the Peck’s Lake area. On the beaches, lots of bluefish are biting cut baits.
Captain Gil Gutierrez of Lucky Fishing Charters out of TNT Marina reported offshore fishing outside of Miami has been a little slow but still productive. During recent charters, his clients have had action from kingfish, wahoo, blackfin tuna and sailfish. Fishing wrecks and rock piles with live baits on the bottom, his clients are catching mutton snappers and an assortment of jacks, a few cobia and black groupers for catch and release. Captain Mo Estevez of New Dawn Charters out of Miami reported the Oceanside flats south of Soldiers Key are providing steady action from bonefish in the 10-pound class.
Captain Bill Hauck on the party boat Sea King out of Marathon reported his clients have had no trouble limiting out on yellowtail snapper catches. Fishing the reefs in 50 feet of water with cut baits and jigs the yellowtails have been jumping on the hooks. Along with the yellowtails, there have been mutton snapper catches, hogfish, kingfish to 40 pounds, and groupers for catch and release. IslamoradaSportFishing.com reported the Islamorada Hump has been producing blackfin tuna catches. Sailfish action picked up this week, with the sailfish going after live ballyhoo and pilchards just outside the outer reef. Over the patches in 40 feet of water, plenty of yellowtail, mangrove and small mutton snappers and hogfish, plus porgies, grunts, groupers for catch-and-release, and some real nice cero mackerel are biting.
Captain Charlie Conner of FishTales Charters out of Port St. Lucie reported that working the winds has been key to having a successful trip recently. The best action has been on the calm side of the St. Lucie River. Redfish, black drum and sheepshead are biting shrimp on jig heads and under floats around the mangrove shorelines, docks and areas that have rocky structure.
Rick Berry of Key Largo Rods and captain Joe Petrucco out of Tavernier fished the open waters of Schooner Bank and caught 25 Spanish mackerel to six pounds plus a large blacktip shark. They were fishing with live shrimp and jigs in 12 feet of water. Captain Jim Hobales of Caught Lookin Charters fished the outside waters of Florida Bay and had steady action from black drum, tripletail, pompano, lane and mangrove snappers.
Captain Todd G. Geroy out of Naples reported that fishing with jigs in and around the outside passes near Marco Island, his clients caught up to 40 pompano, releasing most and keeping some of the bigger fish. Most of this action took place when water temperatures dropped below 73 degrees. Fishing the points that have shell bottoms, his anglers had plenty of action from redfish, sheepshead and mangrove snappers.
Captain Michael Shellen of Shellen Guide Service out of Buck Head Ridge on Lake Okeechobee reported that the cold weather has put a hurting to the largemouth bass fishing in his area. Fishermen are targeting speckled perch and catching all they want.
Capt. Alan Sherman