Florida Sportsman Blog

Gheenoe Low Tide 25

The Low Tide 25 combines the benefits of an ultra-shallow drafting canoe and a traditional skiff to create one of the most versatile micro skiffs on the market. Incorporating the proven reverse chine design that allows for maximum stability, this craft can be customized to the owner’s desire with the option of a tiller, center/side console, stick steer or an elevated fiberglass console that enables the operator maximum visibility. With a variety of deck layouts, anglers have plenty of storage and live-well options. The 16’ LOA and 56” beam allow for a maximum capacity of 25hp plus weighing in at only 270 lbs dry hull weight you can launch it with the smallest of tow vehicles. See: www.Customgheenoe.com.

Golf Course Bass Fishing

Any way you slice it, golf course ponds can be prime sites for hooking largemouths.

Some courses authorize, or even encourage, fishing. Writer Doug Kelly wets a line at Innisbrook, hoping for a bass like the one below.

I learned to enjoy the best of both worlds long ago as a caddy at the Doral Open in Miami. After lugging around the bag for Julius Boros during a practice round, we small-talked a bit until the conversation swung to our mutual fondness for fishing. Boros said he always brought along his tackle for tournament sites where bass and bream filled the water hazards. Accordingly we rendezvoused an hour later near the tenth green at Doral’s Blue Monster course with rods in hand.

By dark we’d released a dozen bass up to three pounds and oodles of chunky bluegills while casting small chuggers and plastic worms. Thereafter we looked forward to hitting the lakes after each round of golf.

Boros wasn’t the only pro wetting a line around the course that week. Most preferred to fish alone, letting the calm, waterside tranquility diffuse the pressures of tournament play. However, at one point Sam Snead sauntered over with his plug rod, telling us one joke after another, keeping us in stitches and somewhat distracted as we competed to see who could catch the most fish (Snead did). It’s a scenario played out similarly nearly every week now on the PGA Tour. While many Florida-based tour veterans such as Ray Floyd, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Mark O’Meara, Greg Norman, Andy Bean, Nick Faldo and Paul Azinger consider fishing their favorite avocation, so too do numerous club pros and tens of thousands of amateur golfers such as myself.

Since that memorable experience with Boros, I’ve often doubled the fun by planning golf vacations and even one-day outings on courses that allow bass fishing. Such was the case on a memorable trip last year to Innisbrook Golf & Spa Resort in Palm Harbor, Florida. I’d heard the bass fishing in the resort’s extensive lakes was spectacular, and the prospect of teeing it up at the famed Copperhead course and then jousting with lunker bass lit my fire. In fact, I scheduled an entire day of the three-day visit just to fish and the sticks stayed in the trunk.

Of Innisbrook’s five golf courses, the best bassin’ occurs around Lake Innisbrook, which borders the first six holes of the Island course. Other productive sites include the tenth tee of the Island course, the third hole of the North course and the pond by hole 18 of the Island course near the side of the clubhouse where several 10-pounders have been caught. In addition, a parking lot on the side of Lake Innisbrook is adjacent to the first fairway of the Island course. The reed patches hold plenty of bass and bream just 30 or so feet from your car.

Frogs are can't-miss lures, attracting bass along grassy shorelines.

I mainly concentrated on the waterway along the left side of the first hole, particularly a grassy point midway to the green or the cart-path bridge from the green to the second tee. Bric-a-brac surrounds the bridge culvert and a surprising flow of water gushes through it, providing eddies on the down-current side that serve as no-brainer ambush points. I worked a small topwater chugger (my favorite bass lure) along the calm eddy edges and only the rare retrieve didn’t draw a hit or at least little-guy follows.

Rigging for golf course fishing is no different from elsewhere, with everything in play from livies such as worms, crickets and shiners to plastic imitators. I tried a weedless frog across the outer bases of reed stands at Innisbrook and instantly nabbed a 2-pound bass. The setting—as on many golf courses—also looked ideal for flyfishing, with the characteristic open terrain posing no obstacles to back-casts.

As a general rule, early mornings and late afternoons will see more fishing action than midday, plus fewer golf balls will be in the air. Among courses which are open to fishing, you’ll find the policy is usually catch-and-release. That was the case at Innisbrook. Fishermen are advised to exercise proper etiquette—remaining quiet and staying out of the way —as golfers play through.

One nice advantage to these settings: Fish don’t spook easily. They’re accustomed to angry golfers tromping by looking for lost balls or riding carts near the banks. You can approach most bodies of water with all the grace of Godzilla and unless you walk directly upon fish, they stay put. Relatively little angling pressure on golf courses also often relates to better than off-course action.

Doug Schmidt, Director of Business Development at Innisbrook, doesn’t know if the lakes were previously stocked, but he did relate a nuance for which few other courses can boast.

“While there’s a healthy bass population in the lakes, we utilize an environmentally safe water waste system that also allows connecting via a berm to the Gulf of Mexico to adjust water levels. That means we also have saltwater species enter our waters at times. More than once while fishing near the berm I hooked what I thought to be a big bass and instead it turned out to be a huge snook or red.”

Schmidt favors a 4/0 hook in a slow-sinking plastic worm. He also stated that Innisbrook waterways vary in depth down to 30 feet, providing a variety of habitats with an abundance of forage such as tilapia, minnows and bream. This all comes together to frequently produce outlandish rushes of action. Case in point: Tour pro Jason Gore once found himself lugging his own golf bag during a practice round because his caddy didn’t want to leave a frenzied session of multiple hookups that included three bass over six pounds. Although the fine bassin’ at many Florida golf resorts and country clubs isn’t well-known, it’s attracted a growing legion of devotees.

I met one such fellow from Miami (who asked to remain nameless) who visits Innisbrook three times a year with his wife. He fishes all day, she relaxes by the pool and reads. He swears he’s never been skunked by always employing the same rig and method: A weighted chartreuse plastic worm cast 30 feet from shore, left on the bottom and only occasionally twitched.

Look close, and you'll see those are fishing sticks in the back of that cart.

