Weekly South Florida Fishing Report - January 4, 2018


OFFSHORE

Following Tuesday’s full moon and the deep freeze to our north, solid fishing off Palm Beach is likely on tap.

Anglers should be ready for a massive movement of sailfish and gaffer dolphin into the area. Also, there will be blackfin tuna and wahoo in the mix. There will also likely be permit and African pompano.

One charter captain said 2018 should be the best fishing in a long time.

Similar to Palm Beach, off Boynton the cold weather and recent full moon are expected to spark a good wahoo and sailfish bite.

Anglers looking for wahoo in the area should check depths between 175 to 250 feet and may want to try lures with red and black or pink and silver patterns.

For sailfish, live baits including goggle eyes, pinfish or blue runners under kites should work well and trolled baits such as skirted bonito strips with blue and white or pink and white patterns will also work.

Fishing along rip currents between 120 to 180 feet should provide good results.

January and February are also good months for anglers to find other billfish such as white marlin, blue marlin and maybe a spearfish. Trolling large split-tail swimming mullet, small swimming rigged bonito or slow trolling large bridle-rigged blue runners are the old-school methods, but trolling large Kona lures in tuna or dolphin patterns can produce as well in water depths from 150 out to 500 feet.

Greater Amberjack and large almaco Jacks should start moving in on the deep-water wrecks and ledges found in 190 to 300 feet. Vertical jigging will produce the most strikes from these fish, although a dead bait, lightly jigged on a 2-ounce knocker rig, will work as well.

INSHORE

Earlier in the week, before the harsh weather hit, anglers surfcasting along the beaches a half-mile north of Boynton Inlet reported catching pompano, bluefish and whiting.

The bluefish were hitting top-water poppers early in the morning and the pompano and whiting were hitting live sand fleas and cut shrimp on pompano rigs.

Pompano were also being caught in the Intracoastal Waterway and the flats on the north and south end of Manalapan.

White or yellow pompano jigs bounced off the bottom produced the most bites. The fish have been feeding on the flats during high tide, then moving along the channel edges during low tide.

Redfish, small Jacks and a few flounder up to 6 pounds were taken off Lantana bridge on Sunday. The Redfish were hitting cut mullet and small live pinfish fished near the bridge fenders. The flounder are eating live shrimp fished on the bottom near the rock piles and close to the south seawall.

FRESHWATER LAKES

Anglers fishing Lake Osbourne and the adjoining canals recently have caught peacock bass on top water Chug Bugs in frog colors during the day and sunshine bass, clown knifefish and black crappie using live shad and Missouri minnows at night.

They’ve also caught channel catfish up to 12 pounds using cut shad fished on the bottom.

All fishing report information courtesy of Capt. Weston Russell at Reel Intense Fishing Charters and Capt. Bruce Cyr.



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