Outdoors

This week’s best bet for fishing: Spanish mackerel, bluefish, ladyfish and pompano near Juno Pier

BEST BET

Truong Tran from the Juno Pier reported this past week schools of mullet and greenies have migrated by this pier attracting plenty of Spanish mackerel, bluefish, ladyfish and pompano. Kathy Hartnett from the Deerfield Beach Pier reported the mullet schools have yet to reach their pier in numbers, but big schools of pilchards and Spanish sardines have. Feeding on this bait have been bluerunners, jacks and mangrove snappers.

MIAMI-DADE/BROWARD

Captain Mo Estevez of New Dawn Charters reported the snook fishing along the western shorelines of South Biscayne Bay is getting better every day. Most of the snook he has encountered last week were on the skittish side but some did take their offerings eagerly. Shark fishing on the shallow flats of South Bay continues to be good. Captain Dean Panos of Double D Charters out of Keystone Marina reported the offshore dolphins fishing is starting to slow down. This is mostly because the weed patches are 20 miles or more offshore because of recent west winds. The good thing is the daytime swordfishing in 1,800 to 2,000 feet of water has been good with fish in the 100- to 250-pound range being caught off the bottom on pre-rigged large squid.

KEYS

Brett Hogan out of the Holiday Inn in Key Largo reported offshore boats that could find enough customers headed offshore, where they were rewarded with big catches of dolphins to 20 pounds and large wahoo, and one boat fought a blue marlin for two hours that came up on their dolphin school. IslamoradaSportFishing.com reported the charter boat fleet has been doing well on blackfin tuna that are being caught around the Humps uisng live pilchards for bait. During the Keys Kids Catch’em up fishing tournament, 117 Keys kids age 10 and under participated in the tournament. The Grand Champion angler was Beau Vaeth, 10, who landed the heaviest fish — a 36.4 pound amberjack. The Most Outstanding Catch award went to anglers Harlee Beeler, who released a 25-inch snook, and Tyler Mell, who released a 32-inch redfish. Laila Jones, 10, came in second in the 8- to 10-year-olds Shoreline Division with an 8-pound jack crevalle.

TREASURE COAST

Captain Scott Collins of Getting Lucky Sportfishing out of Jupiter reported the brown water is clearing up and the fishing is getting better every day. Dolphins are feeding in 1,000 feet of water. Big schools of migrating mullet are attracting predators such as mackerel, snook, tarpon, sharks, jacks and pompano near the beaches, and further offshore kingfish and a few sailfish. On the bottom, over-structure-bottom fishermen are catching decent numbers of mutton and vermillion snappers, and large porgies.

FLORIDA BAY

Captain Jason Sullivan of Rising Tide Charters reported tarpon in the 60- to 100-pound range are crashing into big baitfish schools that are holding along the outside shorelines from Little Shark River all the way past Lostman’s River. The tarpon have been eating plugs and flies. On the inside waters, a lot of baby tarpon continue to feed juts after sun up before shutting down for the day.

SOUTHWEST COAST

Captain Jon Fetter of Catching the Cure Backcountry Charters out of Fort Myers reported big schools of glass minnows are attracting all sorts of fish along the outside passes and beaches. Casting silver spoons, small jigs, flashy jigs and lures, his clients are catching Spanish mackerel, pompano, whiting, silver sea trout, sharks and snappers. Redfish have been holding along the oyster bars and docks in the back bays of the Estero Bay. Free-lined pinfish and shrimp-tipped jigs are the best way to get these fish to bite.

FRESHWATER

Thomas Dean from Slim’s Fishing Camp in Belle Glade reported water levels on Lake Okeechobee have come way up, and largemouth bass are staging along the outer weed lines near Kramer and Grassy Islands as well as Pelican Bay. The bass are eating live shiners and top water lures. Bluegills and speckled perch catches are up, and these fish are being caught on live crickets and minnows in most of the deeper canal mouths. Matthew Vargos of New Orleans fly fished the L-35 canal, and caught one snake head, 16 peacock bass, two largemouth bass and one snook. The fish were caught using a variety of poppers, and Vargos’s guide was Alan Zaremba of World Wide Sport Fishing Inc.

Capt. Alan Sherman

shermana@bellsouth.net

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