The word about Innisbrook’s fishing assets hasn’t escaped the corporate world, either. Conferences are popular here and many attendees fish before and after meetings—some even during lunch breaks. Notable visitors include some members of the Hemingway family, who hold reunions here mainly to fish the Island course when it’s closed periodically for maintenance. You don’t even need to lug around your own fishing gear – at the resort’s recreational center you can rent a rod for as little as six bucks and also receive a small plastic tackle box loaded with lures, hooks, split-shot and bobbers. Hey, they want you to fish here.

Some of the best golf course anglers start at a young age, such as 17-year-old Derrick McMann from Orlando. As a youngster he cut his teeth with a canepole fishing at a municipal course. I witnessed McMann fishing nearby on Lake Innisbrook and his rod stayed bent constantly. It lit me up like an anteater finding a termite mound, but alas I caught very little. McMann noticed my futility and rubbed it in after each of his fish strikes by screeching, “Boom chicka wow wow” and then back-of-the-hand snickering. I felt like taking a sand wedge to the kid after hearing that refrain for about the tenth time, but quickly repressed it and instead retreated to another fishing spot.

Golfers at a club in Daytona Beach get their fishing Jones sated with special tournaments. Pelican Bay Country Club—which sports two courses with water access on nearly every hole—periodically sponsors a “Fins and Skins” tournament from May through September. The format entails teams of fivesomes playing a regular scramble format, but one of the five must fish each hole until the team holes out. Cell phone pics and a yardstick provide proof of catches. Strokes are taken off the final scorecards based on the number and size of the fish caught.

“It’s been a great event for us and a new market we’ve tap into,” said Steve Francis, Assistant Pro at Pelican Bay. “It’s so popular that the same teams return over and over along with a growing number of new participants.”

Florida Sportsman Contributing Editor Terry Lacoss reports that salt- and freshwater fish flow through the creeks connecting golf courses at Omni’s Amelia Island Plantation near the border of northeast Florida and Georgia. “Reds up to 15 pounds and tarpon to 40 pounds can be caught right along with bass,” said Lacoss. He recommends the lagoon bordering holes six, seven and eight on the Oak Marsh course for a mixed bag, and for pure largemouth action casting plugs and flies in 50-acre Red Maple Lake on the Ocean Links course.

Some would argue that golf requires more talent than fishing. Having quite a bit of experience with both sports, I concur that landing a weedless worm across a line of lily pads proves an easier challenge than hitting a high fade with a one-iron to a well-bunkered green. But that’s a dubious debate anyway—bass masters consistently rack up more catches than less gifted anglers regardless of their handicaps.

Author tees up at Innisbrook. Not too worried about water hazards, obviously.

The fact is, when playing a bass-laden golf course I often daydream about a pot-bellied bass crashing my chugger; when fishing for largemouths I frequently fantasize about crushing a tee shot past Tiger Woods. Such is the neurotic dichotomy of a golfer-fisher. It matters not if you’ve never broken 90 or can’t get a nibble in a school of starving stumpknockers— the only simultaneous cure is a visit to a fishy golf course. FS

Into the Fish at Innisbrook

Those who prefer an upscale golf resort where bass fishing reigns supreme will find that Innisbrook fits the bill. The golf is top-notch with the Copperhead and Island courses–both host sites for PGA and LPGA Tour events–regularly rating among the best in the nation. The rooms are spacious and comfortable with a wide choice of one- and two-bedroom suites, villas, guest and executive suites and vacation rental homes. Innisbrook also offers tennis, a superb series of golf instructional institutes and the Indaba Spa. Nothing tops the relaxation of a nice side-by-side couples massage after a day of golfing and fishing.

The resort’s restaurants feature informal grills with outdoor patios overlooking the golf courses, a market offering specialty foods, a festive pub and a snazzy sports bar, and Packard’s Steakhouse, which is as close to carnivore heaven as one can get.

The green sweep of the Innisbrook courses, the deserts of white-sand bunkers and the labyrinth of ponds that reflect bordering oak and cypress trees are entrancing. Superb bass fishing amid plentiful birdlife on an upscale resort is icing on the éclair. For details on rates and packages contact Innisbrook at 888-794-8627 or visit www.innisbrookgolfresort.com.

Fishing and Fairways

Here’s an alphabetized list of my Top 11 Florida clubs and resorts that allow fishing and possess good to excellent bass waters. Most sites are members only. If you’re not a member, it’s wise to befriend one and fish as a guest. However, keep in mind that you don’t have to join a club as a member for access – staying as a vacation guest as I do, for even one night, punches your ticket to fishing.

Some clubs allow non-members to patronize restaurants and other facilities, which sometimes includes fishing. Get in touch first to get the details. If a resort or country club is too pricey for you, check with municipal courses in your area. In all cases, being courteous to golfers and never leaving any debris, fishing line or other messes behind ensures continued access.

1. Bear Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach
2. Doral Golf Resort in Miami
3. Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor
4. Jacksonville Golf & Country
5. Okeechobee Golf & Country Club
6. Omni’s Amelia Island Plantation in Amelia Island
7. Pelican Bay Country Club in Daytona Beach (open to public)
8. Pensacola Country Club
9. Quail Valley Golf Club in Sebastian
10. Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club in Sarasota
11. Willoughby Golf Club in Stuart

First Published Florida Sportsman December 2013

Birthday Fun

Recent inshore fishing reports from the Big Bend region.


Birthday Fun

Florida Sportsman member: Bluewaterdrew

We chased huge schools of mullet picking off reds here and there, Jen even hooked a nice flounder. After high tide we went to a bar to try our luck with black drum. Saw a few huge ones that didn’t seem to mind us being right on top of them, but the jacks were so thick it was hard to keep a lure in the water.

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Catching in the Transition

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

For the past few weeks we have been seeing fish transition from Summer patterns to Fall patterns and this means that they are in the mood to eat. Now is the time to get out on the water and take advantage of it.

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Seeing Red

Florida Sportsman member: G8trbait

Then the girls got a double hook up. It must have been a small school that swam by because they were hooked up back to back! April’s was a keeper, but Sophie’s had to grow up a little. It was legal, but we could afford to be picky and I don’t usually keep them unless they’re over 20 inches.

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Big Bend Redfish Action

Florida Sportsman member: cthurow

Drew’s first cast with his Zara Spook and boom, fish on! Nice drag screamer. I already had a piece of lady fish rig on a larger rod so I went ahead and threw it out while Drew played his fish. As soon as I netted Drew’s 26 inch red, he yells, Dad that rod is bowed to the water!

