This week’s best bet: daytime bottom fishing offshore of Miami


Captain Gil Gutierrez of Lucky Charters out of TNT Marina in Keystone reported the daytime bottom fishing offshore of Miami has been very good. Working deep ledges, reefs and wrecks, his clients have been catching quite a few mutton, yellowtail and mangrove snappers. Live pilchards, pinfish, ballyhoo and strips of bonitos fished very close to the bottom have been getting the most strikes.


Captain Quinton Dieterle from the charter boat Cutting Edge out of Crandon Park Marina reported that dolphin fish have been scattered offshore of Key Biscayne but blackfin tuna are schooled up and hungry in that area. The tunas have been schooled up in 200 to 300 feet of water over artificial wrecks and the best way to catch them is by trolling feathers and strip baits in these areas. Captain Daniel Chocron of the Kelley Fleet out of Haulover Marina reported the nighttime bottom fishing has been hot with limit catches of mangrove, mutton and yellowtail snappers being made. During the day, the party boats are catching lots of bonitos, a few tunas, dolphins and kingfish on the surface and some nice snappers and groupers on the bottom.


Captain Bill Hauck from the party boat Sea King out of Marathon reported the daytime bottom fishing has been slow because of clear and hot water with a few big black groupers, medium-size mutton snappers and finicky yellowtails. But at night the mangrove snappers are spawning and hungry. During most night trips, limits of mangrove snappers along with yellowtails and mutton snappers are being caught. Captain Bruce Andersen of Captain Easy Fishing Charters out of Islamorada reported his clients have had some great dolphin fish action in the past few days plus swordfish to 400 pounds that were caught on the bottom in depths from 1,800 to 2,000 feet of water during recent day trips. IslamoradaSportFishing.com reported the offshore charter boat fleet found big numbers of dolphins 17 to 22 miles offshore of Islamorada. The fish ranged in size from large schoolies to gaffer-size fish.


Captain Scott Collins of Gettin Lucky Fishing Charters out of Jupiter reported catch-and-release fishing in the inlet has been very good. Offshore bottom fishing for snappers has been quite productive over the reefs. Offshore there have been a few sailfish and way too many sharks. Captain Charlie Conner of FishTales Charters out of Port St. Lucie reported there will be plenty of snook around the spillways for catch and release. With the water temperatures raising rapidly during the day, some of the best inshore fishing will come from under the docks that have shade. Soft plastics tipped to a jig head and skipped under a dock will often get you a nice redfish, snook, big sea trout or flounder.


Captain Jason Sullivan of Rising Tide Charters reported the snook fishing remains strong out of Flamingo. The snook continue to be holding along the down submerged tree lines, the outer points and in the passes. The fish are responding to soft plastics and live baitfish. This is catch and release only. Lots of sharks are also in these areas. There have also been a few redfish and sea trout mixed in with the snook. Tarpon in the 30 to 50 pound class have been feeding in the mornings along the coast.


Captain Jon Fetter of Catch the Cure Fishing Charters out of Estero Bay reported your best action will come during the mornings while water temperatures are at their lowest level of the day. Sea trout have been active in three to six feet of water over the grass flats. In the passes, plenty of Spanish mackerel, jacks, ladyfish and sea trout will be eager to take a shrimp tipped to a jig head. Redfish will be feeding on cut ladyfish next to the oyster bars on the incoming tides.


Lee Garrard of Garrard’s Tackle Shop in Okeechobee reported the largemouth bass fishing has been very good in the mornings. The bass are feeding along the outer grass lines. Fast moving lures are getting the strikes early and then flipping soft plastic in the openings in the weeds is the way to go later in the day. Bluegill fishing has been excellent and the fish are eating crickets and live worms. Some of the better areas to try have been Buckhead Ridge, Tin House and Bird Island.