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Anglers getting their money's worth

Last updated 3 years ago

Charter fishing agencies are looking to stay busy as Spring Break goes into full swing this week. Anglers can look forward to some good fishing, whether skies are sunny or cloudy.
Jerry Montalvo at Deep Sea Headquarters said their eight-hour trips have been harvesting mostly Atlantic sharpnose shark, a few kingfish and vermillion snapper. The hardy folks going on the 24-hour trips are getting their money’s worth with lots of blackfin tuna, limits of amberjack and a few grouper. That trip also brought in a scalloped hammerhead shark weighing in at about 150 pounds. Friday’s weather convinced some young men to go out and they returned from a state water trip with limits of red snapper.
Bay water temperature at about 55 is making fishing tough, Montalvo said. “They’re there, but they’re not biting,” he said. Your best bet is to find a guide who can find live shrimp “which is hard to find, or sea lice, which is also hard to find” or go out to the beach and get some ghost shrimp. Anglers are catching sheepshead off the rocks.
Montalvo said they’ll be taking out groups of Spring Breakers and families this week. “If the weather’s cloudy, I’ll have better business. If it’s really good weather, they’ll go to the beach,” he said.
At Fisherman’s Wharf, George Beaver said offshore anglers have been catching limits of vermillion snapper and a few lane snapper. On the north jetty, fishermen are getting into a “bunch of sheepshead” and a couple of black drum, Beaver said. He also said they are booking a lot of trips for Spring Break and are looking for more limits of snapper to be weighed in.
Surf anglers are bringing in pompano and sheepshead, according to Sandra Fudge at Woody’s Sports Center. Sheepshead and redfish are the catches of the day for anglers on the jetties, and those dropping lines at Roberts Point Park are bagging redfish and sheepshead. In the bays, guides are bringing anglers back with redfish, black drum and sheepshead. On the Island Queen, whiting, sand trout and sheepshead are taking the bait. Weather has kept most of the offshore boats at the dock. Fudge said they are anticipating good crowds for Spring Break.
Choice of bait may be a factor in anglers not having much luck at Horace Caldwell Pier, according to Blake Wallingsford, who works at Keepers, a shop on the pier. Most anglers are catching whiting, he said, and “I’ve had a lot of older cats with dead shrimp” for bait, and that’s not going to be as effective as other, hardier baits, he said.
Crystal Oestrich at Dolphin Dock reports that anglers have been reeling in a lot of red snapper and vermillion snapper as well as some nice amberjack and grouper. Tuna trips are coming back to the dock with lots of blackfin tuna as well as some snapper. A highlight of one tuna trip was a 140-pound mako. Day trips are returning with vermillion snapper and shark. In the bays, anglers are mainly catching whiting, gafftop and a few reds. State water snapper trips have been good, Oestrich said. They’ll catch their limit of snapper, then fish for other things, like black drum, redfish and whiting, she said.

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