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Suwannee River Tripletail and More

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

As we trolling motor up to the first pole, a 10 pounder sky rockets 6 feet in the air about 75 yards out in the open. First time I have seen one free jump. My brother makes a cast at the pole and hooks up instantly. The fish gave two amazing jumps and spits the hook.

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Crystal River Fishing and Fun

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

Forum member ripnlips and friends had a great weekend, catching a slew of fish. They also loaded on scallops, making for a nice meal!

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Waccasassa Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz

About the time the tides were getting right the heat was kicking into gear. After a couple of decent Reds a storm started brewing up towards Cedar Key so it was time to cut it short.

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Tearing Up the Tripletails

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

The chop made it a slow boat ride out but busted one on the very first pole. The fishing was hard due to waves coming over the bow and only being able to see down 3 to 4 inches but we made the most of it and put 5 in the box and called it after about 4 hours.

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Big Bend Slam

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

All the fish were caught on artificial and I believe we didn’t get any on topwater. The snook was about 31 inches, the red is dinner, and the trout is back in the water. I have a place that you can almost always catch a trout even in this heat so we went there so Duane could try to get his slam. Duane came through with a Mirrodine.

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Horseshoe Beach Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: florida_dorksman

The thunder cloud may have saved the day, because the first creek we hit had more activity than I have seen out of there in almost a year. A steady stream of live shrimp kept the bite on fire, and within an hour and a half we had 4 redfish to 28 1/2 inches, an 18 inch sheepshead and a 24 inch black drum.

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Waccasassa Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz

So after the skies cleared up we were able to get up to where we wanted to fish. Strong tide and the breeze made for some tough fishing at first but we stuck with it and hit some quality fish. Five reds from 16 to 34 inches with two right at 27 inches that went home for dinner.

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Yankeetown Black Drum

Florida Sportsman member: Biggary16

Forum member Biggary16 got into some nice black drum! Only fishing for a few hours he caught 6 “big uglies” and a nice flounder. Tight work!

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Big Bend Snook Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Snook Spanker

These fish weren’t just slobs, they were smart slobs just like all the big snook I’ve encountered. In fact the first 6 or 7 I hooked were on topwater lures and either threw the hooks, ran me into and around rocks and snags or had me on so long they wore through the 50 pound leader!

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Wrecking the Reds

Florida Sportsman member: PONCE

Brandon and I had the best day of our life inshore fishing for Reds. We caught Reds up to 32 inches and 13 Reds overall on the outgoing tide, all reds and trout were caught on soft plastic paddle tail on a jig. The big fish came first then as the tide was bottoming out came the four 26 and 27 slots for the cooler.

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Tarpon and Scallops in the Big Bend

Florida Sportsman member: Bluewaterdrew

Started off the day at my honey hole. Caught several jacks and runners. Then Jen hooked a nice little Tarpon that burned off lots of line and gave us several great jumps for the camera. Later we headed out for scallops and quickly got out limit.

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Yankeetown Slam

Florida Sportsman member: StandOutI2

5 minutes after we came off plane I get a little 16 inch red on a topwater plug to start the day off. My step brother threw right behind me and picked up another one about the same size. It was starting out as a promising morning. Just around the corner I threw into a spot I knew I was gonna hook up with a fish. I didn’t expect a 27 inch red to go into the box.

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Big Bend Inshore Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

My brother said he was tired of catching jack so he declined to throw into the madness. I got hit three times before getting buttoned up. This was a better class of fish. Thought it was one of the 12 to 15 pound jacks but after a good battle a 10 pound permit pops up next to the boat.

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Crystal River Opening Day

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

If I was to guess how many boats we saw out of Crystal River I would say maybe 1000. Even with all of the crowds we still got a boat limit of scallops in a decent amount of time. We had time today to even get some fishing done.

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Scouting the Crystal River

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

After seeing the scallops we decide to see if the fish were biting. Jeremy got a quick slam and I got a decent snook. Jacks seem to be everywhere as always. Everything was caught on the same bait, DOA Cal shad tail on a jig.

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Big Bend Slammin’

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

Initially we stopped for some fishing and I hook up a decent snook but lose it, I hook up a red, yep, and lose it. Duane hooks a red and he too loses it. We’re thinking maybe we are getting rusty.

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Father’s Day Fun

Florida Sportsman member: huntentails

Its not always about the fish You catch, it’s about the memories made and the things passed on from one who loves to fish to another! All I can say is thanks son for a great day on the water!

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Getting to the Point

Florida Sportsman member: shuterkng

Forum member shuterkng got out this weekend and got into the fish! Fishing Long Point with live shrimp produced some nice fish, including black drum and flounder.

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Cedar Key Catching

Florida Sportsman member: Flash

Picked one of the islands out and moved down the shoreline. Saw some reds but got no action. Finally I eased us up along a bar, gave it a cast and fish on! Took me under the boat a couple of times but managed to bring him to the net girl.

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Shired Island Monster and More

Florida Sportsman member: jwroe

I started throwing my top water at it, but no luck, and a few minutes later , the tail pops up again. My wife casts a shrimp to it, and off to the races. She nails a nice 35 inch plus drum. about 10 to 15 minutes of fighting and we had it boat side. I reached down to get the lippers on it and it turned and broke line right at the boat.

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Cedar Key Trout and Macks

Florida Sportsman member: lboverhof

After being done with catching mackerel and before the tide slowly started coming back in, we started drifting over some grass between 3 to 4 feet of water behind snake. We ended up with 5 keeper trout with the biggest being 19 inches. At first there was maybe one other boat out there, but around 3:00 I look around and it looks like a parking lot. There had to have been 15+ boats that were pretty close to each other on the flats!

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Reds, Over and Under

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

No fish dinner tonight. Two over slots that were fat and healthy, plus eight under slots. I did catch a trout but no snook. All fish came on spoons, redfish magic, and soft jerkbaits.

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Busting Reds on Both Coasts

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

I then jump up on the poling platform and start poling the boys around this big mud flat that has some scattered fish on it to see if we could sight fish some. We see a few and miss a few, then I see one headed down the bank and tell josh to cast a 11 o’clock and he nails the cast and the red jumps on the fluke. Another nice upper slot fish joins the party.

