Fishing notebook

BEST BET

Jamie Owens from the party boat Atlantis out of Haulover Marina said anglers on all of the party boats are catching a lot of kingfish in the 5-to-10-pound range by drifting dead Spanish sardines hooked to a three hook kingfish rig in 80 to 160 feet of water offshore of Haulover Inlet. Anglers fishing the bottom are catching almoco jacks. Blackfin tuna are being caught by jigging vertical jigs.

MIAMI-DADE/BROWARD

Captain Dave Kostyo of Knot Nancy Fishing Charters out of TNT Marina in Keystone said while fishing offshore, his clients are catching sailfish, mutton snappers and kingfish. In the ocean inlets, Kostyo’s anglers are catching and releasing snook and tarpon on live shrimp. Captain Mike Johnson of Local Knowledge Fishing Charters out of Fort Lauderdale said his anglers have had steady action offshore of Port Everglades from sailfish, kingfish and some large goliath groupers. Captain Jimbo Thomas from the charter boat Thomas Flyer out of Baysdide Marina reported a mixed catch offshore of Miami Beach. His clients have had dolphins, sailfish and swordfish to 110pounds. Fishing the bottom, his clients released three genuine red snappers  pounds and almoco jacks.

KEYS

Rick Berry of Key Largo Rods said Dick and Diane Law from Maine fished in Florida Bay with captain John Gargan out of Islamorada and released 78 snook up to 37 inches and 36 redfish up to 15 pounds using live shrimp hooked to a jig head. Captain Eric Cline from Customs Charters in Big Pine Key reported finding plenty of cobia and grey and lane snappers that ate live pinfish and cut squid over a Gulf artificial wreck. Mike Zagnolia , his son Charlie and niece Abbey, both 8, fished with captain Dale Bishop of Shallow Water Charters out of Key West and released bonefish and landed pompano, ladyfish, a lot of sea trout and snappers. Captain Richard Stanczyk from Bud N Mary’s Marina in Islamorada said schools of snook have moved into the Florida Bay backcountry because of colder water temperatures. Fishing live shrimp hooked to a troll-rite, his clients have experienced nonstop action from large snook, redfish, black drum and sheepshead.

TREASURE COAST

Captain Tom Van Horn of Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters said Lagoon waters are cooler, clearer and shallower than they had been recently, and sea trout up to 5 pounds and oversized redfish have been very hungry eating soft plastics bounced over the grass and sand. Captain Charlie Conner of FishTales Charters out of Port St. Lucie reported Spanish mackerel fishing has been hot in the turning basin in Fort Pierce. Bluefish are along the beaches, jetties and in the inlets. Pompano have been holding on the deeper flats, where they are eating Goofy jigs.

FLORIDA BAY

Captain Steven Tejera of Knot Tight Charters said his clients have found hot fishing along the outside shorelines and in the backcountry. Snook, redfish and big black drum are eating live baits, artificials and flies. Captain Neil Baron reported on a lot of sea trout over the grass flats near Sandy Key, large ladyfish and jacks out in the open water of the Gulf and sheepshead, small redfish and sand trout up in the creeks near East Cape.

SOUTHWEST COAST

Captain Terry Pitz of Southwest Fishing Charters out of St. James City said catching sea trout is as easy as finding the right sandy hole, creek or grass flat in three to five feet of water in Pine Island Sound. The sea trout are eating shrimp, jigs and clouser minnows. Snook have moved into the backcountry and redfish have been in good numbers when the tide is running along the mangrove shorelines. Captain Gary Clark of Southwest Fishing Charters out of Fort Myers suggested fishing baits slow and close to the bottom. With cooler water, backcountry fish tend to slow down, feed less and eat smaller baits.

FRESHWATER

Captain Michael Shellen of Shellen Guide Service out of Buck Head Ridge on Lake Okeechobee said bass stopped feeding because of the recent cold weather. Speckled perch fishing has been good early and late in the day and at night. Best action has been by using jigs and live minnows under a small float in the Rim Canal, in the Kissimmee River and in the Lake.

Capt. Alan Sherman

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