This week’s best bet: Fishing offshore of Haulover with live pilchards

Captain Jimbo Thomas, shown in a file photo, said his clients are having decent sailfish action.
Captain Jimbo Thomas, shown in a file photo, said his clients are having decent sailfish action. Miami Herald File


Fishing offshore of Miami, captain Lester Wenger of Lester’s Live Bait had hot action from king mackerel to 12 pounds, cero and Spanish mackerel and bonito on the surface. Fishing the bottom, there were mutton snappers, catch-and-release grouper and sharks. All of the fish were caught offshore of Haulover Inlet while using live pilchards for bait.


Captain Jimbo Thomas from the charter boat Thomas Flyer out of Bayside Market Place Marina in Miami reported on days when there has been a north current, his clients are having decent sailfish action. There have been a few kingfish and dolphins mixed in with the sails. The best action has been in the afternoons south of Government Cut and in 100 to 200 feet of water. Captain Andy Roydhouse of FishHeadquarters.com out of Fort Lauderdale reported the drift boat fishing trips are catching decent numbers of yellowtail, mutton and mangrove snappers on the bottom. The charter boat fleet has been doing well on sailfish, kingfish, wahoo and dolphins on the surface, and big sharks, amberjacks and cobia over the deeper wrecks.


Rob Preihs took top honors with 2,500 points in the Seventh Annual Shark Fly Tournament held in Islamorada. Preihs was guided by captain Richard Black. Ladies Grand Champion honors went to Carol Ensor of Islamorada with 300 points. Ensor fished with friend Nelson Padron of Miami. Captain Rick Kilgore of Islamorada Fishing Charters Florida Keys reported during his recent charters his clients had up to six sailfish releases with fish over 80 pounds. His clients also landed kingfish. Captain Chris Johnson of SeaSquared Charters out of Marathon reported having solid action on lemon sharks on the Gulf-side flats. On days fishing the Atlantic side for snappers, his clients are scoring big mutton snappers and decent-size yellowtail snappers on the bottom.


Captain Kevin Drennan of Slammer Guide Service out of Stuart reported bluefish and Spanish mackerel are being caught south of the Saint Lucie Inlet with spoons and glass minnow jigs. King mackerel are being caught out in 50 to 60 feet of water. Off of Hobe Sound in 50 to 60 feet of water, porgies, mutton, mangrove and lane snappers plus a few triggerfish were being caught on the bottom. Offshore, there have been a few dolphins to target. Snook have been feeding on Flair Hawk jigs at the inlet and pompano are being caught along the inlet flats and next to the Stuart Causeway Bridge.


Captain Jim Hobales of Caught Lookin Charters reported fishing in high winds in the backcountry of Whitewater Bay and Oyster Bay his clients enjoyed steady action from snook and redfish. The fish were up tight to fallen trees and ate Rapala hard plastics. Captain Jason Sullivan of Rising Tides Charters reported fishing in the backcountry out of Flamingo on the low outgoing tides his clients hooked up and released tarpon over 100 pounds and snook over 30 inches. These fish were caught using fly tackle.


Captain Jon Fetter of Catching the Cure Backcountry Fishing Charters of Fort Myers reported in the passes, pompano, whiting, silver and spotted sea trout, sharks, mackerel and jacks were eating jigs tipped with shrimp and shrimp under a popping cork. Sea trout were also available over the grass flats, and redfish were tough but a few are being caught along the oyster bars. Captain Gary Mounce of Fishin Finatic Charters out of Everglades City reported with cleaner water this past week the flounder fishing picked up. The flounder were eating jigs and shrimp fished close to the bottom in areas where limestone rock bars meet sand. Redfish and snook have been feeding in the inside bays next to mangrove islands and shorelines. Mirrolure Mirrodines have been getting the snook and redfish bites.


Jim Crego from Slim’s Fishing Camp in Belle Glade reported the lake’s water level is around 15.4 feet and the big largemouth bass are bedding. Recent catches have had bass up to 10 pounds. The best areas have been Ritta, Kramer and Grassy Key. Live shiners, soft plastics, jigs, Rattle Traps and top water are all catching the fish. Bluegills are bedding and can be caught on small jigs and crickets. Look for the bluegills in and around Kramer Island and Tree Island.