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Birds to the Bay

Florida Sportsman member: huntentails

“We hit the water at the crack of noon. It wasn’t long before we had trout on almost every cast. Most were just underslot but we did manage to sort thru them for a nice bunch for dinner along with a nice pompano…”

Want to catch trout like this? Click here for how-to videos, feature stories, and more!

 



Slammin’ the Big Bend Backcountry

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

Still looking for reds and trying to avoid the trout we pulled up on a point and a 33 inch snook hits my lure. After a long fight on trout and redfish gear I got it in the boat. The area we fish has some nice snook but they aren’t easy to catch until it warms up a bit.

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Light Tackle, Low Tides and Keeper Trout

Florida Sportsman member: PONCE

I finished today around noon and took off to Waccasassa. Short and Sweet, here it is guys I`m not going to hide where , what bait and everything. Got on the water at 2:30 this afternoon and headed in around 5:30. Fished the outgoing tide back in the creeks and caught Trout up to 18.5 inches and a small Red around 16 inches.

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Seein’ Red in Cedar Key

Florida Sportsman member: GatoRella

The contrast of a dark fish on a light colored bottom made them real easy targets for sight fishing. For the next hour or so we took turns netting and releasing big over slot reds, high-fiving, and generally having an awesome time. We ended up with 3 keeper reds including 2 bookend 27 inch tourney winners, a handful trout, and a bunch of 30 plus inch over slots.

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Rainy Day Trout

Florida Sportsman member: huntentails

Liking what I was seeing, but with little or no bait action we decided to fish a few of the points with deep water. It didn’t take long as the fish were there and hungry, we made short order of putting some in the box for a couple dinners until this weather cleans up.

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MidDay Trout Bite

Florida Sportsman member: dakilmartin1

We worked the edges of deeper cuts during the outgoing tide and the shallow flats on the incoming. Every fish was taken on a MirroDine and several were sight fished. Long light leaders and longer casts were the trick today. Both Rob and I caught our personal best trout today on hard baits but I was more excited for rob as this was his first trip down the river! We easily put a limit of upper slot trout in the boat today but only kept a dozen.

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Steinhatchee Bulls

Florida Sportsman member: JC_UF_ITK

Outside of a handful of trout, 3 being keepers, we managed two monster redfish on a double hook up. The first fish ate a jerkbait and was followed by two others. A quick cast of a spinnerbait managed the second fish. One weighed 26 pounds and the other was 20 pounds.

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Catching A Little Bit of Everything

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

The first stop Jake says “Look at that gag”. I told him it looked like a trout to me and caught it to prove it. Seems like those trout just like me! It was so smooth I could read good structure from a half mile away by the surface boil from the tide moving over the rocks. Knocker rigs with 2/0 worm hooks 1/8 to 3/16 oz bullet weights tipped with shrimp did the job for us.

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Big Bend, Big Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

Had a good bit of time of over the holidays. Unfortunately the weather was bad for a good part of it. Was able to fish in several locations including Wacasassa/Cedar Key, Suwannee, and Palm Coast on the east coast. We managed to get good numbers of trout on the lower tides, but once the tide came in it was all about reds! Caught reds from 8 inches to 34 inches.

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Winter Time Trout

Florida Sportsman member: kingkong954

Then with about an hour left before we were due at the marina, headed off to the flats in search of the trout, which I thought were supposed to be tucked into their creeks. To our surprise, we found them! In about an hour of fishing we landed 4 keeper trout, Nia catching two 18 inch trout and I found a much smaller pair.

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Steinhatchee Reds

Florida Sportsman member: JC_UF_ITK

While we didn’t find fish at the same spot I’ve been seeing them, we did manage two nice reds while working our way to the spot. The largest was well over 36 inches (biggest ruler I have) and weighted 18.5 pounds on the boga grip.

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Homosassa Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

The larger trout were in the skinny stuff along with a few reds but not real thick or active. The shallow flat north of the channel up to Homosassa point had a decent number of big trout. Ladyfish were in front of the river along with some big mackerel. Another good day to be on the water with friends!

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Creeping The Creeks

Florida Sportsman member: PONCE

We fished some nice deep creeks right behind our Red spots. The big Trout were loaded up in the deep cuts. There was a double hook-up mixed in there that were keepers. We lost some nice ones but Brandon had a real nice couple hours with his limit and I had a big one in the boat.

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Homosassa Reds and Trout

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

The largest trout of the season so far made it into the boat. Along with the trout were a pair of upper slot redfish and a pile of rat reds. We worked the channel edges waiting for the tide and moved in close as soon as we could. Several of the trout were between 23 and 26 inches with most of the big girls released. The reds were in all the usual places and feisty.

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Crystal River Trout Bite

Florida Sportsman member: OneMoreYear

For 90 minutes the action was non-stop, with the majority of fish caught on Mirrolure Lil-Johns. The biggest trout was 20.5 inches. We had a good number of fish between 18 to 20 inches. We had our 3 person limit by noon. Ended up releasing about five 15 to 16 inch fish, and probably caught 5 to 7 shorts. The majority of fish were keeper trout, with only 2 ladyfish and a small redfish.

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Windy Weather, Nice Fish

Florida Sportsman member: shuterkng

She got a nice over slot red, I got a little sheepy. After that the waves were getting to all of us so I figured I could maybe find some action in the crystal river. We anchored up inside of shell island near some bars and the rat reds were eating! We all proceeded to catch and release numerous little reds.

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Shallow Creek Reds

Florida Sportsman member: PONCE

The water temperature was running about 59 degrees today and had a slight breeze to keep us comfortable. We got out to a dead low tide and as the tide turned there was even very little tide on the high. All the bars we fished were out of the water at High Tide.

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Homosassa Gator Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Troutman57

Trout, ladyfish, and bluefish were all over our Mirrodines. For a couple hours we circled a small area and took a bunch of fat trout all pushing the top of the slot to over 23 inches. We did find a few smaller reds but stayed on the trout since they were pulling more drag. We kept a few for Mikes freezer and one for Bill and his better half’s dinner.

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Big Bend Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Bluewaterdrew

I saw huge swirl and quickly cast on it. Instantly the fight was on making plenty of exciting runs. After what seem like an eternity, this beautiful linesider broke the surface and was quickly scooped into the net. She measured in at 35 inches and I am happy to say swam off to fight another day.

