This week’s best bet for fishing: Plenty of action just outside outer reef line offshore of Miami

Charterboat captain Jimbo Thomas.
Charterboat captain Jimbo Thomas. File Photo


Captain Jimbo Thomas from the charter boat Thomas Flyer out of Bayside Market Place reported big schools of ballyhoo are being chased by sailfish, dolphins, bonitos, kingfish and mackerel just outside the outer reef line offshore of Miami. During recent trips, his clients have had action from sailfish, dolphins and small cobias in depths from 80 feet to 300 feet of water. In depths from 500 to 1,000 feet, larger dolphins and a few wahoo have been holding under and around floating debris and under frigate birds. These fish have been eating live pilchards.


Captain Nestor Alvissa of Hooked on Flamingo Charters fished offshore of Miami on Sunday and had action from dolphins and sailfish along the outer reef outside of Key Biscayne. Fishing the same area Monday, green water moved in forcing him to run offshore, where he spotted a low flying frigate bird that produced 26 gaffer-size dolphins and a nice wahoo. Locals Lauren Villarreal, her husband, Carlos, and their two young children, Amira, 8, and Alexandro, 5, fished North Bay with captain Alan Sherman of Get Em Sportfishing Charters. During their four-hour excursion, they caught five sea trout in the 16- to 18-inch range and more than 20 small jacks and bluerunners. The fish were caught using Rapala #8 X Raps and live baits fished under a Cajun Thunder float.


Brett Hogan out of the Holiday Inn in Key Largo reported the offshore boats targeting the reefs are catching good numbers of yellowtail snappers plus a few mutton snappers to 20 pounds. Mixed in with the snappers are barracudas, kingfish, cero mackerel and grouper. Over the Humps, plenty of blackfin tuna are biting. Dolphin fishermen are catching fish up to 30 pounds, but some of the best action has been 20 miles offshore. In the backcountry, snapper, sea trout and redfish have been bending fishermen’s rods.


Captain Scott Collins of Getting Lucky Fishing Charters out of Jupiter reported sailfish fishing is picking up with daily catches and sightings. The sailfish are chasing flying fish schools in depths from 70 to 300 feet. Dolphins have been biting from the outer ledge to way out deep. Most offshore fishermen are either fishing live baits from a kite, trolling or drifting. The bottom bite in 50 feet has been red hot. Yellowtail, mutton, mangrove and vermillion snappers, plus porgies, trigger fish and amberjacks are biting cut and whole baits fished just off the bottom. On the beaches, fishermen are finding plenty of bluefish, Spanish mackerel and big jack crevalles. Snook and tarpon are moving inshore as water temperatures start to drop.


Ryan Accursio from Ashley’s Bait and Tackle reported he has been fun-fishing in the backcountry of Flamingo and doing well on small- to medium-size tarpon and snook. All of the fish are being caught on fly using gurglers and small baitfish patterns. Joe Mirrione of Miami was onboard and landed tarpon and snook as well.


Captain Jon Fetter of Catching the Cure Backcountry Fishing Charters out of Fort Myers reported huge schools of small to large baitfish that are holding along the outside beaches are attracting a lot of fish. Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, jacks, whiting, silver trout and pompano are feeding along the beaches on this bait. Fishermen are casting silver spoons, live baits and jigs tipped with shrimp, and are staying busy catching all they want. Snook, redfish and sheepshead have been feeding along the deeper mangrove shorelines. Cut ladyfish and live pinfish are getting the snook and reds, and pieces of shrimp are getting the sheepshead. Sea trout are showing up in good numbers over the grass flats that have two to four feet of water. A live shrimp under a float is the ticket for the sea trout.


Alan Zaremba of World Wide of Sport Fishing Inc. reported the freshwater fishing in the Everglades continues to be slow because of high water. The urban canals have been a different story. The E-4, C-1, C-4 and C-8 canals have been very good for four- to eight-pound peacock bass, largemouth bass, a few snook and crappie. Many of the peacock bass are being sight-fished. The top baits this week were Bagley Minnows, AZ’s Jungle jigs and Clouser Minnows.

Capt. Alan Sherman