This week’s best bet: Trio has two-day bonanza in two South Florida spots

Seven large mutton snappers — like the one pictured that was caught by captain Dennis Forgione and Tom Blecker of Philadelphia — were boated offshore of Marathon during a recent excursion that produced a bounty of fish for a group of three anglers.
Seven large mutton snappers — like the one pictured that was caught by captain Dennis Forgione and Tom Blecker of Philadelphia — were boated offshore of Marathon during a recent excursion that produced a bounty of fish for a group of three anglers. MCT


During two days of hot fishing in two areas of South Florida, anglers Dean Bahniuk of Miami, Casey Duffy and Austin Verity, both from Virginia, fished north of the Flamingo boat ramp with captain Alan Sherman of Get Em Sportfishing Charters. During their outing, they each caught their first snook and tripletails. Fishing with live pinfish hooked to Mustad Ultra Point No. 4 short shank hooks, Hookup lure jig heads and Cajun Thunder floats, the fishermen released more than a dozen snook to 34 inches, four tripletails, jacks and sea trout. Using heavier gear, they also released two lemon sharks that were estimated at more than 100 pounds each. On their second day, when they were fishing with captain David Schugar of Sweet E’ Nuf Charters offshore of Marathon, the anglers boated seven large mutton snappers, a barracuda, four dolphins and a kingfish.


Captain Danny Cochron of the Kelley Fleet out of Haulover Marina reported the daytime boats are catching grouper to 25 pounds and mutton and vermillion snappers on the bottom and kingfish to 45 pounds, lots of bonitos and a few wahoo, blackfin tuna, sailfish and dolphins on or near the surface. Out in 700 feet of water, lots of black belly rosefish are being caught. At night, lots of mangrove, yellowtail and mutton snappers are being caught over the reefs. Captain Jamie Owens from the charter boat Therapy IV out of Haulover Marina reported finding scattered kingfish, lots of bonitos and a few dolphins during his daytime charters offshore of Miami. Most of the action has been on the deep trolled lines. Captain Quinton Dieterle from the charter boat Cutting Edge out of Key Biscayne reported during dolphin fishing charters he has been finding decent numbers of fish in the 5- to 10-pound range with an occasional fish going over 30 pounds. The best action has been outside of 1,000 feet of water. There has been some big blue marlin chasing the dolphin schools.


During the Islamorada Summer Classic, Grand Champion awards went to anglers Zachary Zinkland and Zachary Zinkland II of North Miami and Leah Maurer of Key Largo. The anglers fished aboard the Live Action out of Robbie’s Marina. The team released 20 snappers, 12 grunts, 20 sea trout, two tuna and one shark. In the Non-Guided Division, Evan and Patricia Goins of Miami took top honors with the release of 10 snappers. They fished aboard the Miss Patricia with Jose Rodriguez at the wheel.


Captain Scott Collins of Getting Lucky Fishing Charters out Jupiter reported catch-and-release snook have been biting both day and night around the Jupiter Inlet. The snook are feeding on croakers, sand perch, pilchards and Spanish sardines. Offshore there have been blackfin tuna to 27 pounds, kingfish, lots of bonitos and a few sailfish on the surface. On the bottom, nice-sized yellowtail and legal-sized mutton snappers are biting on cut baits.


Captain Bob LeMay reported snook and tarpon have been very cooperative along the outside coast north of Little Sable Creek. There are also some big sharks patrolling the shorelines as they look for an easy meal. Groups of tripletail have been holding next to submerged trees along the outside shorelines. Pompano to 3 pounds and sea trout to 20 inches have been biting inside of Whitewater Bay. Mangrove snappers are schooled up along the inside mangrove shorelines. Most of these fish were eating small jigs tipped with a Gulp soft plastic.


Captain Jon Fetter of Catch the Cure Fishing Charters out of Estero Bay reported the inshore fishing has dropped off a little but lots of mangrove snappers are biting along the mangroves and oyster bars. The snappers are eating jigs tipped with shrimp. There have been redfish biting in the same areas but most are on the small side. Over the grass flats, sea trout are biting shrimp under a popping cork. The near-shore reefs are producing lots of Spanish mackerel, snapper and ladyfish.


Chad Burr from Garrard’s Tackle Shop in Okeechobee reported freshwater fishermen looking for largemouth bass will find them feeding during early mornings and late afternoons in the areas of the Bar and Grassy Island. The bass are eating dark colored spinner baits and soft plastics fished along the outer edges of the grass lines. Bluegills and pumpkinseeds are feeding on live crickets and red worms in the same areas.

Capt. Alan Sherman