This week’s best bet: Kingfish in five- to 20-pound range off Haulover


Captain Lester Wenger of Lester’s Live Bait and Fishing with Lester Charters out of Haulover Inlet reported kingfish in the five- to 20-pound range have been biting in the mornings in 100 to 180 feet of water. Blackfin tuna, large bonitos and a few sailfish are also being caught at the same depths. Further out from 600 feet to more than 1,000 feet, dolphins can be targeted. There have been weedlines, slicks and a few pieces of floating debris that have held dolphins from schoolie-size fish to fish more than 30 pounds.


Danny Chocron of the Kelley Fleet out of Haulover Marina reported his day boats are scoring well on blackfin tuna, large kingfish, bonitos and a few sailfish offshore of Haulover Inlet. Large black and gag groupers, an assortment of jacks and decent-size vermillion and mutton snappers are being caught on the bottom. Almost all of this action is taking place over artificial wrecks and deep ledges. The top-water fish are eating rigged ballyhoo, fresh Spanish sardines and vertical jigs, and the bottom fish are eating large cut baits, squid and vertical jigs.


IslamoradaSportFishing.com reported dolphin fishing has been up and down. The dolphins have been anywhere from inside the Islamorada Hump to as far as 20-plus miles offshore. When the current hasn’t been bad, the deep-water tilefish and snapper action has been good. On the reefs, the yellowtail snapper fishing has been excellent. There have been some kingfish and sailfish outside the reef. On the patch reefs, porgies, grouper, snapper and hogfish are biting. In the Gulf and in Florida Bay all the way to Flamingo, lots of sea trout are feeding in the mullet muds. Plenty of mangrove snappers are mixed in with the trout. Closer to Flamingo, snook can be found along the shorelines and at the points of the river and creek mouths. The snook are eating artificial lures, pinfish and chunks of ladyfish. Tarpon are in the area but there are plenty of sharks that keep eating the baits intended for the tarpon.


Freddy Caimotto from Snook Nook Bait and Tackle in Jensen Beach reported the offshore bottom bite in 80 to 180 feet of water has been very good north of the St. Lucie Inlet. In 80 feet of water, there have been good numbers of mangrove snappers being caught. Out in the deeper water, big mutton snappers and large gag and black groupers are biting. The bottom fish are eating live Spanish sardines and greenies. Kingfish are biting in the mornings in depths from 60 to 80 feet of water, and there are some dolphins being caught in 80 feet of water. On the beach, permits, pompano, large jacks and bluefish are being caught. Inshore in the mornings, redfish and sea trout are biting on the western shorelines and later in the day the action has been on the east side of the river.


Captain Bob LeMay reported working his way from Whitewater Bay out to the coast and up to Broad, Harney and the Rodgers River, he has been finding catch-and-release snook, large sea trout, big tarpon, slot-size redfish, free floating tripletail and large bull sharks. LeMay reported there have been few boats in the area, making fishing easy. His clients were casting jig heads tipped with Gulp baits and artificial flies.


Captain Gary Mounce of Fishin Finatic Charters out of Everglades City reported recently massive schools of mullet have moved into his area and tarpon, snook, redfish, cobia, jacks and sharks are feeding on these baitfish. His clients have been using mullet for bait that are easy to cast net as well as Rapala X Raps, Skitter Walks and Mirro Lure Mirrodines for bait. Most of the action has been along the outside coast but the redfish action has been in the back bays and rivers.


Captain Alan Zaremba of World Wide Sportfishing Inc. reported the best freshwater action this past week was in the urban canals. His clients have sight-fished peacock bass with AZ Jungle jigs along banks, bridge pilings and culverts. Fly casters were doing well using Clouser minnows for bait. The best canals right now are the C-2, G-15 and the C-100 canals. The canals in the Conservation areas of the Everglades are slow because of high water levels.