When it comes to cooking Florida lobster (Panulirus argus, Caribbean spiny lobster) there are two simple rules. The first: Don’t over-season. The second: Don’t overcook. A dusting of salt and pepper on split lobster tails followed by a quick trip to a hot grill or broiler is sufficient. Florida’s spiny lobsters
have a unique flavor, generally a bit stronger than the large-clawed northern lobster (Homarus americanus, American lobster), and one that doesn’t need to be enhanced with gooey sauces. Simply dipping a chunk of tender Florida lobster into melted butter makes for a happy mouthful!
With your lobster cooked and ready to eat, the next decision regards a simple side dish. And while slaw and French fries may come to mind, how about something lighter—and cooler—for a late summer lunch or dinner? A tasty Greek salad is a good substitute for the cabbage and making it with potato salad adds a bit of starch to your plate.
Greek salad is lettuce-based, dressed with good olive oil (buy extra- virgin from the Mediterranean), red wine vinegar, and the chef’s choice of toppings. The potato salad component is “native” to Tarpon Springs, where it was introduced over a hundred years ago by the Pappas family.
To me, Greek salad isn’t Greek salad without the potatoes! FS
Lettuce (iceberg or romaine), cut into wedges Ripe tomato, cut into wedges
Cucumber, sliced or cut into sticks
Salonika or pepperoncini peppers
Sliced pickled beets
Feta cheese (from Greece!), crumbled
Olive oil and red wine vinegar
Greek Potato Salad
(4 to 6 servings)
6 to 8 Yukon Gold potatoes
1 medium red onion
Olive oil and red wine vinegar
1-2 tbsp. mayonnaise
Peel and rinse the potatoes. Then, using a very sharp knife or a mandolin slicer, cut the potatoes into 1/8-inch slices. Separately, peel and cut the onion into similar slices. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Gently add the potato slices to the water and cook until they’re just barely done. It’s important to retain the shape and some crispness of the potatoes. You don’t want to make “mashed” potatoes! Remove potatoes from the water, drain and rinse with cold water. Dry the potatoes with paper towels. Very carefully, with a rubber spatula, toss the potatoes and onions with the oil, vinegar and mayonnaise. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Dress the lettuce with olive oil. Then add the vinegar, to taste. Toss and plate alongside or over a serving of potato salad. Top with olives, cheese, peppers, tomatoes, cucumber and beets. Sprinkle with oregano before serving.
Recent offshore fishing reports from the Southeast region.
Fort Pierce Offshore Bite
Florida Sportsman member:BacDoc
Grunt chunks and sardines have been my bait of choice, live goggle eye caught some nice ones too. I use a long leader, 15 feet of 40 pound fluorocarbon and a circle hook for the snapper. The best bite has been when tide is running the right direction from the south with lite ESE wind. The bite has been the best when tide has us using 4 to 8 ounces to hold bottom.
Headed to a spot in 25 feet I hadn’t fished since last year; marks on the machine indicate some life so lines in around 1:30am. Depsite not having any chum the fishing was good, baits were getting thumped not long after hitting bottom. I caught a 28 & 26 inch mutton right off the bat and a few legal mangos and some short muttons.
We started on the hill, with the current ripping at seven MPH, tuna were deep at 200 plus feet. Trolled the 80 foot line. Nice weed line but no bites. Bottom fished by black condo when a cobia came up to boat. The fish ate a bucktail jig and 25 minutes later we landed a 30 pound cobia.
Started trolling off of Boynton heading North. Got a king early on to get the team fired up and in gear. Next up was the grown man as buddy buddy calls the wahoo. Started screaming on the planer. After lines all cleared she popped up on the surface to make life a little easier.
Went over to the channel this past weekend. Joseph wanted to put one of his little buddies on the tuna.The bite was tough in the channel as you’ve seen from several reports but we did manage to bend some rods and bring home three 60 to 70 pounders and a couple of smaller fish.
After that I decided since the bite seemed to be in the 400 to 500 foot range we should stay there. I turned back out to 500 feet. Got to 500 turned around and started heading back to 400 and saw a large green turtle with about four dolphin under him.
I had my fingers crossed but I had a feeling the wind would be more then predicted. Anyway lines in ,fish on ,and she reels in her biggest mahi to date. She was thrilled and the winds were picking up so I turned back toward the inlet and called it a day.
It’s been a month since my last trip and was well rewarded for the long wait. It was kinda ugly in the am but the phone radar showed it was going to clear. Trolled all morning to no avail between 280 and 420 feet, strong current and blue water. Found a slight rip in 300 feet off Jupiter and at high noon the flatline goes off.
Within about 10 minutes of trolling the long starboard reel starts screaming, rod is bent over double, and all the wire is off the reel leaving only about 50 yards of the backing. I was worried that the wire to mono connection would break, fortunately we remained tight and after about 15 minutes we slid that wahoo thru the transom door and the congratulations began.
We checked in, topped off and got out hunting. Looking for the right conditions led us north of Memory. Pounded that area between 100 and 400 feet, running big lures at 15 knots. We steadily picked at them and put eight fish in the box (seven hoos and one fat king).
I think the fishing is in a good pattern right now, the steady dose of light north winds have finally allowed us to develop a pattern. The sails are moving in nice packs from 110 to 130 and 180 to 210 feet. Mixed in are the usual kingfish, Mahi and some cobias on the flat (deep) rods.
We pull up and my wife snags a wahoo on a vertical jig under the mouth. Bar jacks were everywhere and could not keep baits away. I decided to jump in, saw about 25 to 30 wahoo under the water that would stay deep, but come up to the surface every now and then. I shot a dolphin, rainbow runner and a triple tail (Federal Waters).
The beach has spinner sharks migrating down it so its a great way to hear action. 10 to 20 feet from breakers to dodge wall is holding large schools of sharks. 20 pound spinning gear makes it a blast. In the mix we managed a 39 pound cobia and lots and lots of sails.
A little while later another fish came up on the same short kite. Also aggressive he ate in one bite and headed for the long bait. This one I was ready for and came tight quickly. He didn’t even skip a beat. Despite me pulling on him he took drag right to the long kite bait. I tried winding it out of the way but he inhaled it. Holy cow!
Action was off the condos in 130 to 150 feet, with 143 being the hot number. Goggle eyes were getting pounded all day and we broke off a few and had some 30 plus pound fish sharked, but managed a 42 and 45 pounder on the marina scale and broke our current record.
Two minutes later we had a HOT sail lit up behind our daisy chain. It was lit up and going back and forth between dredge, chain and pitch. I pulled chain away, Fred expertly dropped back, sail ate, was in air, jumped twice and we were tight!
Saw some reports recently of some nice tripletail being caught and thought I wouldn’t mind inviting a few home for dinner. Sunday we headed out with my dad and brother and the first spot we pull up too yields a nice seven pound tripletail.
Pretty good swell with chop on top for the ride home, luckily we were cruising in the troughs. Lucky enough to see the first two sunrise and sunsets of 2016 from the boat and catch some good fish go along. Hopefully it’s a good omen for the rest of the year.
I thought I saw a huge flash of mahi blue but wasn’t sure so I didn’t wanna get my hopes up. But when I saw a cow around 10 to 15 pounds hit the other line as we were clearing I knew then it was a pair and this thing put on a show.
Another pass and I’m in the process of setting a rigger bait in the clip and the line starts smoking for a few seconds then nada. It turns out it was a blue marlin that went over to our other rigger bait and popped off before we had much to say about it. It did put on a nice show on the surface as he was greyhounding away though.
I caught and release a few more slingers. I came across some type of blue plastic 15 gallon bucket/drum. I trolled passed it and get hit (big bull) on my 12 pound test spinning rod. I was losing line fast and was afraid I was going to get spooled. I was by myself so I had to back down and fight the fish at the same time.
We set up shop at about 7am, and within two minutes we had a nice gaffer in the box.
We reset and get SMOKED, this time it’s a nice king. Put em back out and a stud Wahoo misses the first time, then comes back at 50mph and gets it!
Found great conditions in 200′ and put a couple of ballyhoo’s out. Ended up finding an incredible edge with huge mats and flyers in 600′ with nobody around. After 15 minutes we found a few dollies and a little tuna for sashimi.
We headed over to another spot that is known to have some big gags and blacks all over it. Set back up and threw out some flat lines and started bending rods , once again muttons and mangos were hitting the deck.
Crew wanted to make a run for it, so offshore we headed to the swordfish grounds. Before we even got our full spread out, the long feather chain gets nailed and gaffer Mahi on. Landed the fish in short order and reset our spread.
On the way back in we stopped at those same weed lines we saw on the way out and caught two 8 pound fins. We had the school around the boat a couple times but just like the fins under the wooden crate they seemed lethargic and were not hungry.
The action started in 140 and was hot all day from 70-130 feet from trump to breakers. We were able to hook lots of fish and the lady anglers did their best and we captured four nice fish over three hours. They were able to get 4th place dolphin and 4th place King however the prize money was paid only three prizes.
The fish was brought to the boat quickly and we didn’t realize it was a wahoo until it was right next to the boat. Fish was landed (21.6 lbs) and total chaos broke out on the boat! Sarah knew right then and there that she got her first wahoo and possibly first ladies tournament win. She lost her voice from screaming she was so excited!
It didn’t look like anything was on it, so we threw a weighted mullet under it and counted to 10. Both of us came tight on fins and got them in the boat. We also caught one triple tail on a live mullet.
We catch two or three more and work for some time and it was either quiet or the bells are ringing as we ended up with a baker’s dozen of decent size dolphin. They are not all that big but they are easy to clean and very tasty, we threw back several that did not meet the size limit and hopefully the next trip out they will still be around and have grown considerably and put up a lot more fight.
110 feet just south of Juno today, 4 inch micro goggle eye on 12 pound spinning gear, customer fought it for 30 minutes. Was 54 in the boat and after 2 hours weighed 49.89 on sailfish marina tournament scale.
Justin just turned 21 years old and wanted a big wahoo for his birthday. Started off high speed trolling at 5:30. No hits so I change it up to mullets at 6:00. I noticed there were plenty of flying fish everywhere so I put out a white and blue islander over a big split tail mullet on the shot gun line about 400 feet behind the boat. As I was setting up other lines, the shotgun line starts screaming.
Ran out to the deep and found SICK conditions like Bill and others saw. Thousands of baits, acres of mats and starving dolphin.We caught 10 schoolies before we found the bigger fish and boxed several nice gaffers in the 15 to 20 pound range.
Nice temperature break in about 120 to 150 feet out there with a color change. There are schools of dolphin and big dolphin around it. We’re averaging about 12 fish per charter. Get out there and get you some.
We decided to sneak out for half-a-day between storms and try our luck on tilefish. It took us a while to find a hungry colony, but worth the effort. Ended up with my first double header and our limit of five.
We had a nice knock down but didn’t stay hooked and have no idea what it was. Then after a driver switch and turn back south the drag starts screaming. Brought up a real nice black fin tuna. This fish was not leader shy one bit.
We decided for Saturday’s Bigdog Fatcat we were gonna fish some other spots south. Well it turns out it was the right move, we killed it. We ended up with 9 kings from 11 to 26.7 pounds, a short cobia, 4 keeper muttons up to 4.5 pounds, bonita, and some other bottom dwellers.
We then headed East to deeper water and found some promising changes in the surface and we deployed our live bait, we did some chumming and quickly gathered some large sharks behind the boat with a few good size cobia.
I slowly bring the fish close enough for Mike to reach out and stick a perfect gaff shot right in the melon. As him and Yoan fight to bring him into the boat is when I realize how big he really is. We get him on the deck and reality sets it!
We moved deeper to 200-300 feet, no bites. Well we thought no bites. As we reeled in the deep rod it had a small blackfin tuna attached to it. Weird thing was he wasn’t hooked. The circle hook just around his tail. We must have been dragging in backward for a long time because he came in dead as a door nail.
“Lots of life in 65 feet, so we lowered the riggers and started trolling. First knock down was at 7:20, small gaffer fin. Reset and continued to work a rip, south. Second knock down shortly after, spooled us before we could get control…”
Got the chance to venture down to Costa Rica in March to get away from work and do a little fishing. Fished with Tranquilo Charters out at the FADs. Ended up getting my first marlin and roosterfish. Got a lot of bites from marlin but being the noob that I am to marlin fishing most came unglued.
Quickly caught 3 dozen baits and headed out to 270 feet. Wasn’t long before we had a double header sailfish. We got one and mine spit the hook. Soon after that settled down we had yet another double header sailfish hookup. This time we got both to the boat.
I spot a frigate and Capt. Adam puts us in the area as 2 live gogs were sent out to slow troll along, didn’t take long and big bull is jumping behind the boat. Ian was aboard today and never caught a dolphin, so the rod was passed to him and he did a sweet job leading that fish right to the gaff.
Decided we might as well pull a spread during our beer drinking adventure. Ended up with 4 dolphin. Smaller 3 in the 28-30 inch range, and the big one went 43 pounds. There wasn’t a favorite bait among the fish today.
Ran about 15 miles off and I spotted a bundle of balloons and floats then Ryan spotted the right frigate!
On the third pass I look back and see 4 20 to 30 pound phins chasing the spread! All 4 rods go off, but we went 2 for 4 with a 20 plus pound cow and about a 25 pound bull!
Headed out of town for a week so figured I better slip offshore this morning. Some beautiful edges with weed out there in various depths. I opted for one in 235 feet and had two sail releases on flatlined greenies within the first 90 minutes before things got quiet.
The flocks were far and few but persistence paid off and we had a triple header on. Two of the fish got cutoff either by sharks or wahoo but I luckily stayed tight to my fish. The battle was outstanding and made me promise to start doing lower back exercises.
After practically stopping the boat and locking the drag on this fish otherwise he would have spooled my 50 wide tiagra I start cranking the fish in which took about 30 minutes of pain and agony to get to the shock cord. The fish was almost directly straight down when I noticed the wings of the yellowfin tuna.
The wind overpowered the current so it kept us moving south and we fished our majority of the time just south of the breakers. We seem to float between 180 and 350 feet of water, although we really weren’t paying attention because it was really nonstop action.
Today was Cayden’s birthday so were looking for a birthday phin or hoo. We cleared the inlet to nice flat seas. About an hour in the planer pops and Cayden starts reeling gets tight and bring it to the boat. That was his first fish on the wire line. It was a nice one the biggest of the day.
There were several very nice triple tails but we couldn’t get a bait to them though the hundreds of jacks and triggerfish. After 30 minutes of trying I finally was able to get a bait to the biggest one. Two jumps and he threw the hook, bummer for sure. Trolled a bit more and made several drops with only some very large Rosie’s to show, no love from the tiles.
Nothing on the troll, but after a few drops at the tile grounds we got a 17 pounder, headed shallow and picked up a grey tile as well. We trolled home, seeing a lot of flyers and birds and ended up with 10 footballs and 3 average phins. Good times! Phins and tuna were landed around 200 to 350 feet.
After slowing the boat and pushing the drag way up the rod was bowed way over and we all thought we were going to have a really nice wahoo. Well on the leader that wahoo turned into a 70 pound class yellowfin. The tunas around Harbour Island are known for eating only live bait, but this one wanted a blue and white islander on cable going 18mph.
Got to 120 foot and the right long goes off like a firecracker, but no run. As we are discussing whether we wanted to keep this ‘bonito’ for strip baits, and the angler is cranking like a banshee, we see stripes! Here comes the hoo!
We headed out to the bait grounds and managed to get a couple dozen goggle eyes. After the sun came up we headed south to the kingfish fleet in 70 feet off of Juno pier and joined the masses. We got our limit of Kings from 30 to 36 inches and then headed out to try our luck deep dropping for golden tilefish.
I asked the guys if they wanted to reset or head in and drop for some tilefish and they all wanted to reset so we did and it’s good thing we did. We hooked up within minutes of dropping and then the tug of war began. The next fish finally came to the surface and we could tell it was a much larger fish. Another harpoon shot and we drug her into the boat.
The seas were nice and we were able to put 4 in the box by 10:30 or so before heading back to Old Bahama Bay to meet some friends and have some lunch. Trolled from OBB to Sandy, nothing doing. Pulled in and reset N of Memory. The wind has swung around and it was a little bumpier and wetter, but we managed another 2.
“I’ve been fortunate to fish the last few weekends, live baiting off of Jupiter. We have been catching sails and dolphin pretty consistently similar to other reports on this forum. I had the awesome experience of watching my daughters both catch their first sailfish…”
We went 13 for 15 on sails, with a few on fly. Lots of big mahi. A few YFTs that made for some sashimi. We also bottom fished, dropping to about 405 ft and landed a nice red snapper and a few blue-line tiles, which tasted absolutely incredible whole fried that night!
She came up to me and wondered how come I’ve never taken her wahoo fishing… “It’s too hard for you to reel,” I said. “I’ve seen your videos and those big electric reels,” she replied. “It can get a bit boring if we’re just running around looking for a bite,” I said. “I’m patient, I’ll bring a book and some magazines.
It was kind of sloppy and grew as the day went on. We put one of the girls on her first sailfish. A big one! So we ended up taking a quickie photo and then a nice slow clean release. We grabbed a mahi and then a mutton when the girls said they weren’t feeling too good. So we went in a little early.
Turns out we never ran out for dolphin because we were catching up wahoo all morning on the out going tide. The current was running south and a front was visible just to the north. We were fishing with two wire lines and a 80 wide with braid and a variety of trolling lead from 16 to 48 ounces.
Becky wanted to catch some tuna, so we headed northeast of the inlet and started trolling tuna lures and a cedar plug. I had been successful here about two weeks ago, and wasn’t disappointed today. 10 minutes into the troll in 250 feet of water one, then two, rods start screaming, fish on!
As I was setting up my next bait the customer asked me to stop and video him proposing. Caught me off guard at first but it turned out pretty cool. They were really excited. We packed up and reset off the condos and got hit by a nice wahoo in 120 feet.
The first pass 1 minute after lines were in we had a nice little gaffer and a schoolie. We reset and bam 15 to 20 pound gaffer and another schoolie. 15 minutes in we were 5 for 7 . We left em biting to hunt for wahoo.
About two minutes after I was just joking and saying to Rob “I promise we’re doing everything right”, I see a sailfish out of the corner of my eye pop up on the outrigger ballyhoo. He was on it like stink on a monkey, and after a quick drop-back it was GAME ON!
Didn’t get the third line out in 225 feet when the sail took off with the deep line. After a spirited fight, sail came up tail wrapped, quick pic with Trevor’s first billfish then some resuscitation, colors came back quickly and away he went.
Forum member Jupiter Double D’s put together an awesome video of some memorable moments from this summer. With big fish caught and some great spearfishing, it was definitely a summer to remember. Nice work!
Been quite busy with work and tournaments this season so I haven’t had much time, but I was finally able to put together a few videos of what we were up to this summer. Big tuna, sails, mahi, kingfish, big wahoo, the whole summer shindig wrapped up into 2 videos.
Went back on the troll and all of a sudden, it went off! Singles, doubles, triples, it was a crime scene and the Mahi were on the “hit list”. We couldn’t go 10 minutes without fish pounding the spread.
No wahoo in the AM so we live baited and caught a bunch of different fish till about 10:30 then the bite shut off. We had some cool sailfish action and it was the customers first! We also had some kingfish around early. Took one to the scale and it stood in 2nd place.
We started the troll at 200 feet and kept the heading until we hit 300 feet, we saw 2 huge hammerheads cruising right past the boat and then 2 minutes later we see the left long line bounce once, twice and then bam fish on. A sail hit the black and purple bubbler and gives us a few jumps and then comes boat side.
I put out a tuna spread in 150 feet or so and headed deeper, just wanting to nail a decent blackfin. Trolled some known spots for tuna but we did not get any hits, saw a nice jumping sail fish which was very cool but no takers on our rigs.
In 150 feet of water off Jupiter the 80 wide starts screaming. A LONG RUN, which was good because it gave us time to clear the other 2 lines. Had to switch to low gear to get her in. After what seemed like eternity and my worry of the sharks biting her in half on the way in, I grab the leader and Derek sinks the gaff!
As soon as we saw it jump we couldn’t believe what was happening, we were hooked up on a Pacific Blue Marlin! and it was awesome! I fought him for an hour and a half and over two miles, all stand up, except for a few times I leaned up against the chair, my back was killing me. We leadered him 4 times before we got him close enough to take a few pictures.
Been on other side for past few weekends. Tuna and mahi fishing is still pretty good over there in the channel. Weather has been great along with the fishing. Fished over there last weekend had some nice yellowfins, big blackfins, and some pretty good deep dropping on the way home.
The fish tail walked from about 100 feet behind the boat and ended up way out in front when she finally settled back into the water. My girlfriend had no idea what she was in for, she fought it for about an hour like a pro and finally got it boat side.
One day bottom fishing, one of the boys left a rod leaning against the gunnel with a bait in the water, all of a sudden Christi shouts the rod just went over! I look over the side and it is sinking out of sight, I jumped in and swam down about 10 feet and grabbed it. Despite a good rinse, it wouldn’t work the rest of the trip.
Clayton says it feels like a big fish and as soon as we see the mouth we knew we had good one. Clayton brings the fish close, Dale maneuvers the boat and I sink the gaff into this huge wahoo. I finally get this wahoo over the gunnel and we all could not believe the size of the fish.
After a few drops and one AJ we decided to continue to trolling. Nephew reeled in his first Cuda so he was very excited. Caught and released the Cuda and continued trolling. Get a big knock down and we see a nice sail on, pops sets the hook and puts Isaac on the rod. He does a great job on the sail and we get him in the boat for a smooth catch and release.
After scooping up about three or four balloons, we finally found what we were hoping for, a wooden pallet loaded with nice sized dolphin and triple tail. We were convinced that the reason we had such luck was because of our good deed of scooping up the balloons from the ocean.
After breaking our back with more reef donkeys go inside to about 70 feet. I watch my light tackle cobia rod’s bait getting slashed by a sail on top. I had no clue what I was in for the next hour and half. Released my personal best sail and on light tackle.
I asked John what he wanted to catch and the word “sailfish” was belted out immediately as he had never caught a sail before. Hmmm, summer time… two straight days of west winds… always love a challenge. Well alright, let’s go try and find a sailfish then!
Bait of choice has been a live cigar minnow or sardine. Earlier trips were a slow north current but the last two have been a steady south current, last night the ribbonfish ate us up but still managed a dozen and a half fat boys.
Broke the inlet and set up for our Wahoo target, about 45 minutes in to it we get the bite, short battle and number 1 in the boat. We make a circle and come back across the mark from the first and number 2 starts singing, Short while later number 2 is on the deck.
The east wind pushed us inshore, so at 95 feet we decided to slow troll back out deeper keeping the kite up, at about 100 feet the long kite bait gets hit. We didn’t see the fish hit but could tell it was a solid fish. Took Scott around the boat a few laps, finally as it got closer we saw a flash of gold, sushi!
In around 100 feet of Jupiter a Canyon Gear skirt bally gets nailed and goes on a pretty good run. Ends up being a nice smoker king just under 30 pounds. Ok, the skunk is off. Continued trolling deep with no luck. Scattered weeds were a pain to deal with and really didn’t produce any strikes for us. So back in to the ledge when we get another hit on a swimming mullet in 150 feet off Juno.
We were immediately in 4 to 7 foot seas and stayed in shallow and it was still solid 7 to 9 with 10 to 12 footers mixed in. We kept the engines moving to keep the bow into it for a power drift with 4 live baits off the stern. 30 seconds into it in 70 feet we get the first strike.
Current ripping in 115 feet off lost tree, 24 pound cow eats left short and smacks the gog off hook. Wow she must be hungry because now the deep bait Is screaming! Did not know it was same fish for sure till I found 2 goggle eye in her belly at table. After a 20 minute battle and expert cooperation I Gaff her in the dome. We reset back to 200 feet and promptly jump off a 30 plus pound bull. Hold on a sec! He ate, jumped off and came back for left short! 30 minute battle and 59 inch 36.1 pound bull in the box!
The weather was less than favorable for radar so we fast trolled the area and picked off a 40 pound yellowfin. Found some nice weed and nabbed a 19 pound dolphin. Having caught 2 of the 3 targets, we decided to take advantage of the outgoing tide to try and pick off a wahoo. Same lure from last year came through again.
A big ray, with an 8 foot wing span at least swam up next to the boat to investigate. Then I hear “are those sharks with it?” No! There was a bunch of Cobia with him. I grab the closest bait and toss it over. A small one investigates first and I pull the bait away. Then one of the big ones inhales it. It was a rigged ballyhoo that he ate. After a good battle around the boat a nice Cobe joins the ice in the cooler.
Gary grabs the rod and gets tight! We need to chase this king down, so anchor ball goes overboard as me, Justin, and Kirsten bring in kites, clear flat lines, Dalton is on the wheel and backing down. Well next thing you know we got 12 inches of water in the boat and sinking, as this whole boat is a live well. King gets close and we see a shark on it, makes a run under the boat and is wrapped up in the motors now.
Around 10:45 the down rigger bait popped the clip and started a short run, at first we thought it was going to be a 20 pound class fish, that of course was before the fish realized it was hooked! After multiple runs and dumping hundreds of yards of 20 pound test off the Avet reel, we managed to get a glimpse of our fish, long silver and resembled that wahoo we wanted so badly. After 2 hours of an epic battle, we finally had the fish coming up, we finally had color and stripes! We sank the gaff first shot and had to use a second to hoist the wahoo over the side! What a monster!
Nice Mix of muttons, porgies, yellowtail, margate and other various undesirables on small vertical and Inchiku jigs. I love the challenge of artificial bait fishing and I spend a lot of time offshore trying to bag some of our areas live bottom species. Todays catch included several muttons, 6 but only two keepers, with one weighing in at 7.5 pounds.
As we work our way into spring, so far it looks pretty promising. Our past few sessions have been loaded with big resident sailfish, nice to finally slow down a bit and fight a fish rather than working for double digits, nice Mahis, kingfish, and some blackfins in the mix too.
In about 110 feet we deploy the lines and began our trolling to the east the the further the east we go, the bigger the waves, in about 180 feet I start a short video and we are interrupted by a fish on. At first he is a real screamer peeling off perhaps 150 yards of line. He gives up quickly and is boat side the gaff is and and he’s in the box.
We ran up that way and ran out of baits both times, Had dual Boston Big game kites, each with 3 live baits and 4 flat lines. NON STOP king fish action. Kept one for the smoker and tossed the rest back, sky rocketing fish made everyone happy, we did find a few dolphin also that visited the kite baits too. Then on the way in we saw spinner sharks and hooked up the guys on 20 pound spinning tackle and had a blast with jumping sharks.
I scanned to the south I saw a tern circling, so I headed over there. Once there as soon as I shut down we see a gaffer cow swim behind the boat which promptly inhaled the greenie we pitched out. Decided to just drift some livies and over the course of 35 minutes we pick up 2 more gaffers. Another 30 minutes goes by without a bite and the wind dwindled allowing seas to flatten out, feeling better about the conditions we headed back out deeper. In 150 feet we spot big mats formed up and saw a fin free jump near one, so we pitched out the baits and hook up with another gaffer and she had about a dozen (slingers) with her.
There was a nice edge with weeds in 200 feet but weeds made it tough working the inside. So about 9am we troll offshore. In about 800 feet the planer pops and drag starts screaming. A nice cow goes airborne 3 or 4 times. Wish the camera was rolling for that! Anyways got her to the boat and a perfect gaff shot by Chris, dolphin in the box.
I see something of color on top of the water of some pretty decent size maybe a ray, but not sure. So I stop quickly and begin the solo Chinese fire drill and deploy 2 runners and 1 dead sardine. I wanted Mr. sardine but I couldn’t catch him quick enough. Almost immediately the Penn SpinFisher V 5500 gets nailed on a blue runner and not even that small of a runner!
Proceed to open the bail to let him feed as it looked like he may have dropped it from his mouth, close bail and the line gets tight. I then fight the fish for several minutes trying not to horse him to the boat too quickly. He did a couple of decent runs where we saw he was a good size cobia but finally he ended up off the stern quarter and then off starboard side where Zach did a great gaff shot just as the fish began to swim away!
About 30 seconds later we hear the crack of the outrigger followed by that screaming drag that sends our adrenaline rushing. I look over and the rod is horizontal and dumping line fast! Grab it an give it one good hook set and the water explodes about 200 yards back. Knew it was a big dolphin but our guess was around 30 pounds. After about 25 minutes, multiple runs and aerials the fish was brought boat side. I back up to the opposite gunnel, Chris leaders the fish and hits him 1st shot right in the head. The fish that came over the rail was a lot bigger than the one in the water.
one of the kite baits gets nailed, sailfish! Our friend takes the rod for that one. thing is tail walking like crazy, then another kite bait gets slammed, another sail! two tail walkers. Then the ballon gog gets nailed, dolphin, triple header!
Reset the drift in about 140 feet this time. Had something peel line off like crazy and break through the mono. Guessing king, but maybe a hoo seeing how fast he took the bait. Then had a dolphin double header. The cow spit the hook but we stuck this decent bull.
The day started off slow but mid morning we found a sailfish sun bathing in 220 feet and managed to get hooked up. Worked hard all day in the sloppy conditions in my 19 key west and finally found some Kings willing to bite. First fish was a rat king caught on the downrigger and the next four were all 25 to 30 pound smokers caught on goggs. Total for the day 5 Kings and 1 Sail.
Picked away at small snapper, seabass, and some other trash fish. Around 11 or so the flatline gets a little knock and then a nice run, captain sets the hook and its game on. Work this fish to the boat and ends his day in the kill box! First cobia of the season.
Down goes a bait. It gets slammed and starts taking some good drag, I know what this is! Mr. Amberjack, I’m not complaining though. Right as the next bait his the bottom I’m on, Not pulling like an AJ either. Get him away from the rocks and up comes another gag! Bigger than the first! My biggest gag to date. Unhooked him, wiped away my tears, and let him go.
I grabbed the big spinner and a naked ballyhoo and gave the prospecting a shot. About 10 to 15 minutes into it, the ballyhoo gets slammed. I didn’t see what hit it so I left it alone. Then the beak came back up and swatted the hoo a couple times. So I flipped the bail and let some line out. By that time he moved on to the rigger ballyhoo and popped it out of the release clip. My fiancé clicks it in free spool for a few seconds and GAME ON!
Drifting north in about 140 feet, I see a sail streaking across the surface, quickly to realize he has one of our flatlines! I grab that one and fight him from a dead boat on the spinner, a few circles around the boat and some good work by Scott raising the kite bait out of the water to let the fish swim under, get a quick pic and set him free.
Ocean was 2-3 feet with some 4′s in there but all in all nice. We got gogs and saw 2 sails on the kite before 9AM in 90 feet and had a mess of fun fish south of the inlet from 80 to 110 feet on cut gogs and bonito. Not much pelagic action with the west wind, but the bottom bite is very good. limited out on yellowtails and had 6 mice muttons, kings, and a ton more!
Headed out this AM excited about the 5-10 knots of wind NOAA predicted. Well they were right for about 30 minutes. Made our way out quickly a little south of east and put in a spread of ballyhoo in 100 feet of water. Within minutes the wind picked up to a steady 15knots out of the Northwest. Made it a bit sloppy for the rest of the day.
Once I hit 105 feet, the bottom came alive. Remoras, the largest queen trigger I have ever seen, 5 muttons, all around 15 inches, porgies, mangroves, squirrelfish, and yellowtails. Safely returned all the undersized fish except 4 yellowtails and 1 mangrove snapper.
We scaled down, and quickly were in a “Bonita Fest” with football BFT’s mixed in. We hooked a nice gaffer, but he spit hook. Great people, and made the best of cards dealt. Some of the boneheads were 15 plus pounds and saved for a date with Broadbills.
We searched around for a while more and then started getting into a groove in the right area, a bit shallower to the north of there in 95 feet. Luck kept coming our way and we continued boating multiple dolphin on each shot of fish that came into our spread. Triple headers are always fun when there’s just two of us on the boat! We fished a mix of naked ballyhoo and lures and the fish ate everything we put back there.
There were birds working heavy, also saw some skippies and small boneheads tearing up bait. Picked up a phin early after working the rip. Continuing north, the wire line starts to sing. While cranking it in I can feel that he had decent size too him, Chris puts the gloves on and once we got to the shock line he starts hand jacking it in. Finally we see a beak coming up to the boat and confirm our catch, I sink the gaff and we have a hoo in the box!
We got our first hit right out side the inlet in 120 feet, boated a nice 10 pound skipjack. We continued south of the inlet, one out rigger pops and a decent dolphin is on, Kevin brings him to the boat as I throw out a gog in hopes of a follower, within a few seconds I am hooked up. We ended up catching three more phins and a few bonita before 11am.
Around 9:30 in 140 feet we get our lone hit on the pink chug that takes a ton of line on first run so the hoping game was on. After the first run it turned to almost dead weight. Put doc on the rod and he is reeling and reeling and gets the fish 20 feet from boat still not knowing what’s on the other end. It takes 3 hard runs chaffing the leader on the boat on the last run. Get him boat side and the water lights up with stripes. I knew I only had one chance, I put the hook in his gut and and into the kill box he went!
About an hour into fishing, the short bait gets batted by a sail, but I missed it as the bait was batted off. Very quickly, a second sail is on the long bait. This one gets the hooks and takes to the air. I could see more fish around but with one angler, focused on the hooked fish while it danced around the boat. The fish was brought to the boat and released in healthy condition.
So I look at this wahoo and now I know I’m dreaming. Friend calls me and makes me take his boat out without him. 5 minutes in I hook a wahoo on a snook plug, on a Penn 750, on 20lb braid with no leader. Then he almost spools me. Then my super novice gaff man makes a great first shot to seal the deal. Weighed out at 39 pounds.
then it hit and it hit like a bullet on the shotgun rigged swimming mullet. Probably the sickest run I have ever seen a fish take, it had the Trinidad 50 singing like a bird! Not to mention at the same time the wahoo hit we had a small sail hit the short rod.
“I am scrambling to get the lines cleared as Derek and Kyle fight their fish. All good so far, so we gaff Kyle’s bull and chase down the big cow. Teamwork at its best as Derek hands the rod to Kyle while I am driving and trying to GoPro at the same time! Derek sinks the gaff in her after a few sketchy runs when she was right near the boat. HIGH FIVES! Derek’s personal best on dolphin at almost 30 pounds!”
Palm Beach Inlet Producing
Florida Sportsman member: Salty_Cracker
Found a few scattered weeds but they weren’t holding fish so we headed back shallower. Were getting tired of not catching so we put the tuna chain out down the middle. Picked up some black fins quickly and kept 3 for dinner.
Didn’t keep all we caught but end of day we caught over 14 mahi, keeping only five and two blackfin which went for sushi at the dock. We picked up a sail but it didn’t take hold long enough for the hook set but did see it jump. Saw plenty of huge triple tail on debris, logs, doors, and buckets but hard to stop a eight wide spread.
After breezing thru customs, we started our wahoo troll out in front of Old Bahama Bay. Within 10 minutes we boated our first hoo. Next pass we got hooked up again. They both hit the shotgun mackerel lure. Trolled another hour without any more bites. We made the decision to deep drop and caught our limit of queen snapper and yelloweyes within an hour.
