South Florida fishing report: Jan. 7, 2015


Captain Terry Pitz of Fishing Southwest Florida Fishing Charters out of Pine Island Sound reported when the tide is moving, large schools of redfish have been feeding out on the flats and at times the reds have been tailing. On the higher stages of the tide, the deeper mangrove shorelines that have current are producing nice catches of redfish. The top bait for the reds has been shrimp, shiners and cut bait. Sea trout have been thick over the grass flats that have sandy potholes and will eat a jig, fly or live shrimp without hesitation. Snook fishing for catch and release has been good at the mouths of creeks, passes and in the canals.


Captain Mo Estevez of New Dawn Charters reported bonefishing along the Oceanside flats south of Soldiers Key has been good on the incoming tides. Live shrimp has been the top bait. The finger channels have been producing quite a few catch-and-release groupers, small yellowtail and mutton snappers plus some decent-sized mangrove snappers. Live shrimp, pilchards and cut bait fished closed to the bottom have been getting the strikes. Captain John Barker from the charter boat Blue Seas II out of Bayside Marketplace reported Live baiting with threadfin herring and trolling feathers on a planer offshore of Miami Beach is producing steady catches of king mackerel, bonitos and blacktip sharks.


Brett Hogan out of the Holiday Inn in Key Largo reported the offshore charter boat fleet working the waters offshore of the outer reef line is finding wahoo to 40 pounds, dolphins, sailfish to 80 pounds, a few large kingfish and some big sharks. Bottom fishermen continue to do well on yellowtail, mutton and vermillion snappers. Backcountry fishermen are catching good numbers of sea trout, redfish and snook in Florida Bay. Captain Rick Rodriguez of Sea Horse Deep Sea Sport Fishing charters out of Islamorada reported live ballyhoo have been getting plenty of catches of sailfish, king mackerel and dolphins just outside the drop off offshore of Islamorada.


Captain Glyn Austin of Going Coastal Charters out of Sebastian reported there are plenty of bluefish, Spanish mackerel, jacks and snook feeding on live shrimp, pinfish, mullet and pigfish in the Sebastian Inlet. Near shore, manta rays have had schools of cobias following them and once you locate the right ray, the cobia fishing has been red hot. The cobias are eating live baits and jigs. On the inshore side near the Sebastian Inlet, pompano, sea trout, redfish, snook, jacks and bluefish can be caught on live shrimp and jigs. There have been a few bonefish mixed in with the bluefish and pompano schools. The night fishing at the Sebastian Inlet has been good for a mix of redfish, snook and tarpon. Artificial lures are working best at night.


Charles Crumpler and Lou Martinez of Miami fished with captain David Accursio of Draggin’ It Out Charters in Florida Bay out of Flamingo. During their charter, the anglers caught redfish, black drum, sheepshead, mangrove snappers and tripletail. All of the fish were caught with live shrimp and a Mustad #1 straight shank hook. Captain Jim Hobales reported finding plenty of jacks, ladyfish and sea trout in the backcountry of Whitewater Bay.


Captain Jon Fetter of Catching the Cure Backcountry Fishing out of Fort Myers reported the sheepshead fishing has been good around mangrove islands, oyster bars and dock pilings and on the near shore reefs on the high tides. Small pieces of shrimp attached to small hooks are your best bet at fooling these tasty bottom feeders. Redfish action has been fair along the oyster bars and mangrove shorelines. The redfish are eating shrimp on the higher tides. Plenty of sea trout are available over the grass flats and there are sand trout, sharks and whiting in the deeper passes.


Jim Crego from Slim’s Fishing Camp in Belle Glade reported the largemouth bass fishing has been explosive on Lake Okeechobee. Some of the best action is taking place around Pelican Bay, Tree Island and when the wind is up, the Dynamite holes have been goofed. The bass are eating live wild shiners. Speckled perch fishing has been excellent with limit catches made by fishermen using live minnows. The best areas have been around the open flood gates day and at night.

Capt. Alan Sherman


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