Deerfield Beach to Key Largo & Flamingo to Cape Sable
Includes Pompano Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and Homestead. Nov. 19-21
Pompano Beach, Port Everglades , Haulover, Government Cut to Ocean Reef
Look for scattered schools of Spanish mackerel along the beaches this weekend. Trolling spoons or lipped Rapala X Raps in a blue or black back just outside the swim buoys is your best bet at locating a school of feisty mackerel. Casting live pilchards in areas that birds are diving is the next best thing or anchoring and chumming in 20 feet of water as you fish live baits or cast spoons, jigs or plugs can get you into a quick mackerel frenzy. Baitfish have been in good numbers inside the Bay but seem to be on the move to Government Cut. Can’t catch your own bait then try calling Lester on channel 68 for bait at Haulover, Ashley’s bait or Jimmy Lewis on channel 16, 72 or 80 for Government Cut and in Port Everglades try Ft. Lauderdale Live Bait on channel 72. Offshore from depths from 80 feet out to 250 feet of water anglers are finding a few kingfish, blackfin tunas and bonitos. Plenty of sailfish are migrating south as we speak and fishing large threadfin herring, small bluerunners and goggle-eye jacks under a kite is the best way to get the sails to attack your baits. Free lining the same baits hooked to a 5/0 to 6/0 Mustad Ultra Point hook attached to a short piece of No. 3 copper wire to protect your leader from a kingfish or stray wahoo and a 7-foot or longer 50-pound monofilament or fluoro carbon leader as you chum heavily with live baits is another way to get in on the sailfish action. Find a nice weedline or floating debris outside the bluewater edge and there is a good chance you might luck into some nice dolphins. Way offshore in close to 2000 feet of water swordfish in the 200 to 300 pound range are eating slabs of bonitos or pre-rigged squid with light sticks attached to the rig and fished near the bottom. Wreck fishing has been producing action from grouper, mutton snappers and an assortment of jacks. Nighttime bottom fishing has resulted in a mixed bag of snappers, groupers, bluefish and a few kings and mackerel. High tide at Government Cut Friday night will be at 6:40.
North Biscayne Bay Inshore
Schools of baitfish are moving south as they head for warmer water. Small jacks, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, barracudas and bluerunners are chasing the baitfish schools all over the Bay. Casting small Rapala X Raps, spoons, Hookup lures tipped with plastic jerk bait tails or Gulp! artificially scented bait, and live pilchards fished under a Cajun Thunder is producing plenty of action from all of the above species. Look for the birds throughout the Bay and that is where the bait and fish will be. Seatrout are out of season and the Manatee season is now underway so be careful when on plane. Nighttime tarpon and snook action has been slow.
South Biscayne Bay
Schools of Spanish mackerel have invaded both North and South Biscayne Bay . Mackerel can be found near any of the bridges near the ocean inlets, around markers and channels in the Bay. Anchor and start chumming as you fish live pilchards or shrimp under a Cajun Thunder hooked to a long shank hook or by casting silver spoons, jigs and plugs. Remember to use a No. 2 or 3 piece of copper wire to your lures or you will be re tying often. Mutton and mangrove snappers plus red, gag and black groupers, porgies, bluefish, jacks, bluerunners and grunts can be found in many of the channels from Cape Florida to Ocean Reef. Anchor and chum while you fish live pilchards and shrimp or dead baits on the bottom. As long as the tide is moving and you are in a good spot you should have steady action. Mutton snappers must be 16 inches and mangrove snappers 10 inches and yellowtail snappers 12 inches to be kept. Red groupers must be 20 inches, gag groupers 24 inches and black groupers 24. Bonefish and permit have been in good numbers along the Oceanside flats and along the mainland flats. High tide at Soldier Key on Saturday will be at 7:50 in the morning.
Flamingo in Everglades National Park
Florida Bay has had a good number of redfish feeding in the channels and runoffs. Black drum and sheepshead have started to show up in Florida Bay now that water temperatures are in the 70s. A good number of big snook are still being caught for catch and release. Spanish mackerel, bluefish and cobia have been in good numbers outside the Park’s boundary markers. Best fishing has been south and west of Sandy Key. Anchor and chum in 10 feet of water and fish live shrimp under a float or hooked to a Hookup lure and as long as the chum is flowing the action should be fast. Bluefish, trout, ladyfish, jacks, bluerunners, snappers and sharks will feed in your chum as well. Look for free floating tripletail or tripletail behind the crab trap floats. Cast a live shrimp under a Cajun Thunder float at the fish and once it sees the bait the fight is on. Tripletail must be 15 inches in length and each angler is allowed two fish per person. Snook, redfish, blackdrum, snapper and grouper can be found in and around the river mouths and creeks and all the way into Whitewater Bay. Low tide at Flamingo in Florida Bay on Saturday will be at 9:55 AM and in Whitewater Bay low tide is at 9:50 AM.