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Great Homosassa Inshore Bite

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

We hit several islands and took a total of 8 reds with 3 being between 30 and 32 inches. As a bonus we caught fat 24 inch trout up with the reds on bait. Yes we fished bait as this was Eric’s first time targeting redfish and it was going to be an easy day

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Seeing Red Solo

Florida Sportsman member: PONCE

Immediately started throwing Mikes Aqua Dream Gold Spoons and landed a 20 inch Red within 30 minutes and got my 27 inch Red on a Zoom Super Fluke about a hour later on a weedy point to finish my limit.

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Kayaking Kings Bay

Florida Sportsman member: NoQuarterNoMercy

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!

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Cedar Key Smorgasbord

Florida Sportsman member: Flash

Her personal best Flounder to date at 19 inches. I saw some action also and tossed a rattle trap. Hooked up and had a good fight going until it came free. Turned out it broke one of the hooks on the trap. Looking at them, it needs a new one for sure.

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Big Bend Bulls on Top

Florida Sportsman member: jperdue

Took the wife fishing this morning. Top water is about the only thing she fishes with anymore. I Caught one red about 22 inches then she went back to back on top water with a 38 incher and 36 incher. Bite shut down at 10:00am. Both were the largest I have ever seen caught on top water. They were sent back in with no harm done. Skitter walks around the creek mouths seem to work the best.

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Crystal River Reds and Scallops

Florida Sportsman member: tekmunki

We had a great time, went for a dip with a few scallops, didn’t get too crazy or gung-ho about limiting, just wanted a nice day and something to nibble on… it should be noted, my scallop location skills pale in comparison to Marrio’s. LOL We didn’t spend all day on the scallops by any means, we managed to sneak in some fishing, which I’m sure was a welcome refreshing change to the nonstop scalloping Marrio has been busy with.

With Marrio’s help, I caught my first mangrove snapper and the kids each got to reel one in, then we moved into the red-fishing where Marrio got a taste of my redfish curse for a bit- that is until— BAM big hit, big fish, 30-inch red. I caught my first overslot red!

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Holiday in Hudson

Florida Sportsman member:Jim311

A friend of mine has a small house on a canal in Hudson. I hadn’t ever been to the area and she is out of town and asked me to mow the lawn so I figured I might as well make a weekend out of it. Adam met me down there Friday night. We fished in the canal for a few minutes but got run off by the rain. Got up at a decent hour Saturday and hit the nearest boat ramp. The wind was blowing a fair bit, and we were in my gheenoe and seeking protected water. We fished some grass flats right near the ramp and deep cuts on the outside of a little private bayou with no luck. We ran into some creeks south of a big residential canal and knocked around in there too. The water looked great, lots of deep cuts, grass, good amounts of bait.. but nothing was biting. We got tired of that after a while and ran back towards the marina and had lunch at the restaurant right near the marina.

Lunch was pretty good, and after chilling there for a while we went to the marina and got some frozen shrimp, and then headed north to try that area on a suggestion from a forum member here. The area there looked similar to the last place. We beached the Gheenoe near a shack and wade fished for a bit. After a while I had a blowup on a topwater plug, and landed an upper slot trout. That was the only fish caught wade fishing in that spot, so we shoved off and drifted a deep cut between islands, casting topwater plugs, paddle tails, and Mirrodines. Good size trout were just blasting my topwater plug and we took home 4 for a fish fry…

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Crystal River Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member:nick

We went out Saturday and got rained on a bit, but that’s what rain gear is for. Cruised in the shallows basically spooking reds with the trolling motor down, alternating between; the gulp shrimp, pumpkin spice zoom super fluke, gold spoon, mirrominnow, and a top dog.
Released 6 slot reds and one overslot. I lost a 30 inch plus red that went airborne after my top dog. After 3 attempts at the bait he finally got it but pulled the hook after a few runs. Big trout were busting the mullet schools and this made easy pickings with at mirrominnow. Released 8 trout that were all over 20 inches except one that was 18. Pops also got spooled by a tarpon after it made two jumps. Fish was probably 80 pound’s but he didn’t stand a chance with a 2500 stradic. Lots of juvenile sharks swimming in the shallows. Water temp 79-84.

Sunday-Only went out for a few hours throwing gold spoons we released 5 lower slot reds and one 25 inches. I did manage to successfully sight fish a 42 inch black drum with a gulp that put up a good 15 minute fight. After the tide got up high it was over and we decided to try for triple tail on the way back even though I had no shrimp. Saw 7 tripletail, hooked 4 and put 2 on ice. One that wouldn’t eat I attempted to throw the cast net on Water temp 81-85


Crystal River Snook, Reds & More

Florida Sportsman member: mitziboy

By the time I loaded the boat, made a sandwich, and lowered my baby into the canal it was about 11am. First spot first cast I missed about a 25 pound snook on topwater, that will get the blood flowing. It was a super low tide so I didn’t expect to get much more than that hit since whatever fish were in the hole would be trapped, but that was not the case. We ended up with close to a dozen snook, most around 25-30 inches and a half dozen reds around 17-20 inches. Fished around some more and caught a few more of both and headed back to the house.

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Chassahowitzka Trout & Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

Ran to my trout spot and I put a decent trout in the boat. We both said nope, “we want reds”, so back it went. After a couple more fish that didn’t make it into the boat we went hunting for reds.

To say Duane knows the area is an understatement. I thought I had a pretty good feel for fishing spots but he took it to another level.

The skies were clear as a bell and the sun was beating down but he had a few spots to try. First nice fish was a 21 inch red, then I got a 23 incher, we lost a couple more, Duane hooks a decent snook but it gets off at the boat. He hooks another and it gets off. He then hooked a touney winning red…right under the mark. I hook up on a snook, hoping for some sort of slam[...]

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Homosassa Redfish & Trout

Florida Sportsman member: huntentails

We had a window Saturday morning so another instructor and long time friend from North Dakota and I
made a run from the south to the Bend for some shallow water fishing. We hit the ramp at just after 6:30 am and I finely new why I have been spoiled by fishing weekdays, and staying away on the weekends! With that being said, we were out front Homosassa around 7:45 and in search of a bite There was no shortage of boats and people. It makes it tough fishing the skinny stuff with people constantly running by checking you out. The fish were there but very spooky and most times would fail to engage, even though you put the plug where it needed to be. We did manage a nice red and 7 big trout for our efforts with the red a hair under 27 inches, trout of 24 & 23 inches and five more from 18 to 20 inches.