I had heard the dolphin were in shallow so straight out Jupiter Inlet I deploy the spread in 75 feet of water heading east. I only get to 80 feet and my long line gets nailed. Nice phin, he is doing the dance. I have 3 other lines out but have the fish off the side so I leave them in while maintaining a slow troll. Sure enough, double header, I get another phin on.
Within 15 minutes one of my TLD25′s started screaming and didn’t stop until it was almost down to the knot. Quickly pulled all lines out of the water and turned the boat to chase and gain some line back. After a few leaps he sounded to around 500 feet right under the boat, Fight ensued for about 45 minutes and we brought him to the boat side.
About an hour after that in 185 feet we hooked up to a sail off the port outrigger and Kim was back at it on the rod yet again. It put on a spectacular show with plenty of jumps and some good runs. We got him to boat where I unhooked it and swam it to revive it for a couple minutes. It didn’t need much and his tail was kicking good so off he went to give another angler the same thrill in the future.
I let the fish take some line and set up on it and I knew I had a good fish on. Too good I thought at first because despite my heavy drag setting line was leaving the reel pretty fast on the initial run. Typically what we see from small sharks, but it was soon apparent it was fighting like the right species, after several tense minutes I was able to boat a nice 21” mutton snapper.
Headed out with a good friend Mike from work in hopes of catching a wahoo on his vessel, which hasn’t been done as of yet. Last month we missed a good wahoo that smoked my wire line with a 50W. Today we trolled the last little bit of out going tide. We trolled depths from 150 -400 feet. We found a good rip and weed line at 30 feet’ so we worked that for a bit with no action. Decided to head in a little and got this wahoo in 230 feet on the wire line again with a split tail mullet.
Got to boynton, put the spread out, but no bites for about an hour. The next thing I hear is a splash, two other guys on the boat, Nate and Jeff are doing back flips off my hard top. Its now almost 1:30, we are in 175feet of water almost straight off of boynton inlet, and they are just getting back in the boat from their swim. I hear Matt and Nick almost at the same time yell HOLY SHI** . I turn around and saw what was left of a huge explosion.
Hanks goal is to load up the freezer with fish and wanted to catch an AJ so our first stop this morning is the AJ spot and put two fish in the box first thing this morning.
We broke the SLI before 6:00am at high tide and headed to the red buoy out front in hopes of locating some Blue Runners. Nothing doing there so we hit the NE spot and caught a mix bag of Grunts, one large Goggle Eye and a Blue Runner. I even caught a small grouper and mutton (both tossed back)[...]
Head out early today in hopes of the elusive wahoo. We trolled through different depths in front of inlet from 100-350 feet. We got this wahoo on the wire line using a split tail mullet as bait. Weighed the fish on Miller Time’s digital scale and the fish weighed 32lbs. Enjoyed lunch at Two George’s then headed home to clean the boat.
I took my son out snapper fishing today. We found a good mangrove bite in 110 feet just north of the inlet. We moved to reset the drift and set out a flat line, within 5 minutes the flat line goes off. My dad hands the rod to my son and he goes to work.
He had the fish to the boat in about 10 minutes we sink the gaff and high fives all around. Not sure who was happier him catching the fish or me watching him catch it. This was his first wahoo. We ended the day with 5 mangroves a yellowtail and 1 wahoo.
Brett R, Jerry, and Mark were in town, and wanted to fish the Everglades. Asked if I was game and my reply was akin to “does a bear….” (last 2 trips we killed it on Wahoos, fins, sails) Grabbed a few sardines / cigars on way out and buzzed edge for an hour w no bites. Conditions looked so so w nice rips, but dirty green water, million jelly fish etc. Had reports today that Water was 2 degrees cooler than week-end, green water out to 240′+. Current was ripping at 3.6 to 4.0 to the N with a 8-10 knot E/SE breeze.
Headed out of Fort pierce really early to try and buy bait from Dave, but he wasn’t there.. I personally do not like going to the buoy at all, but I needed live bait, so we headed to 10 a.m. Crew was my wife and my buddy Jeremy. We loaded up the livewell in no time at all, but all the baits were VERY small…little sardines, little cigars, and little hornbellies.
I’ve been reading all the greats wahoo reports (congrats to all) so I decided last minute to go wet some lines. The wife and kids had been north for about 10 days visiting family and I stayed behind to complete some projects around the house (honey-do list). Got my high speed gear on the boat, 2 bags of ice and cleared the inlet solo at 9 a.m. Ran a 4-line spread. Bite came at 10:30 am between Ritz and pier on the 300 line in 220 feet. A few minutes later, gangsta hoo #1 in the box.
With all the wahoo reports and our run in with King Kong last weekend, the crew wanted to target wahoo this morning instead of swordfish. The lures were rigged, the rods were readied, and the plan was made. Hit the inlet at 6:00 a.m. and headed north. Ten minutes into the troll our long gets smoked. Three crew members cranked in the inside three rods as the angler started to winch in the fish. Ten minutes later the hoo pooped up on the surface dragging behind the boat.
I quickly packed up the boat and headed to the boat ramp. Dropped the boat in at 12:30, 10 minuets later lines in at 150ft and headed east. Scattered weeds at 250 and 480, kept going. At 890 I see a promising rip with weeds up ahead. About 150ft from making my turn to parallel the weed line the port rigger goes off. Line’s going off the TLD30 faster than I’ve ever seen before.
Cleared the inlet at 6am with Chris, Cayden, and Billy. Lines in at 6:15 work the inlet all morning. Cayeden gets a bonita. Then when pull by the skycliff, the braid starts screaming. 15 mins later we were shocked to see a amberjack come up. Reset the spread and in about an hour the braid goes off again. This time a 22lb. wahoo comes aboard. Then about 45 mins later the braid goes off and doesn’t stop. About 900 yards off braid gone the backing is starting show.
About 5 minutes passed while we continued bottom fishing with the light spinning tackle. I then noticed that the tip of the heavy rod was slightly “twitching”. I thought that it might be some smaller bait-stealers, but wasn’t sure. I picked the rod out of the rod holder and gave it a few slow cranks. The line came tight and I set the hook. The fish didn’t make much of a run, and for 5 seconds or so, I thought I might have snagged bottom. I then handed the rod to my brother-in-law and strapped on the fighting belt.
With the final leg of the Bluewater Tournaments on Saturday we needed to load the pen with bait. Headed out of Boynton early Friday and caught 8 dozen gogs in short order. I just happened to bring two rods so we could pre-fish a little before catching runners and speedos. Ran just south of the Martini in 260 feet where the water was nice and blue. I pitched out a goggle-eye on the TLD 15 with engine in gear and about 30 yards from the boat I get crushed. Fish is making a blistering run offshore and we chase it down.
We were launching off by 6:30AM. Catching bait was not an option today. We loaded up on goggle eyes from teh bait man and headed offshore. We setup at 380′ of water with one on the down rigger and two surface lines. Within 10 minutes, the surface line screamed and we found that the goggle eye was cut in half. We reset and 30 minutes later, as we were about to pick up and go, another surface line screamed again.
Taking my daughter Jamie out today. We arrive at the ramp a little after 5:30am to a small crowd at the ramp. We ran into the Undertaker (Chuck), my UPS man at the ramp this morning.We pick up 30 dollars worth of baits being that there is a outgoing tide this morning with Lake O water flooding all our favorite bait spots. We ran to the NE spot just to see if we can mark any baits. They were there but they were not chewing. We decided to point the bow Southeast into the rough seas and make our way as far south as we could to stay south of the inlet all day to make the ride in easier.
Windfinder was calling for 3.4 feet at 4sec on Saturday, so we decided not to go. Of course they were wrong, resulting in Paul and I missing out on a perfectly calm day offshore. We were not happy to get punk’D by Windfinder so between his daughters birthday and me having out of town visitors, we were briefly able to sneak out and fish from 11-1pm Sunday. Seas were sloppy 3-5 foot, and close together. Lots of mating turtles and flyers all over.
I started off by attending a fishing seminar at White’s Tackle in Stuart which was headed by the host of Reel Time Florida Sportsman George Gozdz. It got me pumped! It was a Cobia and Tarpon seminar.
So after we got our bait we hit the beach for Tarpon. We found nothing. Cobia never crossed my mind until the class but since I had a idea now how to catch them in this area we set out. That was one of the first times in my life that on the first trip of targeting a certain fish we nailed it. We went 5 for 7 on Cobia.
Ran all the way out to 1200 feet and there were no weedlines rips or anything to fish. This summer has proven to be TOUGH on catching bait and little to no sargassum. Started heading back to the ledge when we spotted a palm frond with 2 nice tripletail. Then we put out a trolling spread with E$ at helm and worked from 160 to 115 feet at the north end of Condos to Tiara. The current was smoking at 3.5 knots to the north and water was gin clear past 100 feet. First bite ripped some drag, pulled the hook??
We headed out with waves any where from 2-4 feet. The wind blowing pretty good, which meant we were getting soaked on the way out. We finally got to the dolphin grounds and started trolling in 200 feet of water. We trolled both ballyhoo and artificials but didn’t get anything. We continued to troll for a few hours and then decided to drift with live bait in hopes of sailfish or dolphin. We started drifting in 200 feet of water for about 30 minutes. We didn’t get any hits, so we decided to go a little shallower.
Got a super late start after having a few adult beverages at the lighthouse sand bar. While there I caught a few grunt on bits of squid and out the inlet to calm 2 foot seas by 2:15. B lined it for the edge. Got out off the pier and it was non stop. Current was strange! Felt like no current on the bottom but there were rips going all directions out there. Any squid or sardine whole or chunk got inhaled within 30 seconds. Caught some decent yellowtails, muttons, porgies and a king (on squid). Put in 2 solid hours and kept enough for dinner. The biggest mutton was caught by a first timer! Nice way to start out huh?
We left the inlet bout 6:30 after stoping to get bait from Dave. Headed northeast to bottom fish a ledge. I have several good bottom spots out of SLI but since I’ve moved north I’ve yet to find any good prouductive bottom numbers out if FPI. The seas were 3 ft but far enough apart to run the 16 miles fairly quickly. We anchor up in 80-90 feet just southeast of Bethel shoal. I was expecting a fast current but was surprised at the lack of it. We get our chum and lines set up and in no time the flat line gets hit.
Went out yesterday looking for that big dolphin…I have yet to get a big boy this year! Ran out and found absolutely nothing. Made the decision to come in and fish the tide change on the edge and look for wahoo and it was a good decision! Picked up this slob mid-afternoon on the tide in 130 feet just north of the inlet. She ate a horse bally…naked ! Also picked up a couple small dolphin. Really enjoying the new contender! Gonna take the weekend off from the tournaments and enjoy a little peanut island!
Bait was hard to catch this morning, so I was glad that I bought a few dozen pilchards and some crabs. After hitting bottom spot after spot with little to no luck, we had made our way up past the peanut. 175 line. I was headed to another spot when we past a huge black mat, and what at first I thought was a sail under it. I spun the boat around and quickly tied a new leader and hook onto our spinner. As we made our way back to the fish I knew it was to big to be a sail, but didn’t want to say marlin and be wrong.
Went out boozin on the Ocean yesterday with some lady friends and my buddies Cpt. Nick Morris and Cpt. Ryan Stang. We snagged a few baits from a friend out on the water just to have some lines out for the hell of it. Hooked up in 250 feet of water drifting a threadfin on a weight about 100 feet down. Low and behold it was a mutton. That son of b musta been hungry. Let the ladies take turns reeling it in. Summer time must be here…bikinis and snapper.
I decided to go out last minute, considering next week is mothers day and I usually give that weekend to the wife. I met up with my buddy Kevin and hit the inlet around 7 a.m. We picked up a half dozen live sardines from Gary Jr. just in case trolling didn’t pan out. We started trolling north all the way to the pier with only one bonita to show for it. We then went off shore to around 900 feet and not much going on out there. Heading back was a little snotty with the wind blowing out of the west.
I hear the swords have been chewing so I loaded up the boat and made the run down south. The ocean was nice and the storms were staying on shore! Got 2 nice size dolphin on the weigh out around 20-25 pounds. I Made 3 drops; the first drop had a couple weak hits pulled up half a bait; the 2nd drop got tight with a nice fish pulled half way up. The 3rd drop was down 10 minutes 2 hits later, the rod started to load out my hooker on full speed and got a good hook in set. The fish didn’t fight much on the way up until I got the weight off. The fish started to surface behind the boat slashing its bill. I backed up on him and he started to come right to the boat so I stuck him with the gaff! I was running low on gas so we headed in. My buddy got a 450 pounder when we went in!
Thought I would sneak offshore today before work. Me and a couple of friends left Sandsprit around 6:45 a.m. The sea was a little rough with a 3-5 foot swell and some chop, but not too bad. We started trolling in 80 feet and had a nice gaffer bull on within twenty minutes on a green stubby bubbler with a ballyhoo. We kept trolling and had 2 knock downs with nothing to show for it. Then around 9:30 we caught a gaffer cow in 140 feet on a blue and white skirted bait. The water was really warm today, about 78 degrees. Headed in around 10:30 and the inlet was definitely a little sketchy in my 18 foot pioneer.
Instead of leaving at 4 we pushed it to 6 to check the stream out and if it was a go we would continue. Shoved off at 6 and made or way out SLI. Once in the stream we were hitting 5-6 feet on the chin so made the call to do it another day. Pointed west and came back into 200 feet off the powerplant. From there it was a steady flurry of action. We picked away at schoolie dolphin, cudas, and Bonita’s. I believe we were working the 160 foot area as I don’t think I had a free minute from 8-11 to even look where we were depth wise.
We cleared the inlet to some absolutely beautiful conditions. Glassed over ocean, literally like a lake. Made for a beautiful ride out. We set up the spread in 100 and started to work our way out. I think the winds from the past week had pushed debris in, because there were all sorts of weedlines, buoys, buckets, and bamboo floating around. We pull up to a buoy with rope in 220. No dolphin on it, but LOADED with triple tail. We get our first ever triple tail in the boat! Had another one on but he got off the hook. At that point they all swam down so we moved on.
Headed out aboard The Jim n’ Tonic Monday about 6:45am. We set up to troll in 150 feet. About 20 minutes into it, a nice cow hits port inside rod. Into the box she went.About 730 feet we see a phin looking at the port rigger,he takes it, I grab the rod as he spits the hook. I throw it into free spool to see if he’ll hit again…he just doesn’t hit…he devours and bulldogs across top of water. From a distance we know its a big bull. Fighting him to the boat, 30 minutes later, he’s whipped as he’s gaffed and welcomed aboard the Jim n’ Tonic. High fives circulated the boat, coffee replaced by Miller Light.
Picked up some Goggs and broke the inlet (PBI) to a confused sea around 7:45am on Sunday. Wind was nearly non-existant, but it was snottier then expected and waves were fairly tight together. Decided to break out the artificials and trolled south between 100-300 feet with a purple/orange yo-zuri, two skirted lures, and a feather way back. Saw a lot of birds working what must have been small tuna/bonies crashing tiny flyers, but no strikes.
The wind dropped off to less than 20 so off we went. The morning started off a little rough with a bad throttle cable causing a 1 hour delay. We set our baits out at 8:30 in 130 feet of water on a color change with scattered grass and lots of flying fish being shoved around by dolphin ranging from 20 inches to 20 pounds.
Put two more people on their first sails yesterday! My buddy asked me at the dock if the sails where still biting and I said, think its just about over. First fish came at 8:20am in 85 feet of water off Lake Worth Pier. Second fish was in 160 feet off the Breakers. The conditions where less than comfortable (seas where not bad, wind was HOWLING). First time I used my high wind kite and it was struggling to stay in the air[...]
Only got around dozen mixed gogs and runnners. Decided to high speed down to Singer Island. No luck. Set up drift in around 125 feet and drifted in to 100 feet. No action. Next we set up in 150ft with live baits on the freeline and a few down as well. Now we are drifting out. At around 200 feet off Juno we get a real mild hit on the goggle eye on the flatline. Gets hit again but really didn’t eat it, or so I thought. Decide to check the bait only to realize we have a sail on the line! He goes bananas and puts on a good show.
Hit the inlet in the dark, bought bait and headed out. Five line spread in before sunrise in 120 feet of water due east of the inlet. Less the 15 minutes in the troll, we see something crash the short bait and miss. Two seconds later both long lines get hit. My buddy Dan on the starboard line fights the fish to the boat as I fight the port fish/ clear lines. He gets fish to boat and its wahoo. I gaff fish after my other buddy misses with gaff twice. My fish is now in rod holder for second time. Box his fish and mine before 8 am[...]
I fished a ¾ day, and because of the big swell and the turned up bottom, live bait was not to be had. I pretty much knew that would be the case, so I already had the dredge and trolling baits ready to go. We ran out to the NE and set out in 75 feet of water. I nice down sea tack while we set out brought us to an edge in 100 feet of water about 3 miles north of the inlet. We fished it for a bit with only bonita bites to show for it. I decide to push offshore to a couple hundred feet and check it out. There was another rip in 160 feet with some grass and bait in it.
Today was a great day of Stuart Fl charter fishing. We started our day trolling on the 110 line in 90ft on an edge and before I got the dredge in the water we had hooked 4 gaffer dolphin on the troll. We ended up catching 3 of them. We picked away at the Mahi’s all day and ended the day with over 30 bites and boxing 22 of them from 7-14lbs. We also managed to have 6 sail bites on the troll with our guys hooking and landing their own sails.
Left SLI at 6:30 Sunday to do some trolling with my soon to be father and brother in law. We headed south out the inlet, and caught a 15 pound wahoo on mono rigged ballyhoo at 7:30 in 90 feet. After that my father in law made me aware that he brought bananas with him, and laughing knowing how I feel about having them on my boat.We were headed for push button after that and found scattered weeds and birds in 170 feet doubled up with two schoolies at 10. Around 11:30 we saw a fish going after the short line, and we are sure its a sail behind the bait. We drop it back to him, and it ended up being a 20 pound bull.
We went offshore at 7:00 a.m. Caught a nice tuna at 200 feet, east of Jupiter around 8:30. Noticed a little slick and continued zig zagging north on it. At 9:15 planer pops in 240′ and 10 pound mahi is in the boat. 9:30 planer pops in 280 feet and line is screaming off and then spits the hook. Thinking maybe a wahoo. Get back to trolling my new spreader bars/daisy chains and at 10:00 4 miles south of Push Button Hill my buddy Matt sees a big fish free jumping with 2 birds circling above.
Wanted to get out on the water before the winds started howling again. After calling everyone on my phone, finally asked my 73 year-old neighbor if he wanted to go fishing. He said “Sure”, so we headed out this morning around 7:15AM. Trolled for about 1.5 hours, no luck. Winds started picking up from the North, so we headed in to the 70 feet reef off of Juno. Got a couple of small yellowtail, then some of nice size. So we move about 1/4 mile north and pull in a Rainbow Runner. Then Fuzzy’s rod bends over and he is tugging and pulling away. Low and behold a big Fat Porgy comes to the boat. Very nice size fish
Wanted to share/brag on my first triple tails. One was 18 pounds and the other was 12 pounds. The picture is of the 18 pounder. Got them pretty far offshore, and that’s about all I have to say about that.
Started our day on the 4th catching a well full of bait. After the previous days fishing we had big expectations for some dolphin and sail action. Conditions changed We started where we had good action the previous 3 days for sails and mahi’s. We caught a 12 pound king and had a few others cut us off. We pushed offshore and caught some boneheads. Back inshore and we jumped a sail off and had another scissor lip us. Decided to do a little meat fishing to break up the monotony. We caught 4 amberjacks to 25 pounds, and an 18 pound Gag Grouper.
Went out Saturday to try and bag a few phins for Superbowl Sunday! Started out north of SLI in 130/’ and worked our way out to 250 feet. Pretty blue water out in 250 feet with scattered weed and missed on a few phins. Then finally connected on a solid cow in 150 feet. Missed on double of sails. Naked ballyhoo and pink skirt/bally combo were the ticket. Sounds like we’re going out in the am so hoping for some more dinner.
We had a fun day and enjoyed great conditions. Plenty of bites from Kings and other critters. We caught 1 out of 2 sails today on the troll. We missed one in the dirty green water in 80 feet this morning straight out and caught 1 in the pretty blue water in 115 ft a little NE.
The highlight of the day was the dolphin action. We ended up having plenty of bites with a couple fish around 25 pounds and a bull that tipped the scales at 49 pounds. Took us for ever to catch that sucker (ironically the fight was exactly 49 minutes on the old GPS) The bull came with a 25 pound cow the second of those for the day. All fish ate trolled circle hook ballyhoo and the best mahi fishing was in the blended water between 80-120 feet. Lots of flyers and scattered grass.
Went out Friday morning with a bunch of runners and a few gogs but got beat up as seas built quickly so headed back in around 10am. Noticed the seas seems to be laying down yesterday while I was on a booze cruise up and down the ditch so decided to go out this am early. Inlet was smooth at 6 am and seas were manageable all day long, 2-3 feet. Today we cleaned up on goggle eyes at North rocks and actually had more goggles than runners! We thought we would slay it today.
Today I fished with Capt. Jimmy (Ace), Brad, Stan, and Scott for the third day in a row targeting sails. Yesterday was way slow and we only did a ¾ day with the last hour focusing on the bottom and reefs for Amber Jacks and Cobia. We caught a few AJs but no cobia that day. Today we had sails on the mind again, but after spending pretty much all day with the kites up and only jumping one sailfish off, catching a dolphin, losing a dolphin, and having a ton of kingfish and shark bites we went back to the bottom. Even though we didn’t catch the sail, we did get a few pictures of it.
We cleared the inlet to FLAT seas, picked up a handful of blue runners just outside the inlet and headed on our way. We had read the bite south was slow for the past few days, so NE we went. Attempted to bottom bounce the sandpile on the way out and sunk a few liveys to no avail. We pointed the bow NE to find some “fishy” conditions. I Decided to double back against the stream and came across about a 30 foot tree floating with its own ecosystem. Squirt some mild and drop out some runners and gaffer on! This was my friend son’s first phin!
Went out with some friends this morning to go catch wahoo, mahi, and tuna. With only a 2 hour trip off Jupiter inlet we landed a tuna and a wahoo, and lost a dolphin at the transom. Fishing was great. I caught the wahoo deep off a planer with a white over blue flasher series islander with a horse ballyhoo. The tuna was caught on a naked ballyhoo. All fish were caught between 120-280 feet. Good day with good friends.
Finally got a break in the weather and we jumped on the opportunity to dust off the old grady and fish. Cleared the inlet around 7 and the seas were absolutely beautiful. We started off the powerplant in 100 and worked our way out. There was a huge fleet of sportfish boats working this area, so we joined in the mix. We troll by a big matt of weeds and outrigger pops, dolphin on. While fighting him, i see another dolphin jumping and he had the shotgun bait in his mouth. My friend got tight on him. Dad gaffs number one, then gaffs number two, and we have dinner.
Once again it seems when least prepared, We get a nice one!! Left Boynton inlet 8 A.M. enroute to Ft. Lauderdale for a Garmin electronics seminar and training class. Before turning to the South, we do a high speed troll for a couple circles in front of Boynton inlet, Nice fish on for about 4 seconds in 180 then gone! After a couple more passes we turned South and didn’t get anything until Boca. A quick hit and gone! 280 feet just south of Hillsboro we have nice fish on and soon after it’s in the boat!
“Cleared the inlet the around 7am with Chris and Billy. Was greeted with 3-5 footer’s at the inlet and got though them with no problems. We set up the spread and head north. Get a bonita on a strip to start the morning off. Then the planer pops and nothing. Right after that the rigger gets hit and loose that one. Later on we get a double-header. Two phins in the box. Get up to the ritz and work that for a while and then head back south.
Mate Chris Watkins (left) and angler Paul Duwyne (right).
Kelly Johnson sent this recent fishing success in to share with the FS community. It’s a good sign of what’s to come this season as the temperatures continue to cool. Sailfish are here!
“On his personal bucket list, Paul Duwyne wanted to enjoy a day of offshore fishing in Florida and catch his very first sailfish. Well, the conditions were not ideal, but his wish became a reality aboard Reel Candy Sportfishing Charters, out of Jupiter, Florida this past weekend. In sloppy 4 to 6 foot seas, Captain Marvin Steining and mate Chris Watkins were able to grant Paul his wish by catching not only his first sailfish, but another as well! Both of the sailfish were caught and released off a kite, using goggle eyes for bait.”
Epic Bloody Sunday
Florida Sportsman member: e-money
Had a half-day lined up on my boat Sunday AM for trip with kids. Wind was HOWLING 20 plus at dawn and I did not feel comfortable so i called them to re-schedule. I heard MD20/20 was rolling out, and they were kind enough to pick me up for the day! Man I was stoked for “work” as the recent weather has put a hurting on guides, captains, dive boats. Total last minute, I literally RAN to the dock [...]
I’ve been crazy busy filming “Reel Time” and I’ve been slacking on my reports. The bite offshore has been great so no better time to report then now. After loading the wells full of mullet and pilchards we headed out. Set up both days in the same exact spot. 110′ was the magic number for me. Chummed while we fished 2 kite baits and 3 flatlines.[...]
Florida Sportsman member Stetson Law captured some fantastic images off Stuart this past weekend. Greyhounding sailfish and frisky dolphin made for the perfect subjects. “Started off sailfish season off Stuart this morning on the Three Buoys. Non-stop action all day long. Hooked 8 sailfish, 10 dolphin, 1 cobia, and 1 big mutton on live bait.”
Went out Saturday morning with Chris and Cayden. Plan was to fish ’till noon, then go anchor up at the island to let the kids play. Set up the spread around 6:40 a.m. and start working around the inlet from 140 to 380. Around 7 a.m. the down rod goes off and half way to the boat a ‘phin goes airborne. As Chris gets it closer to the boat, I was thinking maybe a gaffer, then the line in the rigger pops out and the rod doubles-over. Grab the rod and a few minutes later a nice blackfin comes up to the boat [...]
Was blessed to get the call from CNTDR about a Bahamas trip! We had an awesome crew with CNTDR (aka “Jiffy” Jeff), Clarke, Jim and E$. Cleared and put em’ in right away, 15 minutes in ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! STUD hoo’ pushing 50 pounds in the box. Set em’ back and it got quiet so we bottom fished, catching a variety of muttons, yellowtails, strawberries, porgies, and rocked up by at least 4 BIG groupers [...]
Well, the water went to total crap everywhere inside of 400 feet today. Brown and nasty. Tried the spots the tuna had been, but there was no love there. Plenty of small false albacore, but that was it. So, after the sun cleared out enough to have decent visibility, wandered out to about 800 feet and poked around some loosly formed mats of weeds. Was at it for a while without seeing anything remarkable when this thing swam up!
Got an early start with Zach (FLDXT) and was at Bull Shark at sunrise, not much happening in the way of bait. Managed a few small dines & gogs not worth hanging around for. Shot out to the Shrimper and that was an improvement, managed some decent dines and cigar minnows. While bringing in a stringer full, Zach has a cobe come up and commence to help himself to the struggling baits on the sabiki, turns out 3 more were with em’.
The coffee colored water got us pretty far offshore today. The water turned from green to blue in 370 feet. Tucker (from West Marine in Jupiter) and I were talking on the way out about blues, I have been wanting to finish the SLI Billfish Grand Slam (sword, sail, white and blue marlin) all I needed was to land a blue, long odds! [...]
Headed out this morning with Chris and Billy, cleared the inlet with seas about 2-to 4-feet. We headed north and put the spread out in 80 feet. Tons of turtle grass and weeds everywhere. Kept getting weeded up from 150-to 400-feet. After a couple hours of that and getting pushed way north of the Lake Worth peir, we head back south. We go into shallower water to get away from the weeds. Going straight south into the waves was a bumpy troll but worth it [...]
Spent the day fishing with our buddy Charlie Stuve out of Jupiter Inlet. Loaded the well with 200 sardines just outside the inlet and headed out in search of muttons. Charlie had a 12 pound and 17 pound mutton this week, so we had high expectations. Had my 14-year old son and his buddy on board for a trip before school begins on Monday [....]
Called my buddy Chris and Alan on Saturday and made plans to fish Sunday hoping we would not get rained out. We got to the ramp at 6:40 and went for bait in front of the inlet, it was loaded with sardines and gogs, picked up about a dozen and a half and started trolling. The idea was to troll for wahoo and possibly pick up a few kings in between. Headed north and right away planer pops in 125 feet in front of the inlet and first kingfish in the boat, he hit a strip with pink skirt [...]
My buddy has been trying for a few years to catch the elusive palm beach wahoo! He has been with me in the Bahamas and caught a few but they have eluded him on his boat. I went a couple of times and we scatched out one or two bites but never got one in the boat. Well this changed this weekend! We figured it would be crowded on the water so we had lines in at 530 a.m. and put out some mullets [...]
When I got a call on thursday that my friends gaterzone19 and flatsfisher were coming down from FSU, the first thing that came to my mind was swordfishing, and that is exactly what we did. I loaded our pen with runners the day before and we were ready to go. We decided to get out early and make a few daytime drops [...]
Had the pleasure of hosting Mark, Aiden and Brennan for a 1/2 day. It was a celebratory trip for Aiden, who just celebrated his 9th birthday! E$ hadn’t broke out the hoo gear in a minute, but felt confident [...]
Hot Tuna Bite off Stuart
Florida Sportsman member: Alwaysforward
We decided with the higher winds yesterday that we should buy some baits this morning just to be safe. Picked 20 baits up from (2) kids running Chips boat at the ramp around 5 a.m. or so then headed out insearch of some sardines. Arrived at Bullshark and loaded up on goggle eyes and sardines. When I tossed in a large blue runner into the livewell, Alie started talking fish talk [...]
Ken and I decide to return to bump trolling that same weed line as we followed it N/B. We get to the east side of the weed line and set out one line which gets hit immediately by a gaffer Phin. I still have bait on a down line and Ken throws out his bait which gets hit almost immediately. There were gaffer phins swimming all around the boat. Then the down line gets hit by another gaffer [...]
Made a run to the east in some pretty sporty weather to say the least. Came to a flock of birds just out of the gulf stream approx. 45 miles to the east and started our chunking. Unfortunately, we only had a couple dozen gogs with us and 3 flats of sardines, no live chumming on this venture. Went through the flock with a couple 30 tiagras to try and pick up some skippies and mark the yellowfins. Successfully we marked them and caught some extra chunking bait “skipjacks” before we made a drift [...]
Gary, Jim , John and myself were sponsored by the Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Benevolent to fish in the Fourth Annual Team Sargent KDW out of the Rybovich Marina in West Palm Beach. Getting an early start from Boynton Beach we met up with Dynamite Live Bait picked up a dozen goggle eyes and two dozen pilchards then headed to the fishing grounds. Decided to troll first with wahoo on our minds. My usual spread consisted of Islanders ranging from white/pink(mylar), purple/black, red/black(mylar) and a split tail mullet on the wire line [...]
Within 15 minutes of setting up, we have a BOMB on long kite bait. Get him up, solid blackfin in the box. As this is going on the flatline gets SMOKED by a 30 pound class blackfin! He goes in the box as the other kite bait goes off! It was GREAT team was stoked. Head back out for a few hours Saturday [...]
Took a vacation day today to take 4 people out today for some offshore fun. Gary, his brother Dan and his son Derek along with Gary’s son AJ. Full boat today for sure. We picked up some bait from the bait guy at the ramp this morning just in case [...]
Had the pleasure of hosting a repeat trip for Kasper clan Sunday. Weather was nice, bait was tough but managed some runners and hand full of gogs pre-dawn. Water was still green inshore but instead of South current, it was ripping N at 3.5 knots (does anyone have a clue on how current can do a 180 like that)? In about 200 feet we spot some “floatsam”. Pulled some almaco jacks and SOLID triple tails! [...]
Captain David Knight of Lady Stuart Deep Sea Fishing party boat, docked at Hutchinson Island Marriott, reported a spectacular day of fishing on Wednesday. 23 anglers caught about 3 dozen sea bass, four huge triggerfish, 3 whitebone porgies, 4 banded rudderfish, 8 mahi, 6 mangrove snapper, and a 25lb amberjack. The catch of the day was a 29.4 lb mutton snapper, which was just 1 lb shy of the world record! This moster of a fish was reeled in by Tom Kulinski of Port St. Lucie, FL using 20lb test line on a light spinning rod. Tom Kulinski took the fish to the Snook Nook, where it was officially weighed in on a digital scale.
According to Captain David Knight, the mutton and mangrove snapper bite should continue strong through the summer. We also anticipate the bite to continue strong for mahi, as well as black sea bass, triggerfish, porgies, vermillion snapper, and lane snapper.
Port Saint Lucie Offshore Fishing Report
Florida Sportsman member: Alwaysforward
Headed out from 70ft in search of some weeds. Finally came across ouf first weeds in 700 ft north of the Hill. Put out the normal spread of livey’s, chunks and menhaden oil and one other special ingredient – Menhaden Milk. Read in Florida Sportsman about how the milk mixes better with the water than the oil does. I figured best of both worlds when using both. The oil makes the slick so you can see where to keep your bait in and the milk disperses in the water [...]
Headed out of Boynton Inlet around 6:30am with my buddy Chris, looked for some bait in front of the inlet and only managed about six sardines . Headed off shore to look for dolphin, came across a weed line around 450ft, quick troll, nothing. Decided to head way off shore , passed 750ft with some really nice weed patches, but already two many boats around, so continued out further to find our own, we saw a buoy of some sort floating in about 1,400 ft or so we thought it was a buoy [...]
With our success last tournament hopes were high to have a good showing for the first SKA Div. 8 battle. Team was the same except I had my cousin Dale down from Georgia for the weekend and he volunteered to be the picture and video guy. Weather was forcasted to be flat calm with the possibility of thunderstorms in the afternoon. We loaded the wells with bait just inside the inlet and waited patiently for the Bimini start at 7 a.m. [...]
On Saturday, Ria and I took her brother out fishing, along with three of her brother’s friends from Ohio, one of whom had never fished in his life, let alone caught anything before. We broke the inlet around 8:45 to flat calm seas and a beautiful day. Ran out to around 550′ where we found the second nice looking weedline. (Passed the first after not seeing much life and wanting to start the day deeper.) Once we got the lines in, a few flying fish made an appearance and had the newbies in absolute awe that fish could indeed actually fly [...]
Water was beautiful and flat, so we were able to get to 75ft pretty quickly before setting the spread. GPS was set for PBH, but before we could get there, we ran into the Holy Grail of weedlines (there was no current today).
The Cat Sass fishing team was all excited about fishing this tournament for a great cause. We decided to skip live bait due to the forecasted sea conditions and opted to pull rigged bally’s. All seemed calm heading out of the pocket to the inlet until we found that ripping outgoing tide stacking up against that 15 knot onshore wind. Needless to say, we were all covered with sea spray before we made it through the inlet [...]
