Miami Fishing Reports

September Fishing Reports:

Miami Fishing Report from September 2009:


Henry Caimotto from the Snook Nook Bait and Tackle in Jensen Beach reported plenty of bait along the beaches, Spanish mackerel in the inlets, kingfish in 50 feet of water, lots of blackfin tuna around Push Button Hill in 150 to 350 feet of water and sailfish and schoolie dolphins along the edge.


Captain Mo Estevez of New Dawn Charters out of Miami fished with local Alex Solares on the Oceanside of Biscayne Bay and had nonstop action on mutton snappers up to 12 pounds that were caught on live pilchards fished on the bottom. . . . Ricky Nolasco of the Florida Marlins and his girlfriend, Amber Metsumoto, from Los Angeles, fished aboard the Get Em with captain Alan Sherman in North Biscayne Bay and offshore of Haulover Inlet. Nolasco caught a fish for the first time, a legal-sized mutton snapper, and then followed that with an Arctic bonito. Metsumoto caught kingfish, sea trout, mangrove snappers, bluerunners and barracudas. . . . Fishing aboard the L&S with captain Jimmy David, Tom Andris from Michigan and Adrew Azadi from Miami caught wahoo, 25 dolphins, kingfish, grouper, tripletail, barracudas, bonito and snappers while fishing offshore of Government Cut in 100 to 1,000 feet of water. . . . Captain David Ide from the Lady Pamela II out of Fort Lauderdale reported finding gaffer-sized dolphins up to 20 pounds while working a bluewater edge in 200 feet of water outside of Port Everglades.


Captain Izzy Donatiello of Reelstyle Fishing Charters out of Islamorada reported consistent action from blackfin tuna offshore, with scattered dolphin catches, kingfish and sailfish on the edge and yellowtail snappers on the reef. . . . Captain Bill Hauck from the Sea King Party boat in Marathon reported a steady bite from yellowtail and mutton snappers, plus a good amount of kingfish.


Captain Charlie Conner of Fish Tales Charters out of Port St. Lucie reported baitfish schools in the Inlet River and along the beaches. Conner reported that anglers are catching lots of snook at night on the jetties, docks and bridges, and tarpon are mixed in with the snook. Spanish mackerel are in the turning basin, along with a few bluefish. FLORIDA BAY

Captain Jim Hale of Florida Sportsfishing Fishing Charters reported lots of juvenile tarpon in Florida Bay, and these fish have been hitting live shrimp, Gulp soft plastics and Rapala Skitter Walks. Snook are on the flats and in the potholes, and big schools of redfish continue to work the flats and channel edges.


Captain Jim Hobales of Caught Lookin Fishing Charters fished the Upper Ten Thousand Islands while preparing for the Romp in the Swamp Fishing Tournament out of Goodland. He reported finding lots of baitfish along the shorelines, snook under the docks, gag, red and goliath groupers along the shorelines and dropoffs, sea trout and jacks and redfish on the flats and bars. . . . Captain Carlos Escarra of Gone Fishin’ Charters out of Marco Island and captain Shane Miller of Naples finished first in the Romp in the Swamp, with a total catch of 14.04 pounds of redfish and snook.


Captain Michael Shellen of Okeechobee Bass Fishing Charters reported steady action from largemouth bass during early hours on top water baits, and then soft plastics later in the day. The artificial lure Skinn Dipper, flukes and plastic worms were used to catch lots of bass this week. Large bluegills are spawning in shallow waters. . . . Fishing with captain Alan Zaremba in the C-100 canal, Debri Hartlin and Robert and Teresa Kolinek of Chicago caught 20 peacock bass on floating Rapalas.


Miami Fishing Report Updated July 27, 2009

The rod bending action for kingfish and bonito in the 110 – 150 foot range has and continues to be off the scale. Many times during a trip we are getting hit as the baits are being deployed and this happens numerous times during each trip. If you want to have plenty of action then fishing for these two species is your best bet. Throw in a few barracuda, an occasional cobia or sailfish and if you drop a bait to the bottom on a wreck you’ll find decent mutton snapper fishing. You’ll be very hard pressed to find any better action for variety and quantity during the daytime. Get out early as the thunderstorms have been rolling through in the late morning to early afternoon and they have been very strong.

Dolphin fishing offshore continues to disappoint most everyone who has gone out looking for these colorful and tasty fish. There have been a few caught, however, nothing like it normally is and most anglers come back in with empty fish boxes and no fish tales to tell.

For the small children and young anglers who are going out for the first time, there is plenty of none stop action on the shallow patch areas and artificial reefs. The variety includes grunts, triggerfish, bluerunners, yellowtail snapper, lane snapper, mangrove snapper, and more. The action is fast and furious and will keep your young anglers busy for hours.