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Crystal River Inshore Slam

Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed

Went out for what I thought was a couple hours topwater. Tide was high incoming, light wind and blue sky. First place- nothing. Second place, the bar was covered, but I fished it thoroughly, getting a few small Jacks and a lady fish and finally a small trout, but a trout none the less that would become important later. With the water higher than I expected, I decided to head way inshore. Even though it was getting late and the sun was high I pressed on with my trusty Skitterwalk. This 25 inch Red rewarded my perseverance with a great battle. It was one of those fish that would not give up[...]

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Crystal River Trout

Florida Sportsman member: anglerbros 7286

Jake and I headed towards the channel out of Ozcello this morning looking for trout. Saw overcast skies so we thought it would be a good day for topwater! Started off with some nice trout on the spooks, the bites were a bit spread out and the tide was moving out so I didn’t want to get stuck so we moved out a bit. We started thinking when we hit 5 keepers we would limit easy so we were letting go anything in the 15 inch range and not bother measure anything unless it looked pretty big. Got a couple 20 inchers to add to the cooler and limit around 12. Jake’s went 22 inches and mine went 20 inches. Then came the tide change an wanted to get in the water and dive to change pace. Feels good to jump in once in a while to look at the inshore rocks and see all the spade fish, snapper, small sheephead and the ocassional gag in 3-8 feet of water. Caught and released some more trout, not many more keepers but we released a good 5-10 keeper trout and several under sized trout on the lil johns.

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Homosassa Reds and Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Dogdoc2011

Went with two buddies of mine out of crystal river and ran south at first light. Got on a school of nice slot reds at first spot and had a double and triple hook ups on topwater. Limited out on reds in about 20 minutes and turned a few back before moving onto trout. Found the trout in 2-3 feet spotted bottom and all they wanted was topwater as well. Caught 3 limits of nice trout with the biggest being 24 inches by 11:30 and called it a day.

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Crystal River Trout

Florida Sportsman member: anglerbros 7286

Jake and I headed towards the channel out of Ozcello this morning looking for trout. Saw overcast skies so we thought it would be a good day for topwater! Started off with some nice trout on the spooks, the bites were a bit spread out and the tide was moving out so I didn’t want to get stuck so we moved out a bit. We started thinking when we hit 5 keepers we would limit easy so we were letting go anything in the 15 inch range and not bother measure anything unless it looked pretty big. Got a couple 20 inchers to add to the cooler and limit around 12. Jake’s went 22 inches and mine went 20 inches. Then came the tide change an wanted to get in the water and dive to change pace. Feels good to jump in once in a while to look at the inshore rocks and see all the spade fish, snapper, small sheephead and the ocassional gag in 3-8 feet of water. Caught and released some more trout, not many more keepers but we released a good 5-10 keeper trout and several under sized trout on the lil johns.

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Homosassa Reds and Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Dogdoc2011

Went with two buddies of mine out of crystal river and ran south at first light. Got on a school of nice slot reds at first spot and had a double and triple hook ups on topwater. Limited out on reds in about 20 minutes and turned a few back before moving onto trout. Found the trout in 2-3 feet spotted bottom and all they wanted was topwater as well. Caught 3 limits of nice trout with the biggest being 24 inches by 11:30 and called it a day.

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Crystal River Nearshore Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: Clay G. Shidler

With reports of Cobia moving north and the hot tripletail bite that has being going on out of Crystal River me and my brother headed out in search of some nearshore pelagics. We started our search at the scallop rack where we promptly caught a well full of live pinfish and a few small spanish mackerel. After loading up on live bait we headed west under cloudy skies in search of brown bombers on a series of small limestone ledges in 12 feet of water and we were not disappointed. As we pulled up on the first spot, my younger brother threw a 2 ounce Spro jig towards the spot and his jig was immediately crushed by a spunky 25 pound Cobia. As he landed his fish I pinned a live bait on a 5/0 circle hook and dropped it over the side and before I could put the rod in the holder my pinfish was eaten. I reeled down tight and the fish took off like a rocket towards the south and the fight was on.

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Homosassa Nearshore Trout

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

We took off at 7:15 and headed out about 6 miles to a 5 foot flat I call the bombing range. Nothing military just the area we break out the bombers and pitch them at anything that would bite. This being my 1st trip there this season I really didn’t know what to expect. Ladyfish, blue runners seabass mackerel shark and of course trout. Lots of everything but plenty of trout to fill our limit with 16 to 22 inchers. The only slow period was on the tide change for about a half hour. Had a live pinfish out for any big guys that wanted to play but only shark today. The trout pushing offshore right on time and seemed to really like chartruse in the morning and green backs in the late morning and afternoon.

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Waccasassa Reds

Florida Sportsman member: G8trbait

When the wife is away the men will FISH! Wife headed to California for her spring break so I took a planned mental health day this Monday with a coworker of mine. Hit the water around 8:30 in the morning to high cold winds The bite was too quick, caught two nice ones at 24 inches and 25.5 inches, and that was it. The water was coming out of the creeks so fast it reminded me of trout fishing in N.C. I was actually trying to get hung on the bottom. Once hung the fish would come by and pick up my shrimp. This did make for two very good fights. They would turn sideways and just pull drag! Unfortunately the catching was done within the first hour. The wind pushed the tide in so fast I don’t even think the fish noticed it.

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Warming Weather and Hot Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Clay G. Shidler

This past week has been great for inshore fishing; guides from both Crystal River and Homosassa have had successful days with good catches of both trout and redfish not being uncommon. Rising water temperatures has been the driving force behind the great fishing this week. Anglers should look for the trout to be active in water temperatures above 65 degrees and redfish to become active in temperatures of 63 degrees and higher. The kelp grass flats and oyster bars in the Crystal River and Homosassa areas are holding good numbers of trout because those are the areas that warm up the fastest. The redfish are beginning to school up on the hard bottom flats and oysters bars in the Ozello area and they can normally be found patrolling the backside of most islands that are in the sun and out of the wind. The best way to target these fish is to fish live baits in the morning when the fish are colder and less active, as the sun warms the water artificial lures become the best way to cover the most water.

