Captain Bouncer Smith of Bouncers Dusky Fishing Charters out of Miami Beach Marina reported before the windy weather, fishing offshore of Miami Beach was red hot. Out in 1,800 to 2,000 feet of water, the swordfishing during the days was great with three swordfish being fought by hand-cranking from the bottom to the surface. The biggest swordfish measured 90 inches. Closer to the reef, black grouper and large mutton snappers were caught. On the surface, sailfish, cobia, dolphins, king mackerel and a lot of Spanish mackerel and bonitos were caught. Almost of all of the action was with live baits.
Captain Dean Panos of Double D Charters out of Keystone Marina reported having a double-digit sailfish day last week. His charter hooked 15 sails and released 12 using live baitfish fished under a kite. Along with the sails have been cobias to 20 pounds, kingfish and a few dolphins. Captain Jamie Owens from the party boat Atlantis out of Haulover Marina fished a 12-hour trip Sunday in 20-plus-mph winds offshore of Miami. During the day, his customers caught Spanish mackerel on the troll along the beach and blackfin tuna on the troll offshore in 160 feet of water. While drifting, the fishermen had kingfish, amberjacks and almoco jacks. The fish were caught with vertical jigs, dead Spanish sardines and ballyhoo and feathers.
Brett Hogan out of the Holiday Inn in Key Largo reported the boats out of his area have had to fish offshore in seas that have been running eight to 10 feet. With these bad conditions, anglers have had action from sailfish, blackfin tuna, dolphins and kingfish on the surface. On the bottom, black grouper, yellow jacks and sharks were being caught. Over the shallower reefs with calmer conditions, cero mackerel, yellowtail, lane, mutton and mangrove snappers plus hogfish and an assortment of groupers were caught. Captain Chris Johnson of SeaSquared Charters reported with the very rough conditions offshore, his best trips have been over the shallower reefs and patches. Limit catches of large mangrove snappers, a few big mutton snappers, yellowtail and lane snappers, large gag and black groupers and some big kingfish have kept all of his clients busy.
Tom Turowski from Sebastian Inlet Bait and Tackle reported during the recent rough weather, the large pompano showed up and those fishing for them with sand fleas and jigs cleaned up. Other fishermen were catching a lot of big Spanish mackerel and bluefish on spoons and Gotcha lures. The shrimp fishermen were having no trouble catching redfish, snook, black drum, sheepshead and sea trout. Brook Crist of Pompano Beach fished the Sebastian Inlet and caught and released an estimated 30-pound redfish that ate a jig. Crist was using 25-pound spin tackle and also caught snook and smaller redfish.
Marcus Steed from Atlanta and his son Alan of Miami were in Flamingo and caught and released snook, sea trout, snapper, redfish, black drum, sheepshead, jack crevalles and ladyfish. All of the fish were caught using live shrimp, Hookup lures and Cajun Thunder floats. Captain Alan Sherman of Get Em Sportfishing Charters was their guide. Marcus also scored a Backcountry Slam. Captain Raul Montoro of Shallow Tails Guides Service Inc. reported having plenty of action from snook, redfish and black drum while fishing the shorelines, channels and flats of Florida Bay.
Captain Jon Fetter of Catch the Cure Backcountry Fishing Charters out of Fort Myers reported working the deeper waters around the oyster bars and mangrove shorelines, his anglers are having plenty of action from sheepshead, snapper, sea trout, jacks, pompano, ladyfish, redfish and a few snook. Fetter reported the key to the action was getting your baits deep where the fish are holding because of colder water temperatures. Jigs tipped with shrimp and shrimp suspended under a float with longer leaders and a split shot were the hot rigs last week.
Alan Zaremba of World Wide Peacock Bass charters reported that he has targeted the C-100, C-8 and the waters of Lake Ida recently and found plenty of hungry peacock bass plus a few largemouth bass. Most of the action was around culverts and bridge pilings, and the fish were eating Rapala floating minnows and prop baits.
Capt. Alan Sherman