Steven Grover and his sons Joshua (8 years old) and Ethan (4 years old) along with his friend Johnathan Robertson and his son Peyton (7 years old) wanted to try for dolphin. Our search took us as far as 21 miles offshore. We found very little to say that there should be dolphin. We live baited the most likely looking areas and blind trolled jigs for about ten minutes. The result was no fish. While running back in we found a weedline with some debris in it and still no fish. To save the day, we fished the 120 -130 foot range and had the boys and their Dad’s busy with action on bonito. Double hook ups were common and each young angler got his turn pulling on these hard fighting fish.

Fred Gates and his son Michael along with Prosper Azerraf and his grandson Benjamin Siboni started the day off with fast and furious action catching pilchards and herring. We then anchored up on the shallow patches and artificial reefs. Both boys had none stop action and it wasn’t long before Fred and Prosper had to get in on the action also. With about an hour left in the trip, I suggested that we take a quick run out to deeper water and see if we could catch a larger fish. Off we went and out went the live pilchards and herring. It didn’t take long before we got our first kingfish cutoff. Then the bonito attacked us. While Fred and Michael fought one fish, the second rod got hit and it was Prosper and Benjamin’s turn. Both fish were landed and it capped off a great morning of fishing.

Mike and Richard Goulet were honoring and remembering their Dad and his love for fishing. Once again the action for kingfish and bonito was hot and heavy. We loaded up on pilchards and herring and both anglers enjoyed that portion of the trip. We ran south and fished between the Anchorage and the Twins to find plenty of action. Mike and Richard took turns and if one of them missed a fish or the hook pulled during the fight, there was plenty of good natured ribbing going on. They remembered how much their Dad loved fishing and wished that he could have been with them on this trip. When we returned to TNT Marine Center, the final count was 5 bonito and 5 kingfish in the 8 – 10 pound range along with some sore arms.

John and Annette Annoni wanted their son Landon (11 years old) to have plenty of action. Quantity was much more important than quality. They ended up getting both. We caught plenty of live bait with Sabiki rigs to begin with. We then anchored on a shallow artificial reef area. As soon as I put out the chum block, the quantity appeared. Grunts, triggerfish, bluerunners, mangrove snapper, and then yellowtail snapper. It soon became a competition between Mom and Son to see who could catch the largest fish. It was very close, however, Landon had a slight edge. John got in on the action also when we started using the Kaplan jig to catch bluerunners and yellowtail snapper. Once again, I suggested we run out to catch a larger fish. On the second drift, we found the bonito and Landon and his Dad had their hands full as the fish swam circles around the boat. In the meantime, Annette hooked up and here fish was making a run for Key West. As the fish started to slow down, the rod straightened up as the hook pulled. Back to Landon and the excitement rose a notch when he saw his fish. I leadered the fish and we took a few quick pictures before releasing the bonito.

Rob and Hunter Fitzpatrick and Dick Carroll fished a 3/4 day before the thunderstorms started to roll in. With a livewell full of bait, we headed out to find plenty of good north current. As I was deploying the second bait, the first bait got hit and the action started. The first three fish were a bonito, kingfish, and 21 pound cobia. That’s the way the action went for the remainder of the trip. Everyone took turns or if they were standing next to a rod when it went off, they’d grab it. The action was at all levels with the flatlines shining during the first portion of the trip and the break away lead and bottom rod coming on strong during the last portion of the trip. Final count was 6 kingfish in the 10 – 12 pound range, 7 bonito, and a 21 pound cobia. William Swantner’s half day trip was filled with more action than he ever imagined. His comment after catching bait was that he really enjoyed that portion of the trip. He had no idea what was about to happen when we started in 125 feet north of 71st Street. With only two baits out on flatlines, both rods hooked up. After a long battle, we broke our wire leader on both fish. While putting out the next bait, it got hit and we were hooked up again. Again, we broke the leader. Finally, we solved the wire leader problem and we started landing fish. All the while, I was marking fishing at a mid-depth on the recorder. The action was so fast and furious on the flatlines, that I couldn’t get a break way bait down. With flatline rods needing leaders retied, I put the break away rod down. No sooner did I have it at the right depth, then it took off and the action continued. The storms started to build up early on this day and William said he didn’t want to get caught in the ran. He was more than totally satisfied with the action and the fish and was ready to head in. We just about made it back to TNT Marine Center before it started to rain and luckily it only lasted for a brief period of time. The kingfish, bonito, and barracuda action on this trip was fabulous.