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Windy Post Front Trout

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Forum member Roger was heaqding to Homosassa for a visit and asked me if I would take them out fishing for a day during thier visit. I rarely say no to a forum brother and we chose Wednesday to chase some trou. We took off at 11 and found scasttered slot trout while we waited for the tide to get right. There were pockets of small trout to be caught on every cast but we avoided those to find larger fish. As the tide turned to incoming the wind picked up to 20 from the NW making our drifts faster than ideal. Racheal had the hot stick this day catching several overslot trout. They took a dozen trout for a fish fry and released the rest. The water was clear and 62 degrees with small pockets of 64 degrees.

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Red Hot Crystal River

Florida Sportsman member: jbehnen

Weather was not promising, but Dan said lets give it a try, and I was glad we did. We hit some rock bars, oysterbars and shorelines off Crystal River and it was one fish after the next in the boat. The trout bite was so good we ended up throwing back a ton of fish because they were too big and we already had our three over twenty on board. We started hoping for some shorter fish. We hit it all, trout, reds, pompano, spanish mackerel, and sheepshead[...]

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Rainy and Cold with a Hot Bite

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Kevin Joined me again today to see if we coulld get some big trout to pose for the camera (I lost the shots Monday). His brother Tom joined us as well. The forecast said light breeze and 30 percent chance of showers. Well it rained from the time we tossed our first lure till I was finished cleaning fish. Kevin used to -fish with me up in Rochester NY trolling for salmon but his brother has not spent that much time on the water. Despite the conditions the trout were really chewing. Another 50+ fish day with several solid 3 and 4 pounders.

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Short Day on the Bay

Florida Sportsman member: huntentails

Linda and I did the ten to two today despite the wind? All I can say is the fish are there even though today most were just a little shy of the slot? Its always fun having the action but we kinda picked our way around the sub slots to end up catching a few nice ones? Linda had fish of the day today at 22 inches most were returned to fight again, but we headed home with three for the grill!

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Waccasassa Bay Shalow Creeks

Florida Sportsman member: PONCE

We went up the West side to a nice productive hole last year but things were tough. The beginning of a new moon and nice winds did not go well for the hunt for Reds today. Lots of mullet but no signs of reds at all. Brandon got out and walked some creek bars and caught a couple smaller slot reds with me landing a nice 19 and 21-inch trout all on soft plastics.

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Homosassa Trout’n

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Don and I spent a few hours on the flats today doing what we love to do. The day started off a bit slow while we killed time waiting for the tide to shift to incoming. Working the edges of cuts with Mirrolures we picked away at mid to under slot trout. When the tide got right we started picking up quality trout on a regular basis. We released several over slot fish and kept a limit of smaller 17-20 inch trout for the table.

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Homosassa Gator Trout

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Don and I chose today to jead out for the day on the bay. It looked like Thursday was to be the best day for us so off we went. The water temp started out at a chilly 58 degrees and very low tide. We worked the shallow stuff exclusively looking for some big girls. Today they were on but not in any real big numbers. The quality more than made up for it. We picked away for 4 hours and bagged 4 over slot trout from 21 to 26 inches. the 26 incher was my best in a year and she was fat and fought like a redfish despite the cool water temps[...]

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Playing Around in the Backcountry

Florida Sportsman member: river1

My wife and I fished up around the Salt River today. What a great day in the back country. We casted plastic on 1/8 oz jigs. My wife does not like treble hooks so that was an easy fix. We only got one under size trout but oh boy we landed some nice trout over slot and a Spanish mackerel all in the skinny water. We did have to bring a couple fish home for dinner only because they were eating so hard they swallowed the bait deep.

[...]

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Crystal River Reds & Trout

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

The day started at around 9am with one of my friends from work Will and my son Jeremy. Launched at F.I.T. and went to the mangrove covered shorelines of the Salt River to sight fish some reds and trout. We saw a bunch of reds from the tower but soon realized that they can see me just as good as I can see them. We found some shorelines that the sun was at the correct angle to camouflage the boat. We got into a ton of rat reds next to a sandbar that appeared to have fiddler crab holes all over it. After getting our fill of rat reds we drifted some flats that had a good amount of kelp grass. That was the ticket today for the trout [...]

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Homosassa Reds & Trout

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

We started in an area along a series of islands casting spoons for reds with no luck. We saw very little life there so we decided to head inside to look for trout. With the 68 degree clear water we were unsure where the larger trout might be. We tossed mirrodines from the barrier islands out to about a half mile onto the flats with some success but nothing fast. I decided that we should move inside a good bit and that did the trick with trout coming to the boat often. Don hooked a nice red and landed it for a quick photo and back it went. Then we hit a deeper cut that put a trout on our lines on almost every cast. when that bite slowed we started drifting along a shoreline and I hooked and landed a 27 inch red that we took a photo and released [...]

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Still Catching  Fish on a Rough Day

Florida Sportsman member: anglerbros 7286

We couldn’t wait to even put the fish away we were tossing them on the floor trying to get a bait in the water asap! After about 15-20 minutes of this bite we brought in 5 nice sea bass with two around 12 inches and a nice sheepshead a little short of 16 inches. Bite slowed down we looked at the floor and was like I guess we can put the fish away now . Moved around a bit in this nice hole, picked up a keeper here and there and then I got another sheepshead pushing 17 inches [...]

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Great Weather, Great Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

Put the boat in around noon to flat calm overcast conditions. I was thinking topwater all afternoon. Got to the first spot and within 5 cast had a nice trout in the box. 5 more cast and Bruce adds a 24 inch red to the party in the cooler. But then the clouds parted and the sun came out. Had to switch over to soft plastics and the bite slowed a bit but was steady and we had our limit of trout and reds with in just over 4 hours. I also took my fishing bow to shot the sheephead we have been seeing but had a very high tide that put 3 foot of water over most of the bars. Now the black drum are in full force and were running down soft plastics[...]

