The last fishing trips of 2011 battled windy and rough conditions much of the week. Gary Carter at Dolphin Dock said currents were “ripping” in the channel, creating some difficulties with fishing.
Further complicating matters are reports of live bait being scarce around town. MaryAnn Heimann at Offshore Adventures said, “Folks can’t seem to catch finger mullet and the shrimpers have quit shrimping for the time being.”
However, the trout bite is on. Scott Garrison at Fisherman’s Wharf said water temperatures have been right for trout and the fish have responded by keeping a steady bite along the jetties. He said to catch the outgoing tide for your best luck and fish jigs or live shrimp or mullet, if you can find them.
Besides trout, also caught in the bay and channel have been redfish, drum, sheepshead and whiting.
Results from offshore trips have indicated plenty of snapper, amberjack, African pompano, shark, kingfish, grouper and tuna are awaiting anglers.
Carter at Dolphin Dock said a New Year’s Eve trip on Saturday resulted in a heavy haul of vermilion snapper, kingfish, spinner shark, African pompano and African sharpnose shark. Grouper also was caught on trips earlier in the week.
Heimann at Offshore Adventures reported a successful bay angler used frozen menhaden, mullet and shrimp and bagged some nice drum, redfish, trout and sheeepshead.
Art Singleton from Woody’s Sports Center said catches on the Island Queen have been primarily whiting and sand trout, but bay guides have reported flounder, redfish and some drum caught.
Kristin Swan at Deep Sea Headquarters reported anglers on eight and 12-hour trips have been bringing back stringers full of lane and vermilion snapper, as well as some nice size kingfish. Longer range trips have returned to the dock with large yellowfin and blackfin tuna, amberjack and some big grouper. From in the bays, anglers have been catching redfish, trout, drum, flounder and a lot of sheepshead.
Jeff Miller from the Horace Caldwell Pier said the tide has been running “super low” and activity on the pier has been very quiet. He said “a bunch of whiting have been caught, but that has been about it for the week.”
Garrison at Fisherman’s Wharf said short day-trips have returned to the dock with kingfish and shark, while longer day-trips have resulted in nice catches of amberjack and vermilion and lane snapper. The 56-hour tuna trips have been pulling in plenty of yellowfin and blackfin tuna. Drum, redfish, flounder and speckled trout have been bagged from the bay, and flounder guides have reported limits of nice, big flounder caught at night. Those returning from the north jetty have been carting big speckled trout, sheepshead and redfish.