South Florida fishing report best bet: Hungry Spanish mackerel in Gulf waters


Islamorada.com reported the guides fishing the Gulf waters are finding some very hungry Spanish mackerel. Most of the action is taking place in waters that are between eight and 12 feet deep. The guides are anchoring, chumming and then fishing live shrimp on a jig head. A few cobias are coming into the chumline.


Captain Bouncer Smith of Bouncers Dusky Fishing Charters out of Miami Beach Marina reported having plenty of action in 75 to 325 feet of water offshore of Government Cut. Dolphins to 25 pounds and quite a few sailfish in the eight to 12 pound range on up to 60 pounds were being caught in these depths. Live ballyhoo has been the top bait. The Spanish mackerel fishing has been very good when the offshore waters have been dirty. Tarpon are showing up in good numbers at Government Cut during the nighttime hours. Local anglers David Gennet and his son’s Moshe and Nofi fished South Bay with captain Alan Sherman of Get Em Sportfishing Charters and caught 11 different species of fish that included gag and red grouper to eight pounds, mangrove, mutton, yellowtail and lane snappers to three pounds and Spanish mackerel to four pounds. All of the fish ate live pilchards hooked to a Mustad Ultra Point hook.


Captain Bill Hauck from the party boat Sea King out of Marathon reported his boat is up and running once again. Fishing in 110 feet of water offshore of Marathon his clients are catching a lot of flag yellowtails. Mixed in with the tails have been legal size mutton snappers and black and goliath groupers. During the three day 52nd Annual Islamorada Sailfish Tournament out of Whale Harbor 19 boats with 82 anglers braved the high seas and heavy rain. When all was said and done team One Up would take the top honors with 14 sailfish releases. The team consisted of anglers Doug Mientkiewics of Islamorada, Michelle Beltran, Rudy Espinosa Jr., Reggie Rodriguez and Max Tower all from Miami. The team’s captain was JC Cleare and mates were Ryan Alexander and Eric Darvill.


Captain Scott Collins of Getting Lucky Fishing Charters out of Jupiter reported the fishing in his area has been great. Along the beaches there have been plenty of Spanish mackerel and small bluerunners that have made good baits for the offshore fish. Offshore in depths from 60 to 150 feet of water sailfish, kingfish, wahoo and dolphins are keeping the fishing rods bent. Slow trolling live bluerunners is getting most of the strikes. On the bottom mutton, mangrove, yellowtail and vermillion snappers along with porgies, triggerfish and jacks are eating cut baits on the bottom.


Captain Nestor Alvisa of Hooked on Flamingo Charters reported that the snook fishing has been very good along the outside shorelines from just northwest of the Marina all the way to Shark River. Big schools of bait have concentrated the fish in these areas. Offshore over structure the cobia fishing has been pretty good.


Captain Jon Fetter of Catch the Cure Fishing Charters out of Fort Myers reported sea trout fishing in three to five feet has been excellent. Jig heads tipped with shrimp and shrimp fished under a popping cork are getting most the trout bites. Redfish are feeding along the oyster bars and mangrove shorelines. A chunk of ladyfish fished on the bottom has been a killer bait for the redfish. Snook season is closed but they are available for catch and release. Sheepsheads are biting small pieces of shrimp fished tight to structure. Along the beaches and in the passes plenty of Spanish mackerel, jacks, and ladyfish, whiting and silver trout are eating shrimp on jig heads.


Pat Stevens from Slim’s Fishing Camp in Belle Glade reported the largemouth bass are spawning and bass fishermen are catching big bass in the heavy grass in areas like Ritta Island, Grassy Key and Bear Beach. The bass are being caught in the openings of the grass with jigs and by flipping soft plastics. Speckled perch fishing turned on this past week and spec’s over 13 inches are being caught on jigs and live minnows. The spec’s are being caught in the Rim Canal and in the big deeper holes in the Lake. Catfish are biting live worms and cut bait on the bottom in areas that have moving water.

Capt. Alan Sherman