Captain Bruce Andersen of Captain Easy Charters out of Islamorada reported the best fishing in his area has been for deep water bottom fish. Concentrating in depths from 400 to 700 feet of water is producing steady catches of vermillion, blackfin, yellow eye and queen snappers, plus tilefish and snowy groupers. Captain Jay Cohen from Spellbound Charters out of Haulover Marina reported having plenty of action from golden tilefish and black belly rosefish in 500 to 1,000 feet of water. These are bottom feeders and can be caught with squid and cut bait fished on the bottom.
Captain Ralph Mayans of Sea Cross Charters out of Haulover Marina reported working the waters in 120 to 450 feet offshore of Miami Beach his clients have had steady action from dolphins, blackfin tuna and a few sailfish. The best action has come with ballyhoo on a flat line and bonito strips and ballyhoo on a planer. Captain Bouncer Smith on Bouncer’s Dusky out of Miami Beach Marina reported having steady action from amberjacks and almoco jacks and mutton snappers while fishing on the bottom over artificial wrecks, plus tilefish and rosefish fishing on the bottom in 600 to 1,000 feet of water offshore of Government Cut.
Captain Chris Johnson of SeaSquraed Charters out of Marathon reported he is mixing things up by fishing from the bridges out to Hawks Channel to keep things interesting. Along the bridges, his clients are catching yellow jacks, groupers and mangrove snappers, and in Hawks Channel his clients are catching kingfish, lots of porgies, hogfish and an assortment of snappers and groupers. The fish are eating shrimp and cut baits fished on the bottom.
Nedra Maxwell with the Sebastian Inlet District reported the south jetty is closed until further notice. Fishermen working the surf and the jetty are catching pompano, bluefish, black drum, sheepshead, flounder, catch and release snook and a lot of redfish. The top baits have been shrimp, clams, sand fleas and finger mullet. Captain Charlie Conner of FishTales Charters out of Port St. Lucie reported fishermen targeting fishing docks, mangroves and structure around the St. Lucie River are catching plenty of redfish, black drum and sheepshead. The best baits have been DOA shrimp, CAL paddle tail baits and live baits. There also have been quite a few pompano in the area as well.
Fishing in Florida Bay with captain Alan Sherman of Get Em Sportfishing Charters, Lucy O’Conner of Pompano Beach and Paula Thomas of Sunrise caught 11 species of fish using live shrimp and pinfish fished under a Cajun Thunder float and with Hookup lures. The catch included permit, tripletails, cobia, goliath grouper and seven redfish to 22 inches. Captain David Accursio of Draggin’ It Out Charters reported having plenty of action from redfish, black drum, sea trout and tripletail fishing the open waters of Florida Bay as well as up in many of the small creeks along the coast.
Captain Jon Fetter of Catch the Cure Fishing Charters out of Fort Myers reported limit catches of sheepshead are being made by anglers fishing the oyster bars, mangrove island shorelines and dock pilings with shrimp tipped jig heads and #1 circle hooks with a small split-shot sinker. Mixed in with the sheepshead are snappers and black drum. In the passes where there is grass on the bottom, plenty of sea trout, silver trout and whiting are biting. Popping corks and live shrimp are getting the strikes in these areas.
Jim Crego from Slim’s Fishing Camp in Belle Glade reported catches of 35 to 50 largemouth bass to 12 pounds almost daily on the south side of Lake Okeechobee. The best action has come in the areas of Pelican Bay and Ritta Island. Live wild shiners are the top bait for the largemouth bass. Speckled perch fishing has been good with almost limit catches being made. The best action has been with big live Missouri minnows fished around the flood gates and dynamite holes. The best action has been on cloudy days or at night. Fishing with Alan Zaremba of World Wide Peacock Bass charters, Joel Rosenberg of Boca Raton and his son Adam from Georgia fished Lake Ida and caught 18 peacock bass to 41/2 pounds, largemouth bass and speckled perch. The action came from trolled Rapala floating minnows.
Capt. Alan Sherman