With the weather forecast spot on, Derek and Carlos opted for a quick half day trip on the Reel Service. Loaded the wells up with some top secret baits and we were off to the spot, smack in the middle of all the chaos on the Juno ledge!! What a sight, boats stacked on top of each other and a tug and barge plowing thru the middle of it all…priceless!
Captain Bryan picked me up at 3:45 p.m. We got to the house, met-up with TrimTab and loaded-up. Hit the inlet at around 4:15 and went south-and-out to about 135 feet. Capt. Bryan got a fish on and lost it, (then so did Trim) so we headed out a lil’ further to about 340 feet (saw some birds and rips). We threw the chum bag over and put the baits out. I rigged an extra line and let it in the water (really close to the boat, about 6 foot and under), in case we got a dolphin on. Out of nowhere, my line goes off…but I realize its the one right next to the boat! My FIRST phin was TOO easy. I seriously didnt expect THAT line to go off. Pretty cool though!
Got the call from Bluewaterspearo yesterday morning for an afternoon spearfishing trip to target mahi. With reports of big Mahi being taken recently we were hoping to score. Loaded up the boat with Kris, Kyle and Jeff and we were off. Ran due east 14 miles out of the inlet looking for weed lines or debris and came up empty handed. On to plan B – targeting cobia off of the bull sharks. Got to our spot and jumped in with the flashers and within a minute the sharks showed up – but no cobia in tow [...]
Another day, another fishing adventure. Cleared the inlet shortly after 9 am and was greeted by super calm seas. There were already quite a few boats out there. Put out my spread and headed East. I had found some fins in 750’ the day before, so I figured I’d head back out there. There were scattered weeds, slicks and rips along the way.
Fished Saturday with Billy, had a couple bites early but didn’t get tight. Picked up and moved a bit. We downed a REEL ADRENALINE and 20 minutes later were tight. Fish is boat side within 20 minutes, Billy AKA Top Dawg hits her with a poon’ and we’ve got an estimated 250+ on the deck. Good thing the fish didn’t drink a Reel Adrenaline or we would have had a longer fight! [...]
Was blessed to get booked for an over-night trip to West End with Team Pairadox. We had Captain Mike, Kenny D, Gavin, and E$ “in the house”. We met up 2 days prior to departure to review gear & formulate a game plan. Mike has a gorgeous 31 Jupiter w 300 Suzuki’s. Rode like a champ! It was awesome to meet and fish with such a cool group of guys & we were AMPED to get them on some fish. Shoved off about 7:00 AM from SLI, got checked in and magic and comedy started happening [...]
Fished North of the inlet in 115 feet and caught 2 cobia. One was 22 pounds and then I caught this one and it went 58! Very sloppy on the ride home but worth it. Both fish were caught on dead sardines on the bottom.
We headed out a little late on Saturday. We had to finish installing the tackle station in the boat. I am glad we did it before this trip. I knew it would clean up the tackle bags on the deck but never thought it would be that good. So we stopped off and got some live bait and broke the inlet about 10am. Beautiful day! We took off south. Ran to about 185ft and set out a spread of gogs and pilchards. We didn’t bring the helium, so no kite [...]
Went out fishing this morning with my friend Art and his two sons Brian and Bill on Art’s 320 Sea Vee. We caught a Sailfish, 2 Mahi, and an AJ. Lost a third smaller Mahi at the boat. The big Mahi weighed 32lbs and the smaller one 13lbs. Another calmer than forecast day.
It looked like we had a window opportunity Saturday, talked to a buddy and he had his first fishing charter and needed some help! Me looking for any opportunity to go fish i was like you bet i got about a dozen gogs penned up i had left over from a day that was cut short. we left the dock at 6:30 made a short run picked up our live bait [...]
I’m sure everyone still remembers the very sad news of the passing of Capt. Dan (Reel C’s). I didn’t know what was going on except I noticed that the “crew” had not posted at all for a while. Upon digging around a bit, I found the news and spoke with Eric (Plan Fish N) and invited the crew for a fishing outing on the Checked~Out [...]
SLI Offshore Wahoo and Dolphin
Florida Sportsman member: Cat_Sass
We got a late start and cleared the inlet at 7:30 with overcast skies. Since it was just my wife and I, we decided to skip the livies and just troll some bally’s. We dropped the riggers at 80′ and started to set the spread. First out was a feather lure on the shotgun which was immediately hit by a small bonita. Then as soon as all the lines were set, the long goes off and my wife reels in a really small peanut [...]
Got an early start, met up with Gary Sr. with Dynamite Live Bait for some goggle eyes then headed for the inlet. Lines in by 7 a.m. we headed northward, not a half hour goes by we have two dolphin in the boat. Continuing northward in and out from 100′ – 300′ we continue to pick up more dolphin. Finally making it up towards the Sloans Curve area in the 200′ range the wire line begins clicking , could it be? Yes, hand jack the line to the boat and its a small wahoo.
by Florida Sportsman Editor•
August 23, 2016
Advocacy has become one of the most important aspects of the saltwater angler’s public life. In this episode of From the Head, Florida Sportsman contributor Sid Dobrin talks about the dangers of stagnation in fisheries policy advocacy.
In this FS Seminar, FS Boating Forum Moderator Dan McCarthy shows how-to keep your hull in tip-top shape. If your hull is looking dull and faded, you can bring back its original luster and shine with ease. For more information on the products used visit www.starbrite.com.
After getting over the shock and disappointment of losing the outfit with a nice fish on the other end, I tied a stinger rig on my sabiki rod and put another bait out. Twenty minutes later, boom! another kingfish and this time the outcome was favorable.
Last Saturday was a nice calm day when I fished Mosquito Lagoon. The brown algae isn’t getting any better with visibility around 6″, and water levels the lowest I’ve ever seen. It turned out to be a great day though with 5 redfish landed and I was back at the ramp by 11:00 AM.
Went out of Boynton and drifted all the way to Palm Beach with nothing to show except a big yellow jack on the jig early in the day. Was about to call it a day and land at the Breakers when I did a little bit of jigging in 60 feet for snapper and seeing if I can get a king on the reef before calling it quits. My live bait gets hit and you can see the rest.
Hooked a sailfish in 200 feet along a weedline, The sailfish sleigh ride ended in 470 feet of water where the current was ripping 3 knots. There were some birds diving nearby, a few small Blackfin jumping and fish on the meter 120 feet down.
Lightning strikes twice for me this 2016 ocean kayaking season. Got my second giant tarpon of the year over the weekend fishing just north of Sebastian Inlet. Trolling Live atlantic bumpers (horn bellies) for bait.
In the past couple of weeks, despite the poor water conditions at the lagoon, I have found that the overall population of seatrout is very healthy. I could be wrong, but as far as I can see the fish look very strong. This has been my experience so far this summer.
I slowly waded up to them trying not to make too much noise and then just behind them I see a couple red brooms pop up, really nice reds. At this point, I didn’t even care about those drum. I was able to get within 30 to 40 feet of the tails and laid one in right in the sweet spot on the first cast.
Went out yesterday afternoon, the king bite was on in 100 feet of water off the Diplomat. I was starting to think my fish finder sucked, but I started marking fish and dropped the jig right on them. This was the first time I have actually been able to see several kings chase my jig back to the boat.
When they’re tailing, they are so wrapped up in what they are rooting on that most fish you literally have to touch with the lure to get them to notice it. A good handful of the reds I have been catching recently were cane poled right at the side of the kayak close enough to where I can touch them with the rod tip.
Without gogs or runners wahoo fishing was questionable. After trying live pichards + jigging from about 90-200′ I gave up and went bottom fishing. I headed to a bottom spot off Dania. I hauled in a nice gag on the second drop of my mullet colored 230 gram “rudo” Jimy jig
He has never been fishing in the Atlantic Ocean before and had never even been in a kayak before. We were in 110 feet off Boynton Beach when I set up his live bait rig with a live goggle eye and dropped it in the water. I am holding the rod explaining how a conventional reel works for only a few seconds when the drag starts to pull, then it starts to scream.
I scratched up 6 runners and began fishing around 7:45am. First bait was not out more than 15 minutes before it was hit, boom! It acted like a big King Mackerel from the very first signature long screeching run.
At around 7:30AM I hooked up with a nice bull dolphin or “mahi”. It ate the first ballyhoo I tossed out in 105′ of water. I think that is the shallowest I have ever caught a dolphin. During the battle I buried a treble hook in my leg (like all the way in) and lost my sabiki rod. It was another expensive trip, but it was fun.
At one point, I casted out and within 20 seconds of my jig hitting the water, I was bent over on a fish. The fish was peeling line off the reel towards the wreck, so I put some heavy pressure on him and he pulled off. I began reeling in, and another fish smashed the jig, and again pulled off under heavy pressure. When I reeled up the jig, it was bent up with a straightened out hook.
She surfaces and I see a massive head and huge dorsal fins as she circles my kayak. I loosen the drag so as not to lose the fish to a warn leader. She runs again and jumps fully out of the water, which is not very common for a snook this size.
When I bought my kayak the original plan was to explore new areas and access waters I normally wouldn’t be able to reach. Instead I keep going back to what I’m familiar with and it seems I may never leave. I decided to launch over by Pete’s Pier since it’s so close to everything. I tried something new this time and brought a cast net along with me and caught some really nice 2 to 4 inch white baitfish.
My first few trips were pretty productive but the fish really left a lot to be desired in the size department. Went out this afternoon and finally put a couple halfway decent ones on deck plus way too many dinks to count.
We decided to head in shallower, nada. Boat chatter on the radio was the same, nada! Was just about to head out deep when the clients rod got tight, king on. The greedy king ate a runner and a jimyjig so he wasn’t going anywhere.
Since the current was dead, and a fellow kayaker reported some action, I decided to head out to 500 feet to try for tilefish. I had a fair number of bites on nearly every drop, but only managed to catch four.
Landed one nice almaco in 460 feet, hooked right on the bottom. Continued to drift north while dragging a flat line bait and vertical jigging inwards from 480 to 180 feet. Metered some fish on the wreck just north of the inlet, but luck was not with me, I missed a fish on bait and got bit off on the jig the first pass.
Around 11, the wind dropped out and the sun came out nice and bright. This was the catalyst as the fish began popping up everywhere. We were on at least 10 separate pods of reds at one time with monster trout mixed in.
The tide was high when we got into the creek, so we tried our luck working some mud-flats and grass lines with various presentations, but only taker was a rat red. After a couple of hours I could tell that my friend was getting a little frustrated, so it was time to switch gears.
Nia and I decided to take advantage of the long weekend and kayak the ‘pole and troll’ zones of the Mosquito Lagoon. It was was our first time there, which means I had zero expectations of catching any fish
Nia and I decided to take advantage of the long weekend and kayak the ‘pole and troll’ zones of the Mosquito Lagoon. It was was our first time there, which means I had zero expectations of catching any fish
Forum member palmbeachpete posted an awesome video of some nice trout and redfish he caught via paddleboard. Pete says “January is a great time to paddle the mangroves and hunt redfish. The water is clearing up around Sebastian and the fishing is good.”
I battled her close quarters and managed to prevail. Feeling good, my casting accuracy got better and made some stellar casts between boats and pilings. I managed to pull out more snook 26 inch, 24 and a 22 incher. I also got a surprise redfish to boot.
The current was light and variable making it easy to stay on top of the marks. A Lot of the marks were small little tunny(bonito) and large blue runners, but occasionally an almaco jack, blackfin tuna or something else would hit the jig.
The bite picked up for me between 3:30pm and 5:00 pm. I managed to pick up an almaco, bonito, another tuna and a nice mahi. The mahi hit a live goggle eye in 250 feet of water. I put the smallest circle hook I had available and downsized the leader size for visibility, it worked out this time.
We lost a monster drum as well, 40-50 pounder. I had the net in my hand but he made a big surge as he broke the surface and pulled the hook..at least we got to see him! Had a great time out there just relaxing and watching the manatees and dolphins..even heard the drum drumming down there as we were fishing.
We were actually able to get offshore one day last week and fishing was great. Between Eric and I we got 3 kings (one being 30lbs) a sail and a nice mahi. All fish hit small blue runners in roughly 150 to 200 feet of water.
The kids are out of school on christmas break so I figured I would get my boy out on the water in the yaks. He’s still a little too young to be interested in hardcore plastic slinging type fishing so I just brought him out to where I knew there were a couple reds and we laid out a couple chunks and relaxed while taking in the scenery.
After half an hour of paddling I see a nice group of backs breaking the surface. Threw a chartreuse Mr. Wiffelure past them and whizzed it by and it got thumped. Assumed it was going to be a red but to my surprise it was a drum.
In 185 feet of water while approaching an area of feeding birds, the runner rod bent over. A mahi was jumping on the end of the line, and before I could get him landed the other reel started screaming.
I was trolling a Yozuri Crystal Minnow and a blue runner. Just as soon as I reached 60 ft, the Yozuri got smacked. The fish made some hard runs before tiring down a bit, just enough to let me glimpse at the biggest kingfish I had seen next to my kayak.
We were thinking of calling it a day by 11am, but out of nowhere my last, near-dead, goggle eye got smacked and I was onto mahi number two. As with before, the fish did not want to come into the kayak. This time the mahi, after being landed, made a heroic leap back into the water!
After filling up with runners, I started fishing at 7:30am and there was no current, rain, but thankfully a little wind and frequent schools of baby bonitas breaking the water feeding. Fish bit good on runners for about two and a half hours.
I hit the water at six to mullet all over the surf with runners, ladyfish and bluefish chasing them. Mullet were jumping into my kayak and I was even able to scoop some out of the water by hand. Got out and put a live runner on a rip in 130 feet and quickly got hit by a king.
Black drum were also scattered in small schools in about two feet of water, just barely breaking the surface with their tails. The total for the day ended with 17 reds, 2 trout, 1 tarpon, and 2 black drum.
We decide to pitch some lures that way to play with them for a while but they just wouldn’t hit anything bigger than the white fry they were apparently chasing. As we were giving up on this area I see a mahi jump behind and to my left, then I see it jump again, and I look at my rod as it then bends over and starts to go off!
We poled around in the murk for three hours without seeing a single fish. I finally ran into one, almost literally but with the extreme murkiness it didn’t see me. I flipped my Pearl White MrWiffelure three feet beyond the fish and proceeded to rip it back to me and he crushed five feet from the boat.
A few guys got some kings early in the morning but the live bait drift was mostly slow despite bait balls everywhere. I went out a little deeper to 315-325 feet and found some tuna. Caught a few and headed in to make it to work by noon.
The water came on up and my go to spot was looking right so moved over there and bam caught a nice spotted red really quick. While dehooking him, I heard a monster slam around the bend so I grabbed the spook jr. And waded around the corner for a cast.
Small Almacos bit well on the vertical jigs, one drop caught two jacks on one jig. Total catch for the day included 10 Almacos, two cudas, a bonita and a yellowtail snapper taken in 200 feet of water on the vertical jig.
I looked at the tide tables and found some good low tides occurring after working hours. Launched two hours before low tide and worked my way out to the flats. Saw dozens of mullet schools along the way none of which contained any red fish.
Today went much better. Finally got my first Florida redfish and my first redfish from the kayak. I caught two redfish, one mangrove snapper and two jack crevelle, my buddy caught one juvenile tarpon, six redfish, and a handful of mangrove snapper.
The bite is solid from 6am till about 830. It slows down but is still possible to catch fish. One of the last reds I caught was right along the shoreline as I was heading back in around 1130. I saw a splash out of the corner of my eye and it looked like he was doing backflips in the water.
I positioned my yak to make a few good cast and my second cast in, I get thumped by a solid snook. I only had 20 pound leader but this fish wanted to play hide and seek in the mangroves so I had to get down and dirty with her and pull her out from under the mangroves twice! I landed her after a couple minutes and she hit the tape at 34 inches, but really really fat!
After messing with them for a bit started heading back south scouting the shoreline and started spotting fins cruising the shore. Reds were scattered throughout along the shore and buried in grass. Caught 7 on my way back down before getting stuck in a storm. Hunkered down in the mangroves and sat it out for an hour.
For about an hour large schools of spanish mackerel were about destroying bait. After tearing through some of those and some bluefish I slowly started to drift back to the bridge. Hit up my favorite spots on the way and only managed smaller jacks.
After a few casts my lure gets inhaled and I have a nice fish on. She goes airborne and a nice battle ensues with a good size snook. She heads for the mangroves and I stop her, she jumps again and again then goes under my kayak. I slowly work her and she tires and I measure her out to 34 inches.
Weather was flat calm, but unfortunately the weeds were still a problem, causing fouled baits. Current was not too strong, but found a distinct current break in about 120 feet of water, fished it for awhile with no luck. Saw a few small blackfins jumping and jigged up one in about 175 feet of water.
I was able to fish the last of the outgoing, and the beginning of the incoming and the bite was on today! Was able to stick 4 fish, 2 of which absolutely school me around pilings, and 2 that I was able to put the boots to in tight quarters and get them to the boat!
Put on my favorite sardine lure for a few more last casts into some mangrove edges in the hopes of saving the day with at least one keeper sized fish. My fish was granted when I cast into one of the few weedless edges on the backside of a mangrove island. Finally a good hard hit and the sound of drag with the end result being a nice 24 inch fatty red fish.
Next trip was solo about a mile South of the inlet. Wasn’t much going on. Saw some birds way out, so I started paddling. Fish were busting under the birds. Tossed a live mojarra into the frenzy and got a big bonito that snapped my rod at the boat.
After my second drop the drag clicker on my live bait started screaming. Dropped lever into strike and started cranking. It was just a dead weight no pull or flutter on the line. We went from depths of 200 feet to 400 feet in minutes when the sail leaped out and danced across the water. A couple more leaps and literally jumping over Devodud’s bow, the sail tired out.
During my latest visit to Florida, I went after tarpon mostly. Caught a few and had a great time. I prefer chasing them in shallow water but got to go where they are, not where they aren’t. It gets really crowded out there, over 50 boats fishing the same area and usually I’m the only kayak.
On my last cast after about three hours there I did stick an old nasty redfish. I helped him out and cleared some old rigs out from his mouth, medium effort measure in the Hobie was close to 42 inches. Left with a couple of decent flounder, also caught whiting, pigfish, ladyfish.
Made 2 drifts for 2 bonita and hooked and lost something bigger. It was too exhaustive to try to make another wreck drift ( current was around 2.5 knots). Put out the live flying fish and it did not take long to get eaten.
Got a wide variety of bites in the Banana River today. In total 6 reds, a small snook, 2 juvenile tarpon, my buddy got a nice black drum on a mirrolure (of all things for them to hit, haven’t seen that before) and a handful of trout.
During the lowlight morning hours artificial baits have been producing fish on the flats of Tampa. With the grass grown in it’s been a weightless, weedless setup for my choice artificial setup. Later in the day, I’ve been working the late evening incoming through high tide with cut mullet.
I leave the oyster flat and work some other channels and choke points and land another nice 23 inchred fish. With the day coming to an end I try my snook hole and work it from every angle. My lure gets absolutely annihilated and it feels like what I hope to be my first 40 plus inch snook.
Thankfully the rain stayed over towards the barrier islands the whole time we were out. We paddled south and tried the deeper flats for a bit with nothing but a few small trout. We then decided to whack the bushes. And that’s where things lit up.
As we passed the inlet, I hooked into something that made my reel scream pretty good. I felt a bit of a head shake, so I thought I had a big big bonito. He kept taking line and giving me a little back. I finally got a glimpse of it and thought I saw stripes!
Eventually the tarpon figured out which direction it wanted to go and pulled my anchor free from the bank and started taking me south. It pulled me back into a side creek above a submerged sandbar, which was a blessing as it allowed to to hop out of the kayak and fight it standing up.
Been getting the snook and reds on the 4 inch MrWiffelure Shad in the white/fire tail and straight pink colors. This is a killer lure and the snook hit it like it owes em money. Since I have started throwing it, it has definitely helped me put more snook on deck.
I threw just past where all the commotion was and worked it back over all the bait ruckus, when slam! It took off under my kayak, to the left, to the right, around in a circle, all the while I’m cursing like a sailor at the fish.
That’s when I remembered that I had a pedal drive and could easily troll instead of sitting in one place fighting the skunk. Threw a mud minnow onto a jig, cast it behind me and started working the grassline. Within one minute I had a great bite and pulled in my personal best flounder.
I loosened the drag a bit so as not to have the hooks bend or the fish pull free. After 3 minutes of getting no where with the fish it finally came into view and knew it was a new personal best red. Now the pressure was on me to land the fish for some pictures and entry into the 30 inch club.
We met the bait guy on the water around 730. The current was pretty strong and so was the wind. We ended up drifting north about 7 miles! I got two mahi mahi, one being a 50 inch bull, and my first sail on a yak!
Getting a kingfish on the west coast, from a kayak, not the easiest task. When you consider relative quick migration, dirty Gulf water, days off from work, combined with hoping for good conditions, and getting your bait to stick once one decides to eat, the odds can be stacked against us!
The bait was everywhere in the cove. Started throwing chrome Twitchin’ Raps, 10:15, bam! Watched a 3 pound trout come up and slam the Rap right by the boat. 10:35, wham, big fish on, fought it to the boat and landed and released another trout about 7 pounds.
I put the jigging rod in the flush mount rod holder, and I grab the rod when I see this beast jumping out of the water!. let me say that I can count the times I have gone out offshore with my fingers and this is my second sailfish ever, so it is amazing to catch one.
I had fished there many times before without much luck but it had been a while and decided to give it a shot. We only fished for about an hour and a half but I managed to get 2 for 2 on the under-slot snook. First one was about 23 inches and second one was about 25.
I moved on, moving further up the canal and noticed I was sitting in 10+ feet of water, but I could see the bottom, up near the mangroves not far from me, so I knew there was a drop off, and with the water by the mangroves not moving nearly as fast as the channel, I figured it was a good ambush spot.
I fished around most of the morning without any bites fishing deeper cuts and drops around the area with no luck. Spooked a few reds after lunch in shallow flats so I changed my strategy and started sight fishing.
Coffee now cold and I’m wondering why, after years of catching trout with no problem, I can’t find any. Wind starts blowing me off the bank I’m following just as I toss out a cast. Adjust kayak, reel line in to tighten slack on the rod and just as the mirrodine hits the top of the water, BAM!
One particular area had a lot of mullet activity and the best water flow in the immediate area. We both continued to land more small snook and worked the area hard given all of the activity. Well it finally paid off when mama snook showed up for the party with her 32 inches of glory!
I fished the whole incoming and part of the outgoing in the maze of creeks and bars to the WSW of Choko. Saw some reds throughout the day, and got a decent one close to the end of the day. I saw him move off a oyster bar and under some groves, pitched a gulp and he ate.
Fan casted the area with my paddle tail jig and had a hit and miss from a good sized trout. Convinced that there had to be some big fish in the area I gave one last cast with my Rapala and it paid off with a solid hit and a big run towards the mangroves.
We went back to the spot we originally worked and the poons were thick. We caught several more and jumped many more, the snook were mixed in as well so we were also pulling them out. We fished till about 4pm and made our way to our camp area.
We actually had a sweet double hookup at this point but his pulled the hook. After a quick photo op with my fish, Neil was hooked up again within two minutes and after a half hour fight put his redzilla in the yak. The girth on his fish was unreal, it was 35 pounds plus and healthy.
I planned on scouting reds either tailing or pushing water on the flats. As I moved out onto the flat, I was instantly gratified by seeing a bunch of single reds pushing wakes and leaving evidence of redfish with trails of dust.
Here are a few fish from the day that helped me catch a slam. Although the poons had me numbered I jumped about 10 and happened to land the micro but none the less a slam. Snook were everywhere in that spot and it seemed like every other cast I was hooking up.
To say that the day was stellar is an understatement. Between Steve and I we caught over 75 fish. Most were dinks in the 1-2 pound range with a good mixing of 3 pounders too. We also caught fish from just over 4 pounds to the biggest caught by me at 8 pounds 6 ounces.
I managed to come tight on a 50 to 60 pound fish that fought hard to get away. But after a long and intense fight, I got my picture and released the fish with good energy. After resetting the lines we had a few missed hits and with the last bait I hooked a monster over 150 but wasn’t prepared and after a minute long run my leader popped.
I started working the islands in this area and as I made my way around one of them something exploded on my DOA Shrimp. I thought it was a red at first because it wouldn’t show itself and kept making long runs. Turns out it was a nice Snook.
Pushed further out towards the gulf and found a nice channel with depths from 3 to 4 feet and water temperatures near 70 degrees. Switched to a RipTide mullet paddle tail with 1/4 ounce jig head in order to work the channel deeper and began landing trout after trout.
I tossed my RipTide mullet with 1/4 oz jig head into a channel chokepoint and out of the depths only a few feet from my yak a large trout inhaled the lure. It was an awesome sight to behold given it’s above average size and the visual provided after hours of fruitless fishing. For the next few hours I worked the area and landed over a dozen or more trout and limited out with 4 nice keepers.
The one cigar minnow that I caught did not last 5 minutes in the water before being inhaled by a mahi. I think a tank full of pilchards would have produced a lot of Dorados. Trolled quite a bit with the blue runners looking for a wahoo, only to catch another shark. Even though it was relatively unproductive, it was a pleasant day on the water.
I have done freshwater and inshore and I have done pretty good so far. Offshore was always in the back of my mind and I definitely wanted to try it. After declining a couple of invitations, because I didn’t have any gear, I decided to go for it.
Saw what I thought was a big red about 75 feet away on a transitional edge. I pitched a copper colored Banks Lures Pimpin Shrimp with a dab of Blue Crab Pro-Cure at it, and the fish happily mowed it down.
Went out yesterday around 1p.m. from Dania. Was only out for 3 hours in 280 to 320 feet of water. I caught these bad boys plus some smaller ones that I let go. It was an awesome day of fishing, no current, 5 knot winds, and the water was like glass.
So, at about 1am I made a 15 mile hike to another location and splashed in. As we rolled up, fish were happy and popping on top. On Zack’s first cast, he hooked and landed this respectable tarpon on a 7inch Bone Hogy Original.
What ensued next was simply amazing, as I worked the GOLD spoon with hard violent twitches I had an ensemble of jacks and reds follow the spoon, some came within 4 feet of my yak! The harder I worked the spoon the more fish that followed it, unfortunately the jacks are faster fish and grab the lure first so I decided to toss out more cut pinfish.
Two clients, one from Colorado the other from Canada flew down for one thing, a South Florida sailfish lap dance. They gave me 4 days to put em on sailfish, we got it done the first day out and went 3 for 3.
I ended up finding a beautiful shell flat that produced big time. There were small schools of black drum and sheepshead everywhere just waving their tails at me asking for a precise cast! I ended up catching more black drum than I wanted but managed to dodge a few to find some nice sheepies.
Within 10 minutes one of Robs clients hooks up on a sail and it was off to the races. while they played with that I managed to lose 3 jigs to to cutoffs. I finally started jigging up some small blackfins.
Fished this am with Mapache Mike in Government Cut. No bait pods, luckily I brought some mullet for us. We landed a couple snook in quick order at the mouth of the inlet. He had to take off so I decided to escape the sharks and slow troll a hog leg mullet down the beach.
I was drifting 2 live goggle eyes near the skycliff when the rainbow runners hit both my baits simultaneously. I was lucky to land the smaller one, then grab the other rod out of the holder and land the bigger one that had hooked itself.
I love the small Ribbit frogs, black or green in color and using 6/0 Owner hooks for them. Small frog, big hook, this allows the Snakehead to take the whole frog and increases the chances of hooking them to about 75 percent.
After 30 minutes, right before slack tide was there my line went tight and I started fighting a big fish. My target was tarpon so I was thinking TARPON! But since it didn’t jump I knew it was a big snook.
We paddled out to our first spot around 9:30 to simply catch a couple rats and get equipment tuned in for later spots. My first cast with the spoon landed a little red so I knew it was going to be a productive day.
We took a break out near Pelican Island, when on the way back to our launch point, my live bait rod starts screaming. He immediately starts yelling shark, we were pleasantly surprised as this is my biggest snook yet from a kayak which measured 37 inches.
The weatherman was wrong. Wind was blowing and the waves were pounding. About to call it a day till rob says “I got a plan B”. So off to his spot and sure enough it paid off. I got a nice 40″ snook that was a fatty and rob hooked up but the hook pulled on what I think was a tarpon.
At deep color, I could see it was a long slender bluish silver fish, and since I was out beyond normal kingfish territory, anticipation of a wahoo was high. About 10 minutes later she was on the gaff, 53 inches and 32 pounds! It was a total rush!
Weeds were a huge issue today with live baiting so i decided to set up shop and spool the baits out so they wouldn’t get weeded as bad. I’ve found this tactic to be extremely effect in the morning hours when the fish are aggressively feeding.
I use the yak to get close, very quietly, then slip out and wade to the fish. Makes it a lot easier to make a good presentation to the fish with a fly, especially in this wind. The fish were hungry and aggressive. I only spooked 1 or 2 with the line.
I made a couple more passes through the area having many strikes, wakes, and blow ups but no connections. Finally connected with a solid fish around that pulled me around and gave my stradic 3000 and 10 pound braid a good workout.
We set out in a southeasterly direction at sunrise and stopped in 150 feet of water. As soon as we stopped my live bait rod gets slammed. It ends up being my biggest kingfish of the day. Within 5 minutes Suede lands a kingfish that could be the twin to mine.
Found no shortage of baby tarpon feeding up in the shadows of the mangrove overhangs and culvert outflows. I caught lots of these little guys on both spin and on the 8wt on these small minnow patterns I have been tying, and on my new favorite lure I decided to try randomly, the Vudu shrimp.
We made a trip to Matlacha with big hopes of tarpon. They laughed around all around us most of the day. We even got a close up look at one that was sniffing around shallow waters. He seemed so intensely focused on the grass bed he didn’t notice that he came within a few feet of our kayaks.
I was losing line fast, so I started pedaling to chase him down. The fish came to the surface and circled about 15 feet away. I saw the unmistakably tiger stripes and my adrenaline skyrocketed! The wahoo made a deep run and I slowly worked him up tail wrapped. After about 40 minutes, I gaffed him and brought him up.
So far I have got over 10 snook over the 38 inch mark. All fish were caught in Boynton Spillway after sun down. All this rain has got the water moving pretty fast through the flood gates and it really heats up the bite.
My yak buddy made his way over to a deeper spot and hooked into multiple redfish and gave me a call to move on in. After landing his 4th fish, I failed to get a single hit with any of my lures; he continued to catch and release over the next hour.
Early on we trolled to 180 feet and found some scattered weeds and stuff was going on here and there. After some drops we decided to move to 220 feet and Gio calls out fish on! Some time later Gio calls a king and we get together to gaff it and bring the catch in my bag.
My top water plug was getting crushed just about every throw. Best fish of the day was a 39 inch snook. Caught lots of snook and trout and one redfish to complete the inshore slam. The biggest trout was 25 inches. Released everything except the big trout.
So I send the bait out while thinking how pissed I’m going to be when I lose another fish, I was in that mood. Well before I know it, a sail is cat walking right at me and I see my line slack, Fish on!
Anyways, found a nice north stream between 250 to 300 feet, and began jigging between those depths only. I couldn’t capture on film the first couple minutes of the long run. I was busy just trying to keep my focus on having a good hookset. I thought I lost the fish, as he began to swim toward me. That’s where the short video clip begins
I decided to start taking length and girth measurements of my tarpon so I could better calibrate my eye when judging weights of fish. I haven’t measured a fish in so long, I wasn’t sure if I was accurately judging weights.
My lure gets inhaled, I set the hook, and a 50 pound tarpon erupts. It’s not even light out yet, welcome to Flamingo! After the initial jump it stays in the water and ends up just dragging me along the shoreline towing me like I’m not even there. After getting drug back a half mile the way I came I put too much pressure on my 20 pound braid and broke him off.
Next it was my turn. As I sat and watched I noticed a small pod of tarpon feeding on some bait up against the mangrove shoreline. I through my Riptide Flats Chub past the pod and started to quickly retrieve it. I was immediately rewarded with an aerial display of another juvenile tarpon.
I quickly threw the goggle eye back in the bucket and began fighting. After about 10 minutes with several gaff misses, I quickly realized that it’s time for a longer gaff. I finally got it which ended up being a nice 42 inch king, my personal best.
We head to deeper water and continue jigging and drifting. I hook up to something big until it breaks my 30 pound test line. Seconds later my gog gets smoked in 180 feet. Nice blackfin in the boat after a short fight.
I casted my line out and let it sit for a second while I took a sip of my beverage and BOOM not even 5 minutes I was hooked up to the biggest fish I’ve caught to date unknowingly. The drag was screaming like no other. I set it as tight and possible without there being too much tension for my line to break.
A large shark (likely) did wind up eating a ladyfish half Drew was drifting, he started getting towed but as he added some pressure it broke off. At around 10:30 we decided to head over to the bridge. I caught a nice 6 pound flounder (my biggest) right away but then besides ladyfish and jacks that was really it for a long while.
Finally got my new Predator wet off the beach for a little tarpon fishing. I’ve been watching guys get dragged around for years and finally got my chance. I had a bunch of shots throughout the morning and finally got one to eat a whitebait around 9:30. It was quite a ride.
then got into a few schools that were interested, caught 6 reds up to 32 inches on Gulp!, jerk baits, and live mullet. Also saw several tarpon and hooked up to at least 8 or 9 times with no success but then i finally landed one! Also caught a few trout to complete a not so common slam for me.
We head out straight east and deploy our gogs at 80 feet. We make it to 250-ish and I hear my drag pull a little. I look at it again and it pulls a little more. Just as I’m about to pick it up I see a monster sailfish leap 30 yards away and my drag goes off. 30 to40 minutes later I have a huge sail in my lap.
Had a great time with a getaway to the Emerald Coast for opening of Snapper Season. First day went 4 for 4 on snapper (kept 2) and 1 for 1 on kings. Really surprised we didn’t get into more kings that day. Second day caught a short gag, 2 short red snapper, 1 vermilion snapper, and a king.
I spent the night at my buddy Stan’s place Sunday night. Woke up early to fish the Indian River at Hutchinson Island with Stan and his girlfriend Tammy. Conditions were good with winds out of the East from 5 to 15 knots and a wind ripple in the water. Caught my biggest trout to date-27 3/4 inches long and a fat 6 pounds.
I pull up my park n pole and prepare for the sleigh ride! 5 minutes go by with this fish tearing off 20 pound braid and dragging my loaded down pro angler no problem, I gain a little bit of line and finally get a glimpse of the fish as it breaks the surface in the distance. Those red scales shimmering in the sun gave it away and I immediately knew this was a solid bull red! Needless to say at this point I am grinning ear to ear as this is why we came here.
Managed to land a small snook and a 24 inch keeper red before having to take cover from the lightning for a couple of hours. After the storms faded, high tide approached and I began working the mangroves with the live target scaled sardine.
Trolled for a little over an hour and had the pleasant surprise of having a 10 foot hammerhead circle my kayak a couple times before he decided to destroy my flat line and take me for a sleigh ride for a few minutes. Thankfully the line snapped before he spooled me. Peddled out to 150 feet where I saw some weeds, was there no longer than 2 minutes and my last blue runner gets inhaled by a big dolly.
