South Florida fishing forecast: May 20, 2015


Local anglers Gil Muratori and his wife Mary fished along the Tamiami Trail for just less than five hours and caught almost 100 fish of 10 species. All were caught using flies, poppers, jigs and live baits, and all except a peacock bass that an alligator ate were released unharmed. Some were largemouth and peacock bass, bullheads, Oscars, warmouth, sunfish and an assortment of Cichlids.


Captain Paul Roydhouse of Fishing Headquarters Charters out of Fort Lauderdale reported his boats have been doing well on dolphins, blackfin tuna and a few wahoo. Most of these fish are coming off the troll just outside the outer reef line offshore of Port Everglades. King fishing has been good on the outside of the reef, and these fish are going for drifted fresh ballyhoo and Spanish sardines. Bottom fishing the wrecks and ledges continues to produce grouper, amberjacks, sharks, cobia and mutton snappers. Captain Ralph Mayans from the charter boat Sea Cross out of Haulover Marina reported the daytime bottom fishing for grouper, mutton snappers and amberjacks has been red hot. Most of the action is over wrecks outside of 100 feet of water, and the best bait has been a live pinfish.


Captain Lee Daniel Kerbel of Inner Circle Sport Fishing Charters out of Key West reported their best offshore action has been over many of the wrecks in 150 to 400 feet of water. Fishing the top water of the wrecks is producing action from blackfin tuna and kingfish, and on the bottom, big amberjacks and large sharks are bending their rods. Brett Hogan out of the Holiday Inn in Key Largo reported offshore charter boats have been doing well on schoolie and slammer dolphins in the blue water outside of Key Largo. The smaller dolphins are under birds and along weedlines while the bigger fish are under frigate birds. The Humps are producing big amberjacks and bigger sharks such as a 450 pound bull and an 850 pound hammerhead shark.


Captain Kevin Drennan of Slammer Guide Service out of Stuart reported dolphins continue to be scattered along weedlines offshore of Stuart. Kingfish are biting ballyhoo and Spanish sardines in 60 feet of water, cCobias are being caught over the Sandpile, and permits are holding over the wrecks and in the ocean inlets. The permits are going for small crabs. Snook and big jacks are feeding on croakers that are holding along the trough next to the beaches. Large snook can be caught on live greenies in and around the north fork of the St. Lucie River. Greenies are being caught near Sandsprit Park. Snook are also being caught on live baits during the day and flare hawk jigs at night along most of the bridges in the river.


Fishing in Florida Bay with captain Jim Hale of Florida Sportfishing Charters, anglers Travis Bowling, Jared Hirshfield and Riley Roe, all from Colorado, had a blast pulling against large sharks. They released nine sharks with the largest an estimated 10 foot lemon. The sharks were eating chunks of ladyfish. Hale reported during calm early morning charters, tarpon have been eating flies in Whitewater Bay and the rivers leading out to Ponce De Leon Bay. Jason Borger of Tallahassee released 12 snook to 34 inches and eight redfish to 30 inches sight fishing on the shallow flats of Florida Bay. The fish were caught on jerk baits, and captain Jason Sullivan of Rising Tide Charters was his guide.


Captain Jon Fetter of Catching The Cure Backcountry Fishing Charters out of Fort Myers reported clear water in the backcountry and a lack of bait has made fishing tough. Mangrove snapper fishing has been excellent around oyster bars and mangrove shorelines. Redfishing has been tough, but if you soak a chunk of ladyfish on the bottom long enough you will catch a few redfish. The redfish are scattered along the deeper mangrove shorelines. Snook have been holding under docks and mangrove shorelines, and can be caught with whitebaits for catch and release.


Alan Zaremba of Worldwide Sport Fishing Inc. reported many of the canals west of Interstate 595 continue to produce big numbers of largemouth bass with some of fish exceeding four pounds. In the urban canals, the peacock bass bite continues to be good.

Capt. Alan Sherman


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