Once again we’re caught up with the reports. If you want action with your fishing and plenty of it, then take advantage of the action on the reef. There is no telling how much longer we’ll be enjoying it. The kings and bonito have put lots of smiles on the faces of many anglers and the great thing about our fishing is that you never know what is going to bite your bait next. It’s a beautiful thing.

Give me a call 305 965-9454 or send me an email to get your trip scheduled so that you can get in on this action too.

July 10
Since my last report, we’ve done our fair share of fishing along with Knot Nancy going into Whitewater for new electronics and many new upgrades. In general, we are now into our summer fishing mode. The unusual thing about this summer so far is the numbers of days that we’ve had south, southwest, and west wind. It’s produced calm seas and driven the blue water edge out to anywhere from 600 to 1000 feet. This has resulted in many days of no current in the depths that we all like to fish. It has also given us a very poor dolphin season thus far. The bright spot has been that the kingfish action has been very good and bonito (little tunny) have shown up in massive numbers. Throw in some good mutton snapper and AJ fishing and it’s been quite easy to find plenty of rod bending action.

Let’s get caught up with the various reports on the fishing action aboard Knot Nancy.

Robert Dollar, Steve Pericht, and David Hirsch got in their tarpon trip after the first one had to be rescheduled due to heavy late afternoon and early evening thunderstorms. The wait was well worth it as the tarpon bite was very good that evening and when it was time to start heading back to TNT Marine Center, the final count was 4 for 4 on some healthy tarpon that tested each angler’s skills.

Knot Nancy then spent 7 days at Whitewater getting outfitted with new electronics, transducers, and some upgrades.

Rob and Laura Hughes fished a 3/4 day trip and saw plenty of action with a variety of species. The deep rod produced red grouper. The flatlines and downrigger added cero mackerel, several kingfish, and plenty of bonito. There was action on every drift from the beginning to the end of the trip.

Brad Coren, Brad Kiassman, and Charline Morris also fished a 3/4 day trip. We spent the vast majority of the trip looking for the elusive dolphin. The lines we found were needle and eel grass. Not the best for finding dolphin but better than a clean ocean. We managed two strikes from small fish that both threw the hook as they jumped. Then we found and followed a frigate bird for several miles as the bird was also looking for fish. After leaving that bird, we found another one that was diving and we could see a dolphin jumping as we approached it. Slow trolling our baits in the area finally paid off and we caught 1 decent dolphin to break the ice and it was big enough for at least two good meals. It seemed that the further we went out, the less we saw. The little we did see was just a clump of grass here and there. We worked our way back in with no further action. We had just enough time to make a drift and catch a bonito before the end of the trip.

Todd and Scott Milne along with Tom McSweeney spent some good quality time together as well as seeing action with bonito on their trip.

Knot Nancy then went back to Whitewater to finish up with all the various upgrades.

My next trip was with Shannon and Dan Geister who had just returned from their honeymoon cruise. When Shannon called to book the trip, she said they wanted to fight some hard pulling fish. Species didn’t matter, they just wanted action. After catching bait, we had action with the first bait I put out and got a clean cut line back. Then it was a bonito, followed by a kingfish, and then more cutoffs before the action died off. Two moves and about a hour and half later, I moved out to some deeper water and the action got real crazy. They both hooked up and were chasing their fish around and around the boat. I threw out another bait and it got hit immediately. As soon as one of them got their fish close, they handed me the rod and took the one with another fish on it. That’s how it went for the next 45 minutes. They were both on the verge of saying enough when we got a break in the action. They had long enough to rest till I reset our drift and the action began again. Each drift after that saw action with either bonito or kingfish. They both got their wish for plenty of action with hard pulling fish.

John and Kree Perkins along with Charlene Wilkinson got into plenty of kingfish action with every fish cutting off the hook. When I put out wire leaders, we saw no action on that rod. Stick with the mono leaders and we got cut off. We finally got the hook to stay in a fish without getting cut off and it was work our way up the food chain starting with a houndfish and progressing to a remora. The break away lead rod finally started doing its job with barracuda and bonito. The flatlines saw some action with the bonito. Most people have no desire to eat bonito and consider them a nuisance while they are fishing for other species. Everyone in this group decided they want to try the bonito and form their own opinion on how good or bad it might be. I fillet two of the fish and took the loins off the skin. The report I got was that they prepared it both Greek and Blackened style. The consensus from all three anglers was that they liked it and would definitely eat it again. That’s good news as there are plenty of them out there to give a hard fight and a good meal also.

There you have it, once again we’re caught up to the current time with the reports on the action off the Miami Beach area. There are plenty of fish out there to test any anglers skills. If you want action, it’s there to be had. When the wind turns back to the east and southeast, I would expect the dolphin action to pick up. In the mean time, take what Mother Nature offers and get out and enjoy the weather and the action.