Forum member and contributing writer palmbeachpete shared his recent trip to the Bahamas while fishing in the extreme kayak and paddle board tournament. A lot of nice fish caught and looked to be a great time had by all!
As soon as we reached our first spot, we both hooked up to bonitos right away. Not what we wanted, but still an ice breaker on the jigs. After getting in our workout on those bonitos, Jason landed a small AJ for the smoker and an African Pompano. No BFT’s in these shallower waters. We averaged 225 feet or less depth throughout the day.
Headed north for the first time ever in the yak. Did a Boynton to WPB drift with Eric and the bite was good all day. I got 3 dolphin, he got 2 and they were decent size! Eric also snagged an AJ and jumped a sail a few times. Awesome day on the water and glad to get back out on the yak and get some fish.
Got another runner, then a few drops later I felt something a little larger. Got it about 60 feet off the bottom and it suddenly realized it was hooked, and drag started peeling out straight down. Finally pulled up a 28 pound amberjack after about 15 minutes. I went back to the rest of the group and took them back to the Tenneco, and I got a 22 inch mutton and what looks like a charcoal variant of a blue runner.
While Rob spent most of the day trying to effectively deploy a fly for a Snakehead to eat, I had many opportunities to seal the deal and uncharacteristically missed more hook sets than I’m proud to admit, not sure what it was today. All in all, managed to land a solid 28 inch 5 to 6 pound Snake, another medium one around 2.5 pound and a baby which was released.
Assumed that this was my tournament hopes down the drain, and made my way back to the truck, but after a 17 mile round trip and 6 hours of fishing time, my little dink trout proved enough to secure the victory! Brought it home despite the stiff competition of 175 other competitors, with a good number of them in skiffs. Proof positive you can go out and be successful with just the bare minimum!
After getting beat up on the wreck I headed out to see if the tuna bite would be on as it got later in the day and as soon as I got to 240 feet they were jumping everywhere. landed 5 out of 6 in 20 minutes CASTING the same 60 glow jig and ripping it on the surface. The last tuna I jigged up in 300 feet. A fun and action filled afternoon!
High tide peaked at 6:00PM so I placed my yak into one of the passes and waited for the big drain to start. At 6:01PM one of my trolling rods with a clear gold speckled DOA shrimp gets hit hard and after a decent fight I pull in a 24 inch gator trout.
There were no tails to be seen anywhere but we pushed through and eventually found the Reds munching but fully submerged. I was able to hook up to this beautiful spotless Red that finally allowed me to try my Abu Garcia Revo Inshore bait caster. What a fight it gave me. We each hooked Sharks and lost them. Oh well.
As fortune would have it, there was a small school pushing right towards me that I would’ve never seen except that the sun was at just the right angle, and though they weren’t making a wake, there was just enough of a disturbance to “bend” the reflection on the water a slight bit. At first I thought it was a slight breeze kicking up, but it soon became apparent what it was.
Our plan was to go to Googe Island and work all the back mangrove Islands on the way. We watched bait being attacked by pelicans and a lot of mullet action in deeper holes. We set up on the outside of the holes and would cast in Jig heads with live shrimp and bump the bottom. It didn’t take long to hook up on the Reds. Great day out with the family.
Inshore the trout bite has been picking up along with a few decent snook recently, haven’t been able to get into any reds except for a couple rats though. Last offshore trip I hooked into my first sailfish, went for a sleigh ride for 5 minutes but unfortunately the Sail wore through my line after a couple water walking jumps.
We started our final run back to the creek mouth and continued to work the grass edges, sand holes and oyster bars which resulted in a lot of small reds and trout. As we made it back to the channel I cast into a deep cut and thought I had snagged a rock with my LT greenie. The rock started moving and I knew it would be the biggest fish of the day. After a nice fight, this beauty made my day at 26 inches and 7 pounds.
Total tally was 6 Largemouths, one was 19 inches, two others were 17 inches, I estimate the 19 incher to be around 4-5 pounds. All caught on 6/0 Gamakatsu worm hooks and a variation of Gambler Cane and Zoom toads. Nothing better than topwater action.
Another beautiful day on the water, lost my gaff in the morning to two big waves that hit me bad and after that it wasn’t there any more. Did end up catching a nice spanish mackerel and a nice dolphin though.
Was about to call it and then a big beast latched on to my lure in around 25 feet. This is one of the two biggest fish I have ever caught from my kayak. I tail grabbed it into the yak and then had to paddle (couldn’t peddle with the tail up around my neck and the head blocking the peddles) over to shore to measure and photograph. I measured as best I could with it in the Hobie and wound up with somewhere around 43 inches.
We went 2 for 7 on tarpon from 80 pounds to the one pictured. It ate a Hogy 10 inch Original Series fished on a 6/0 Soft Circle Hook. 50 pound Power Pro Slick, 80 pound Mono leader, Sustain FG 10,000 on a Sewell Custom 8 foot Tarpon Rod. The fight lasted about 35 minutes and spanned close to a mile from start to finish.
After not getting any more bites and the wind starting to pick up and make it hard to jig in place, I switched back to trolling a live gog. About 10 minutes into paddling the rip, way out I saw my first sail come leaping out the water. Rob made it there in time to snap a photo of the landing which went off pretty well for my first time.
About 6 minutes into the hunt I spot a big fish gingerly patrolling the outer edges of shallow mud bank and I fire off a cast about ten feet in front of her. She’s slowly moving right towards my DOA shrimp and I leave it lie motionless on the bottom until she’s about 2 feet away and then I just slowly raise the rod tip causing the shrimp to “pop” off the bottom and she bulldogs it, fish on!
Before the sun was up high enough to sight fish, I was firing topwater and had a fish clobber a skitterwalk up shallow. he choked it and pulled some drag for me, came out to 27 inches. Once the sun came up it was game on, ended up picking one fish off on fly that was laid up on a mangrove shoreline and one on spin off of a flat. both fish being sub slot but were fun watching the eat and the fight when they’re shallow.
First Dolphin of the day was around 8:15am on a live runner in 225 feet on a weed line using my Avet LX and 20 pound mono. Notice the scars all over its tail. The tax collector tried to swoop in and steal my catch, however it was not your usual man in the grey suit but a monster barracuda.
Needless to say their was a good bite out there today before the front moved in. Bait was thick in 190 to 220 feet. Weedline running NNE in the same depth. Salvaged the day with this king that skied on a dead tunny with the tail cut off on a stinger rig trolling it in, 39 inches to the fork.
The seas were building and I made the decision to set my lines in a trolling spread and set an east course to do a large loop back to shore under sail. After my course changed back to west, I got a knock down on my starboard plug. It made a few good runs on my Penn 5500 and then in the kayak came my first blackfin tuna ever!
Boom! Again, but this time it felt deferent, it felt like a big fish! There it goes! My first Wahoo. I was impressed how fast this fish runs! I’ve never seen my drag going so fast. Definitely a unforgettable adventure!
Between Dave and I we spotted over 15 Reds, some we casted with both soft baits and topwater plugs and had no luck, we were able to land 2 solid slot Reds, and a couple missed my topwater plug. We safely released all, I didn’t feel like cleaning fish today.
Fun time out with my girlfriend on a windy day. Caught a nice trout on my D.O.A. shrimp within 10 minutes of throwing the anchor, this guy made for some amazing trout tacos! Caught another 4 trout that day with 3 out of 5 being over 18 inches.
Began the day throwing DOA CALs in the copper crush color and ended up changing to the dark green Bream color after blowing out a few cruising fish and that did the trick! First fish of the day ended up being a bit over 27 inches.
Started the day poling and sight casting in the lee of spoil islands only finding 1 slot red, casting to him with the fly rod, and have him follow it right to the yak before deciding not to eat it! Moved on and threw DOA jigs around some culverts and pulled what I thought was a decent snook, ended up being a solid trout!
Hit up Dania a little late this morning, no bait and peddled out into some face slapping slop. After a few drops landed a decent sized almaco then the biggest blue runner I ever caught. Moved out a little deeper, dropped the jig and fish on! After my sleigh ride up comes some stripes, wahoo baby!
I haven’t posted on here in awhile so thought I’d contribute. The past 2 days, I’ve hit up barrier islands in the Intracoastal Water Way in my kayak looking for reds and gator trout. Didn’t catch any real gators but got lots and lots of redfish all on topwater, z man paddlerz, and manic shrimp.
Lost a couple big ones due to leader fray. 80 pound was always plenty on a rod and reel but for some reason it’s not enough with the hand line. Anyways, live mullet were the ticket, trolled and free lined pretty much anywhere near the beach.
Click link to watch the video of this mayhem unfold
Aside from getting out and surprisingly sinking into muck above my knees my morning was rather uneventful. As we finished our trek from the no motor zone to open water I casted my DOA CAL, red and gold jerk bait into a deep channel. After a few twitches I got trucked. it didn’t feel like any inshore species I’ve fought before. When it broke the surface I was surprised to see the crusty camo of my first inshore Goliath.
I was throwing a topwater and when it came up next to my Pro Angler a big trout came out of the water on it, but threw it. I dropped it right back and he nailed it again. I had him this time! After a nice little fight I brought it up and lipped him. It measured out at 25 inches which is definitely me biggest trout in Matlacha to date.
I was working a lure in about 4 feet of water when it gets crushed and line starts screaming toward the mangroves. Managed to keep her out of the roots and forced her back to deep water. Maybe it was karma for letting the other one go but this one was 34 inches and a fatty!
He heads away from the docks and is all tuckered out. I feel him give up and now it’s just a matter of hauling him in. As he nears the yak, he heads underneath it and somehow I managed to pull a ninja spin around the stern of the kayak and get him to the other side. That’s no tarpon, it’s a monster snook!
We ended up hitting the water at 6:45 and paddled out to 280 feet initially. My plan was to learn how to vertical jig since I never had tried it before but I also rigged up a goggle eye and threw it overboard. Started jigging in 280 feet and my buddy immediately hooks up with a decent Bonita. We decided to go into 260ft and I finally had my first hook up, after a couple minute fight on my 5000 series reel I’m surprised to see a nice 24 inch snapper.
Me and my friend Conrad Fiocca fished the IFA Kayak Tour event in Ruskin this past weekend. Prior to the captains meeting we had very poor prefishing results and on tournament day I decided to fish close to the hotel area. On tournament day we launched by the hotel and paddled out to immediately get into redfish and trout. We caught quite a few trout with the biggest being 18 inches. We paddled over to the redfish spot and we both caught a red within 10 minutes of getting there. We decided to continue to try and upgrade our reds. We both caught 4 or 5 more reds until we each had a 24-25 inch red. We looked around but then came back to our original spot, and Conrad decided to throw a rattle trap and ended up catching a 27-inch red!
Loaded the slayer up yesterday and took it on its first trip to the NMZ. Lunched at sunrise and the trout bite was good on top waters. Switched up to Z Mann swimmers and ended up landing two slot reds. Poled the while day standing on the seat in the high position with no problems. This yak in by far the best yak if been in for fishing the flats.
Fishing was good once again. Started the day with a nice trout. Later in the morning found some Reds in very shallow water and they were tailing. I managed to sneak up on a school and luckily the camera was on when one of them attacked. Had the wind pushing from behind with a small island of dead grass in front of me. One of the fish was facing the opposite way and allowed me to get real close without spooking him…. The other Redfish hit a Topwater lure. I ended the day with two Reds, a beefy Trout and a psycho Ladyfish
Port everglades wanted to show a little love to skunk and a boat almost ran his *** over . Bonita city out there, I managed a med almaco and a sail, I lost another sail about 30 min later hooked up on a jig that sail went crazy popped my leader then Threw the jig. Slow day but at least the bonita kept us busy.
Had a late start guys getting bait at 15th st. We didn’t make it offshore until about 8am, where I followed andy to about 250 feet. We scored a little pre-work out on some bonita and a small amberjack that Andy got. Being in the middle of the group, Andy wanted to go to 340 feet to look for any bit of current so I followed. We almost left but then I finally got a small football in. First Tuna Since November! Andy gets one a little bigger. A few minutes later I got slammed and went on a speedy sleigh ride. After a couple minutes, I’m thrilled to see black and gold rising from the deep and it wasn’t small either.
I have a nemesis living in bear cut that has made a fool of me quite a few times now. It’s a giant barracuda whose size I didn’t fully know until today. Over the past 7 months he has cut me off and wrapped me on pilings about 6 times. It’s always in the EXACT SAME spot, making me think it’s the same fish. Last time by the bridge I put 18″ of #5 wire on to avoid getting cut off. That wasn’t enough and he PWND me again!!! Today I was using a float with a good 3′ of wire and a live 12″ blue runner. I put the bait in the water momentarily to spin the yak around (25′ up current of his home) and immediately the beast swirled at the bait, missing on the first pass but bit my line above the cork and wire. He spun around, grabbed the bait and took off.
Being over in Europe, cruising the Med and crossing the Atlantic was cool and all but the whole time my mind was on the Indian River! Loaded the Slayer and hit the river to check continue where i left off before my departure. Hit up my Vero Beach backcountry spot twice last week with nuthing to show but a few small snook and one baby tarpon…
Decided to hit Round Island this afternoon and see if she would produce for me. Couldn’t find a trout anywhere, first fish was a mangrove on a topwater. Checked some spots in the mangroves for some baby tarpon and snook, but there were none to be found. Ended up getting on a good lane snapper bite out off some of the spoil islands by the ICW. Not the bite I was hoping for, but when everything else is slow you just roll with it.
Yesterday Marty Mood ( PA hillbilly) and I decided to get a quick last minute trip in. We ran into some big bulls in the shallows and they were hungry for some top waters! There is nothing like catching big reds in 2 feet of water. When they exploded on the topwaters it sounded like a whale breaching. The biggest red was my 41 incher that ate a one knocker spook.
Been trying to get an upgrade on my weehoo from early this summer and finally did. Had to weed though the sailfish and kings to get one. I lost a few fish over the last few weeks and went through changing different bait presentations and hook set-ups. The fish weighed 25 pounds, caught in 200 feet on a live gog off Boynton Beach.
We paddled towards the area where we saw the tarpon roll and my depth sounder screen lit up with large objects. A look over the side of the kayak revealed a couple dozen tarpon in the 70 pound to120 pound class lazily swimming 15 feet directly below me. I opted to bait my light 20 pound class kingfish rod knowing full well I would never land a fish; I just wanted to fight one on the light rod for a while. Suede was using an 8000 Battle spooled with 80 pound Power-Pro and an 80 pound fluorocarbon leader, fully intent on landing a tarpon.
I took my croaker out of the live-well and dropped it straight down over the pod of tarpon. The croaker made a futile attempt to swim away from the pod but a large tarpon rose from the school and inhaled the bite size fish. I set the hook and line started coming off of my reel. The fish didn’t make the usual instant jump; it just took off straight east. Within a few seconds I hear Suede’s drag screaming and one of the giants energetically leaped from the water just feet from my kayak. We had just doubled up on tarpon and complete chaos was enveloping the scene.
We made our way to one of drichards secret grouper spots(which I of course marked on my FF) and started dropping the jigs. after a couple drops I pull up an decent 10-pound gag. Shortly after, drichard hooks a small almaco that gets engulfed and then let go by a large grouper that rips all the scales off the little almaco. Later the same thing happens to me but this time the larger fish was hooked good. I tried my hardest to stop this thing from running down into the rocks but it was impossible, I almost got pulled over board. Doug was screaming that I had a monster grouper on and I was praying that my line didn’t snap.
Launched at 7am off of Ft. Lauderdale beach. The ocean looked like a sheet of ice. I tried multiple depths not getting anything on my go-to jigs. I also tried multiple depths trolling a few different lures. Turned out to be productive. Got a bonito, trigger, squirrel fish, remora… All trash. Decided to call it a day. Trolled an x-rap on the way in when I hooked up on this king around 130 feet.
Keeping an eye peeled out for storms, Damon, John, Sebastian, and I headed out of Delray to calm seas and clear skies. The current was low, somewhere between 1.5-2 knots so we started jigging on 180 feet. Everyone was getting on fish today and the AJ bite was intense. Later we hit 300 feet and then we got into the Tunas across from the Martini glass. We approached Boynton inlet as soon as a small twister touched down.
I Hit up Dania Beach and it was beautiful out. Flat sea’s, light wind & current, and tons of people going on the hunt for bugs. It was pretty fishy out, so I tossed the cast net from the Pa and loaded up on chum(small pilchards). On the way out I got slammed by a nice king, once we made our way to the desired depth I tossed out my gog and it got slammed, so of course I thought it was another king just bigger. Nope once I saw stripes I knew it was Mr hoo and he was coming to dinner.
Blazing Reels and I hit the sands of Delray Beach this morning before the crack of dawn. We were welcomed with the sight of calm winds and sea. We rush to get out on the water to enjoy the morning bite, so we headed south towards Boca to provide us a little drifting distance. We heard reports of the current picking up strong, but we found out there was none at all. We picked up some good sized Bonitas on the way out which helped us with a good warm up. Our first stop was in about 200 feet of water, we both dropped our jigs a few times and kept an eye on which way the current was flowing. I guess the fish were pretty hungry this morning because on one of my drops I got a double header. I first felt one big slam on my jig and then a few seconds later another big slam, but it was weird because it was going the opposite way.
I decided to try my luck on the grass flats just south of 195 this morning. Got on the water just as the sun was coming up with 3 dozen shrimp. I tried some topwater baits to start things off but only one small trout wanted to play. After 15 minutes, I switched to the go-to popping cork and it was non stop action from then on. I literally blew through all 3 dozen shrimp in about an hour. The majority of the trout were 16-18 inches, only had two little runt trout all day. Didn’t get any needlefish or cuda’s all day, and I was really surprised by that! The grovers were in full force too, caught 8 or 9 in the 6-10″ range. After I used all the shrimp and only got 2 that were just about 20″, I sabiki’d up some pinfish.
What a beautiful morning…. With a picture perfect sunrise, went out and found that I was the only kayak out there all morning. I just can’t get over how perfect the conditions were and yet there was nobody around. Fish were very active and the opportunities were numerous. Was somewhat disappointed that I ended up losing what would have been the biggest fish of the day. A beefy Red comes to the surface and aggressively snags the lure. Had the fish on for a good run and yet a minute later I am standing there wondering in complete disbelieve.
This past Wednesday, July 10th six of us chartered the “Fish Taxi” captained by Ryan Wagner out of the Salt Rock Grill for some off shore action. The targets would be grouper, AJ’s, snapper or just whatever was biting. Joining me would be my good friend Mark Watanabe, Rusty Driver, Rob Devore, Edward Ratanun and Tyler Peterson. Arriving before our schedule launch time of 7am, we quickly loaded the 32 foot Sabalos and made a short trip down the ICW, stopping just short of Johns Pass for fuel. Once done with that we headed out the pass for our 20 mile trip out into the Gulf.
So once in position we dropped our baits, which consisted of either cut or whole sardines and live pinfish and the fight, was on. One Red Grouper after another. You had to go through 20 or 30 short ones to get one that was legal to keep, that being larger than 20 inches.
We headed to A1A and began checking beach launches for acceptable surf, bait, and fish activity. We only had to hit a couple of cross-overs before we found an acceptable launch area. We launched to find widely scattered pogies and a few rolling tarpon ranging from just outside the surf to a quarter mile from shore. The water close to the surf was really muddy so we paddled until we found some clearer water and began drifting our baits. Almost immediately we began hooking up. I jumped a couple tarpon and caught some sharks on pigfish and mullet. Suede put out a jumbo mullet and had a tarpon chase it to the surface and leap completely out of the water trying to eat it, all this just feet from his kayak. Neither of us landed a tarpon first thing in the morning, but we had fun trying. Once the morning bite slowed we tried trolling some stingers and diving plugs out farther offshore. The only fish yielded was a huge bonito and a tiny barracuda.
Over the 4th of July holiday 3 friends got together to enjoy a day of fishing. Almost everyday has been a down pour but the early part of thursday was blue skies.
We headed out from one of our favorite spots. The over abundance of rain run off has turned much of our saltwater spot into fresh water so we needed to head further out to find fish. All 3 of us found snook as well as double digits of trout (not pictured). The snook were hungry all day feasting on DOA Shrimp, zara spook jrs, and skitter walk’s. The rain was held back for most of the day but we did finally get hammered by multiple storms. Though the storms did not break our spirit to continue to fish. We found a few snook on our way back. It was an amazing day in our back country
First time getting out since the big wahoo and fishing has slowed way down in the last few weeks. Went out after work Friday for an hour or so and managed a nice king and lost a big mutton right under the yak Saturday did a drift from port Everglades inlet to Pompano with a couple other guys Doug P, Rob and Andy. First time out of the inlet and it was fun to say the least. With the outgoing tide there was 4-6 foot rollers all the way out to 100 feet of water. Awesome scenery to start the morning though. Fishing was slow with a bunch of huge bonita caught as well as a handful of football bfts. I managed to pull up a small snowy grouper deep droppin in the 300 foot range which was a first for me. Also hooked up to a nice mahi maybe 15 pounds that shook the hook first jump. Also had a fun visit and a couple circles from mr hammerhead. Slow day but nice to get out on the water again
After monitoring extraordinary fluctuations in the evening’s weather forecast for St. Augustine, myself and Josh/WDE414 decided to load the Hobie’s and just go. We arrived at the Vilano ramp at around 17:30 and the conditions were excellent. Winds were light from the west and the current was slow and steady outgoing. The plan was to fish the Usina until at least nightfall and mainly drop Got-Cha’s and other heavier lead-heads around the deep spots. When we got to the bridge we quickly racked up multiple trashcan slams but both of us still had high hopes. When the tide was just about bottoming out I hooked-up and boated a 31.5 inch redfish. Shortly after that I was hooked up again to another redfish right around 31 inches. Josh caught some bluefish at around that time and kept one for the grill. I managed a keeper trout somewhere in there too that I threw on the ice. Right after dark fell and the tide switched, I managed a perfect 27 inch redfish that joined the trout on the menu tonight.
Joe Hector landed this fish, off Pompano on June 27. This bull dolphin was caught on a dead sardine, in 180 feet. Having no gaff did not cause to much of a problem until the fish got wrapped around the mirage drive. The angler Joe was with, Fred York, had to jump in and untangle the line. Joe then reached down, grabbed the fish and bear hugged it into the kayak. The fish weighed an estimated 30 plus pounds
Florida Sportsman member:Chuck D
Fished the Indian River today, and the water is DARK. Super brown, but the fish are there, and they still have to eat. Launched the kayaks at 5:30 to an overcast sunrise. Decided to give my ultralight a workout today, 4 to 10 pound Seagis with a 1000 Saros, 8 pound braid. We started throwing topwater plugs, and they started getting hit. Caught a lot of trout early, and hooked up with a nice red that came unglued on the zara spook jr. Looked for tails, saw none. Kept plugging away with topwater until it stopped working around 10 or 11 am. Started throwing a DOA CAL shad tail and caught a few more nice trout, and hooked up with the first red of the day trolling it behind me (and working it a little) while moving across the flat.The artificial bite slowed a bit after that, so we decided to deploy a few fresh mullet chunks out. Was throwing two lines out on the deeper section of the flat and the action started to heat up. First I nailed a 30 incher as a storm was passing and then we had a double hook up of slightly over 30 inch reds. I had to play these fish and chase them down to not get spooled on the light tackle, they all seemed to hit the bait on the light rod. Maybe because of the lighter leader I was using on it (20 pound floro). I finally get a screaming hit quickly after re-deploying baits, and the line is dumping off the little Saros 1000. In about 4 seconds I was starting to see the spool through the braid, as I was unhooking from my makeshift anchor (my paddle). I got free just in time and started to chase down this fish. I was trying to play it as best I could, and it was dragging me all over the place. My rod was doubled over, my drag was locked but still screaming, and I was very afraid something in the setup would break, possibly the rod. I see the huge tail, and know I’m in for a long fight.Finally the beast rolls over, and gives up. I applied boga grips and it was a caught fish.Revived very quickly, and off to spawn or whatever those big fish do.Thanks to user EasternGlow for help taking the pics! I’d post yours but I know some people may be wary of posting their photos online for the masses…
The Boynton Boys are definitely feeling the summer time, its when you have to catch 20 bonita’s before you catch anything worth wild. We had more pics for you all but one of are camera’s fell of the kayak while in transit probably due to us rushing to get into the cold a/c of vehicle and not checking the traps on the gear. Last Saturday Oarknot and I launched out of Delray Beach and drifted to Boynton and ended catching this little guy in about 300 feet deep with a Tormenter Jig. We have also been having some success with mutton snapper and some nice size reef donkeys. Since they dredged Delray Beach we haven’t seen any nice grouper…
Finally got a chance to head offshore again. The surf was a little sporty in the morning. A newbie in the parking lot asked if it was a good day to try his new kayak off the beach. It didn’t sound like he had much experience and just a 12 foot kayak, but I figured with an experienced hand like myself I could get him past the waves. I was wrong, he flipped twice in little waves that weren’t even breaking, so I advised him to practice in Whiskey Creek and launched myself out. Once the clouds moved on the seas died down to summer normal. Got a small bonito trolling around 110 feet, lost something on the jig at 120 and got a 2nd bigger bonito jigging. I then foul-hooked a juvenile african pompano and a tiny blowfish. Met forum member jcan and family on the paddle back, they at least got a couple of black-fin tunas for dinner. It’s still nice to get a bend in the rod, especially when you set the drag light so they pull some line.
Ft. Lauderdale Blackfin Tuna
Florida Sportsman Member: Captain Yak
Peddled out with no live bait. Just trolled a plug out to the deep waters and almost snagged a huge sea turtle. Was able to luckily get my line off the turtle without hooking him or putting him under any pressure. Got out to 140 feet and hooked up on a decent bonnie. Threw him back and went to 160 feet.
Immediately hooked up and this fish was a monster. Checking the time on my video, it took my drag for over a minute straight. As it got closer, I realized that I had a monster bonnie. Got him in, but he was so worn he didn’t make it back in the drink.
Switched up Jigs to get away from the bonito. On my second drop and I feel a light hit. I Set the hook and the fish is not really fighting. I get him to the surface and realize I have a jumbo blackfin tuna. I worked him real slow just before bringing him on the yak. He saved his fight for when I had him on board.
Launched at sunrise and headed out solo with some gogs swimmin happy in the livewell. Got out to 185 feet, not much current. I caught a few almacos on the jig and then my gog gets whacked. A few good runs and i land a nice 25 pound smoker king. Went out deeper in search of some dolphin and tuna where i found some nice weeds in 380 feet or so. Pulling up to the weeds a school of small dolphin start going crazy and at the same time my gog goes off. At first I though i had a schoolie but after it ran 400 yds off my reel i knew it was something serious! About an hour battle of tug-a-war I get a glimpse of the stripes! A few minutes later I sink the gaff in its head and struggle to pull her in the yak! weighed in at a little over 61 pounds
Loaded the Slayer 14.5 up around 11:30 and decided the day wasnt over just yet and that I would go check out a new backcountry spot up in north Ft Pierce. Got some lunch and killed some time while the hottest part of the day passed. Got to the launch spot and set off towards the spot. Got there and started exploring every inch of it with the super spook jr. Landed a baracuda and then my lure gets hit by something that instantly breaks the line, bummer my favorate lure is gone only 5 min in! I tie on a mirroLure topwater prop bait and continue on. I hook into what I thought was a snook, but turned out to be a nice Redfish! Gave a hell of a fight in a foot of water, trying to catch me in the mangroves the entire time.
Throw off a mangrove point and something big hits the lure but dosnt stick which sends the lure flying back at me and tangling my line on itself forcing me to retie. Retie the lure with 25 pound florocarbon this time instead of 20 and cast back to the same spot and it gets inhaled! I set the hook good, anticipating a big jump, but it doesnt jump. It heads straight for the Mangroves so i pull harder and then it jumps… a giant snook again!
Went out Saturday with friends Austin (fish4reds) and Tammy for a little recon during this “Brown Tide” craze everyone is talking about. Indeed, the water clarity is poor, and the water quality is suffering as well. But Mother Nature will always find a way to adapt.
The wind kept switching directions: South to South East to South West. Then all of a sudden, the wind stopped. Tons of mullet appeared, and more tails started popping up. Then I noticed these tails had spots all over them. These aren’t Reds, they are giant Trout! With slick glass calm conditions and within 40 feet from these tails, I grabbed my Slayer Lure SSB with a little Pro Cure Ladyfish Scent and pitched it past a few tails. Of course, the minute I stop paying attention I get thumped. Set the hook into what felt like a solid brick wall.
Switched it up a little bit today and launched further north than usual. Making our way out to blackfin country, I picked up a small one on my deep plug. Put him on ice and continued out. Two minutes later my shallow plug gets hit, I look back and see a cow in the air. My first thought is “cool, but she’s gonna pop off the trebles.” To my surprise she held on and I got her into the Hobie. I ended up with 5 blacks, mahi and few bonita.
I rolled out this morning to get a little time on the water, since I have to work an evening shift today. I had visions of landing another Cobia after seeing my boy’s slob from yesterday. Well, it didn’t take long. I had a 25 pound Cobia decide to hit my Yozuri deep diver after I got out past the second bar. Fought a short fight and had him yak side. Hit him with the gaff and he flips out doing the gator roll. In the process he slips off the gaff and bent out the treble on the lure and off he swam. I was livid. Cussing at no one for hours. Pulled up one trophy snapper on a spot, then moved to another pulling the only live bait I had, a big hardtail. Well somehow he wiggles off, so now I am stuck pulling nasty cigsicles I had. On the way to our famed Trigger hole I see some birds working the water pretty hard. I start heading that way when I notice an odd thump on the King rig
Met up today with Nick (ShallowWaterAssassin on the FS forum), launched and headed towards one of my favorite flats that has been producing lately. Found the mullet and we began working the schools with topwaters. No more than five minutes in, Nick gets a huge explosion on his topwater but it didn’t stick unfortunately. I finally get a nice hit but it didn’t stick, so I slowed the bait down and sure enough here comes a huge wake behind the bait. The bait gets nailed, fish on! The fish takes me on a nice little ride before I landed a slob redfish, measuring right at 29 inches. It probably would have measured at 30 inches if its tail wasn’t so chewed up.
I came up empty for the day but the wife got a few nice sized trout. Probably because I was paddling while she fished and napped. My buddy had no problem killing it with a few large reds(26″,28″), one 21 inch snook and a hand full of trout. Most of the fish were picked up along a newly explored path. Can’t wait to get out and explore more spots.
I located and purchased a Slayer 14.5. Picked the boat up yesterday and took it out this morning to hit up some of my favorite flats in Fort Fierce. Got on the water around 6:30 and paddled out to some mullet schools that were getting busted on by snook. Hooked and lost a fish on a super spook jr. but then I got one to stick. Landed the barely slot snook got some quick picture with it and the new yak. I was super pumped. Good way to break the Slayer in!
Another great morning. Sunny, wind was down, no Surf…Perfect! As soon as I got to 150 feet my gog gets slammed! I knew it was a “smoker” by the run it took. 20 minutes later when I got him to the yak I was in 300 feet! Heck of a fight. Decided to release him (hopefully someone catches him this weekend!) I estimated him to be about 30 to 35 pounds. Around 10:30 decided to call it a day ( never caught anything after 10:30 anyways ) When I got to 85 feet and my rod goes off again. This time I hear a big splash, so I’m thinking Sail…but knew quickly it was another “Smoker” when it ripped off 200 yards in a matter of a few seconds.
Hit up Pompano scouting for the tourney, meet up with Bobby and his old man and decided to head out together, it was a nice launch but I knew it was gonna get ugly fast. Meet up with Larrythelobsterman ( I think JetskiLarry is a better name) out in deeper water. As we made our way to my fav wreck, I noted a nice little rock pile and marked it. We made it to the wreck and first drop fish on Bobby hooks up as well. It was good fight and then my leader popped right at the knot . I switched rods and by the second drop I had fish on, tearing line off my reel had to palm it a few times[...]
Took the yak off Pompano since I’ve had good luck up there. Seas were less than 2 feet with a north breeze. Just past the third reef there was nice rip and I put a gog out. Saw a couple kings launch out of the water probably 5-10 feet in the air. Pretty awesome to see. I paddled that way and got bit. There was a sharp tug and then nothing… I opened the bail thinking it was a short strike and the fish would come back for the rest. After 10-15 seconds of nothing I reeled up the slack to find dead weight on the other end. There was no tug, no run, just dead weight. I didn’t even think it was a fish until I dragged it in 50 yards to the yak. Then the king took off and decided to fight.
Launched out of Pineland marina this morning and was in the rain right away. We started to get into trout just out of the marina using topwaters. The fish were nailing the unfair lures dawgwalker 110 in the pearl olive w/red head. Those bites were some of the most violent trout bites I have ever seen. I caught quite a few trout, and I even caught a 20 inch and a 22 inch trout right after each other. We moved towards the trees and started getting hits right away. We had a few nice reds explode on topwaters but couldn’t connect with any. Finally I had one boil on it right in front of my kayak and then it boiled again and inhaled the bait three feet in front of my kayak.
Launched in Boynton this morning anticipating to dodge storms throughout the day. To my surprise, I didn’t get a rain drop on me. I Worked a jig from 200-240 feet targeting areas that hold tuna this time of year. By the time I hit skycliff, I had 4 blackfins on ice and lost one sail to a break off. Soon after, forum member Blazing Reels comes out of the blue and decides to tag along for the rest of the day. We continued to work our jigs with good success. Blazing got on some mahi and lost a sail that hit his jig . By the end of the day I ended up with 14 blackfins…one at 18 pounds.
The plan was to head out to the 2nd color change and look for ling as we headed east. We dragged cigs hoping to pick up a smoker but no dice.
I decided to head out a little deeper and see if we could find any bottom to drop on. I drifted over some hard bottom and flipped my flounder jig and immidiately slammed. I was worried I had a jack cause it was kicking my tail. After about 7-8 minutes, I pulled a nice red up. I looked beneath him and there was the first ling of the day mixed in with this massive school of reds. I moved on trying to get back with the school when my other rod with the cig on started screaming. I first thought king but then realized it was probably another red. But with no head shakes my hopes were high it was a ling. After about 30 minutes I gaffed this guy. He weighed 27 pounds.
There was an all day feeding frenzy over the third reef stretching as far as the eye could see. Mostly bonito or little tunnys with some blue runners and mackerel mixed in. I had a goggle eye down deep that got crushed and cut off after a screaming run. The fish were keyed in on these little 1 inch baits (not sure what kind exactly) and paid no attention to my pilchards. Tried a couple top water baits with no bites til I tied on a Shimano Waxwing. I was hooking up every other cast with the waxwing. I kept looking for a blackfin tuna mixed in there somewhere but no takers. Still, it was fun to keep a tight line. Ended up with a small spanish mackerel and around a dozen of these guys.
