Outdoors

This week’s best bet in fishing: Miami offshore has variety of fish

BEST BET

Captain Dennis Forgione of Free Spools Charters out of Haulover Marina reported there are tons of baitfish in the area that has sparked some great offshore fishing outside of Miami. Fishing and chumming with live pilchards in depths from 20 feet to 200 feet of water is producing big catches of Spanish mackerel that averaging 2 to 5 pounds, king mackerel, dolphins, skip jack tuna and bonitos plus a few sailfish near the surface. On the bottom they are catching vermillion and mutton snappers.

MIAMI-DADE/BROWARD

The Keeley Fleet out of Haulover Marina reported their day trips are getting big catches of king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, dolphins and bonitos on the surface, and vermillion and mutton snappers on the bottom. At night, the yellowtail snapper fishing has been very good and there have been some nice king mackerel mixed in with the snappers. Captain Bouncer Smith of Bouncers Dusky Fishing Charters out of Miami Beach Marina reported a pretty good mackerel bite in 80 feet of water offshore of Government Cut and then some decent swordfishing during the daytime in 1,800 feet of water. Besides the swordfish, they have caught and released big eye thresher sharks and landed some nice dolphin.

KEYS

Captain Nick Stanczyk out of Bud N Mary’s Marina in Islamorada reported some of the charter boats are still catching big numbers of dolphins to 25 pounds offshore of Islamorada. Blackfin tuna fishing is still very good but the sharks are stealing a good amount from anglers. The Humps are holding most of the tuna schools. Mutton and yellowtail snapper fishing continues to be good over the reefs, and there are a few sailfish and kingfish feeding on the outside of the reef. Captain Chris Johnson of the charter boat SeaSquared out of Marathon has been leading his clients to limit catchers of yellowtail and mangrove snappers while fishing the offshore reefs. Further out, his clients are catching dolphins and blackfin tuna. Captain Scott Yetter of Sight Fish Charters out of Little Torch Key reported now is the time to take advantage of our mild temperatures and conditions. On his shallow flats, he is targeting bonefish, small- to medium-size tarpon and permits.

TREASURE COAST

Meg Robinson from the Juno pier reported the fishing has been very good most days. Near the surf, a good number of pompano are biting in the mornings, lots of bluefish, whiting and even a few slot-size redfish are being caught throughout the day. There have been a few snook caught, and at the end of the pier, fishermen have caught kingfish to 30 pounds and some mackerel. Captain Tom Van Horn of Mosquito Coast Charters reported water levels in the Indian River Lagoon are higher than he has ever seen. Because of this, he is able to fish shorelines and coves he never could before. Working these locations, he is finding redfish, snook and larger sea trout. In deeper waters of the Lagoon, big schools of bluefish and ladyfish are feasting on schools of glass minnows.

FLORIDA BAY

Texas residents Bryan Harlan and his wife Liza fished Florida Bay out of Flamingo in Everglades National Park and caught snook and redfish, and released an estimated 12-foot sawfish. All of the fish ate 1/4-ounce red Hookup lures tipped with live pinfish and pilchards. Their guide was captain Alan Sherman of Get Em Sportfishing Charters. Captain Jim Hobales of Caught Lookin Charters reported finding slot-size snook, sea trout, tarpon and jack crevalles along the shorelines of Florida Bay.

SOUTHWEST COAST

Captain Todd G. Geroy out of Naples reported there are big schools of live baitfish holding along the beaches and just offshore of Naples. Using this baitfish for bait and chum along the downed tree shorelines and cuts, his clients have caught up to 20 snook in just a half day of fishing. The best snook action has come on the beginning of the incoming tides. Redfishing is getting better every day with plenty of slot-size fish coming along the deeper mangrove shorelines on the incoming tides. There have been mangrove snappers and goliath groupers mixed in with the snook and redfish.

FRESHWATER

Alan Zaremba of World Wide Sportfishing Inc. reported the top water action in the local urban canals has been rod hot. Peacock bass, a few largemouth bass and some nice snook have been blasting top water plugs right out of the water.

Capt. Alan Sherman

shermana@bellsouth.net

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