South Florida Fishing Report

BEST BET reported plenty of dolphin are being caught outside the outer reef. Most of the action has been under birds and around floating debris 10 to 14 miles offshore. Bottom fishermen were catching a lot of mutton, mangrove and yellowtail snapper plus an assortment of grouper while fishing the reefs. In the gulf and bay, cobia, sea trout and permit can be found over the wrecks and rock piles. Tarpon are being caught along the bridges and in the channels on live blue crabs.



Fishing in North Biscayne Bay in stormy conditions, local Jerry Zawodny and his fishing buddy Marcel Ledous from Jensen Beach teamed up to catch two limits of sea trout in the 19- to 24.5-inch range and released more than 50 other sea trout, snappers, barracudas and a houndfish. All of the fish were caught on Riptide lures and DOA soft plastics. During the Pompano Beach 2012 Fishing Rodeo Tournament, top-catch honors went to the Double Diamond boat with a total catch of 291.9 pounds of fish. Top Overall Angler was Tom Sandstrom from the Wet Hooker team with a two-day catch of 291.9 pounds of fish. Captain Jorge Valverde of Low Places Guide Service reported finding plenty of permit on the shallow flats in South Bay.


Captain Bob Fernicola of Backcountry/Ocean Charters out of Key Largo reported he has had no problem getting his clients limit catches of dolphin in the 7- to 30-pound class plus some nice wahoo, kingfish and blackfin tuna. All of the action has been on the troll from just outside the reef on out. Captain Bill Hauck from the party boat Sea King out of Marathon reported waters over the reefs offshore of Marathon have become more turbid and the yellowtail and mutton snapper are banging the baits again day and night. Captain Bruce Anderson from Captain Easy Charters in Islamorada reported dolphin fishing has heated up offshore with catches of schoolies, heavy lifters, gaffers and slammers to 46 pounds.


Henry Caimotto from the Snook Nook Bait and Tackle in Jensen Beach reported plenty of dolphin can be found in 100 feet of water along current rips and weed lines. Bottom fishermen were catching plenty of snappers over rocky structure in 40 to 80 feet of water. Cut sardines were the best bait for the bottom fish. Along the beaches bluefish were being caught during the morning hours. Large croakers and whiting could be caught on cut squid, shrimp and clams. Oversized snook were eating croakers and whiting in the surf. Inshore fishermen were catching flounder and loads of bluefish and sea trout using soft plastic baits in the river.


Captain Nestor Alvisa of Hooked on Flamingo Charters reported finding redfish, sea trout and tarpon up on the flats and in the channels on the super low tides of Florida Bay. Snook have been active along the beaches. Best baits have been a jig head and pearl white jerk bait. Locals Dr. Neil Kappelman, Dr. Joel Dokson and Dr. Steve Magilen fished Florida Bay with captain Alan Sherman of Get Em Sportfishing Charters and released more than eight snook to 30-plus inches. The guys lost many other snook and released jacks, ladyfish and catfish. All of the fish ate live pinfish and pilchards.


Captain Jim Hale of Florida Sports Fishing Charters reported that when fishing out of Chokoloskee, he ran into a school of close to 300 black drum in the 50-pound range. His anglers hooked up on the drum, but a big bull shark threatened to eat the fish, and each angler intentionally broke their fish off so they could fight another day. His anglers released small snook and a bunch of sea trout and landed a lot of big snapper for dinner.


Captain Pat Stevens from Slim’s Fishing Camp in Belle Glade reported bluegill and shell crackers are bedding on the inside edges of the grass where they are eating live minnows, crickets and worms. Largemouth bass can be found along the grass lines near Pelican Bay, Kramer and Ritta islands and in the Holes. The largemouth bass are eating live shiners, crank baits, spinner baits and soft plastics. Lake Okeechobee’s water level stands at 11.78 feet.

Capt. Alan Sherman