I decided to try my luck on the grass flats just south of 195 this morning. Got on the water just as the sun was coming up with 3 dozen shrimp. Tried some topwater baits to start things off but only one small trout wanted to play. After 15 minutes I switched to the go-to popping cork and it was non stop action from then on. I literally blew through all 3 dozen shrimp in about an hour. The majority of the trout were 16-18 inches, only had two little runt trout all day. Didn’t get any needlefish or cuda’s all day, and I was really surprised by that! The grovers were in full force too, caught 8 or 9 in the 6-10 inch range. After I used all the shrimp and only got 2 that were just about 20 inches, I sabiki’d up some pinfish. Even caught a couple trout on the sabiki too. Using the palm size pinfish I caught with the sabiki I managed to get 3 trout over 20 inches, and lost one that was over 25 inches.
We met up when I got off work Sunday morning at a launch in the Placida/Gasparilla sound area. I had success here early in the week so we figured it would be worth a shot. I tried to offer as much input and knowledge as possible… stuff like “I’ve caught a redfish on this dock using this bait…” “Snook like to hang out there…” “a faster retrieve here gets more trout but if you slow it down…” It wound up paying off because within about an hour he had a decent slam including his biggest trout ever at 18 inches. My luck was almost non existent for most of the morning, as I caught a handful of trout with only one even being slot sized.
[...] I knew it was a snook right off the bat. It gave a nice headshake above the water and I realized it was a bit bigger fish. It was a perfect scenario, the fight started about 50 yards from the closest dock and about 25 yards from the closest submerged mangrove roots, so there wasn’t much chance of the fish getting in to anything and breaking me off. After a lot of drag screaming I got the fish to the side of the boat and asked my brother to come over and get a picture as I knew it would at least be competing for my biggest snook ever.
The meet-up turned out well, a lot of kayakers showed up. The weather was nasty! Wind was non-stop blowing from the SSE, and every bit of 3 to 5 feet. Hats off to everyone that stuck it out and continued to fish throughout the day. Those conditions do not make it easy to fish but some fish were caught. Congrats to kayakangler AKA Joe Kraatz with the biggest combo of the day (nice king and 31 pound AJ). We started fishing in 250 feet where the AJ was landed [...]
Got to the beach at sunrise and saw Rob there so we headed out together. He had his sail on the ocean kayak and damn does that thing haul. I dropped a gog out at 100 feet on the way out and 2 minutes later the drag starts to scream… After a 20 minute fight of drag screaming, I pull up a fat king. Rob headed out deep and landed a few small dolphin and a king. I stayed in, bouncing on the shallow wrecks in search of a cobia but just got a few almacos. Overall it was a slow day but it was nice to get out.
Beautiful flat goodness greeted me at the launch. Trolled a cig duster and a deep diver. No taps. Moved on to another spot and decided to drop down the tried and true flounder setup. Thumped the bottom once, and bam! It was on like donkey kong. Fish was running hard, so I cupped the spool to try and slow him down. I Couldn’t put too much pressure on him cause I was rocking my Stradic 5k with 30lb braid. My initial thought was shark, and as I got him within sight, it was none other than the brown bomber.
Winds and outgoing tide made it look “sporty” like my buddy and mentor Android likes To say. Close to limit of macs using all artificials.They hit everything! Biggest fish trolling 1 1/4 oz spoon. Jack hit ballyhoo on kingfish rig with sinker removed trolling east from towers. The kids said mac bite was over till I used a different jig and got four more in the boat. Did not head out as big waves came in. Knew we were done when surfers showed up.
The fishing was a bit slow this morning. We saw few reds really pushing any wakes. After about 20 minutes or so we managed to pick up a red around 17 inches. A few trout here and there climbed on in the kayak. It was around 7:45 and I hung into a 30 inch monster red. He slammed the top water and took off the opposite direction I was facing. He snapped the kayak around the started stripping drag. This fish meant business. After he pulled me at least 50 yards down the creek I was able to get him at least turned around. After getting pulled like a dog sled down the creek I managed to land this monster.
We’ve really been catching the reds up here well. They’ve been hanging out in around 3 feet of water early in the morning and later afternoon. I caught a monster 27 inch red and another 29 inch red on top water earlier in the week. I’m heading out to a new spot in the trusty yak to catch some more monsters tomorrow.
Weather was calling for 14 foot seas so me and flats broke decided what the hell lets give it a shot lol. Got a late start but weather started beautiful, 2-3 foot seas with weedlines and blue water. Flats hooked a mahi right away on jig but shook the hook. Few minutes later my live bait gets hit n I land a decent phin… Few more drifts with no luck and the wind kept increasing with seas 4-6 feet we decide to call it a day[...]
Started out on a solo Dolphin trip today, but met Paul in the surf and he asked to tag along. Being the nice guy I am, I said sure. I Hope my kind deed pays off later because Paul hooked this stud not 15 feet from me. First ever in the yak! Congrats!
Headed down to Everglades City today with the one and only Bonitabob himself. We met up with Woody Callaway of Native Watercraft and Rich Jones (RJVermont) and hit the water a little later than usual. I did a little bit of fishing but was more interested in playing with my new camera than anything else.
Drove down to Collier County today to do a little bass fishing. Day started off with a ton of small ones and then just as I was starting to discount this lakes productivity the big girls started to show up.
We left Kars park headed almost straight out for deeper water. We fished for a while, after only two 10-inch-plus trout, the frustrating puffer fish destroying my gulp, and the wind picking up, we decided to head for cover. My friend said that 1,000 Island Park in Cocoa Beach has miles of mangrove canals to fish. It was a great place. Lots of canals that protected us from the wind. We saw a few small schools of reds that had lock jaw and tons of finger mullet [...]
Headed out today despite the forecast calling for wind and rain. Hit up Pine Island with redfish on the mind. Very quickly that was satisfied and we continued to explore some back creeks out in Pine Island. We all managed quite a few fish, reds, trout, and snook. The best part of my day however was getting good fishing buddy Ken hooked up and watching him land his first ever tarpon.
Paddled out from Pompano beach on Sunday at sunrise. Beach was flat. Offshore was nasty. The wind was relentless. First 2 fish that were caught were Black fin tuna by Drichard1986 & Jvanpelt. Both fish were caught on live flat lined Pilchards. I stayed in a little shallower and was able to land a nice size King on a flat lined Goggle Eye in 135 feet. Soon after that I peddled over to KayakAngler to see he landed his first ever grouper and a nice one at that! The grouper was caught on a vertical jig in 250 feet.
So we made it to the Kismet launch (north cape coral) yesterday. It was an awesome trip. I had heard some great stories about the area and the real thing didn’t disappoint. We saw so many fish, some monster reds and snook out there. We made it all the way out to Charlotte Harbor but the wind kept us off the grass flats so we headed back into the mangrove lakes. I was able to pick up one snook and my friend caught one red and one snook. Also there was so much drift wood..I need a bigger yard for all that. I can’t wait to get back out there.
Next I decided to do some Fly Fishing in the Everglades Backcountry by myself.Total count for the day. 11 Snook and 6 Tarpon all on flies. Saw some huge Black Drums tailing but they refused my fly.
So after I told my buddy how I did he decided to come along. So we went in my yak towards the backcountry and I showed him what the Everglades backcountry was all about. Of course the backcountry delivered. As we were almost leaving I tossed my paddle tail to some bait jumping in 8 inches of water and my biggest Snook to date was hooked to the end of my line.
Launched off morningside after waiting for the gurds to open the gate 30 minutes late. When I finally get on the water, I see pods of mullet getting hammered by something big. I cast a sub-surface lure to see if I get hit but nothing, so after the third cast I switch to a zara spook. By this time whatever was chasing the bait splits into 3-4 groups and hit the bait hard, by this time I worry these may be dolphins. Next thing I know a wake comes towards me so I cast and walk my dog in front of it and bam! I get hit hard.
It’s that time of the year. Our “annual” weekend trip to Chokoloskee. We rented a lodge at the Chokoloskee Island Park Marina and fished all day Saturday and Sunday morning. The weather was a bit spotty with storms pushing through the area. We had our moments of flat calm throughout the day though. The local residents had a fish fry when we got back from the first day and invited us to some free chow. Can’t find a nicer bunch of folks.
Went out today with bonitabob and his brother in law for the first time in a long time and slaughtered the fish. Here’s a few pics and I’m sure he’ll be adding his as well. Another great Southwest Florida winter day.
Well it was a slow weekend for me as I only managed to land one alamaco and a couple Bonita but Mr Joe Hector, tournament director for Extreme had a great weekend and day today. He landed one nice Black fin tuna on 1/5/13, Joe Kraatz (Kayakangler) landed a small mahi (no pic) and this stud of a wahoo the morning of 1/8/13. Both fish were caught on live Pilchards in 180-200 feet of water.
Got out deep n got 4 or 5 almacos and lost a sail. Then I found a pod of toothy critters that cut off 4 of my jigs back to back. My luck they were all wahoo. Went in to a shallow wreck in 115′ n as soon as I got there my goggle eye gets eaten. It screams out 300 yards of line on first run. After about 15 minutes, I get him in. It’s a jumbo king. I Decide to call it a day and head in.
Clear water, light current, and low winds, beautiful two days on the water. Dolphin “flipper” all over the place, two big turtles, a huge manta ray, and a hammerhead all came by to say “hi.”
Florida Sportsman member: Art Vandelay
I was able to get out and do a little kayak fishing yesterday. It was pretty chilly in the morning but it was forecasted to be the calm and warm up in the afternoon. We launched into some super clear shallow water and almost immediately started spotting some slot sized reds. They were really spooky with the clear water and it made it hard to get within casting distance. The water warmed up during the day and we ended up catching most of our fish [...]
It has been quite a while since I’ve posted here, I know this report ins’t strictly kayak fishing but most of the fishing was done on the kayak. I figured I post up some of the trips of this Fall. I have been going out on the kayak, Gheenoe, and a friends boat. It has been tough some days to fish with this winter pattern as we are getting days where the wind is blowing all day but if you get those two or three days of nice weather, make them count. Some of my friends are recently getting into the fly fishing scene and I have been taking them on the Gheenoe to catch their first reds, snook, and tarpon on fly [...]
Woke up and made the long drive down to the Everglades this morning, still a little buzzed from last nights festivities. The wind forecast was calling for 2 to 3 mph winds all morning, and the tide seemed just right-making my two hours of sleep easily forgotten.
The drive down was foggy, and by the time I made it to the ramp the sun had just risen, revealing a beautiful skyline. After having my only two one knockers cracked by redfish on Tuesday, the Skitterwalk was tied on by default. Threw the pink skitter into the mangroves and picked up a nice snook to start the morning. He hit it four times before the rusty trebles stuck [...]
Headed out of Dania on the 8th. The conditions weren’t the best, with a straight east wind that made paddling out take forever. Decided I was only going to jig that day I didn’t bring any live bait. Fishing was real slow for me. Ended up catching a perfect size blue runner for live bait in 180 feet of water, tied up a stinger rig real quick and tossed him out. Not even 10 minutes later I get a hit and see it jump.
Headed out today with my Ryan Warden. Bite was a little slower than I expected it to be today but there were a few nice fish caught, we managed a few decent reds, and some trout including the smallest trout I’ve ever seen that popped a trout pattern topwater bigger than him, and I managed to find a nice hole loaded with keeper mangrove snapper [...]
Been doing quite a bit of exploring fishing with some of my good fishing buddies deep in the Everglades in no man’s land. The paddles are long full of creatures that would not mind having you for dinner or biting you to fill there stomachs but the fishing has been outstanding. Fly-fishing exclusively for these fish has been a challenge but the rewards have been much sweeter! [...]
Had a chance to get my wife Stephanie out on the water this morning in “Her Native Mariner”. So after a quick stop at BCFC for some of their ninja mudminnows we were on the water about 8:15 am. We come up on Dreads, spoke with him a minute then we set up to locate the trout. Stef does not get out to fish much so I wanted her to catch plenty of fish. Which she did, we must of caught 40 plus trout in the range of 13 inches to 17 inches. Did not get on any big fish but did manage a few rat reds mixed in. She had a great time and that’s all I was after [...]
Hit North Biscayne Bay about 0800 looking for whatever. Tried the trout flats for an hour and a half with nothing to show for it but some pinfish-chewed up soft baits. Since bluefish and mackerel had been showing up lately, I headed to the deep channel and tossed on a refurbished crystal minnow. Quickly hook up with a nice Spanish mack, followed a few minutes later by a nice bluefish. The bite died again, so I paddled south of the causeway and got a just keeper size trout and another bluefish [...]
Decided to do a little fishing this afternoon with the flood tide. I have not tried flood tide fishing in the middle of the day yet and figured I would give it a try. Was joined by a buddy of mine and we were off by about 1. Pulled up to my first flood flat and saw 1 tail. He then disappeared so we moved to the next flat. Pulled up to the second flat and saw nothing, looked a little more before we decided to just start working the creeks and islands. Then it was on. My buddy was throwing a rootbeer DOA shrimp and flipped up along the grass and I heard his drag start screaming and the yak took off.
After a good little fight we had our first red of the day.[...]
Launched at Pine Island this morning with a very strong breeze and some dark clouds. As we launched the kayaks I was wondering if it was going to be worth it, and it was! One my first cast i Had a nice red blow up on the topwater, which was right at the launch! Of course he missed it and we pressed on. We came out on the flats and I hook a really nice fish on the topwater, and pull in a 25-inch trout! That was definitely my personal best in Pine Island [...]
Dad and I dropped the kayaks in this evening just before 8:00pm. We Paddled over to our first dock light and before I could even get my rod out, dad was already hooked up on a small fat snook! So I skip in and get another fat snook to start things off. Next light there are some larger fish popping in and a few casts later, I’m locked into a better fish. Turns out to be my personal best fat snook. Dad then gets another fat snook that was only slightly smaller than the one I had just got! That’s four fat snook in a row. Then dad breaks the streak with a small common. We Head around to one of our last lights and we quickly pick off two nice snook. Both about 25 inches [...]
OK folks, here is a compilation of trips in the recent mouth. I will start with the best. As all epic trips start off, I get a phone call from Chris “Tex” Lewis telling me about an idea of a trip from Flamingo to Islamorada on kayaks as I was driving to work one afternoon. With out hesitation, I say I am in. Minutes later, I get a call from Dj DanDecibel all pumped up about the trip. So for the next 6 days we planned everything out and got all the gear ready. After days of gearing up tying flies and looking at the weather the day of reckoning [...]
My buddy Justin and I had the day off of work so we decided to head out on the Yaks. After finding some bait we had the yaks in the water around 10:30. Lines in the water about 105 feet and within seconds my buddy Justin spots a 6 foot Hammerhead on one of his baits…
…Total for the day One Hammerhead, 2 Big Dolphin, and Our First Yak Sailfish! Awesome day and so worth the crazy paddle back. Got an awesome gopro video that I edited and put up[...]
After talking with Alan Ryland about the day he and Steve Brand spent on the “NMZ”; the location of our next Boondoggle, I knew I needed to get out there and put hooks in fishes faces! So I met up with Alan around 7:15 a.m. or so, got all unloaded and off we went in search of reds and trout. The wind was light out of the west and the water was very cool already so we knew it would be a bit of a waiting game until the flat warmed up a bit [...]
After a little while my friend hooks up into a 25 inch snook that gets off next to the yak, so I start to work an area near him and I hook into something big! It starts screaming out drag and honestly I thought it was a big jack crevalle at first. But once it started going into the trees and thrashing on the surface I knew it had to be better. I finally get it up next to the kayak and it is a nice snook!
Had plans to head into Snake Bight this morning, but never made it that far. The bite was on at the ranger dock during a strong sweeping tide letting out of the flats into the little channel there. I anchored up in a sweet spot and started off with a decent shallow water jack on a top water, but a DOA Shrimp was the champion of the day. A slow retrieve with a light lift/drop of the rod tip landed everything for the remainder of the day.
Last weekend, I had the chance to try my hand at something I’ve always wanted to do: hit the beach out of my kayak. My good buds Nick and Jon helped show me the ropes, since they had already fished the beaches before. We launched around 7 a.m., heading straight offshore and growing hairs on our chest as we pummeled through 2 foot swells. They had been telling me all week “Dude, we will just sabiki up a ton of croakers when we get out there to use for bait.” I’m thinking “Hey, croakers are awesome bait; until I see that what they thought were “croakers” were actually horn-bellies, which I thought was trash, but hey, we made lemonade [...]
Myself and AJ a.k.a EastCoastAngler decided to save a little gas money and take out the yaks. We headed out of Stuart and started catching some jacks that were feeding on the big schools of glass minnows. We moved on to some submerged trees and caught a snook that was about 20-inches. We got to our mangrove destination were we had some good bites on topwater, so we decided to net some fingers. Tried for a while before I finally hooked a 35-inch snook that nearly got me into the mangroves [...]
It looks like my love for kayak fishing has finally become an addiction. After becoming the proud new owner of a Wilderness Systems 14 Commander a few weeks back, I have been trying and trying to get on the water. Busy schedule it seems. Finally, about a week ago, I was able to put her on top of the Jeep and head out in search of some reds that had been (and still are) my mind for quite some time [...]
Went out today with my buddy Josh Harvel (YakNitUp Charters) to Matlacha around 9:30 to catch the 11 a.m. low tide. We immediately were concerned with the wind and with the approaching storm clouds, BUT, we launched anyways. We headed out and were immediately greeted with a very welcome site, TARPON, and man they were everywhere!!! We played around in the canal systems for a little while having a blast watching the tarpon bust our topwaters [...]
Kellan and I got a late start yesterday, we launched off pompano around 9:30 a.m. The waves were crashing pretty hard on the beach but we managed to get out after a good soaking. We headed out to the first wreck and on my first drop with a jig, my line started screaming. I get the fish up to the yak and realize it is a very nice mutton. This is my first mutton on a jig. I must say this was a very nice start to the day [...]
Some of the folks from the SWFKAA got together for a little fishing in Estero Bay. We arrived at 6:30am and spent the next 30 minutes waiting for the rain that would evenyually cancel the trip. At around 7am, we ran out of excuses and decided to launch. We had Troy (Yaknew), Esteban (CaptBlackbeard), Joe (jcorrigan), Josh (Jfish), Eric (my boy) and me. We launched into surprisingly calm conditions and were instantly on the fish. First up was the trout and they did not disappoint on topwater.
Finally had a day to fish inshore with no clients or tournaments to worry about. Launch with a 5 to 10 knot wind from the south which became 15 mph by 10 a.m. The south wind and a strong current incoming tide from the north made it difficult to fish. Jacks, blues and a few small trout was about it until 11 a.m. First fish was FAT! 26 inches. Someone has been enjoying all the mullet! Probably one of the largest girths I have seen on a trout that size.
With my available fishing weekends quickly narrowing down, decided to head out to Bayport today to see if we could improve upon last weeks trip. Put in around 7:30 to a low tide and steady breeze. Tide wasn’t supposed to be in until 2 p.m. so we had a few hours to kill until the water started moving again [...]
After reading the article on seawall snook, saltwater assasin and I decided to try our luck and work some seawalls in Stuart. We started the day with the last drizzle of the outgoing tide. This morning I decided that I would throw a black and gold Top Dog. While still trying to perfect my walk the dog I was able to hook up with one snook before the tide went slack. As the article stated when the water isn’t moving the fish are not biting. The big gal inhaled my lure about 10 feet in front of my kayak and then lazily let herself get dragged to the yak [...]
After years of talking about going “lobstering” by kayak, weeks of practicing and the 3rd day trying to catch one. I finally caught my first lobster.
Kellan, Chris and I went to Dania Beach today with our Hookah setups to go lobstering. The storm must have pushed them shallow since we were getting them in ~15 feet. The visibility was pretty poor and I had to surface several times when I lost the reef [...]
We fished the IFA kayak tour regional event which was held in Titusville on August 26. We arrived Friday afternoon and fished on the south end of the Banana River with some great results. It was our first time fishing anywhere in this area and I caught my first red there within 20 minutes of hitting the water, I was able to easily see him along the mangroves when I was standing on my Hobie pro angler 12 [...]
With the last few months of summer looming upon us, Mother Nature has not given up her relentless grasp just yet. With mornings feeling more like an ascent at the summit of Mt. Everest leaving one gasping for air, mid day has brought punishing temperatures that could only be compared to the most hostile places in our solar system. Combined the weather with grueling paddles, endless miles of poling and lighting storms that could only be compared to science fiction movie “War of the worlds” and you begin to wonder what draws fisherman to this inhospitable world [...]
Hit the water with my good friend Chris in search of some ML Redfish. At the launch I noticed the water looked alot like coffee with a lot of creamer, well it is that time of the year so off we go. Once we got to the flat we saw pushes near the bank and tails in the thick grass, so we fan out to cover more water.
Met up with Andriod this morning for first trip off Dania Pier. He was kind enough to lend me a jigging rod, jig and point me in the right direction. After sunrise broke the ice with small bonito. Followed his lead and kept drifting and jigging. Lost a trigger fish but was good sign. Lost a jig to a mystery break off [..]
I recently purchased a new Hobie AI. Wow, what a blast. I’ve been fishing offshore three times now and I guess the third times a charm. A little background, I grew up fishing in the Keys and other South Florida spots and have come to love offshore fishing. I recently came across the sport of kayak fishing and dove in head first. What a difference [...]
I ate a banana today which everyone was saying was bad luck for fishing. Even though my luck was doomed, I still decided to go out this morning out of Dania with Redneck Rocket and NewYorker. A couple of new guys also tagged along for their first offshore trip. Grabbed some bait from the beach and headed out [...]
THE WEATHER HAS BEEN HOT WITH COUPLE OF STORMS AROUND BUT DEFINITELY WORTH IT SOMETIMES GOING WITH THE BAD WEATHER I HAVENT BEEN TAKING MANY PICTURES BUT I HAVE BEEN DOING TONS OF RECORDING. I WILL PUT THE LINK WHERE YOU CAN WATCH A VIDEO I PUT TOGETHER OF SOME OF THE FLY FISHING IVE BEEN DOING. ENJOY THE REPORT!
Let’s start with the fact that the water temperature was spring cold, 72 degrees at 11am. Caught lots of big Bluefish and plenty of Trout as well. While paddling around I passed over some deep water and a freaking Sailfish (approx. 4ft?) passed under my kayak!!! I just started laughing, that’s a new one for me! Then I caught these two Grouper on the same DOA Shrimp. What a day!
Got out early and started catching slot reds and small snook and then in caught 2 big snook and 2 bull reds in the afternoon. Caught bulls on cut bait under a cork and big snook on 1/8 oz jighead with z man scented paddlerz. The biggest of the snook is the biggest fish I’ve ever caught on artificials. Caught flounder, snook, redfish, blk drum, and trout. One of the best days I’ve ever had fishing!
Summertime fishing can be the most rewarding and most frustrating time to fish south Florida waters. With temperatures soaring well over the hundreds and afternoon thunderstorms just about every day it has been a challenge. Being able to predict the weather and fighting the heat has paid off in my quest for the next thrill seeking adventure [...]
Just got in from a great day on the lake and figured I would give a report. Got on the water at 6 a.m. and first cast, boom, 2 pound bass on a Big Easy topwater. Got a few more on topwater then swiched to fliping docks with a trick worm as I was zoned out with that my Buddy Ryan gets a 6 pounder on a KVD frog 15 feet away from me.
Went out this morning with livingthedream and Larry the lobsterman. Hit some nice weeds, couldn’t tell you how deep (no fishfinder) and no lives today so everything was caught on jigs and plugs. Picked up 3 blackfin tuna, caught 3 throw back mahi-mahi, 4 almaco’s, and a bunch of BIG bonito, and called it after landing a 5 foot wahoo [...]
Went out of pompano today with a floatilla of other yakers. From what I’ve heard so far it was pretty much a bonita bonanza for most of the people that went. Flats Broke got a blackfin tuna, I ended up dropping a chicken rig down on one of the deep wrecks and hit the vermillion snappers pretty good. Past them around to a few yaks so nobody was over the limit [...]
I got in between my friend Dale’s little kayak and big tarpon with my video camera yesterday just off the Port Charlotte Beach Complex. We were fishing for snook with 12 pound test and a chrome spook jr. I posted a short under 5 minute video on youtube of some of the highlights called “Dale’s Big Tarpon, Little Kayak”. Dale guessed 80 pounds.
The one day I forget my Gopro Camera pole I catch this sail that had to jump 20 times with her whole body coming out of the water each time. Thanks to the Spanish speaking Americans for the pic that thought I wanted thier gaff when I was asking for a picture. After 10 minutes revival she swam off strong.
Started the morning early and launched with Chris (frankthetank) around 6 a.m. from Pompano Beach. We were greeted by decent size waves breaking right on the beach. So we timed our launch and got a little wet as we passed through them, luckily without rolling.
We got in last Saturday to breezy, rainy conditions that didn’t seem to let up the whole week. Crazy things happened on Saturday and Sunday, so let’s fast-forward to Monday, and our first fishing day. I guess you could say that it was a learning day, as all I could find was mud bottom and no current…sweet . I did end up accidentally catching a short sheepshead in the cast net, so I won’t count it as a skunk. Anyway, on to Tuesday, and where the fun begins. My uncle Roger and his family were in town, so I was determined to put him on some nice fish, so after an hour or so we moved in search of oysters, current, clean water, and grass…we found it! [...]
Well the beach fishing is phenomenal right now. Decided not to take the kayaks out because of the strong NE wind and current. Tarpon and snook are everywhere on the beaches right now. No matter where you go. We jumped off several tarpon before we landed this nice snook. Using live pilchard with a 3oz pyramid weight to hold the bait in place. After a few pics the snook was released unharmed.
Has been a fun spring. My clients have been doing great getting back to the fish and able to close the deal on some really nice redfish, flounder and trout. Even some dirty ginclear water days for some close up sight fishing. The weather has been awesome for kayaking with the exception of the occasional south 20 mph afternoon winds [...]
Paddled out with Capt.Yak. Headed straight to the wrecks in 250 feet to try and jig up an AJ but not much action going on. Reeled the jigs up and tossed out some live bait on the down rigger set at 60 feet. As I start to head shallow in about 215 feet I get my first hit, 41 inch King. Skinny guy but had the length. As I get into 115 feet my down rigger pops and my reel starts screaming, up comes the sail. 5 minutes later I land this beautiful sailfish.
After work yesterday fellow forum member Nolez12 and I headed out to get some fishing time in. Both of us were forum members before all the changes and recently decided to get back on the forum. Anyways, we launched around 6 p.m with a nice incoming tide. I had a nice snook that didnt completely commit along the first wall we fished.
Fishing has been pretty good. I have broken a couple of my personal records. Recently I caught my biggest snook at 35 inches, my biggest redfish on fly, and also caught a big black drum. I never got to measure the black drum because he did not fit inside my kayak [...]
It’s been a while since I have been able to spend some time on the water, but this past weekend I took advantage of the good weather and set out on a solo trip looking for Redfish and Trout. I hit the launch at day break and worked my way south along the west side of the river [...]
Me and my bro headed to Biscayne to meet Dave, who was kind enough to show us a hot trout spot. As we paddled out through snapper creek, I trolled a soft plastic and got slammed by a monster snook, which broke off immediately. We kept going and as we rounded the corner Dave spots tailing bones. My bro makes a cast and hooks up [...]
I asked noted Photographer Doug Stamm to join me on a day trip over to Miami for some Peacock Bass fishing. We left the West coast at 0600 and began the drive. It was tempting to stop at all the canals along the way, but we were on a mission. We arrived after a few short stops at around 0830 and met up with Mike Teixidor. Mike is a good friend and fellow Blue Line Fishing Team member, and he knows Miami Peacock bass.
Woke up early to haul but to Lake Worth. We launched at the snook Island Kayak launch me and my older brother and began our journey. We fished in an out of every nook and cranny of the snook island area nothing but a stingray and bait everywhere. Paddled north seen some sheepies but no connections, we found this nice little sandbar exposed with rock piles next to it so we worked the only lure I ever caught snook on, a Bass Assassin silver chartreuse, hooked up [...]
Better weather is finally approaching, and the fishing is hot hot hot offshore. Saturday winds and surf were a little choppier than predicted but we got into some nice fish. Winds were great for the kayak and currents did not start ripping until after 1pm. On saturday, hooked, oarknot, and myself ventured out. caught alot of bonita, nice kings, runners, jacks of all sorts and sizes and one tuna. Water was murkier than normal which is not a bad thing, plankton and silt brings bait and bait brings predators. I will also make note that, absolutely zero bait, live or dead, are used on any of our trips, so whatever we catch is on artificials.
Everyone I spoke to slayed fished yesterday. Here are a couple of the bigs boys Joe & I brought in. I was happy about my 35″ BFT until I spoke to Rob(PottyMouth) and he told me he landed a 40″! What a beast!
We decided to hit some bottom spots off destin on this super full moon. well we didnt launch till about 3 a.m. or so and it was calm and the sky was lit up! got to the first spot and josh pulls up this beast red snapper. not much going on after that till’ the sun started to rise. We heard a loud splash and everyone looked over there then we saw a sailfish jump and we all freak out and started going over towards it [...]
I was free lining a whole squid on the Penn Torque and had not checked the bait in quite a bit. I had let out quite a bit of line and was trying to speed reel the line in. As the line got close I slowed down to a stop to see if anything might of been following it. Sure enough I see a rather large shadow behind the squid. I let it sit but the lack of action made him lose interest. I pulled it in a threw it out in front of my yak, sure enough I saw him dart right for it.
Took the wife down to Conch Key Cottages, MM 61, for a few days of paddling and exploring. She let me fish a little. The hotel is right on the water adjacent to what should have been good bonefish flats, but I did not see one the whole trip. There were some respectable barracudas to be had. It’s nice to be able to roll out of bed and be fishing within 5 minutes.
Planned on a Delray to Boynton inlet drift, even staged a car at Boynton inlet. We put in at the beach in Delray water was perfect, flat and a light wind. We never got that far off only about 80ft we let the wind take us. It ended up taking us south east not the way we planned on going. The ocean had a good April fools joke by taking us the wrong way. But it ended up working out. Birds were diving all around us and bait was getting slammed on the top of the water. My bro-in law ended up with 2 AJ’s and I was skunked. Still a great day on the water.
I haven’t posted anything in about two months or so, I just got back from Djing out of the country in late February. I’ve been doing some fishing here and there but this month has been really windy and it seems like the only time to have some fishing opportunity has been in the mornings when the winds are kind of calm. Even though the high winds we have, I have had some luck here and there [...]
Well the plan was to get on the Cobia bite today as I have been hearing scattered reports. We hit the beach at Phipps Park in Lake Worth and are greated by 2-4′ seas and a erroded beach. We disscussed for awhile and decided to charge the surf at 7am. We hit 100′ and throw out flat lines and start jigging with DOA swimming mullets. Hour into the trip..nada..so we decide to paddle back out and north as the east wind has blown us in. My buddy Hoke trolls a DOA Terror Eyz in golden bream and is slammed by this gal in 65′ [...]
The plan was to launch from the North end of Lover’s Key and visit the islands in the middle of the bay and look for reds and snook. When I arrived at the launch, I found my plans thwarted as one million mph winds were coming across the bay. Not to be outdone by weather, I opted to launch at Hickory Pass and maybe find some shelter from the wind. I met up with my buddy Mike, and we took off at sunrise [...]
Decided to try somewhere brackish I haven’t spent much time, just to try something new this afternoon. Fished a few hours of daylight plus about 30min after dark with the moon so bright.
Was push-poling around in a foot of water when I came across a big, dark, gnarly tail sticking out of the water. Thought it was a big black drum and threw on him. After a 20minute sleigh ride I found out I was mistaken [...]
I wanted to get over my dismal 12th place finish in the IFA tournament so I called Allen Reddick for some Estero Bay fishing. We launched at Week’s into a little wind, but not as bad as it was yesterday. Week’s is such a great place to lauch as it’s never too busy! We started fishing the flats right outside of the channel on the falling tide. I was using my usual, Gulp shrimp on a DOA cal jighead and it didn’t take long to snatch up a slot redfish [...]
Downrigger Plus Gog Equals Smoker Kayak King
Florida Sportsman member: FLATS BROKE
Went out yesterday with a half dozen gogs paddled out to 90ft and put my baits out, 1 flat line 1 on the downrigger. Slow troll out to 165ft and drop my jig and pull up a small king 28 inch. Headed in to 140ft where there was a nice color change and my rigger goes off zzzz’. 15 mins later I land this nice king. The downrigger was set at 50 feet.
Fishing was slow for us this weekend, Current was ripping North 3+mph. Managed to catch this kingfish (70ft) on the way out on a deep diving Yozuri plug. We did a lot more kayaking than fishing. I sold the fish on the beach for a whopping $13.00 to a Canadian couple that really wanted it. They offerd to buy it so I said “$20 its great deal”, Then he said he had no cash .I loaded up my kayak and was ready to leave when I noticed the guy running down the street towards me with cash in his hand. He told me he managed to borrow $13 and thats all he had. So I gave in and took the $13.00 and used it for bait the next day [...]
Recent offshore fishing reports from the Big Bend region.
Fishing the Middle Grounds
Florida Sportsman member: minnowsnmonsters
The run out to our first stop was a 96 mile stretch that we made quick work of by taking turns at the wheel, and before we knew it we were in 130 feet of water at our destination. The current wasn’t bad at all so we started drifting this area of structure, dropping a combo of live baits and Boston mackerel.
The real star of the show and the fish that sealed the deal for us was a giant 60 pound kingfish. After being on ice for 24 plus hours he weighed in at 58.95 pounds. We also had a 40 pound King that would’ve been good for 2nd if that was allowed.
Tuesday I headed out to work on a new technique. With the way cobia and groupers love eel looking plastics, I wanted to be able to put theses plastics in front of them without having to resort to heavy down riggers.
Headed straight to a rock in 15 feet and deployed the plugs, Carolyn’s rod goes off and she’s into one of the beast that makes this area home. I look out back and there’s a grouper herd following the boat. I pitch a jig and another beast inhales the jig.
That spot fired up immediately and I pulled up a 31 inch amberjack. Lee followed that with a stud red snapper and over the next hour or so, we put some decent fish in the box. I decided to fire down a special livebait and within minutes, had a very nice 25 pound plus gag grouper on the line and in short order, in the fishbox.
We get to the 16 foot area and weeds were scattered but not bad for running some plugs. Put out a Rapala and a YoZuri and after some getting use to Mike’s boat, we have a good spread running true. Darlene’s rod goes off and with some help from Uncle Billy getting the rod out of the holder, she’s into a major fight trying to turn this grouper.
Hit Cedar Key, ran all the way to my first spot without stopping. We pulled up to see a massive amount of bait being busted by blues. Dropped the trolling rods in and instantly put three nice fish in the boat.
So we deployed the chum ,anchored up and sent out 2 more pin fish. It wasn’t long before gags started slamming everything we put in the water which was a blast on medium weight spinning tackle in 10 feet of water.
I picked a nice section and on the first run both rods go off, a double! This is a first, Gail has a grouper and I thought I had the bottom. My bottom starts shaking so, it’s a fish, and a second later it gets airborne and it’s a nice cobe.
