South Florida fishing report: March 18, 2015


Captain Dean Panos of Double D Charters out of Keystone Marina reported on recent charters offshore of Miami his clients have had dolphins of 40 and 42 pounds plus numerous smaller dolphins. These fish were under frigate birds and floating debris. Panos is expecting smoker-size kingfish, large amberjacks and big blackfin tuna to arrive over the wrecks along the coast from Port Everglades to Ocean Reef any day.


Captain Dave Kostyo of Knot Nancy Charters out of TNT Marina in Keystone reported his clients have had steady action from kingfish, blackfin tuna and dolphins off shore of Haulover Inlet. Captain John Barker on the charter boat Blue Waters II out of Bayside Market Place in Miami reported catching large bonitos and cobia off the bottom in 165 feet of water offshore of Government Cut. Captain Mo Estevez of New Dawn Charters reported finding hungry bonefish on the mainland flats south of Dinner Key as well as the Oceanside flats south of Soldiers Key. Along with the bonefish have been big permits. The bonefish are going for large shrimp.


Captain Nick Stanczyk out of Bud N Mary’s Marina in Islamorada reported offshore boats looking for dolphins are getting schoolies in the 3- to 5-pound range plus a few slammers more than 20 pounds. Most of the fish have been under floating debris and under frigate birds in the blue water. Wahoo are holding under some of the floating debris. Over the Humps, small blackfin tuna and amberjacks are being caught. On the patch reefs in Hawks Channel, smoker kingfish, cero mackerel, snappers and catch-and-release grouper catches are being made daily. Local Marjorie Adis and her friend Rachel Levin of Pennsylvania fished over the reefs out of Summerland Key with captain Nate Wheeler on the charter boat Waypoint Charters, and caught two limits of snappers that included mutton, mangrove and yellowtails.


Tom Turowski from Sebastian Inlet Bait and Tackle reported jetty fishermen have been doing extremely well on sheepshead. Along with the sheepshead, black drum to 50 pounds, slot-size snook, redfish, jacks, mackerel, bluefish and a few pompano are being caught. The top bait has been live shrimp. Captain Charlie Conner of FishTales Charters reported fishing in St. Lucie River is getting better as water temperatures rise. Slot-size snook, redfish, black drum, sheepshead and sea trout are being caught under docks that have 3 to 4 feet of water under them. Jigs and soft plastics plus shrimp under a float are getting most of the strikes.


Captain Bob LeMay reported tarpon fishing in the small creeks and rivers that feed Oyster and Whitewater Bays has really picked up since the waters started to warm up. Casting flies and fishing live ladyfish and mullet is producing steady action from tarpon in the 60- to 100-pound range. LeMay’s anglers have also sight-fished large redfish along the mangrove shorelines in Whitewater Bay. Captain Jason Sullivan of Rising Tides Charters reported tarpon fishing in Florida Bay has been excellent. These fish are in the 60- to 100-pound range and have responded to an assortment of artificial lures, flies and natural baits.


Captain Todd Geroy out of Naples reported large snook and redfish are being caught by his anglers in the back bays around island points, oyster bars and along some of the deeper mangrove shorelines. Gag groupers to 18 pounds plus goliath groupers have been bending his angler’s fishing rods in the deeper creeks. Pompano have been running in Gordons and Capri passes. The pompano are eating jigs off the bottom from a drifting boat. Tarpon and sharks have been in the area, and have been caught with live pinfish and live and dead ladyfish and mullet.


Mark Escobar out of Bj’s Bait and Tackle in Plantation reported in the canal system near Sawgrass Recreation Park, Alligator Alley and the Holey Lands, bass fishermen are catching up to 100 fish a day when everything falls in place. Water levels are dropping in these areas, pushing the fish into the canals. Floating Rapala’s, swim baits and soft plastic worms are getting most of the bites. In Lake Okeechobee out of Slim’s Fishing Camp in Belle Glade, largemouth bass have been active near Ritta Island and Pelican Bay. The bass are eating swim baits and jigs cast into the lily pads.

Capt. Alan Sherman


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