The last 2 weeks have been very windy and although my clients have caught fish, it has been no where near what this time of year is known for. We usually get wind this time of year but there has been very few days under 20 mph. which limits some of the areas we can fish. I have spent most of the last couple weeks deep back country and on the coast around the Shark River. A combination between live baits and artificial lures have produced Tarpon, Snook, Redfish, Sharks big and Small and lots of and some really big Trout for my customers.
I am fishing Whitewater Bay on a half a day today with Sebastian and Steve from Quebec, Canada. We started out with some small Tarpon that we jumped off right before the bugs got us. We ran back into the Lane River area and caught our first Snook while spooking out several more. We only had half day so we moved around quickly and started to bend the rods. They didn't care what they caught as long as it bent the rods! It was windy and we had some rain coming in from the Keys direction so I kept moving north. There was an incredible Trout bite today with a couple Snook thrown in and they were very happy with just catching. Eventually we got hit by a couple rain squalls and serious rain, we hid as best as we could and when I got the chance I made a run for it and headed back.
I am fishing out of Haulover today, I met John, Mike and their nephew Nick. On our stop Nick hooked up pretty nice Snook on a Rapala Shadow Rap shorty after Mike hooked one but it threw the lure. We caught a few Jacks and Cudas's but no more Snook bites. We ran down and fished a Mullet mud around 36 St. and had a really good morning. I had some finger Mullet and Nick was first to hook up with a really big Trout, Mike cast behind it and hood a Trout that was trailing it. These were two really big Trout, Nicks was 25 inches. The bite was on not only for Trout but we had some big Mangroves in there eating Rapala Sub walk lures. We also had Barracuda's and a couple Bonnet head Sharks eat our Mullet. It was a great bite and slowed as the tide filled in so we headed in.
I am with Flamingo today with the Twilla's, Mark and his 2 sons Ryder and Will, it is breezy again and I'm in Whitewater Bay. We started out pretty quick catching a bunch of Trout, Jacks and Ladyfish. While sitting there a massive school of finger Mullet poured thru. I threw the net once and got more than we could use. I ran to the open water where I could use the bait, we had a few big Bull Sharks eat our Mullet while Mark hooked a few really decent fish off the back of the boat. His drag was screaming and all I saw was a Snook in the air, shortly after he had another hit it right next to the boat. On the next cast he caught a 23 inch Trout. The bite was good for a half hour with the boys hooking Sharks on the front of the boat. I made a long cast at something moving in the water and had a king sized Snook eat it, I handed the road to Ryder and it got him into the trees. We bounced around looking for bigger fish and finally hooked another big Snook which threw the hook. It was a action packed day and the guys had enough. They were going to South Beach tonight.
I am with the Drippe family Mike , Marie and son Matt, we are fishing Flamingo for the net 3 days. Mike told me when he booked the trip all they want is rod bending action, lots of Sharks, Trout and Ladyfish. I said no problem. We fished all areas of the park from the rivers to the east, rivers to the north and south, all of Whitewater Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and East Cape Canal and Lake Ingram. We did this in winds blowing in the 20 mph everyday! We caught fish in most of those places. Their son Matt was a pleasure to fish with he was @ 10 years old and had skills. He could cast and fight fish with technique of an older skilled angler. We had Back Country Slams but could manage to get our Tarpon into the boat. He picked up a Gulp Shrimp on a jig in East Cape Canal and he managed a pretty nice Snook while we bait fishing. I heard the drag pealing out and didn't even know he was fishing back there. We managed about 15 different species and that was what Mike wanted for his wife and sons first trip to the park, they kept track of every fish they caught. Mike wanted Matt to get a big Shark before we left and he did we had a crazy bite for an hour, we had them swarming around the boat and sight fished a few big ones for Matt. Matt ended the trip with a 150 Lemon Shark.
I am fishing the next 2 days with Ed, Lewis and Russ we wanted to fish out front of Flamingo but winds are @25 mph today so we are in Whitewater Bay. On our first stop Lewis had a nice Trout and Russ had a Snook both came off at the boat. This always makes me worry when you loose the first fish. We moved on and the next spot was full of Trout after 20 or so I said lets go. It is windy and we are working points, really no Snook bite but Trout are killing it. It is hard to find areas that are protected enough to work but we managed. I had found Pilchards a couple days ago but not thick today so we settle for mullet. The Sharks were deadly today, if we put out a mullet good chance a Shark ate it. Ed had a 9 foot Bull Shark eat a mullet and fought it for 45 minutes before handing the rod to Lewis who fought it for 30 more. This Shark had to go 250 and dragged us out to the Gulf of Mexico about a half a mile. We had it right under the boat the cork was right there when the fish finally got thru the leader. We caught some more little Lemon Sharks while Snook fishing but no Snook. We had lots of by catch today but the quality was not there.
I'm with Ed, Lewis and Russ again today and its still windy. I had a game plan go up catch a few baits and run up the rivers to the east. Russ got a Snook while catching bait, the Snook were feeding pretty good but not eating our lures. We made the run and on Lewis first cast he got hit but no fish! Ed cast up in same area gets hit no fish! We worked the area hard and Lewis finally got a Redfish. We made a move and the next spot was good 2 days before. I didn't have the pilchards today only finger mullet which got slammed a couple times. Russ caught a Redfish on a Gulp Shrimp jig and also had a few follow ups. Ed got slammed under a tree on a mullet, the pop was loud but the fish missed the bait. Lewis had a fish chasing his bait which ends up being a 4 foot bull Shark after 20 minutes its gone! We ended the day on a couple different Trout spots, we bent the rods for the last hour catching some of the smallest Trout I have ever seen on that spot.
The rain is coming its time to go!
Even with the winds blowing20 - 30 mph we still managed to have some fun fish catching days. When clients book there trip they count on great Florida weather, well some times its not perfect. My job is to do the best I can possibly do to catch them the fish they dream about. I can do this for you if you have a dream call me at 305 333 8149.
Capt. Jim Hobales
Instagram@ caught lookin charters