We drifted and chunked around the horseshoe rigs and developed a slow bite that turned into an all out feeding frenzy. We caught Blackfin Tuna to 20 pounds, kingfish to 50 pounds, red snapper to 18 pounds, AJs to 70 and of course yellowfin tuna up to 150 pounds.
Time is running out, so I looked over and said lets try a “hail mary” in a 10 foot rocky area. So off we go. We stop, change the plugs to some smaller big lip plugs. Put the plugs out and Ken’s rod goes off, It’s another “limb shaker”. This time it’s a 31 inch beauty!
I was beginning to think I wouldn’t make it back out before gag season closes this year because of the weather and other commitments. That all changed Friday evening when Capt. George Gozdz, the host of Florida Sportsman’s TV show “Reel Time,” contacted me and wanted to know if I was interested in co-hosting an episode with him.
The kid finally started to rouse around 2pm and I asked her if she wanted to stop and catch grunts (she can’t handle grouper yet). She said “yes,” stood up, turned green, and asked to go in. We did just that. You have to love her fortitude though. On the way home she asked when we could go again.
She wanted to hit some nasty bottom area in 15 feet, so we were off. It seems like we pull a trophy gag out of this spot every time we visit it. Guess what? We didn’t have the plug in the water 1 minute and Gail’s rod is screaming!
We stopped at a shallower spot and saw that the water was clean so we stayed there. First drops down and all we were hooking up with was lady fish, grunts, and some small grouper. Moved over another 75 yards and found what we were looking for. For several hours, as soon as the bait hit the bottom it was getting eaten.
We ran a few miles, anchored and immediately started getting freight trained by 12 to 18 pound red snappers. Within a couple of hours we had our limit and we started targeting mangos and beeliners with hopes of some red grouper. We fished and slept on and off until dawn and had a limit of mangos by then.
We get the rods set back up again, and now it’s Gail turn. Doesn’t take long and her Redi-Rig float goes down and she hooked into a nice one. After a 45 minute battle she works him to the boat, and the net does the job. Nice 30 pound fish comes aboard.
Gags were around and a few good ones took our bait. Smaller pieces of ladyfish was the top producer. 3 of the red grouper were small, around 20 to 22 inches and 5 were between 24 and 26 inches. A few more blackies and some decent grunts rounded out our catch. Only 2 red grouper were under size and were released along with all the gags.
The weather buoy data showed winds between 15 and 20 mph all day with waves to 4 feet. We slogged out to 45 feet and made a couple drops, Gags and more Gags. So I said lets take out medicine now and get to where the bait and red grouper are. We slogged out another 6 miles and 55 feet was loaded with bait. 55 feet was also loaded with gag grouper and one keeper red grouper.
Fished a little farther out this time in 380 to 465 feet, caught tilefish, snowy grouper, kitty Mitchell grouper, scamp, gags, red snapper, AJs, bar jacks and porgies. This is my first Kitty Mitchell grouper so I wanted to share it. Gags were all 20-38 pounds and snapper were all 15-20 pounds which really hurt to release.
The hot bait today was the white Rapala X Rap 20. Today we were also getting our bigger grouper trolling using a unique technique, we would hook up with the first fish then slow down and work the other lure hard and more than once we hooked up with bigger Gags on the second rod. We had to retire two plugs today because they were destroyed from big gags smacking them.
Then we switched to big live baits and ended up with 6 gags and 1 26 inch Red. Biggest gag was 29 inches. Weather was awesome, my Bluewater rode 35 mph the whole way out and back. Not the best day but we will have fresh grouper all week.
The plan was to explore a new area a bit deeper than I have been over the past few trips. We shoved off at 7:00 and ran out close to 50 feet and set up on an area that I knew held some gags. As soon as we dropped out bait the bite was on with a pair of gags one 31 and one 33 inches. The continued with a good 23-inch red grouper and a few shorts then shut down. Rather than wait them out we started trolling and looking for new bottom and took one 24-inch gag on stretch 30 which we tossed back. After another 45 minutes of trolling we found some good bottom and set up on it. The bite started to pick back up and before we knew it we took 3 reds between 23 and 27 inches and another gag right at 30 inches. A couple more local moves over new bottom and a couple more grouper at each stop. We counted 14 grouper in the box so we moved once to finish our limit but all shorts. One last move and it was a triple, 2 really nice reds over 24 inches and a 27 inch gag.
Had a good day offshore groupering yesterday. Headed out to 45 feet into overcast, stormy skies, and a little chop but nothing too bad. The particular spot we were headed to is a large patch reef area, not much relief but good hard, live bottom. The plan was to get out there and troll around for a little and see if we could catch a grouper or at least find a new spot or two. We syck at grouper trolling and didn’t get a bite, but after about 15 minutes we marked two nice looking spots. We set up on the most promising one and the bite was on! We caught a few shorts but most were keepers, the ratio of keeper to shorts has changed quite a bit from last season. Think that’s a good sign for the grouper population, but I’m no marine biologist.
After taking Billy out for a Cobia trip he won’t forget, I am sitting at the computer having coffee Sunday morning and I look over my shoulder and Mrs. Ruff One is standing there dressed in her fishing outfit. She looks at me and says ” seas are down, wind is down, cobia are biting, get off your a–, get your stuff together and lets get out here!” She doesn’t have to twist my arm much for me to respond. In thirty minutes we were at the ramp and rolling. No messing around on this trip. Headed off shore about 15 miles and setup on some real nice live bottom. I don’t even have the chum bag out and Mrs. Ruff is hooked into a Cobia.
With grouper season about to close we got the kids out one last time. Got to the ramp to find it empty on a sunday. Weird. Put in with a stiff 15 knot NE wind. Took our time getting to 60 feet but on the first spot we put 8 nice red grouper in the boat right off the bat. We were having some issues with the anchor holding in the 4 foot seas but after swithcing anchors that problem stopped. We moved around from spot to spot putting another 7 red grouper in the box and some real nice gags back in the water.[...]
Doc Mike and I took advantage of the beautiful weather to head offshore for some end of the season red grouper. looking at the intellicast windfinder it looked like a perfect day to head out deep. We hit the water at 8 and ran directly to our 60-65 foot area. Perfect seas all the way and one drop of the anchor and it was looking good with a fat 26″red in the boat in short order. That action continued for an hour as we put 6 grouper of similar size in the box. Rather than weeding through 10 shorts to land a keeper we were landing about half under and half over well over. [...]
If you go offshore, don’t be surprised if you catch one of those elusive Gag Groupers, you might catch 1 or 100. But on a serious note, the Red Grouper are still biting good in 45-60 feet and the bite is heavier in 90-100 foot range. We did an over night trip out to an area in 100 feet of water and did really good on Big Mangrove Snapper and Red Porgy. I also learned something new, Red Snapper and Gag grouper love fried chicken. I gave one of my friends the rest of my dinner, just the bones and told him it was great grouper bait, he dropped it down and to our surprise got a 39 inch Gag about 5 seconds after the bait hit the bottom! [...]
Bait of the day was Octopus and Herring Jerky. Sharks were manageable, I did have two rigs messed up but nothing like earlier in the week. Flying teeth was not as bad but bad enough at the dock. On the conditions, it finally did calm down around 3 and the run in was manageable, by the time we got to 10 miles out it was calm, at 5 miles slick calm. Only saw four boats all day on the water, did see a few inshore guys in the river but everyone is saying the trout are out of the creeks and back in the GOM. [...]
Lee., Mike, and I set out for deep water to dig up some red grouper. After finding out we had overwritten all of our GPS information we found an area with a modest bite. As we worked that area Lee managed to get the GPS info off a sd card and we ran only a half mile to the area we intended to fish. Large gags were taking our baits and putting a serious hurting on our tackle. No hot bite but we moved around from point to point and kept the bite going. after all the action came to a hault we boxed a few red grouper and a big pile of grunts for the table. All fish were caught on frozen cut bait. Flat seas, good company and perfect weather made for another excellent day on the bay here on the Nature Coast [...]
Didn’t get on the water till 8:15, but getting bait didn’t take long on the flats. By 9:00 we had the wells blacked out with pinfish. First stop was in 50 feet, made a couple drifts boating a 24-inch gag and a kingfish. Continued out another 15 miles and stopped in 65 feet. The bite was on fire dropping live pinfish and cut threadfins, we had our limit in about 2 hours. Also caught a short AJ on live bottom and hung two kings on the flat line [...]
Went offshore out of Homosassa for the first time last Saturday. Picked the spot off the Top Spot map, caught alot of big grunts and red grouper, 2 being keepers. We were chummimg when we spotted the man in the brown suit, I grab freeline pole put a pinfish on and it gets whacked. After a nice fight bring him to the net and in the boat he comes 44 inch cobia [...]
Well, rumor has it that a cold water up dwelling and the full moon almost on us should have the rays up and the cobia with them. Linda and I headed over to the other side to see if we could find em’. We caught up with my brother John at his boat in Port Canaveral and off we went!
Left the dock at 6:30 a.m. with a little more wind than I expected, I knew it would be a little bumpy as soon as I looked at the stacks on the power plant. Steady West wind all day. Scooted out to 50+/- feet, having to slow some the last 7 miles or so since it got a little “rolly”. We anchored up on a spot that did very well a few weeks earlier and it was on instantly. We only needed to move twice and loaded up on some very nice red grouper [...]
It has been a while since I posted any reports, so I figured it was time to do so. I will tell you this, the weatherman lies. Calling for 2 to 3 foot seas, a good boating day, yeah right. It was more like 5 to 6 foot seas winds blowing 15 to 18 knots. Bounded and determined we made our way to the 50 foot range in search of red grouper.
The weather man was half right today. Morning forecast was for 10mph or less-wrong–more like 15mph and blowing constant. The seas were angry and made fishing in my boat a chore. Afternoon forecast was for the winds to lay down and they were right on. Since it was howling this morning, we decided to hit the first shallow water structure we could find. Settled on some areas in 12 ft. Decided not to anchor, so we made some drifts. On the second drift, Mrs. Ruff One hollers over the wind–here comes a cobe, and she’s hooked up [...]
Got out early. Caught bait at the last channel marker and headed offshore at 30 mph by sunrise. Great day on the water! We hooked up with a few AJs on live bait then switched to a 9″ topwater plug. As i got the AJ close to the boat 2 goliaths and 2 small sharks came after it. I’m sure this AJ would have been toast if i didnt have 65 lb braid and an 80 lb leader. Luckily I got the fish close enough to the boat that they lost interest. Water temp was 75 in 55′!
My son is here visiting from the Keys and mother nature offered up a perfect day to show off some of Homosassa’s famous grouper fishing. Kyle and I hit the water at 8:30 after saying hello to Salty Dawg we ran out 30 miles to 45 feet of water. On the way out we noticed the suspended layer of algae from 15 feet all the way out to where we started in 45 feet. We used the Minn Kota as an anchor and dropped cut bait on Carolina rigs and the grouper did not disappoint!
Seas were flat, wind was perfect, water temps. are on the rise, it was one nice day to chase the brown bombers. We had decided to go out and fish a wreck in 25 ft. but on the way we would hit some good structure spots . First stop Mrs. Ruff One hooks up, and after a few runs, gets off. Next I connect and of all things, the brand new circle hook breaks in half, fish gone! Finally Gail boats one and it’s 1/4 in. short! Oh well, we move on and head out to our final destination [...]
Everyone thinks of sheepshead as convicts, because they steal a few shrimp, but I’ve come to the conclusion, shrimp theft is only a misdemeanor compared to the felonies the AJ’s have committed upon my tackle and wallet this year. And there was the plan for the day, take the family and the neighbors out to associate with both known criminals and hopefully invite a few over for dinnner [...]
by Florida Sportsman Staff•
August 22, 2016
Gear and systems you’ll need to know, if you plan to hunt the deep currents offshore this summer.
Diver descends in blue water over the Eagle wreck in Islamorada. His Riffe gun has the power for long shots on large fish.
Plunging into the blue abyss for the first time is something that I will always remember. It was a completely different environment than I was used to spearfishing in. Looking through your mask, all you see is blue, in every direction. It puts in perspective how vast the ocean really is. Things seem to appear out of nowhere; one second there is nothing there, the next you’re eye-to-eye with a wahoo.
The rush of bluewater spearfishing is attracting more and more people. Whether you’re moving out from the reef for the first time, or are new to spearfishing altogether, it’s important to understand how to rig up properly for this demanding environment.
As with any dive, safety is the most important concern. There are schools and dive shops along the Florida coast with experienced instructors. I recommend you find one, and while you’re at it, cultivate friendships with divers committed to safety protocol—this is not a solo sport.
Writer with a yellow jack speared off the Eagle.
Once you’ve got some free-diving hours, and a trustworthy crew, the next most important factor in bluewater spearfishing—and the main subject of this article–is having the right gear. You want to be ready when you see that fish of a lifetime. This preparedness starts well before you get to the dock. Bluewater hunters are very much like their terrestrial counterparts, tuning up gear in the garage, basement or wherever you store and maintain your equipment.
There are several key differences between spearfishing in shallow water and blue water that you have to keep in mind when rigging your gear. First, the depth: In blue water there is virtually no bottom so anything you drop, it’s gone for good. Secondly, you’re likely to encounter larger fish out deep. These two differences dictate what kinds of rigs you can use.
Although many different guns can be retrofitted for bluewater hunting, to do true bluewater spearfishing you need a gun that has enough power to shoot 20 or more feet accurately, with enough momentum to solidly impact large target fish.
To get these parameters you need a long gun that can accommodate a long shaft.
Shaft size and type are important from both an accuracy and power standpoint. A longer, heavier shaft is very stable and greatly improves accuracy at range if proper power is applied from the bands. Another component of accuracy is the gun itself. I prefer the gun to have a full length shaft track, which guides the shaft all the way out of the gun. The heavier the shaft, the harder it is to get it to move fast. In bluewater applications you need a heavy shaft to move fast, because you need both range and stopping power.
Three Riffe spearguns being loaded, l. to r., the 44-inch Metal Tech, 55-inch Standard Series and a 67-inch Mid-Handle. Short gun for shallow water, long for deep and medium gun is versatile, for either depth.
I’ll start by explaining what rig I use and then elaborate on some variations. I have a 55-inch competitor series Riffe with a 60-inch stainless steel shaft, powered by three 9⁄16- X 24-inch bands. The shaft is crimped to the gun with about 15 feet of 400-pound-test mono; this is the shooting line. Riffe has a hole drilled near the butt of the gun where you can connect the rest of your float system. I have an 8-foot bungee that when stretched to its max can be about 30 feet, coupled to this hole. Tied to the end of the bungee, I have 100 feet of float line, which is connected to a couple of old floats. This rig is perfect for fish less than 50 pounds or so.
The way to use it is, you shoot the fish and let the gun go, and you apply pressure on the float line as the fish swims away. As the fish weakens, you pull it to the surface via the rope. The buoys are more for drag and a last resort than for actually fighting the fish in this setup.
The most critical piece to any bluewater rig is the bungee. Different applications require different sizes and strengths, but the bottom line is you need one. The bungee provides necessary stretch to the rig, much like a Bimini twist and double line does on a fishing rod setup. It is a buffer between the two opposing forces of you and the fish. It applies pressure but not so much that the spear pulls out of the fish. When the fish makes a sudden burst, the bungee absorbs this in the stretch rather than focusing the force on the barb of the spear. It is worth every penny to incorporate a bungee into your bluewater buoy system. Neptonic Systems makes a quality bungee priced around $30, depending on the style you want (bungees and other spearfishing gear may be ordered online on their website).
A shaft with just a Hawaiian flopper is the simplest and most streamlined design.
It’s suitable for fish to 30 pounds or so. However, as you target larger, faster and stronger fish, it will be important to consider your spear tip. It’s advisable to change over to a slip tip when you begin targeting species like wahoo, tunas and large dorado. A slip tip provides a better hold in the flesh of fish, greatly increasing your chances of landing those types of fish. It also helps reduce the chance of bending or breaking a shaft, by applying the force to the flexible line instead of the shaft. The best slip tips are now equipped with Spectra instead of cable. This allows for a more streamlined setup and easier handling. The Spectra also does not tear through flesh like cable does, increasing the hold of the head. These slip tips are made by Wong, Mori, Riffe and many others; they range in price from $65 to $100.
A variation to the basic rig is called the breakaway setup. A key difference is that instead of having the bungee connected to the gun, it’s connected directly to the shooting line. When you shoot, the rig breaks completely free of the gun. That gives you peace of mind, having your expensive gun in hand instead of watching it disappear into the depths. It also allows you to reload and take another shot if necessary.
In this setup, shooting line breaks away from gun but stays connected to buoy with clips and white bungee. Right, three spearheads: breakaway, tricut and Hawaiian flopper.
Also, you can have your gun set up with a reel connected directly to your spear and it toggles out line as you fight the fish. This alternative has both pros and cons. An important benefit of this setup is the simplicity and mobility. You are not dragging a hundred feet of rope and buoys through the water the whole time you’re hunting. You can swim easier and know you won’t get tangled up before you’ve even shot at a fish. On the other end of the spectrum, this method is best for smaller fish, because it is limiting on the amount of drag you can apply to the fish and if the fish is strong enough it could spool the reel and take your expensive gun with it.
Some Thoughts on Dive Gear
A comprehensive review of free-dive gear for bluewater spearfishing is beyond the scope of this article, but here are some basic specifications to consider. I’ve included my own picks, but no doubt you’ll want to discuss your needs with divers of similar experience level.
Basically, you want long fins so that you minimize effort with every kick, allowing your leg muscles (largest in body) to work less, using less oxygen. This helps you hold your breath longer. Several companies make free-diving fins in a range of prices. The cheaper ones are plastic and the more expensive are carbon fiber. I use Cressi Gara 3000s, priced around $140.
You also want a low-volume mask so that when you clear your ears it’s quicker and uses less air. This is another way to help you hold your breath longer. The mask I use is the Omer Alien mirrored lens blue camo mask. It’s $90 and I really like it.
Camouflage is another thing to consider.
An ocean-camo wetsuit or rash guard can help you blend in with your environment and look less suspicious, allowing you to creep closer to the fish. Weight belts are available, too, to help you reach and maintain neutral buoyancy at a desired depth, with minimal exertion. Again, as with other aspects of free-diving, setting up and using weight belts is a topic you need to review with an experienced instructor. FS
SPEARFISHING 101: BE LEGAL, BE SAFE
Diver lines up shot on a yellow jack school. Notice blue bungee which is component of buoy system.
Regulations for spearfishing in blue water are nearly the same as for hook-and-line. If you’re out where the sargassum lines build up along the ocean currents, you’re most likely in federal waters (3 miles offshore on the Atlantic coast; 9 miles on the Gulf). This is important, because in Monroe County north of Long Key to the Miami Dade County line you must be at least 3 miles offshore to spearfish. Before planning a spearfishing trip to the Keys or any area you are unfamiliar with, consult the FWC website for the most up to date regulation information. They provide a two-page document explaining the complex Keys regulations that is easy to read. Bag limits and size limits set for hook-and-line fishing are the same regulations that you must follow while spearfishing. You must have a fishing license, unless otherwise exempt. And you’ll need a federal HMS vessel permit, if you plan to go for managed tunas, such as yellowfin and skipjack.
Species commonly targeted off Florida include dolphin, wahoo, kingfish, amberjacks and yellow jacks and various members of the tunas clan. Permit are legal to take in federal waters by spear, but it’s not legal in some areas of Monroe County; I would recommend reviewing the regulations closely before targeting this species. All billfish and sharks are closed to spearfishing. Bluefin tuna and tripletail are also off-limits. Any fish that is closed to hook and line is most likely closed for spearing; don’t guess—check the rules out before you head out on the water.
Safety is crucial when diving or spearfishing anywhere. In deep ocean water, especially, keep in mind that you’re not the only top predator. It’s important to always have a dive buddy who is trained in rescue techniques native to the kind of diving you’re doing. For freediving—very popular among open-water spearfishermen—that includes recognition and treatment of blackout. You should also make sure your buddies are familiar with boat handling and VHF radio. And always—always—deploy a dive flag of the correct dimensions.
You should not head out into the blue water until you are extremely comfortable in open water and have some diving experience. At almost every bluewater spot there is the potential for strong currents, rough seas, deep dives and the occasional shark encounter. You should be prepared for all these before you head out.
A good way to step up your free-diving game and become a safer diver is to take a free-diving course. Immersion Free Diving of Fort Lauderdale (immersionfreediving.com) offers some of the best courses around. These guys can help you improve as a free diver. Performance Free Diving (performancefreediving.com) in Miami is another great place to get great training. Martin Stepanek’s Freediving Instructors International
(FII) network offers many courses and levels of certification (www.freedivinginstructors.com).
An angler sings praises for a central Florida dream stream. Idyllic view on the lower Econ, near the St. Johns River confluence.
“John has a fish.” Mike Conneen was making an assertion. “I have two fish,” I corrected him. “How do you have two?” he wanted to know. “I hooked a redbelly and a big gar came up next to the boat and ate him!” On the 5-foot noodle rod, that big gar felt like Moby Dick.
If Stephen Foster had known about the Econlockhatchee, or Econ, the lyrics to his famous song may have been different.
The Econ doesn’t come up in discussions of great Florida fishing waters. Fishing the Econ is usually a lovely day on the water with a few beautiful fish thrown in. It can be better than that, but you really can’t expect it to be.
A blackwater stream, the Econ’s waters begin their journey in Lake Conlin, in the northern part of Osceola County. They then flow north for 54 miles through Orange and Seminole counties before spilling into the St. Johns River just south of SR 46 in Geneva, passing through extensive cypress wetlands, the Econlockhatchee River Swamp, along the way.
If you could get access to Lake Conlin (surrounded by private property), you might be able to descend the entire river.
It would be a feat comparable, say, to DeSoto’s exploration of Florida. This may a slight exaggeration, but I’ve never
heard of anyone doing it. The river at this point truly is a wild, if hemmed in, swamp, covered up by brush and blowdowns, almost dry at low water. The first practical place to start an Econ trip is the highway crossing at State Road (SR) 50 in Orlando. On the north side of the highway and west side of the river you’ll find Hidden River RV Park. You can launch your paddle craft here for a five dollar fee, which does not include a shuttle. For that you’re on your own.
Colorful redbreast that fell for a popping fly.
You will still find blowdowns here, as well as numerous log jams. It’s an obstacle course for paddlers. The lower the water, the more numerous the carries. But the river is navigable by paddle craft, and holds the fish the Econ is known for- largemouth bass, redbellies (redbreast sunfish), and stumpknockers (spotted sunfish). You’ll also find bluegills, spotted gar, channel cats and bullheads, and the occasional crappie. However, these species are more common in the lower reaches of the stream.
You’ll hear jets, and cars, and chain saws, but you’ll also see hogs, and deer, and alligators. The river corridor is pressed on all sides by civilization, but it still remains remarkably wild. Moss-draped cypress trees grow around and in the river, adding a tropical mystique.
We’ve reached a point in our narrative where we need to divide the stream into sections. I am somewhat arbitrarily
dividing it into four pieces, defined by road crossings. We’ll call the first section, which is almost completely inaccessible, the swamp. In it is everything north of SR 50 in Orlando. Due to its inaccessibility we have little to say about it.
The upper Econ runs between SR 50 and SR 419 in Oviedo. This section is small and overgrown, with lots of blowdowns.
Deep holes provide hiding spots for fish, and all that lumber in the water provides lots of cover. Other than by paddle craft, the stream is almost inaccessible. It’s almost inaccessible to paddle craft when the water is low.
Expect to exert yourself if you make this 15-mile trip. Expect it to take all day. You’ll be going over, under, around, and through lots of blowdowns and log jams. You won’t see many other people.
Tammy Wilson pulls her kayak over a downed tree.
The middle Econ runs from SR 419 to Snow Hill Road in Chuluota, passing through the Little Big Econ State Forest. This is the most popular section of the river for paddlers. The surrounding state lands are open to the public and hiking trails along the river give lots of fishing access to those without boats. This section runs for 10 miles. Kind paddlers with saws generally keep the blowdowns cleared through here.
Unless it’s been unusually dry, you should be able to float right through. Paddling without fishing this section takes four or five hours. A fishing rod will slow you down a lot, and fishing here can be good.
The lower section starts at Snow Hill Road and ends at the St. Johns River. If you’re paddling this section, expect a long, 18-mile trip. Lots of folks launch small motor craft at C.S. Lee Park at SR 46 in Geneva, and run their boats up the river here. This is the place for catfish if that’s your game. All the other fish species mentioned above will be found through here, too. You’ll see tilapia and Plecostomus. There is shoreline access (if you’re willing to hike or bike) through the Little Big Econ State Forest Wildlife Management Area.
There’s a water level gauge on the Econ at Snow Hill Road (see sidebar). This gauge is perhaps the most important tool a prospective fisherman has when it comes to predicting potential fishing success. My experience tells me if it reads over 2.0 fishing will likely be slow. We like the river running low and clear.
The waters of the Econ are dark with tannin and the bottom is mostly sand. I suspect that’s why there is so little rooted vegetation in the river. Most of the cover for fish here consists of lumber in its pre-cut form—trees and branches. You’ll find lots of downed trees and branches! This affects the baits and lures you use.
My preference is fly fishing. I tie all my sunfish flies on Aberdeen hooks. When I get hung on lumber I can usually
straighten this hook by gently and steadily pulling. When it bends enough, it pulls off the wood, instead of the leader breaking and losing the fly.
Those flies, as well as the bass flies, mostly float. Not only are the strikes more exciting, in the upper and middle stretches of the river you will get hung up a lot less by using surface lures. When the water level is right and the fish are on you’ll have some good days.
Anglers using conventional tackle will find crappie jigs, micro-swimbaits, Road-Runners, small spoons and spinnerbaits, and an assortment of soft plastic worms and lizards all work well. Again, the river lumber will rob you blind if you’re not prepared. Think weedless!
Roseate spoonbill on the river bank.
My friend Tammy Wilson runs the Econ with friends three or four times a year, sometimes on overnight trips, usually on the lower part of the river. She had this to say about fishing there: “Bring a short rod. Fish every piece of structure you come across. Never go without at least one topwater lure or fly.”
She went on to say, “Spinnerbaits are a must-have. Fished around downed trees they have produced more and larger bass than any other lure during all of our fishing trips there. Gold spoon and natural or white skirts seem to be the best, in the smallest size they make them.
And finally, “And never underestimate the power of a worm on a No. 6 hook with a little split shot about a foot up the line.”
While I’m out on the river I run into other fishermen. There are two guys who fish for catfish in the lower part of the river, using a Gheenoe. They assure me the best bait for big Econ cats is fresh chicken livers.
Other fishermen prefer freshly caught shad chunks (in season) or freshly peeled bait shrimp. Regardless of the bait, a one-half to one ounce egg sinker rig keeps it on the bottom of the hole, usually at a bend in the lower river. Speaking of shad, the confluence of the Econ with the St. Johns is a great place to fish for them. Many years they swim up the Econ, sometimes as far as the bridge at Snow Hill Road.
Striped bass, or the striper hybrids called sunshine bass, also like the lower stretch of the Econ. I catch them incidentally while fishing for shad. You can tell the difference as soon as you hook up! Anglers target them, with peeled shrimp again being a prime bait.
The Econ itself has one fishable tributary, the Little Econ. Unlike the mostly unaltered Econ proper, the Little Econ is extensively hydrologically altered, with substantial portions of the river channel canalized and interrupted by control structures. A number of canals draining various parts of the Orlando area flow into the Little Econ. So you probably won’t want to paddle here.
The pond behind the dam and the spillway below the dam at Jay Blanchard Park are popular fishing areas on the Little Econ, though. Bass, catfish, sunfish, and crappie are all caught here. If fishing is slow you can people watch, especially on weekends.
With Mike Conneen photographing the event, I hauled on that big gar as well as I could with the little crappie rod. Eventually the beast came to the surface, shook his head, and threw the now-quite-mangled sunny a long way. Big gar 1, fisherman 0.
You can find piscatorial excitement on the Econ, as well as gorgeous old-time Florida landscapes. In spite of the surrounding development the river remains as beautiful and mysterious as its tannin-stained waters. FS
Econ Water Level
As mentioned in the story, there’s a river gauge on the Econ, maintained by the U.S. Geological Survey. Check water level in real time at waterdata.usgs.gov. The station ID is 02233500.
After substantial rains the Econ will rise rapidly. Drainage ditches in Wedgefield in east Orange County feed into the Econ, and lots of drainage ditches in Orlando feed the Little Econ. The river can rise 10 or 12 feet in a few days when the weather’s wet. Check the gauge before you go, or suffer the slings and arrows of outrageously high water.
Launch paddle vessels at these locations:
• Hidden River RV Park, 15295 E Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32826 (407) 568-5346, $5 per boat, access to upper Econ;
• Little Big Econ Canoe Launch, 3801 Willingham Road, Oviedo, FL 32765, access to middle Econ;
• Little Big Econ Forest Canoe Launch, 2000 Snow Hill Road, Chuluota FL 32766, access to lower Econ.
Launch motor vessels at C.S. Lee Park, 4600 SR 46, Geneva, FL 32732, access to the lower Econ by way of the St. Johns River.
Shoreline access is available through the Little Big Econ State Forest, 1350 Snow Hill Road, Geneva, FL 32732-9054, (407) 971-3500.
If you’d like to camp along the Econ, camping permits are available through the State Forest administration. You’ll find Jay Blanchard Park on the Little Econ at 2451 N Dean Road, Orlando, FL 32817.
by Florida Sportsman•
August 22, 2016
Recent inshore fishing reports from the Southwest region.
A Fishing Trip to Remember
Florida Sportsman member: Gonzalezrob
Day two started slower than day one, but Capt. Ozzie Fischer was determined to put us on some quality fish. After trying a few spots and netting some live pilchards, Capt. put on a bunch of snook. There were a couple of occasions were we had doubleheader and even a triple header.
The one evening I did manage to get out on the low tides, I also found a number of tailers that didn’t want to bite. Poling home, I saw a wad of fish about 400 yards away. Got to stalk them and lay a lure into them for a 31-incher. Biggest of the season so far. Good to see a nice school of 15 or 20 big fish happily tailing.
We hit an area, and after a few little trout pops, Mark gets a nice boil on his Super Spook. Fish rolls, we can see its a red – “fire at him, see if he will eat you” Mark says. I present a smaller bait, different color. Swirl, and I am on to this just shy 28 inch red.
We hit an area, and after a few little trout pops, Mark gets a nice boil on his Super Spook. Fish rolls, we can see its a red – “fire at him, see if he will eat you” Mark says. I present a smaller bait, different color. Swirl, and I am on to this just shy 28 inch red.
At this point we were hoping the incoming tide would really trigger a bite but the only thing we conjured up was a small shark. We continued on for a bit and picked up a couple more reds including a tiny reddish looking shark and a 22 inch snook.
Cast out my mullet in mullet color and it got crushed at 1:35pm. Set the hook and felt good weight. She stayed down and I knew it was a red. She made a number of drag-screaming runs and used the boat for cover when that didn’t work. Finally got her in the net and she came in at healthy 27 3/4 inches.
Hit the river Monday morning wasn’t there 10 minutes and landed a 41 inch snook, can’t complain about that kind of start to the week! Caught another shortly after that was 32 inches and quite a few small snook.
The wind was blowing a bit and not quite sure when water would be deep enough to navigate the oyster bar. Second cast got smacked and the fish turned right at the boat. By the time I could turn the boat around she was into my backing knot.
Rising tide yielded a topwater redfish for Mark pretty quick. The wind picked up, and we decided to hit East Bay. I was rewarded with a topwater red as well. And a few minutes later, a snook to complete the slam.
Bait has been very good with ballyhoo, shiners, and pinfish being plentiful, to the north has been easier than south for me in that regard. I’ve been focusing on redfish more than anything else, looking for the fish to school.
I picked up a new to me Dolphin Renegade Pro last week. I fished some skinny stuff on Saturday and Sunday morning for the falling tide. The morning snook bite was great in the mangroves and the reds bit well on the low. All fish were caught on artificials and my son got his first slam on artificial this weekend.
The rain slowed things up just a little and changed the bite from actively aggressive to timid and lethargic but the fish did cooperate. I thank the lord for enabling us to catch fish and have safe passage on the water, it was a great three weeks of fishing.
We fished late afternoon yesterday till about 10:00pm. Caught a 20 inch snook, 29 inch snook , big black drum and a bigger black drum. Second Drum was all of 25 pounds and fought like a vw bug and felt like a medium size dog when you picked him up.
this past week I was staying at South Seas and fishing Redfish Pass from shore. There was a solid bite almost every night. Ended up catching around 15 snook, a small tarpon, and a few trout. All of these fish were caught on the Spooltek 6 inch Fatty in electric ladyfish except for 3 on pinfish.
The past few weeks have really turned around my tarpon season. Between trips with friends, we’ve managed to jump well over 100 tarpon on soft baits during the month of May. Lost track of how many landed, but it’s around 45%.
Went out at about noon to see if I could find some trout and reds. What a day, started off with two 18 inch trout and then hooked 4 cobia. The biggest I landed was 30 inches. I saw about 30 cobia in all. then hit the west wall and got a 25 inch red.
Took my friend Doug from Wisconsin out. He caught his first snook ever and some black drum. We got one keeper and I got a 38 inch snook. I don’t know why the black drum have moved in so early, but saturday night I got a 45 inch blackdrum.
It was noon and the bumpy northeast winds of the early morning were gone and it was now flat calm. I put on a chartreuse Zara Spook Jr. and missed a decent bite. Then a big whoosh and a nice battle, thinking I had another red, it turned out to be my biggest trout ever at 25 inches and 5 pounds, a real gator.
I waited until the tide wasn’t negative to go out and saw a lot of reds on the east wall. Water temps were around 74 degrees. Got a nice 30 inch fish on a zman shrimp. I’m able to cover a lot of ground with my trolling motor looking for them.
The bite never really turned on but was steady all afternoon. Mostly shorts and “fun” fishing but we got to see mangrove snapper, a grunt, a lane snapper, tomtates, spanish mackerel, one flounder, sand perch, blue runners, whiting, baby grouper and a puffer that was a big hit as it inflated.
Forum member CoTroutGuy got out recently and chased some fish in the shallow water. Spotting tailing redfish in the overcast conditions at hand was tough, but he was able to land a nice red and a nice snook!
We went out last night fishing the incoming tide. Hoping to find some big snook and tarpon, but had a hard time getting our baits through…COBIA? Wound up landing 3 up to 30 pounds and broke off another pig. The cobia bit best on slack tide using Hogy HDUV Black/Purple Flake Paddle Tails on 1 ounce Jig Heads.
We moved to a stretch of groves and landed 16 snook, 3 reds, 4 mangrove snapper, 3 jacks and a trout. We moved one last time to another section of groves and caught 6 more snook and 2 jacks. Back by 2 and they were happy!
We’ve still been plugging away at tarpon at night, it was a bit inconsistent around the last full moon. One night we jumped six, the next night four, then the two following trips we jumped a big fat zero.
Forum member Snookaddict91 got into some nice snook while fishing the peace river. Fishing the shorelines for these fish, it can be a blast pulling them out of the sticks on spinning tackle. Nice fish!
