This week’s best bet: Awesome fishing offshore of Haulover Inlet


Daniel Chocron from the Kelley Fleet out of Haulover Marina reported the daytime party boat and charter fleet has been experiencing awesome fishing offshore of Haulover Inlet. On the surface, fishermen are catching kingfish to 30 pounds, dolphins, blackfin tuna, sharks and sailfish. On the bottom, groupers, snapper and big jacks are being caught. One angler had a large cubera snapper recently.


During the opening week of the Atlantic grouper season that started May 1, Sienna Megna of Margate caught a 40 pound black grouper. The big grouper ate a live bullet-size bonito in 120 feet of water offshore of Dania. Megna was fishing on the charter boat Big Game with captain Rod Roydhouse. Megna was part of a group of women from Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing! A 300-pound hammerhead shark was released by angler Lisa Ciampa of Boca Raton. Dolphins to 8 pounds, kingfish to 16 pounds and blackfin tuna also were caught by the group. Team BamBoo out of Coral Gables took top honors during the Bahamas Billfish Guana Cay Championship last week. Team BamBoo released three blue marlin, two white marlins and a sailfish. Ten teams and 36 anglers released 11 blue marlins, nine white marlins and six sailfish during the event.


Captain Chris Johnson from the charter boat SeaSquared out of Marathon reported having great bottom-fishing action over the offshore reefs. His clients are catching legal-size black grouper, mutton and mangrove snappers and big jacks. On some of the bottom-fishing trips, dolphins have been part of the day’s catch. Captain Rick Rodriguez of Sea Horse Deep Sea Sportfishing Charters out of Islamorada reported the Islamorada Hump has been producing great catches of dolphins and blackfin tuna and on the reef, Yellowtail snappers are biting. Captain Jack Carlson from the charter boat Two Conchs out of Marathon reported having lots of action from blackfin tuna and schoolie-size dolphins while fishing the Marathon Hump.


Henry Caimotto from the Snook Nook Bait and Tackle in Jensen Beach reported big dolphins continue to migrate along the Treasure Coast. Offshore anglers are catching dolphins in the 20- to 25-pound range daily with a few fish topping out at 50 pounds. The dolphins have been caught in depths from 200 feet out. Kingfish have been biting in 100 feet of water and a few bonitos and blackfin tuna are mixed in with the kings. On the bottom in 60 feet of water, mutton, mangrove and lane snappers are biting along with some nice groupers. On the beach, lots of pompano are being caught. Inshore, the sea trout have been thick around the Sailfish flats. Mixed in with the trout are a few pompano, redfish, jacks and ladyfish.


Captain Alan Sherman of Get Em Sportfishing Charters had repeat customers Zolton Boldor of Cooper City, Karl Schweitzer from Germany and Dennis Szakacs from Pembroke Pines with him in Flamingo. They fished the backcountry of Flamingo with Hookup lures tipped with Gulp soft plastics and Rapala flat raps, and caught loads of sea trout, jacks, mangrove snapper, catfish and snook. Sea trout were scattered throughout Whitewater and Oyster Bays.


Captain Gary Mounce of Fishin Finatic Charters out of Everglades City reported that because of windy conditions, he has had to target the lee sides of the protected coves and back bays. In these areas, he found plenty of hungry redfish that were eager to take a live shrimp or scaled sardine. His clients were casting these baits along the mangrove shorelines. A few snook also were landed along these shorelines. Before the winds came up, lots of permits were available over the nearshore wrecks.


Mark Escobar from BJ’s Bait & Tackle in Plantation reported the largemouth and peacock bass fishing in the Everglades continues to pick up. Water levels in some of these areas continue to fall and largemouth bass in the 1- to 9-pound range are being caught daily. The largemouths are feeding on live shiners, top-water baits such as soft plastic flukes, swimbaits, frogs and worms in the 7- to 10-inch sizes. Panfish fishing has been good as well and the panfish are being caught on worms, crickets, wigglers and small jigs. Areas to try are Holiday Park, Sawgrass Recreation Park, Alligator Alley, the Holy Land and Loxahatchee.