Outdoors

This week’s best bet in fishing: largemouth bass in Lake Okeechobee

BEST BET

Thomas Dean from Slim’s Fishing Camp in Belle Glade reported Lake Okeechobee’s water levels are up to 14 feet, and the big largemouth bass have moved up into the grass where they are eating swim baits and live shiners. These bass have averaged 5 to 7 pounds. A few good areas to try are Pelican Bay and the east wall of Grassy Island. The bluegill fishing has been good in the dynamite holes.

MIAMI-DADE/BROWARD

Captain Mo Estevez of New Dawn Charters reported the bonefish and permits have been biting real well along the Oceanside flats south of Key Biscayne. The bonefish have mostly been eating live shrimp and the permits are eating live silver-dollar blue crabs. Snook fishing in the ocean inlets has been good as well. Mary and Gil Muratori fished with captain Matt Lofton offshore of Elliott Key and caught yellowtail snappers, two kinds of sharks, grunts, African pompano, blackfin tuna, a 25-pound black grouper and released a sailfish. The catch was made with live baits fished near the bottom and on the surface. Captain Jimbo Thomas on the charter boat Thomas Flyer out of Bayside Market Place reported while he was away vacationing with his family his brother took the helm and had some very good dolphin action 18 miles offshore of Government Cut. Fishing closer to the reef, his clients had steady action from bonitos, kingfish and a few sailfish.

KEYS

Allen Smith of Miami fished the shallow flats of the Lower Keys and accomplished two firsts for himself. One, he hooked and landed his first permit on fly, and two, he scored a Grand Slam of permit, bonefish and tarpon. To top things off, all of the fish were caught on fly and released. The bonefish and permit ate Kwan flies and the tarpon ate a fly created by Smith’s guide captain, Eric Herdstedt. Captain Chris Johnson of SeaSquared Charters out Marathon reported his clients are limiting out on yellowtail snappers that are being caught off the Oceanside reefs.

TREASURE COAST

During the Treasure Coast Bonito Blast held at the Manatee Island Bar & Grill in Stuart, Florida, Dietz Devant landed the heaviest bonito, which weighed in at 20 pounds. Junior Anglers winners were Bryan Onuska with an 11.3-pound bonito and Elizabeth Blaise with a 9-pound bonito. The tournament had 136 anglers and raised $40,000 for the Wounded Warriors of South Florida. Captain Scott Collins of Getting Lucky Sportfishing Charters out of Jupiter reported offshore fishing continues to be good with mediocre-to-great dolphin fishing that is taking place way offshore. Along the edge in depths from 80 to 120 feet of water, there has been action from sailfish and kingfish on the top and mutton, yellowtail and vermillion snappers plus cobia on the bottom.

FLORIDA BAY

Project Courage Foundations Inc. asked captain Jason Sullivan of Rising Tides Charters to take 17 United States military veterans fishing in Flamingo on Sept. 12. Sullivan needed some volunteer guides to help out, and seven guides gladly agreed to donate their time and boats to do so. Fishing guides Bob LeMay, Jim Hale, Alan Sherman, David Accursio, Ross Boucek, Mark Giacobba, Joe Costadura and Sullivan guided all 17 anglers to catches of snook, redfish, tarpon, sea trout, snapper, Spanish mackerel, goliath groupers, sharks, rays, jacks and ladyfish. The anglers fished on the Florida Bay side and the backcountry side of Flamingo.

SOUTHWEST COAST

Captain Rob Modys out of Fort Myers reported in his area summer is over and the fall fishing is taking off. With water temperatures falling, captain Alex Dolinski of Spot on Charters reported good morning tides in Estero Bay are responsible for moving the bait fish schools to the passes and the grass flats, creating a really good bite from Spanish mackerel, sea trout, jacks, flounder, pompano, snapper, snook and redfish. The fish are eating live baitfish, shrimp under a cork, jigs and bucktails and cut ladyfish. Captain Neil Eisner of Fishing the Flats Charters reported he has had similar action in the pockets and coves that have moving water.

FRESHWATER

Alan Zaremba of World Wide Sport Fishing Inc. reported the peacock bass and largemouth bass numbers have dropped a bit but his clients are having some real good top water action from both species. Some of the best action is taking place in the L-28 canal, C-4, E-4 and C-8 canals.

Capt. Alan Sherman

shermana@bellsouth.net

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