As the tide finally reached the branches of the mangroves, we decided to start working the bushes. It turned out to be a good idea and the fish cooperated. They got fired up, eating both under and off of the bushes. When the sun went behind a cloud the fish came out very far off the shadow line, and when it was sunny they retreated to the sanctuary of the roots.
Most tarpon have been in the 40 to 80 pound range and we’ve been averaging 2 to 5 tarpon in the air per night for our effort. While it’s not the out of control excitement that late April, May and June offered, one can’t simply give up on tarpon fishing when it gets a bit more difficult.
About 11am we found a nice school of about 40 fish in a location about 10 miles from where we had seen the other schools. We managed to pull 3 out of it before we lost it. 2 of the 3 were well over the slot, but one would have been close enough to take a ride to the scales and let the measure man decide.
About 11am we found a nice school of about 40 fish in a location about 10 miles from where we had seen the other schools. We managed to pull 3 out of it before we lost it. 2 of the 3 were well over the slot, but one would have been close enough to take a ride to the scales and let the measure man decide.
I took my grandfather out last week before the super moon. we had pretty good luck early in the morning on the incoming tides. the whitebait was all over the mouth of the Caloosahatchee, and if you could find any island sheltering the bait from the strong tides you’ll more than likely hook up.
This week we decided to return to the flats and see what we could do for a few hours. At the end of the outgoing we had a tremendous school of reds absolutely smash a pinfish and rip the leader off. I have no idea how big those fish were but they had to be well over 30 inches.
Next one on was bigger, but didn’t feel like anything special as I was handing the rod to her. As soon as she started to reel it was like the switch went off in the fish’s head that he was hooked and he started pulling drag. I held the pole while she struggled to reel. It took a few minutes but we got it in the boat and it went 31 inches!
It’s no secret tarpon fishing is excellent right now. Big groups of tarpon are moving along the beaches and through the sound. I still don’t have much time to fish during the day, but night fishing is becoming very productive.
After the first 2 baits got stolen, the third was the charm when the large threadfin got hammered and a giant snook broke the water when the circle hook came tight. My angler did a stellar job of leaning on the fish, with the 20 pound braid, as it raced to the mangrove roots hoping to escape. The slob snook barely fit in the net, and we gently cradled her for a couple of pictures before I spent the time to revive her, and she swam away strong.
On Sunday we went to Estero Bay. We were fishing along the edges of the mangroves catching a lot of sheepshead and a couple small snook. Then out of no where a huge red cruised by, so I tossed my greenie off the back of the boat and put out some slack line. I started to reel it in thinking he had swam by when my drag started screaming. Got my personal best red in the boat after a couple minutes and he measured 38 inches.
It was a special fish for the angler, his first tarpon and largest fish to date. It’s also the smallest one landed so far this season, right around 60 pounds. It made for a short, exciting fish full of leaps and head shakes. A perfect, manageable show for our angler.
Hit the red school and was hooked up within 2 minutes of the first cast. Hooked about 20 fish and landed 13 in an hour or so, then headed back for the ramp. An excellent day with captain Mike catching a ton of fish in a short amount of time in bad weather.
A few days ago a buddy and I decided to work some silver and gold spoons as well as some gulps on jig heads. We focused on deep sandy drop offs from bars as well as some mangrove shorelines that were flooded with the incoming tide.
Hit the flats after school for a bit today, and did really good. I caught 2 keeper sized trout on fly and a keeper pompano on fly. My buddy was on fire. He caught 4 trout, going 18 to 22 inches and a whopper at 25 inches! He also got a 17 inch pompano. All of his fish were caught on a mirrodine. The fly I was using was a greenback looking streamer.
I’ve been using cut mullet but today I was able to grab a few ladyfish on a spoon first thing in the morning. I was excited to see if they would be equally effective. I tried a few spots and with a low, low tide and it seemed like forever before the tide began to fill up some places that I like to fish.
After I determined it had the bait long enough I pushed the drag up into the “strike” setting and maneuvered the rod up and rested it on my shoulder. As I felt the line begin to come tight, I ran forward away from the water to take the stretch out of the springy monofilament and pumped the rod to set the hook. After 20 feet I could feel the fish on the other end and turned around and wound tight as I made my way back to the water. I Worked the fish a bit and everyone watching did not believe there was a fish on the end. I knew it was there however, not a huge fish, but there was definitely a shark there.
Using live shrimp on a jighead, outgoing tide by some old pilings and a small drop off. Sorted through the usual short sheepshead, mangrove snapper, a lot of spanish mackerel and jacks. Got a good bite about 30 minutes in a few minutes later pulled in a very nice black drum.
The number of bites has decreased, but the quality is still there if you manage to hook up. Adult Tarpon have been feeding well on Hogy 10 inch Original Series Soft Baits rigged weightless and fished very slowly across the surface. Black has been the best producing color.
My 8 year can’t quite cast far enough for flats fishing yet so she casted out as far as she could and let the line go out as we drifted. It wasn’t but a minute later when I heard “Daddy, Daddy, I got one”. I thought she may have been snagged on the bottom but her screaming drag said redfish! She tried to pass the rod to me but I told her it wasn’t happening. The only help I gave her was I tightened up her drag a little and held the boat still with the pole. 5 minutes later we had a 25 inch red on board!
Bottom of the full moon low tide, just as it started to flood back in. I had a couple of folks I wanted to show tailing red fish to on a flat in less than a foot of water. Saturday was the better of the two days as it stayed overcast for most of the morning. We managed to find some redfish and a few nice single trout hanging out as well.
Bite was slow at first but quickly fired up and stayed pretty consistent for a few hours. As soon as the wind picked up and the bite died we headed in. Wound up with around 15 reds for the day ranging from 22 to 27 inch all looking thick and healthy.
Traveled over to Captiva Island this weekend from Stuart for the Floridians for clean water rally to stop the dumping from lake O. I Wanted to try to squeeze in some fishing while over there. Talked to some local guides and asked them what they thought about some good wading spots and a few tipped me off. Woke up sunday morning at 6:30 to hit the first light bite and it paid off. Found a beautiful Mangrove pocket and decided to give it a shot. No more than 10 casts later did this healthy 36 inch snook come up and smash my top water. In less than a foot of water which made it an awesome visual bite and a great fight on a 2000 sized reel. I ended up catching seven snook and one nice trout to end the morning.
August has been a pretty nice month so far. My boat was down for a bit but I have been able to run a few trips as of late. Ive been getting out with family, church brethren, and friends. The pot holes are holding fish at the bottom of the tide and the oyster bars and bushes have been good on the high water. The fishing looks like it will be just fine out there and the bait is looking like it is getting better. The shiners are almost full grown now. The reds are eating both of em and pinfish are nothing to sneeze at, they get it done as well.
Tonight I slipped out with forum member Fatsnook. We entered the water around 4:30, only to be greeting with a good thunder boomer. We took shelter in the sticks, waited 10 minutes and the storm passed over. Bait everywhere, just a lack of predators. End result was not too bad, just not as good as I had anticipated. We caught 6 snook with 2 going over 28 inches, 1 fat bluefish, 1 flounder, and a few trout. Tonight (I try to keep records) was my 75th snook on artificial this year at this particular location (76th according to record keeping).
Yes, I have been crazy enough to venture out into the weather the past few days. I started out trying to catch bait and had what has been consistently a tough time doing it. Pinfish just swarm my chum but I have not been able to get a net on them. I ended up getting a good couple of dozen over sized pins and a ton of them about the size of your thumb. I never get too caught up in bait and just use what I catch. So, with that in mind we continued on through a storm with lightening and thunder and bee sting like rain in the face to our first destination…..
The fish were ready from the get go and I think we ended up catching around 20 drum. The mullet were swarming the shorelines and it always seems like the reds are not far behind, just gotta be patient. There were bites when we had to wait em out and then there were some that hit like we threw it into their mouth[...]
My buddy Ben came into town from England to do some fishing, he was an avid fisherman so we went out in search of some snook. The day started out slow, when we got to one of my favorite creeks on the Caloosahatchee but due to weak tides it was too risky to go in all the way. As we worked some new shorelines Ben managed this nice 20 inch flounder on live shrimp. After that the fishing died down again until a man with a boat wrap for Lobster Lady Seafood in Cape Coral gave us some extremely nice whitebait. After that it was game on with the snook, we managed a 31 inch, a 33 inch and a 36 inch snook in the span of about 30 minutes before it died down again. Once the snook bite died down the wind picked up, so we decided with his limited time here we should go try and catch him a nice largemouth bass, so we were off to the North Cape Canals with a bucket of live shiners. We caught at least 15 bass Ben managed quite a few small-medium sized bass and I managed to pick up this nice bucket mouth. All in all it was an awesome day, it’s not everywhere you can catch huge snook and bass all in one day. It makes me glad I’ve gotten to grow up and live down here in SWFL…
Went to the Sanibel pier and netted finger mullet and mohara 2-4 inch. The pier was dead so I took the bait to the condo near Tarpon beach. Soaked the mohara (sp) from 12:30-3 pm and got nothing. Went out to eat and left the mullet in a flo-thru. Got back at the dead end of the out going. Within 10 minutes pulled in a 22 inch snook that once hooked pulled line for a short distance then headed for the beach, the little guy beached himself. It was an easy release. Hooked up anther mullet through the nose and after 15 minutes got into a fight with a big boy, he pulled line out mid way on the sandbar and was a blast to catch and release. A nice woman on the beach took a photo. Equipment used, 4000 symetry with 20# PP and 20-pound fluro leader, owner lite-wire circle hook and a small split shot.
Three members hit the flats last night in search of some picture worthy snook. The evening overall started off slow, very slow. Three of us were throwing soft plastics in dark colors, black and gold – as this is our confidence bait in this area. A few flounder here and there, some short trout, and Matt finally hooks up on a drag screamer. Nice little fight, and this healthy snook comes to grips. Overall slow night…Matt also banged out a very nice trout.
Me and my buddy took his 17 foot flats boat out this past Friday to try our luck at some tarpon action off of Sanibel. Being complete newbies, we had talked to just about everyone we knew who fished for these guys and felt like we had a rough idea of what we were doing.
Hit up blind pass for bait early, then cruised the beaches. Nothing but spanish mackerel. Went out off of Knapps next. Nothing but sharks. Ran into the causeway to grab bait and fuel up around lunch then decided we’d cruise the beach back north then head out. Tons of spanish on the way back and then suddenly we saw a hugh concentration of birds. Up closer discovered they were diving on some bait they had gotten to ball up. Ten minutes after we arrived, the tarpon showed up and were free jumping from the middle off the ball and rolling all around us[...]
Well last week we tried to go offshore fishing, we picked up bait easy outside Jug creek and headed west. Wind was blowing pretty good, seas easy 2 feet. Our first stop was at 42 feet over a wreck, picked up one spanish mackerel. This is were we made the decision to come back in as one of my crew started chumming. Came in through Captiva pass and went south looking for a few new spots. The area down there has some big snook under the bushes. We will be back. We managed to do well fishing inshore. We caught two reds, several snook and nine keeper trout. Plan B payed off, pics are of my son Sean. This kid can fish, he can soak a hook all day, tie his own knots, and loves to wade.
John and I hit a flat just South of Tampa Sunday evening with high expectations. Good tide, good water temperature. The high expectations turned into many many high fives. All of our fish tonight were caught on Mirrolure Lil Johns in dark colors. We entered the water at around 3, and left around 8. Final tally: 9 snook, anywhere from 14 to 29/30 inches. 8 redfish from rats, to around 26inches, 5 decent flounder, a black drum (good eating size) and a few decent trout. Last hour of sunlights was simply spectacular! It was like watching Discovery Channel. Imagine a 30 minute segment on snook leaping all around…That is what we experienced!
Got out with my buddy Jeff today. He found some Reds over the weekend, but couldn’t get them to eat and wanted to see if we could find them. We hit the area and there was a ton of mullet, but no Reds. After about an hour of looking we were about to give up when they came cruising across a white sand pothole. First cast in produced a nice 26″ Red. For the next hour or so the school of Reds would cruise between a couple big potholes allowing us to preform CPR, Catch, Photo, Release, on them. We had a big 55 inch Redfish double with Jeff and a 26 inch Red and me with a nice 29 inch pig.
Eventually the Reds got tired of us and moved on so we went looking for others. Next flat we hit was also loaded with mullet and there were Reds mixed in with them. Next thing you know we are both hooked up with what we think are Reds. But no, we have a 53 inch double of Gator Trout[...]
Its been a long cold winter up north, and we’ve been looking forward to some deep offshore trips to combat the depression. We arrived Saturday and the week’s forecast looked pretty dismal. Our first “offshore” trip was scheduled for Monday, but the weather was not cooperative as there were 5-8 foot seas projected in the Gulf. Any day fishing is still better than working, so we decided to settle for an inshore trip.
We fished rock piles, docks, and any structure, hoping it would hold something for the dinner table. The high winds and rough waters were helpful in that we had no competition, as we saw less than 5 other boats all day. We had a very productive day, bringing home 10 sheepshead, 2 black drum, 3 flounder. We used live shrimp for bait.
Fished with an old friend and his girl in Estero bay on Wednesday and Thursday. It was tough with the dip in temp and the wind howling. You really had to fish the lee of islands and such. Caught some jacks, ladys and cats….trashcan slam. Only trout were underslot. Finally, my buddy got this slot redfish at 19 1/2″. His girlfriend had never had redfish, so they came over after the charter and I cooked it up on my grill for them. Next day, more of the same. Only put one sheepie in the cooler[...]
Had an outstanding day with Redfish57 yesterday. We used handpicked shrimp and were into some really good fish.We came across some reds early on the incoming. All but one were over the slot with the only keeper at 26 3/4 inches.We were able to score some real nice upper and overslot trout as well.
I had a very good weekend with snook on artificials in the northern part of PI Sound. Bokeelia angler Mike Craig and his buddy Dr. Russell from NC did all the catching using topwaters, Gulp Shrimp, and white paddletails.This was the best snook fishing I’ve had all year. We caught them in a lot of surprising places when I wasn’t really looking for snook. We also pulled in a handful of upper-slot trout.
Every year i have the privilege of running a fishing tournament for the Waters Edge Motel and Apartments out of their marina in St James city on Pine Island..It is a fun event to be sure. It is a team event for the sheepshead ,5 largest fish from each boat are weighed..There are two places for sheepshead. Two boats had the same weight 17 pounds 15 ounces the tie is broken by the the longest fish from the five that were weighed.. More important where were they fishing The wall at redfish pass. Fresh and frozen shrimp were both being used. Both boats had (4) fishermen that were on a constant hook up. The fish were stacked at the wall.
My wife and I went out to try for trout, sheephead. Stopped at the El Jobean bridge tried for sheephead but no one home so we ran to the south end of Hog Island for some trout. Fishing in 3 feet of water we caught a few small trout and ladyfish. I was throwing a twitch bait black/silver about 10 feet from the boat was a big flash on my bait. At first I said damn shark, but after about 15 minutes I got it near the boat an saw it was a cobia. Another 1/2 hour we landed it. 47 inches.
Went out Wednesday morning with fellow member Dave O. We knew the forecast was horrible , but we needed to wet some lines. The plan was to fish the morning out-going tide while the winds were light and find some clean water. Well that was actually very easy. The winds were somewhat light at 6:45 am and we took advantage of it. We ran to our first spot , which was our only spot tucked in close to the mangroves.The tide was heading out and we had great water clarity.We set up facing the current with the wind on our back and started pulling in Trout and Jacks one after the other. The trout were feeding ,eating every color plastic we threw at them. The trout were between 15 to 18 inches and fat.
I was lucky enough to have the day free last Friday. Weather was perfect with some light winds and clear skys. My intentions were to sight fish some mud flats on the -.8 tide around 10am. A buddy and I put in at the Matlacha ramp with our kayaks and made a 2 mile trek to a spot, I hoped would have some tailing redfish. Trying to approach the spot, we actually had to drag the kayaks across the mud for about 30 yards. We sure didn’t have to worry about somebody in a boat blowing by us, at least for awhile. Made it to the top of the hole and found fish pushing bait all over the place. Made 3 or 4 casts and it was game on with a nice over slot redfish. We ended up picking up 6 more nice redfish, a pair of decent snook and a few trout to give us a slam.
Took my dad out again on saturday. He proceeded to catch a slam! I could only manage reds but that’s ok with me! All reds where upper slot or over slot. Kept one smaller one for dinner. The trout and snook where caught on a mirrodine and one red on a gold spoon. We cheated on the rest using cut ladyfish! Also one of the redfish had no spots!
It was my dads bday yesterday and I wanted to get him out on the water. I met up with forum member flatzbroke and we decided to do a little inshore trip to target redfish and trout. We arrived at 10th street boat ramp around 9 a.m. and headed to our first spot. We fished potholes for about an hour catching a lot of trout (most trout were 13-18 inches) but one was 4-5 pounds. and a couple reds here and there. We drifted off the flat and made a move across the bay and it was on. Oversize redfish were everywhere[...]
We fished the incoming tide started off sight fishing in shallow and as the tide creeped in we started fan casting in the mullet schools in 1-2 feet of water with salt and pepper bottom. We caught 30 reds a dozen trout and 1 small snook in about 4 hours. Most reds were between 24-27 inches with a few rats and oversized fish mixed in.[...]
Headed out this morning around 9 with one of my best friends and longtime fishing buddy Captain Russ. With the skys grey and cloudy and thunderstorms in the distance, what we thought was going to be a horrible day turned out to be the best I have had this month! We fished a strong incoming tide untill about 1330, catching red after red, after red. The bite would not stop and was consistant the whole day. Wound up catching around 20 or so reds ranging from 20 to 27 inches with most being around the 24 inch slot.[...]
Ran out of Fort Myers on Sunday with Michael on a 6 hr Near shore trip. Picked up a few dozen shrimp and netted spent a half hour netting a few pilchards to bolster our success chances. Anchored on some rubble 4 miles out and starting hammering the gags in various sizes. Nothing special. Used large gulp and pilchards. Once the sun came up we set out on our target species. Ran to about 11 miles in search of the oddball. Caught 15 or so and probably saw over 50 fish. Caught them on both pilchards and live shrimps [...]
Hit the lights last night looking for snook and left over tarpon. Not many to be found in the first couple spots. Did find a new technique for grouper though, bouncing a 10-inch Hogy on a 1-ounce jighead. The technique out fished live bait all night. Too bad they are not in season. We did manage one good snook [...]
Went out after school to test out some new lures that Treasure Coast Tackle is now carrying. They are “Unfair Lures”. My first 2 casts resulted in 2 baby snook! The wind was blowing 15 out of the north, but I was hiding in the mangroves. One snook after another on the Unfair Lures Mullet. All around 20 inches until my buddy shows up and hooks up to a much better one. Pulls some drag then I go down and land it.[...]
Headed out this morning around 0930 with a good friend of mine and fellow capt. looking for the allusive tripletail. After venturing off the beaches we figured out it was too windy and the water that was hitting us over the sides was just too damn cold!! Long story short, the tripletail trip was cut short, and we fell back on what we do best…catch redfish in the shallows. After running around some of the local keys, dodging the wind and the low tide that was even too shallow at times for my ranger flats boat..we found some very large mullet schools that we figured would be holding some reds.[...]
We’ve had some pretty good trips the last few times out. Yesterday, amid tournament boats zooming all over, we were able to catch 24 redfish out of some pot holes. We used light tackle to land the fish from 20 to 27 inches [...]
Took the girlfriend out Sunday. We slept in and got a late start, on the water at 11 a.m. to catch the last bit of the outgoing tide. This was her second time on a boat in saltwater. She wanted to catch a “big fish” and I said “hmm, o.k.” She got her wish. This was her first fish she’s ever caught [...]
We obviously have kind of fallen off the face of the earth for a while. Nothing to do with the site, but instead just because we had such a horrible start to the season that the frustration took over until we got things going again. What a weird year for sharking so far . . . well, at least that we’ve seen here in SWFL.
Had a great day with the redfish on friday fishing with my brother (Capt. Dave), finally breaking the 24 inch mark. Had 2 perfect tournament fish weighing in just under 14 pounds, 1 is pictured below. Also caught tons of mid-slot size reds and about 50 big trout. Action was non stop all day even with the late afternoon high tide and the boiling water.
We’re right in the middle of our second tarpon season here in SW FL. The really big fish have migrated north but the resident juveniles are coming out of the woodwork right now. Here’s some shots of the fish my anglers have landed over the last few days.
Headed out today with one of my good fishing buddies around 9 a.m. We headed out to my favorite white bait spot and absolutely blacked out the livewell. We ran about 30 minutes north into PI in search of some bronze warriors in a few old spots of mine, oh boy we found them alright. Within the first hour we already had nine [...]
After calling my good friend and forum member Trey (swsnookred) the day before, I decided redfish would be the target for the morning since they’d been chewing close to home recently and the tides were right. We loaded up on the usual bait for this time of year (small threads and white bait), and started our search for the bronzed beauties who always change colors as the river water begins to mix with the surrounding waters [...]
Summertime can be some of the best fishing if you get out there early and beat the heat. I hit the water with a couple buddies at 3:30 and was back on the trailer at 10. Redfish were on fire, as were some nice trout. Final tally for the day: 7 reds boated with probably 6 lost, and 6 nice trout boated (smallest going 17 in). Was a great day on the water! [...]
We began our day with the normal hour long cruise or so out of the river and into San Carlos Bay. Two casts of the net at the causeway and we were loaded down with bait and ready to wreck some fish! Our first thought was it would be awesome if we could bring some fish home for lunch or dinner, so redfish was obviously our first targeted species of the day [...]
Yesterday I was at work when by the hand of God Almighty, my power went out! Awesome for me cause I work on a computer. So I decided to make a mini fishing trip with a couple of buddies. Stopped at Lehrs to pick up a couple reels I had getting serviced and bought a New St.Croix fly reel. We headed out the river around 1:30 p.m. Chased big threadies for a while out by picnic island and caught about a hundred hand size threads [...]
Came down with my girlfriend memorial day weekend and fished with some friends. Netted some mullet and chummed an Estero Bay grass flat with chunk mullet. We caught 4 or 5 lower slot redfish in about an hour. Went offshore for tarpon and only saw one off Knapps. My buddy caught a 3′ blacktip shark on the new Shimano Tranx on a Terez rod…sweet combo. The blacktip came up and smacked a 10″ mullet so that was fun to watch. Sure beats bass fishing. Hope everyone is doing okay in my hometown!
The night was fading slowly when I decided to call two friends, Drew and Mark. Plan was to rendevouz at the beach at 10 p.m. and catch the last few hours of the incoming tide. I loaded my SUV with my Penn 133LH (4/0 wide) and 50TW international. Both loaded with PowerPro. Upon set-up, a blue-streaked meteor flew by and knew it was time to paddle out the spread. I paddled the 50TW and 4/0 out while Drew paddled his Senator 6/0 out. We had a few smaller runs and landed a 7 foot nurse shark and were debating on whether to stay [...]
Fished with buddies Dave O and Derrick on Tuesday in overcast conditons and wind on Tuesday in Estero Bay. We started out the morning with the incoming tide in the back of the bay stalking Reds and Snook, we caught 2 Reds, 4 Snook and a bunch of mangos. We changed gears and went after trout and did real well on the trout, lots of trout, 20 or more using soft plastics and shrimp under corks [...]
Thought I’d make a quick post to confirm what a few other folks here are reporting. There is definitely some excellent snook action going on in the Pass and PI Sound right now. I’m spending most mornings chasing tarpon right now but they have a habit of calling it quits around 10AM and that’s when I go after the linesiders. The miles of shoreline around Burnt Store has been really productive this last week. The best catch was my neighbor’s son Sam who was in town from Montana and landed this slob on a white Zoom.
We took our first trip down south last week to Boca Grande. It’s always nice to get away, and this trip was no different. We arrived at Palm Island on Wednesday night, and got prepared to fish with my long time friend and guide Phil Dugger the next morning. Woke up before dawn, met Phil at the dock, and we were off to Boca Grande Pass. The west wind would have made fishing on the beach impossible, and the reports were the fish hadn’t been on the beach in any event [...]
Got out on the water and got bait at the bridge about 10 a.m. Headed over to the shoreline with downed tree stumps at Big Carlos Pass expecting to catch some snook. We found no snook but plenty of average sized trout [...]
Bait was thick. Threads and pilchards were getting mauled by 18 inch spanish macs. Dropped a few live Spanish down and you know the rest. Also, messing around with a white jig produced a 30 pound cobia to follow. No commitment on that fish. After we caught a few goliaths I played around with the cudas on my 4000 size reel which never gets old.
The plan was to get bait and head to Knapps point for tarpon but we got a later start than I wanted and had a hard time getting bait so we decided to fish around Mound Key. The bait that we got at the bridge was fairly big (8 inches) so we knew the smaller reds and snook wouldn’t be interested. We lost 2 big snook and a bruiser red 5 feet from the boat. For the day we caught reds and snook at mound key and heres the 2 that were worth taking pics of. My bubby Billy caught the snook and it was 34 1/2″ inches and I caught the red.
While in the market for a new vessel I decided to return to my roots for a few days and do some land based fishing. Dispite the wind and dodging sporadic rain I went out on two evenings back to back. The 30th and 1st.
Pilchards are around but not thick. The ones ive netted are nice (4 inches) The lady’s, macks, and mullet are a different story.(All over) Snook are patrolling the beaches and pass and becoming very active at dusk. Didn’t see any tarpon but there food source is definetly around. Both these fish were caught on mid outgoing tide around sunset. Snook on lady. Lemon on bft. Also got a 22inch trout but didnt care to photograph him.
The last few times out we netted some pretty decent fish. Over the past 2 weeks the bait has really just exploded on the flats and it is nothing to see big trout busting while you are netting it up. I’ve been spending most of my time near oyster bars on the flood tides and shorelines with good tidal flows. The gator trout are still around and will eat a shiner and now the snook are wandering into the keys [...]
I spent all of last week doing some work on Sanibel at the Ding Darling Refuge and spent my evenings fishing the wildlife drive and several other spots around the island and did really well. My weeks total was 6 trout and 2 nice snook and my friend Wes caught 4 trout, 1 redfish, and a couple snook. ALL the fish were caught using DOA shrimp of varying colors.
Fished with the kids this weekend while they were on spring break and had a real good time. We probably caught 50-60 trout through a day and a half and 3 under slot reds. I caught 2 big trout 21 and a 24 incher. My son had a ladyfish magnet and caught a mess of them but he didn’t mind as long as he was catching(so he said). The kids had an awesome time as did the adults, thanks to my friend who invited me to come along [...]
I got the chance to get out with two friends from church this weekend. Friday my bud JH came out with me to see if we could locate the Gator Trout. JH is a veteran of WW II having fought at Iwo Jima and Okinawa so you can imagine how interesting the day became outside of fishing. He also won some Commendation Medals. We were able to catch bait in the Sound and tried many different places [...]
It’s the time of the year when I like to do a sunset trip. Topwater is preferred, but not always the way to go. As was the case the last couple of nights. We fished the afternoon high tide on a protected shoreline and the water was mirror smooth and clean. Mullet everywhere with the occasional Redfish tail. The bite would turn on about 30 minutes before the top of the tide and last until sunset. Stick Shadd, spoon, and soft plastics were the ticket. Can wait for the time change so I can fish longer [...]
Spent a lazy day drowning shrimp in 30 ft of water just the other day and found the fishing to be fantastic. Nothing exotic, but a bunch of fresh flounder that made for an excellent dinner on very light tackle.
We found what seemed to be an endless supply of flounder situated just on the perimeter of the articicial reefs, with the occasional sheepshead mixed in. The flounder were eating both live shrimp and small strips of cut bait, and were in the sand, not the actual rubble itself. One of the flounder actually had color on what would normally be the white, under side [...]
Been a great couple of weeks in Estero Bay going back for 4 weeks it has just been on fire . The Reds have been feeding on the mud and sand , on the flats and by the groves , its been odd , their every where latly feeding slow , real slow (like you feel like your hooked up on grass and then the line starts to move on you) eating cut bait , shrimp , and mostly on soft plastics , here are a couple of pics starting 4 weeks ago to yesterday.
The snook have been going crazy seems like they have been eating everything that swims past their face.
Everywhere I have been fishing has been loaded with snook and a lot of them are BIG fish. During the day the snook have been feeding on the Sebile Stick shad and Sebile Flat shad in the hollow mullet color. Also been getting alot of fish on the mirrolure little john in just about any color with a 1/4oz jig head when the fish arent that active. But once that sun sets they have been feeding in full force [...]
Inshore and Windy
Florida Sportsman member: GatorInPISound
I braved the wind yesterday afternoon not realizing just how much it would blow. I figured we might get a pretty good incoming but the N wind had another idea. Anyways, I took a bro from church along and we fished 2-3 spots on in the afternoon looking for trout or redfish and we ended up catching both along with a nice shark….we were using handpicked shrimp [...]
Recent fly fishing reports from all around the state.
A Trip to the Lagoon
Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772
Highlight of the day was my buddy catching a 30 inch trout, three feet from the boat. Poling through a back creek, he spotted the tail of the fish sticking out of the grass under water, dropped the fly and boom!
Up around Sebastian Inlet we found a flat with great current moving across it, along with it we found a steady stream of Bonnetheads cruising back and forth. After a couple hooked up pitching rubber shrimp, we started fly fishing for them. Found out that they eat a larger shrimp pattern pretty well.
She ate two feet off of the sand and immediately went to clear my line. As this was happening, my line knotted up on my cork, and would not allow any line out, so into the water I went after this fish, to luckily get it unwrapped and really start the fight.
Despite a lot of wind, and dirty water, had already put eight snook on the beach. Made a long cast, took one strip, and got crushed. A guy standing up on the rocks yelled, “Dude, that’s a big fish.” Fish went into the backing, and then powered down the beach about a 150 yards, despite the fact that I was putting a lot of heat on it.
Went out early on Saturday with my brother. We worked a few spots, and found tripletail both north and south of Fort Pierce. All but one 17 inches was under slot and released. We caught 9. We used a brown shrimp pattern fly from Bass Pro.
We spent the first five hours in the backcountry but we did not see many Snook, we did however see a good number of Redfish and had a lot of good shots at them. We also saw a good number of Tarpon and jumped four but came up empty. They are impressive fish, I can see why people become addicted to them.
The current was ripping and the fly is swept into the grass line outside the creek. Second cast is placed further upstream and halfway through the slower paced retrieval, the fly is hammered. Set the hook, raise the rod tip and the fish takes off down current and immediately deep into the backing.
The next fish was a big girl cruising up the beach and I watched it eat the fly. I was lucky to have two people from the UK walking the beach who were nice enough to take this picture. This fish was hook solid in the corner of the mouth, it measured 38 inches.
I had a really good day on Sanibel with some black drum. Walking the beach we spotted a very large mud that was a very long cast away. It could be reached but when the school moved in then it was a much better hookup ratio, going four for eight.
It was a very interesting day, I had two fish on that were similar in size to the one my friend caught, the first one was on 20 seconds before we parted ways the second one 20 minutes ending with the same results, a lost fish.
Almost immediately I was seeing strikes on the surface around the thicker vegetation. After a few missed strikes, and avoiding the small alligators that were also interested in my offering, I was finally able to connect and land a decent sized bass.
Fly fishing for tarpon is only going to get better and better as the temperatures rise into the mid to upper 70′s. Our resident tarpon will stage up and feed in preparation for their annual migration. They can be targeted in our area at night or during the day using flies that push water. This is especially critical as our water clarity diminishes with the algae bloom in the warmer water temperatures.
An inshore slam can likely be caught in under 20 inches of water. It doesn’t get much better than that. Almost all winter I’ve been throwing crab and shrimp patterns but i just started to throw a baitfish pattern more often(pictured below).
This time things were a little better, although no big fish, I did get a slam of snook, trout, and a red all on a brown bend back with gold and dark green flash. Ended the day with three trout to 21″, two snook to 23″, one dink red, one little mangrove snappy, and a bait size lady fish.
It turned out to be a beautiful morning once the sun came up. Calm as could be and 65 glorious degrees. Poled a couple of miles back in a remote creek I haven’t hit in a while and was greeted by quite a few happy reds showing themselves.
Went and hid from the wind yesterday around Wabasso and found a few fish. Ended up running into a bunch of baby tarpon and ended up playing with them until we had enough. Caught a bunch of snook and a redfish while casting at the tarpon, which was a nice surprise.
When it was my turn to fish, we saw something a little strange swimming down a prop scar. Turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. A nice trout, made more special by catching it on a 5 weight I had brought more as an afterthought.
Had some sick fly fishing lately down my neck of the woods in Palm Valley. Last several trips have been true sight fishing bliss with double digit catching with some crazy good takes on the trusty seven weight.
his is my favorite time of year to target red drum and gator trout. The east winds and low/weak winter tides create a perfect scenario for fly fishing. Two things happen, it compacts the fish and the tides are so minimal it allows the sediments to sink and the water to get crystal clear.
The wind was a little more than expected, but we still got it done. Was able to catch snook, trout, redfish and tarpon, majority being sight fished. Highlight for me was I ended up cane poling a redfish (leader still in my guides) four feet from the boat that was belly crawling in the mud with his back out.
It has been four years since I caught a Redfish on Sanibel and I think if you’re going to break the redfish drought it is always good to do it with a 31 inch red. This fish ate a size 2 white deceiver.
I decided to fish the flood grass up north this morning and what a beautiful fall wake up it was. The flood lasted a manageable 2 and a half hours and I was able to land three, two of which were epic takes.
We had huge tides to begin with and that coupled with screaming North East winds turned the flood grass into a Lake real quick. Got out Sunday and the water was still a little high for me but nothing like it had been. Saw quite a few quick tails, some slurpers and one hard tailing fish. Managed to get a few small guys and enjoyed every minute of it.
It has been a long time, 8 years I believe since I was able to get an albie from Shore. This year has been a good one and in the last 2 weeks I was able to land 16 with my best day being yesterday when I went 8 for 10.
My trusty BC Critter Fly has always worked well for me in the flood grass and I also do equally well spoon feeding them with the Dupree Spoon. Lately I’ve been changing it up a little and throwing a small topwater Slurpee Gurgler in the mix. Pretty cool watching them take topwater in the grass.
Never seen fish come up and kiss the bait, sometimes pressing their closed mouth to the fly for several seconds. Of course sometimes they scream over and bite immediately. The bigger fish were more wary for sure and a few I could not get to react.
I stripped it twice, he took a swipe at it and missed, I stripped it again and he inhaled it, I felt weight and crossed his eyes with a hard strip strike. Hilarity ensued for the next 30 seconds as I tried to clear my line and keep him hooked up until I had him on the reel and could fight him. As I was doing this, my partner on the poling platform was screaming “Strip it! Set it!”.
Found a couple of peacocks sitting in the shallows in a canal in Boca and had a chance to pass three different flies by them. The same fly on a slow strip did nothing. Exact same cast but moved the fly as fast as I could and it got pounded.
he next day we maybe got a dozen each, the second to the last day we landed over 25, and the last day we only landed eight. The best trick was to spot or hook a dorado, get a sardine in front of the new group and your fly at the same time, and when everything lined up, you caught lots of dorado.
The juvie tarpon fishing around the treasure coast has been the best i’ve seen it in years. With most fish holding in deeper bays and residential canals. I have found a few bigger fish hanging around channel edges though. My go to fly has been a white bunny strip tail with 5 or so wraps of orange palmering chenille up front.
Went out solo in the late afternoon after day trip finished and the result was this. Surprised I was able to pull this off solo, especially the landing/boating part. Easily bottomed out my 30 poind Boga Grip.
I was totally unprepared for how hard these fish fight. I was using a 12wt, and I thought that fish was going to snap it in two. We had snapper and triggers swimming around, and after I caught several snapper, I tried to get one of the triggers to bite. I had to actually start snatching the fly away from snapper to give the triggers a chance.
Hadn’t seen many fish but it was only a matter of time as the setup was legit. First cast was directed to the dock’s southernmost pillar, couple of strips, water wallows and battle began. Few minutes later and I had my first snook on fly.
I ended up finding some monster reds after throwing at them at least 12 times with not even a look I headed home completely frustrated with plans to comeback asap. two days later I was back and still couldn’t get the reds to eat but did manage my first 3 bones.
Forum member Tgrass recently had some good success fishing the beaches of Sanibel for snook. Clear water means light leader and accurate presentations are necessary to fool these linesiders. “The Snook fishing on the beach although difficult can be very rewarding”, says Tgrass.
Fishing a size 8 minnow I was able to fool a few. With how spooky these fish are around beds, it can be pretty frustrating. I have noticed though, stay as low as possible and keep your shadow to a minimum, I try to hide in a tree’s shadow or some type of cover.
I was anticipating light winds in the morning so I took my light 6 weight out for some sporty action in the backcountry. I had some nice shots and landed quite a few before the winds picked up in the afternoon.
As soon as we got to the spots we had around 30 amberjack all around us. With a little chumming and throwing a chugger with a spinning rod we had the fish in a frenzy. Hook ups, doubles, triples, you name it. All fish were over 30 pounds some in the mid 40′s on a fly rod, we even chummed the American red snapper up enough to catch those on the fly rods as well, by vertically jigging massive clousers.
I finally stuck my first Mosquito Lagoon red last weekend. What a great feeling, Of course it would happen the day I left the gopro at home, so I could only grab some cell phone shots. Watching it eat was incredible.
I had a client using a five weight at the same place yesterday, throwing at 1 to 4 pound barjacks, when what had to be a fifty pound amberjack inhaled and departed with the barjack he was fighting. Not much to do except watch the line melt off his reel, right down to the knot.
A heavily weighted size 2 white shminnow has been the go to fly for these fish, presenting it with long and slow strips. I have jumped fish to 10 pounds or so and have seen a few 20 pounders roll, but have yet to get a hook in them.
Carlos then got into another Tarpon right after the first one. This one put up a hell of a fight. Being that he was fighting it from land, i thought he might not land it when it started making its run up the canal. He was able to turn the fish though and get him back towards us.
When I launched, the water temperature was 55 degrees. I found a lot of nice trout sitting in a foot of water. I caught a nice 22 inch trout on a white bend back, and a Nice 25 inch trout on a white shrimp fly.
It took Capt. Chris about 45 seconds to find a couple big schools of redfish. In short order he had me on the bow landing the first fish. Landed a bunch of nice sized redfish during the day and some even came up to eat gurglers which was surprising.
I switched to 2/0 bend backs, white/gray with dark green and blue flash, brown with dark green and gold flash. I ended the day with nineteen Snook from 17 to 22 inches, and one small tarpon. They chewed up six flies. The water temp never got over 62 degrees, but the fish were spunky and strong, lots of fun on 8 pound tippet.
Went out on my buddy’s Jon boat yesterday evening to “test and tune” his new motor. brought the fly rods along, as we figured we might as well hit some dock lights once the sun dropped. The front pushing through really kicked up the wind once it got dark, but we were able to get tight on a few.
We came across about an acre of bull reds. My buddy was quick on the gun and got his fly into these monsters first and got an immediate hookup. He was taken deep into his backing and again. I chose to skip the easy double header in order to help him land his fish. Good thing because this 23 pound behemoth snapped his 9 weight fly rod like a twig boat-side just before I got the boga grip on him.
Visibility was at a minimum and we had to deal with wind and rain showers early on. Conditions improved throughout the morning and we managed a few reds on 6 and 8 weight gear. Using a Monic clear floating line helped out as we could not see the fish at any real distance.
Got out in the river today with a buddy, fishing was decent but had a steady 20 mile per hour wind gusting to 30′s. I caught some decent ones, he got a few bigger ones, this week we will be hunting Big Brown trout.
I was slowly drifting in water so shallow I had to pick up my trolling motor and I saw a group of fish coming at me. Not being that experienced at telling the difference between mullet and redfish, I could only hope. They were moving with a purpose. Then about 70 feet away a few stopped and tails came up!
I had a nice day on tuesday and got my 61st baby tarpon of the summer. Most of these fish came from the ditches and canals of Merritt Island, Rockledge and a few from North Indian River Lagoon. I learned early it did not matter what fly I offered these fish yet how I presented my fly to them.
He then took us to a flat where the bonefish were tailing and cruising everywhere. Small groups of 5 to 10 fish mixed with singles and doubles. On this one flat I saw more tailing bonefish than all of the bonefish I’ve seen in the Keys my entire life.
Fishing Started off red hot landing 5 fish in the first hole with most being 12 to 16 inches. The last fish in that hole though was a true stud of a trout. A 26 inch brown that held tight to the bottom most of the fight. She ended up taking a run and pulling the hook but I told the guide that I could still see the fish sitting in about 2 feet of water. Put another cast in and she ate again.
I ended the week with 5 snook, 2 trout, and 1 tarpon. I jumped 4 other tarpon and the one I caught plus 2 of the snook at Ding Darling. I had a big snook try to eat one of the trout as I pulled it in, which was kinda cool.
The powerful attack and subsequent run left no doubt it was the butterfly. With the light leader I had to work the fish and he gave two good runs taking all my fly line out. It then ran towards the only submerged branch in sight to my right where bushes blocked my way. There was only one thing to do if I wanted the fish: had to get in the water.
Gotta love the hottest time of the year! We had a great fly bite and reel screaming test this past Sunday 8/17 out of St. Augustine with about 12 to 15 of these speedsters running between 9 and 12 pounds. on the 9wt. We also caught some on spin gear too. What a blast!
I had this guy show up in the melee of false albacore, big blue runners, rainbow runners and ravenous sharks I was chumming with live chum. The fish ate the fly 4 feet from the side of the boat. I have no idea how I got it past the sharks, weighed in at 34 pounds.
Laurentides was no different, but the weather didn’t cooperate so I was forced to dredge weedlines with tungsten heads for pike, which actually produced more bass than anything else. I did have some odd catches, I caught my first lake trout, my first walleye, and a 20 inch brown trout in a river that I was told didn’t have any trout. I fished the St. Laurence, the Ottawa, the Saranac, and the Ouaro rivers.
Hit Flaming Gorge a few weeks ago with a buddy, there has been an epic Cicada hatch this year and the lake was covered in them and the trout and bass were killing them, and so were we! Nothing like surface action with some big ugly bugs.
I woke up at 6am every morning to watch the sunrise and have a cool morning alone, with no tourist. Having the beach to myself I sight casted fish non stop, Most schools of snook where 5 to 10 fish thick, with a few Tarpon mixed in.
I woke up at 6am every morning to watch the sunrise and have a cool morning alone, with no tourist. Having the beach to myself I sight casted fish non stop, Most schools of snook where 5 to 10 fish thick, with a few Tarpon mixed in.
Was tossing a big white fly and was making casts every few minutes to singles or little groups cruising along. Most would come up and nose the fly before either turning away or opening their mouths to inhale it while I let it drift, while others tried to rip the rod from my hands as soon as the fly hit the water.
My best day on the water was when I found a pod of Snook cruising the beach about 30 feet off shore on a long flat and I was able to pull 4 fish from the same school before the 5th fish wore through the bite tippet. It was my best day of the week with sight casting and landing 12 fish and at least 5 others that hit and came unbuttoned,some on some really wild jumps.
The fish was on the edge of muddy water created by an eddy on the shoreline. I was able to sight fish it and had an excellent 4 to 5 minute battle with two long runs. It’s rare that I catch a beach snook on fly that can’t be stripped in, but this one was on the reel almost immediately.
Got home today after a long day and decided to throw the fly rod a bit in the back yard. Went down to the dock and casted my gurgler over to a fishy looking mangrove line and got nailed first cast. Ended up being a beautiful trout.
I had a lot of followers but only 2 hook ups and only landed one but a sight fished beach snook on fly is a big deal for me! This little guy was in 6 inches of water and followed the fly right up to the sand before he hit.
The one in the second photo ate a Crazy Charlie that we were blind casting over a wide open grass flat in the Indian Fields and was followed up by a similar sized gator on the very next cast. Smaller shrimp patterns like the Charlie really worked well on these guys all week.
First time out in almost a year, neck and back surgery suck! Even though conditions weren’t the best I was stoked just to be out. All in all it was a good day, got to use a new rod & reel I’ve been couch fishing with and caught a few fish.
Docklight fishing with the fly rod is one of my favorite types of fishing to do and it’s been producing pretty good lately. Went out the other night with the 6 and 8 weight and put a hurting on them for a few hours. Ended up with 14 snook and 2 trout.
I have been spending the last couple of weeks throwing a Pole Dancer fly around. Most of the time I usually end up throwing some type of topwater fly, usually a gurgler, so I really was excited to give this gal a test. In two weeks ended up with four tarpon, six or seven snook and a bunch of trout and of course jacks.
Got out to do some night fishing throwing flies. My son landed his first tarpon on the fly and we had a double hookup on snook. Landed 4 snook total with one just making the slot. Took a few casts at 100 plus pound tarpon but could not get them to bite.
The West bank gave up 12 trout and two blue fish. Most of the trout 17 to 19 inches, all keepers that swam free. The East bank, gave up only one snook, a 21 inch fish that ate the bend back, the trout and blues destroyed my Shrimp fly. Could not find a red, or tarpon to complete the slam, but had a bent rod most of the day.
After we were convinced that no cobia were in tow we broke off pursuit and stumbled across a school of redfish. It took me a while and finally I got one to eat! This being my personal best redfish on fly. He got so far into my backing I got really nervous about breaking the line or pulling the hook.
I decided to try tying my own fly. I saw a version of a Mayan cichlid fly on here and wanted to try for myself. After attempting to make one with yarn, feathers, a sharpie, and some eyes from other lures it came together. Within 10 minutes I was connected to my first fish, a respectable peacock, about 3 pounds.
Have been sight fishing reds on fly off the kayaks recently. Had some luck with the Northeast wind last week blowing all the water out of the bay. The reds were real shallow and gave us some good opportunities.
My friends and I just got back from my first Louisiana marsh trip. It is truly a sight fishing paradise. We went in totally blind, and caught our first 25 fish within two hours. We caught way too many fish to count in three days, I can’t wait to go back. All in all the trip cost less than $400.
I figured to just go for it and went to a buddy’s dock with the 6 weight in hand, I love the fight on the 6 weight compared to the 8 weight, and fired it in his dock light a few times. Put in right in the fishes face and they couldn’t resist. caught two that measured out to 25 inches a piece and called it a night, 2 fish in 5 minutes is good with me.
The second set of lights was loaded with trout and not feeding so we knew it would be a challenge. We were able to pull a couple nice fish off the light and had a great night. Our best luck was on a size two ep baitfish pattern.
Another beautiful day and miles of gin clear flats. After polling around and nothing in sight I caught a silver flash to my 3 o’clock. As I made my way I saw a tail… ” is this it?” I asked “a permit”… I followed it for some time until I saw an opening I creeped up only to see something I was not to egger to see… I decided I may not cast at it… As I put the rod down and the lure hit the water Mr. tapron had other endeavors. it raced over and took my lure and we began the dance yet again… Didn’t even have to cast and I was hooking tarpon what luck… Still a good way to open the day.
razorreilly09 recently made a scenic and fish-filled trip to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado.
“Just got back from a three day solo hike/camp into the canyon. This is my current favorite place on earth. The hike into is not for the weak of heart, and the hike out even more considerable, but that’s what makes the fishing so good. The fishing was great, although very hot temps.”
Before I left I was on a really awesome peacock bite and couldn’t wait to get back at it, so I grabbed the 6 weight and headed down to some of my favorite areas! Within a couple minutes of my arrival, it seemed like nothing changed. They were everywhere. Ended up landing 5 with some being in the 3-pound range over all awesome hour and a half of bank hopping.
I got the opportunity this past Friday to make it out with a friend of mine to slay some big mangrove snapper on the flats skiff. We did end up whacking the mangroves up to 12 pounds on spin gear, but I also brought the 10 wt. out with me so I could have some fun! First up was a small mahi that spit the fly after charging it. Then bonita charged the chum and I made short work of three of them before a small cobia swam up. I didn’t care if it was small, I wanted a cobia on fly!
As we approach our first destination there weren’t too many tarpon, so I suggested moving onto an area I knew the target species would be waiting. As we pushed on I gave the guys some direction and an instruction and sent them on there way. It didn’t take long for all of us to find some nice tailers waving for our attention. I was the first the first to hook up onto a decent tailer. Another victim of the fly… Lesson learned don’t cross my path!
The flat was much alive at this point and the guys where taking shots at fish but couldn’t connect. Tony finally hooked up only to see the nice red break off next to the yak. I continued my assault on these fish with target practice was in full affect at this point…
Anchored up in 40 ft of water on a rock pile chumming up blue runners, small bonito and a few rudder fish when some significantly larger boils appear around the boat. I ask my guy if he’d like to switch up from the eight weight and he says “Whats the worst that could happen? I’ll stick with the eight”. Right about then I lose my grip on my chum throwing scoop and throw it over the side and the current immediately pulls it out of reach. “I guess I’m going to have to go after that” come out of my mouth at the same moment client gets nailed and fish goes off on a screaming run. I get to the anchor line, untie and toss the release ball, fish still screaming. Walk back, get the motors started and say to my guy, “You know to let me know before you run out of line, right?” He starts sputtering and stuttering, his way of saying “I’M OUT OF LINE!” I guess….
I took a vacation day to fish the new moon hoping for a nice tarpon, on fly. It was a little cool in the morning with calm conditions until the wind picked up around noon. I found some fish rolling, and was able to get one to eat. At the end of April, I jumped one 60 to 80 pounds, this one was probably 50+ pounds, 4 to 5 feet long, thick, and my best one to date. This fish would not give up, leadering it 4 times, and having to let go. This fish would not open its mouth, and I did not want to lip gaff it. The fourth time I had the DNA pad next to my knee, the shock in my hand, and it shook hard[...]
When my friend Bob was interested in splitting the trip we drove down to Miami to fish with Capt LeMay. As expected Capt LeMay was very friendly with lots of experience in the area. We got a touristy trivia tour around the Bay and hit a couple of docklights while waiting for the tide to start going out. The first bridge did not show any tarpon. The second bridge showed a couple of tarpon cruising but not eating shrimp. Bob used a live shrimp to prove that the fish far from the bridge busting in packs were in fact jacks. The third bridge (first bridge now on the outgoing) showed a couple of tarpon busting and Bob hooked one on live shrimp. A decent battle but it finally got into some bridge pilings and broke the 10lb test. We moved to the fourth bridge[...]
Finally, with a forecast for light west winds, Dan and I hitched up the skiff and made our way to Biscayne Bay. The objective was to finally get Dan his first bonefish. We had put in a lot of time throughout the winter, but it was so inconsistent, that things were tough. He had a shot at a couple finning bones early on, but as the fly landed ahead of the only two fish we saw, it actually landed on top of a school of bones that we could not see due to the low light. With a few scattered shots throughout the morning, we finally found some fish that were eager to chase down a fly[...]
The other day, a friend hit me up to go harass some peacock bass, so we tied up a few clousers and were on our way. The high sun and hot weather made for aggressive fish cruising the shallows. They sure put a nice bend in the 6 wt. Then we made our way to a flat off the edge of a bank. The shallow area extended about 80 feet at the furthest point. The fish would come in from the deep and assault minnows. We caught a nice amount in about 45 minutes before calling it a day.
The same friend called me the day after to do some more fishing. But I told him I had something else in mind, and he was up for it. The wind was a little harder than we anticipated, but it was still very doable. After about 45 minutes of not seeing a single fish, finally, he saw bait scattering, so he shot the fly out to the commotion. He instantly hooked up and was in his backing in no time. We were looking for bonefish, but it wasn’t pulling like a bone[...]
Set out for my normal Thursday night fishing around Stuart. We started out fishing with jigs and then came upon a favorite dock of mine to fly fish. The current was ripping out so getting the fly in the zone was hard. I got a few jacks and a seatrout on a small white schminnow. About to give up on a snook I had a few more bonus casts. Saw the snook take after and engulfed the fly and it was fish on! An awesome fight it put up and got my blood pumping to keep it away from the dock and I quickly stripped line to the boat. I landed it and it was much bigger then I thought and measured 23 inches. Have it a quick revive and released.
The weather man was calling for low winds, but cloudy skies, so my buddy Ramiro and I made the two hour trek down to Everglades National Park. Only to be greeted by strong 20mph winds, so we headed for cover in disgust by the once again wrong forecast. We worked a protected shoreline for quite a bit. I managed to get an eat from a nice 10lb jack, but didn’t get the hook to stick. Then managed to get a dink rat red minutes later. After exhausting all of our options for sheltered areas, we were forced to just head for open flats, and use the wind to aid us in the direction it was blowing. We missed some eats on a few scattered tailing reds, and at about noon, decided to make one last stop before calling it a day. Shortly after arriving at the last spot, the clouds passed, winds laid down and the bay become a sheet of glass. The tails began to surface.
Well its almost spring and it seems like the fish are biting. I’ve been going out and it has been pretty good. Some days are really good and some days are not so good. It usually has to do with the wind situation. Calm mornings has been really good but around 10 a.m. the wind starts kicking and everything goes to hell after that. Sight fishing for reds and snook has been really fun. Also I was able to catch my first black drum on fly. I thought he was a red but looked kinda funny as he got closer [...]
Well, with winter in full affect patterns are showing up finally. Snook are starting to hold up where they should be and reds are still prevalent in some areas. Biscayne Bay has stayed the same with over slot trout bedded up with plenty of little trout and jacks mixed in with bluefish to keep things honest. I have had the opportunity to fish several new locations in the everglades on the boat scouting new grounds in search of the next big fish. High winds have kept me at bay but has not stopped the bite.
Went over to the pond in my apartment complex, like I do every evening, to cast the fly rod for some bass. I’ve always seen some tarpon rolling and caught one, but it was only 10 inches or so. Hooked up to a big fish but never saw it before it spit the fly. I fished around the pond a little ways with nothing. Then I came to a spot in between some trees that looked fishy. Cast my fly out and strip two or three times and slammed! Fish on! The slack line is flying back out and then up comes a really nice tarpon flying out of the water! I manage to keep it hooked, but it is burning the drag on my 5 weight. It would make another jump and I’d gain on it, but then it would make another hard run. At one point, it was on the other shoreline and I was well into my backing. Got the line back and then called my mom to come down when I realized I had a shot at landing this one.
As of lately, I have been flipping a coin for every fishing trip I go on. Usually because I am not sure of where I want to go and it usually has to do a lot with the weather. Fishing has been pretty good despite of the bad weather. There has been couple of windows were you can have a really good day on the water with calm winds but other days you want rip your head off. I have been going on out on the Kayak, Gheenoe and friend’s boat. Some days have been really bad with finicky fish on the flats. And some days you find yourself with tailing fish all day long.
I tied on a bend back that I had whipped a few nights before to see how it swam. My buddy was using a gurgler and was getting 2lb bass all day. I ended up tossing towards a culvert, two strips, and the water erupted. Had to remind myself where I was because it was such an aggressive strike I imagined tarpon or big snook. Solid chunk for a Kook.
It was cold and windy today, and the sun did not come out all day. The conditions were pretty bad for sight fishing. I went to the peacocks pocket area today. I found two reds tailing next to each other, they saw the fly at the same time, and the race was on, it ended with a great whoosh, and fish on. It was the coolest take I have ever had. I just had to share it with you guys.
Well with Christmas, New Years and the BCS bowl game all mixed in a month span I have been stuck at work since late December. Watching the calendar days zip by with only my thought and memories of 2012 to hold me through the long days. I finally got a chance to hit the water and do what I know how to do best, disconnect and get some fishing in. Here is where I left off in 2012, my last trip [...]
Not much of a fisherman, but he showed an interest so we went out this weekend and he made some casts. A lot of blind casting, he missed a few fish on the strike, and finally he hooked what I thought was big pinfish. We can both die happy.
Broke into the new year on my Panga skiff and decided I’d try to get back on those Yankeetown reds I wrestled with last Friday in the canoe. The boy wanted to sleep in, so I was solo again. Launched at the end of SR40 for the first time too. Ramps aren’t too bad out there and saves me the long run through the barge canal. Weather was a little weird at first [...]
My Loreto trip this year would more than do justice to this title. The Dorado is arguably the most aggressive fish that swims in the ocean, and has also been called the perfect saltwater fly rod fish. I agree totally. Only in Loreto can you watch the fired up fish fight to bite. When hooked, he rips a few hundred feet of line off your reel, then jumps and throws the fly only to have his partner swimming next to him grab it. What a rush!
If anybody loves to cast floating lines with poppers and Crease flies to Dorado, and watch the wild top water action, then I feel sorry for anyone who didn’t get to enjoy the phenomenal Dorado and billfish bite in Loreto this year. I guess I was especially lucky because this was the year I chose to go for three weeks instead of my usual two. I had made that decision based on last year’s abundance of small Dorado; I figured maybe this year they had grown up! That turned out to be an understatement, because this year we were inundated with giants[...]
We got out early and started poling looking for tails and other signs of fish activity. The fishing was very slow for the first few hours but once the sun got up pretty high we started catching fish. My buddy is a spin fisherman so he stuck with jigs the whole day and he ended up with 4 mid slot reds and a small trout. I started out with the jig and once I got a fish or two I switched to the fly. I ended up with 4 mid slot reds and a rat as well as a few nice trout and one snook.
My father and I crewed off the boat at the same time this hitch so we decided to hit up NC for some trout action. We went two days solo, along with one with a guide I used three times before. The water was very low and the fishing was a bit tougher than its been in the past but we were able to catch about 40 trout on our own and another 60 with the guide Josh. I landed the odd looking giant brown on a one last chance stop at the river on the way to the airport.
Been doing quite a bit of exploring fishing with some of my good fishing buddies deep in the Everglades in no man’s land. The paddles are long full of creatures that would not mind having you for dinner or biting to fill there stomachs but the fishing has been outstanding. Fly fishing exclusively for these fish has been a challenge but the rewards have been all that sweeter!
After the front pushed through last night today was Sunny and perfect for sight fishing these jokers, but all I found were a lot of laid up fish!! No one was in the mood to eat and I didn’t see a lot of mudders! I did manage to find one working the bank and connected! Ho, Ho, Ho Merry “Carpmas” Everyone!!
With the abundant sunshine today I decided to take advantage of it! Found numerous fish, but they were stubborn today. They were mudding and tailing pretty consistent, but for the life of me I couldn’t get them to eat! Changed up the fly, but still no connections. Went back to the Olive Backstabber and finally connected on a couple of fish.
Decided to take advantage of low tides early in the afternoon and look for some reds with the fly rods. The fishing was tough even though Rob and I saw over 100 redfish, several snook, and found a pocket holding some very large trout. Clean water was at a premium. The outgoing tide made the water off color which made it tough to sight the fish until we were on top of them. We managed a few fish by blind casting some deeper holes on the low tide [...]
Man, these jokers have driven me crazy all summer long! They’ve haunted my dreams every night! I’ve had fish turn off every fly I’ve thrown, spooky fish and with the drought this spring/summer all the weeds and vegetation grown up where the fish usually hang out! It’s taken the lake draw down to winter pool to get them back on the mud flats to even get a shot. I didn’t think they would eat with this colder weather, but today I found a couple of hungry fish after it warmed up a little! Got some payback! Now I can sleep at night![...]
Still tearing it up in the Everglades! I have dropped the spinning rod and picked up the fly thanks to my buddy Dan Decibel and have been having a blast. Not as easy as one thinks but I could attest this has freshened things up from the same old routine.
As we headed down Tamiami Trail we noticed that there was fog everywhere and for me this was the first time I have witnessed this in the Glades, so I thought this would be an interesting time out on the water. We arrived at Everglades City and launched at the Ranger station. We started paddling out into the fog [...]
There is something to be said about the simplicity of fly fishing for bluegill. I love tossing a popper, letting the rubber legs quiver and being greeted by that classic slurp. If you were ever looking to get in to fly fishing this is surely the way to do it. Any rod from a 3-to 6-wt is proficient, and it doesn’t have to be technical [...]
Made it to Crystal River Wednesday with my son Sean for our first time scalloping. After launching, getting a couple of miles into the Gulf, seeing way more wind than was expected and seeing no boats on the scallop grounds and lousy visibility we changed plans and went back into the river to spend some time fishing. Drifted a good looking shoreline with good looking sand and oyster beds in about 2 feet of water. Saw no fish or bait. Heading towards the ramp I saw some action along a built bulkhead so we set a drift [...]
How’s it going guys? I hope everything is good, its been a while since I’ve posted but this has been my catches as of recently. I’ve been leaving the spinning gear at home, strictly fly fishing as of lately. The days have been hot and the Paddles have gotten Longer by the day. Seems like the only good time to fish is until about 10 or 11 am because the fish and myself can’t stand this heat wave going on outside unless you wanna fish until later on in the day [...]
Fished Jupiter again last week with Captain Dino and it was real good. Hammered them under the lights and managed a slob in the 35 pound range on a popper. Hopefully the pics uploaded properly. Thanks again Dino. Great time.
Fished with Capt. Dino last weekend for albies off of Jupiter. It was another amazing trip with him. We had fish all day long. Saw some amazing shark attacks as well. Thanks Dino. See you in August for some snook!
Been trying for a while now to get a snook on fly. Tied up a bunch of white flies for Sanibel a couple years ago but was greeted by filthy water after the first tropical storm hit that August. Cleaned up the last day we were there. Had to leave. No snook. Hit the surf and around Port Canaveral and had more than plenty my share of lady fish, jacks etc. but no snook [...]
This past week the ‘Glades along the coast north and south of the Little Shark River were the destination of choice during the daytime. I was able to add one night in Biscayne Bay where the tarpon action was pretty strong (and will stay that way for weeks to come…). Here’s an extract of the fly fishing that we did [...]
Perfect day for beach tarpon off Venice. Flat ocean, full moon setting, no wind, and tarpon rolling all around. Weird thing, something went wrong, my toad started getting pulled away, and my 12-weight got all bent over and stuff!
After being off these fish for the last two weekends it was time to get back to work!! The lake is still down almost 4 feet below summer pool and the flats are still covered in “green stuff” Fish are scattered and you have to find a “gravel” bank with some kind of shelf on it. Fish sit on this shelf and feed along or face the bank waiting for something to fall in…. I missed 2 eats and I think it was because the water so so clear that I was just so mesmerized watching these fish inhale the fly and then spit it out that I didn’t strip strike for a hook set! [...]
Spent 10 days at a very remote fly-in only lodge on Carol Lake in Northern Canada, 60 miles north of Lake LaRonge, Saskatchawaan. I am still relatively inexperienced with fly fishing and stopped by the Fishing Hole in Saskatchatoon on the way for some local flies. I ended up with two new species under my belt, Northern Pike and Walleye on fly [...]
I haven’t posted much lately. Between the baby on the way (5 more weeks) and working the bugs out of the new to me maverick. The new boat is awesome just working out some bugs. I have still been managing 1-2 trips a week everywhere between Goodland and Pine Island sound. The snook fishing has been on fire way in the back creeks all the way out to the beaches. First thing in the morning i have been throwing topwater flies, there is nothing more exciting then top water explosions [...]
Got an invitation to fly fish Pine Island for tarpon. Met up with Joe Harley at dark thirty and headed out for dawn patrol. it a lot of spots running and gunnin. I was first up and got a fantastic eat by a 24 inch fish. He struck and missed the fly and would not give up. Missing it over and over all the way back to the boat. Just as I was out of line and out of room he ate! Wish I had a video of that. Next up is Joe who hooks up on baby tarpon. What a beautiful fish that was carefully photographed and released [...]
Using a heavier weight fly rod (9 wt.) and having someone on board to land the fish all make for a recipe for success. A 3 plus hour fight becomes a half hour fight and your fish actually makes it to the deck. No need for lengthy, amateurish video to prove to friends and family that you truly had an enormous fish on the fly. By noon, we had 5 eats and 3 fish landed [...]
With the lake trying to come up to summer pool It’s tough to find a flat with no “green stuff”…. If you find fish up in the shallows, they are in so much debris it’s tough getting a fly in an open spot! Found some fish that were up on the rocks and facing the bank. These guys were waiting for stuff to fall in the water and then they would turn and feed around. Finally connected with a nice fish that turned and ate the fly!
I fished with my friend Tim over the weekend in St. Augustine. We saw over 40 tailing Reds up on the flooded grass flats to kick the season off. They were challenging to say the least playing there typical hide and seek games. Most were in the lower slot size. I ended up catching a couple mid to upper slot Reds with this bigger one pictured below which was caught on my last cast of the night before the lights went out. Redfish grass hunting season is officially open.
Got to the water around noon, the fish were thick around our launch area. Tons of mayans, largemouths and peacocks just sitting around, occasionally busting up some bait. Threw in a couple of casts before launching the boat and I pulled out a small largemouth, about 1 pound. As I’m getting the hook out Jim is casting at a pipe. All I hear is “OH MY GOD!” and I turn to see a solid mass of bright orange and green take off about 3 feet out of the water.
My home waters (Barren River Lake) has been below summer pool for a while now and that has the vegetation growing and my mud flats are just “green” now… With the lake coming up to Summer pool it’s been a little tough to find “open” spots to get some decent shots at fish. You have to find spots with no weeds/grass to get a fly in there on mudding fish or fish looking for an easy meal. Some fish are still spawning up in the vegetation and I’ve never witnessed anything like it! [...]
Thanks to the huge moon and more boat traffic than ever, I couldn’t put my charter on anything decent yesterday on any of my favorite spots. Since I finally had some time to myself this morning I decided to do a little exploring and find where all the fish were hiding. There was a great incoming tide in Matlacha Pass around 10AM so I let the current carry me into one of the longer creeks in the north part of Buzzard Bay. I started seeing a lot of fish when the water started turning the same color as cherry soda. I was casting an 8wt fly rod and a 3/0 deer hair slider since I thought spinning tackle would make too much noise.
I fished the beachfront with my long time fly buddy Scott from Ponte Vedre on Sunday morning. We caught a couple of the ghostly colored Redfish. We saw some Black Drum to and way to many Sharks. Action was a little on the slow side and ended up taking a lot of video for making a movie. It was a nice change of pace. Seems like there’s nothing more refreshing than getting and break from guiding and taking a long walk on the beach and getting washed up by waves.
Took a quick trip out tonight after a week of ever blowing wind. The river was a sheet of glass. Thought it would be good to get out and throw the fly rod at some snook under the lights. Put in at Sandsprit Park on the end of the incoming tide. Hit the first couple of docks and found a bunch of small fat snook chowing down some small creatures that were floating by. I put a cast in with a small white deceiver & it got picked up right a way. It was small too, about 14 inches. Could have stayed there all night [...]
I launched, at the 406 bridge and went south around peacocks pocket. I have never been to this place, thought I would give it a try. The day was perfect, not a ripple on the water all day. Caught nothing big, but I had a blast. All I used all day, was my 7 weight, and 1 fly, a white shrimp looking fly. I end up with 5 Reds, from 17″ to 25″, and 12 Trout, from 17″ to 22″. I had the hook pull out on two upper slot reds, and 4 big trout, and I lined a couple of tailers, oops. The most fun though, was sight fishing trout [...]
I was double booked today, sort of. My freind John came down from Ontario and I’d already made plans with Mr. Adam Sanderson, so all of us hit the water this morning at about 8am. We started seeing fish right off the bat and it wasn’t long before Adam hooked his very first redfish on fly tackle. The pictures are great, and just thought I’d share. It’s great to see an 11yr old that has no love for video games, and would rather spend time at the vise than in front of a TV.
Heard about a fly fishing tournament out of The Back Country Fly shop in Vero, so I decided to pay the fifty bucks and have a go at it. Invited a friend to fish with me. So we got to the spot for lines in a 7:00 AM. Fished at the first spot way too long, about forty mins with no action, so I moved over to the spots I regularly see big fish, but have never thrown a fly to. We worked the Seawalls & docks really hard with poppers & clousers.
New to this Forum and I wanted to start reporting my fly fishing adventures. I am a fishing guide in Stuart, Fl I took a client out Friday to some dock lights in Downtown Stuart. Waited until about 8 pm until the tide really started moving. We pulled up to the first light & the trout were jumping out of the water tearing up shrimp. After we posted up on the light, he put his first cast in. Bam! It gets picked up by a nice 19.5 inch trout [...]
Shad Running in the St. Johns River
Florida Sportsman Member duke6543brings an encouraging report to the Fly Catching Forum this week. The shad are indeed on the run in the St. Johns River, as anticipated in this month’s print edition of FS.
Here’s what duke6543 had to say:
“I got out of work at lunch and made a run to meet up with my fishing partner who has targeted the shad run a few times on the St. Johns river. I have only heard the stories of catching them on fly so I was pretty excited to finally get on the river. I have crossed the St. Johns several thousand times but never actually fished it. The weather was quite windy with a chill in the air.
“It didn’t take five minutes and Greg was hooked up to a nice striper that nailed the clouser minnow he was using. The second hit was a big shad. What a great show they put on. He had me schooled for the first two hours until I hooked up with a catfish that made me feel a little better. Once the ice was broken I finally hooked up with the target species. Then a few small crappies decided to hit my fly. So there were several first time catches for me.
“There were six species of fish caught in the four hour trip with a few really nice stripers coming boat side and a total of four shad caught with the largest being about two pounds. Great afternoon of fly fishing. Now I can’t wait to get back to the river.”
FS Member Super D reported a great trip on the Fly Catching Forum this week. Launching from the SR 406 bridge in Titusville and fishing south on the Indian River, he caught 5 redfish and 12 trout… all on a 7-weight fly rod … and all on the same fly (a shrimpy-slidey-thingy some of us recognize as a Kwan fly). For the full thread, click here. Super D fishes a 15-foot Alumacraft tunnel boat.
Juvenile Tarpon on Fly
Florida Sportsman member: jkayakfly
Gary from NH wanted to set out this weekend to try to catch his first ever tarpon. Mission accomplished with several landed and multiple grabs on fly. Take advantage of the mid to the last of the incoming tide to catch more than your fair share of tarpon and snook in the backwaters and canals [...]