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Good Day in King’s Bay/Crystal River/Salt River

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

Got out today with Adam (LineDrive) and my son Jeremy for a day of fishing. Got out to Kings Bay early this morning to see if we could jump some tarpon before the dive boats show up. Got a bunch of ladyfish early on. Fun to catch but we wanted to see the pooners. Each of us ended up with one hitting our baits but no connection. The dive boats show up in full force and put the pooners on edge so we decide to hit the salt river for some trout and redfish action[...]

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Homosassa; Staying Busy.

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Today’s forecast was looking like a winner so we shoved off at around 11AM. The sun was shining bright but the wind was blowing a bit stiff from the north. As we hit the rivermouth well into the long outgoing tide, we picked an area that would allow us to cover productive areas casting with the wind. We worked the edges of cuts adjacent to the shallow flats with slow sinking twitchbaits and shallow diving crankbaits. The action wasn’t fast and furious but I managed half a dozen trout all right at 20 inches with one being 22 inches[...]

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Homosassa Trout

Florida Sportsman member: angler18

Since I was there and had a few hours to play Sunday morning, me and Mitchell left the dock at 8 am to see if we could find him a few trout to take home for dinner. The water was 64-65 everywhere we went, and the wind was lighter than forecasted for a change. We threw mirrodines and soft jerk baits for about 3 hours and picked up about a dozen trout with 2 just over 18″ and 6 keepers in all. Also had about a dozen ladyfish to keep us busy between the tide change. A better than expected quick trip and a good time[...]

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Foggy Day Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

Wanted to see if the trout have showed up yet. I Have not been to my old stomping grounds in months and my buddy Mike bought a new (to him) flats boat last week, so I had an excuse. Hit the water at daylight, if that’s what you want to call it. It was flat calm, very foggy conditions. Went to some of my shallow spots first and they were[...]

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34 Inch Snook caught at Blind Pass

Florida Sportsman member: PONCE

The fish were more active down there with average size 20-to 24-inch snook being caught along with some black drum off the bridge along with a assortment of other fish. There were a ton of mullet and white bait running the shoreline at Blind Pass so the cast net came in very handy [...]

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Waccasassa Bay Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz

Well what do you do when it’s going to be windy, tides are wrong, and the Gators are playing in the evening. Go fishing of course. I knew it was calling for some wind and they were right. It did make for some tough fishing but me and Capt. Mullet still got a good mess of trout while waiting for the afternoon high tide. Bright skies and a pretty good breeze made topwaters a no-go. So go to back up plan of traps and spoons and we were able to put a few reds in the boat [...]

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A Good Morning on the Crystal River

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

After nearly a month off the water I was finally able to spend a couple of hours harassing some fish today. The day started out with a beautiful sunrise on the Salt River. We made our first stop at a few mangrove shorelines at high tide and my Uncle Roger was the first to hook up. A fat 23 inch redfish. We got on a few rats but this was the one that was coming home for dinner [...]

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Trout, Reds, and Flounder

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Don and I took a short trip today to work the inshore flats with plugs. I packed a light tackle bag with just (what I thought) I needed. The trout were taking Rapala Flat Raps but right off the surface. With my topwater plugs at home I made it work twitching that flat rap along the surface. Before long we had a couple trout each in the box for dinner and released a few more most pushing 19 inches [...]

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Hot Homosassa Redfishing

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

So, when the bite is good, it’s hard to stay home. Plus, it’s always fun to put some friends on the hot bite, so I had Don and Lee join me today. We finally found a few ladyfish and some decent trout so the bait was in the box by noon and it was off to the islands. A strong high tide along with overcast skys and rain on the way put the reds on the bite even better than yesterday [...]

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CR Reds and Rain

Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed

Woke up early for some topwater and was greeted with some rain just offshore, SHOCKER. Actually, it worked out well since there was a good cloud cover, just what I like. Decided to stay in the Salt River area since it is a shorter run when the %#&@* hits. Caught a 21 inch red in the first area, but the Jacks were so thick it was hard to get an undisturbed retrieve, but fun! [...]

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Crystal River Scalloping Day

Florida Sportsman member: wmflyfisher

First of all I would like to thank windysurfer and troutman for helping me over these past few weeks. It’s been YEARS since I’ve been scalloping and yesterday didn’t disappoint. We put in at Yankeetown and traveled south to CR for scallops. Water was clear and the tide was high. My wife, mother, and sister had never scalloped before. Once I figured out what I was doing we had our limit in a couple of hours. Had to move around a few times but no biggie. Had a BLAST!

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Spoon Fed Reds

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Both reds were in the mid-slot and returned to fight another day. A first for me was seeing two reds casting at both and actually catching both. I usually blind cast to areas that I know hold fish but this time was a bit different tossing spoons past and infront of fish I spotted. It certainly is a ton of fun to see a the fish smash a spoon (or any other bait). A short but sweet trip with my neighbor and friend Don.

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Nature Coast Reds and Trout

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Don and I got up early this morning to hit the daybreak tide to get after some reds with spoons and then head out to drift for some trout. We hit the 1st half of the outgoing and the reds had started moving out off the banks a bit. But for an hour the bite was hot with 3 reds boated all in the upper and over slot [...]

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Homosassa Scalloping Report

Florida Sportsman member: Catalyst

We headed to the Camp and Water Outdoor Resort for our first family scalloping adventure. I have always wanted to give scalloping a try and finally got a chance to make it over to Homosassa.

We started our trip with very little knowledge of the area other than head out the river and look for boats. We quickly found the boats and also got a few scallops. We started kind of deep in 6-8 feet and didn’t really know what to look for but we still got a few dozen [...]

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Inshore with New Neighbors

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Mike contacted me from Coneticut by reading our fishing reports. His Mom and dad bought a place in my neighborhood and love to fish but are new to saltwater fishing. Mike and his wife are here on a visit and asked if I would take His wife Laura, his Mom Patty, His dad Eric and himself out and show them the ropes [...]

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Homosassa Trout Bite

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Had to shake the cobb webs off after the storm so I decided to head out and work the shoreline for ladyfish with Pete. The water temp was a comfy 80 degrees and stained. We worked the cut infront of the Homosassa River and picked away at ladyfish and trout all morning. The trout came near structure at the ends of the tides and the ladyfish were everywhere. I believe I limited on slot trout, keeping only one for dinner [...]

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Father’s Day Trout Driftin’

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

We decided to give the redfish a break today and do a little Carolina drifting for trout. We first started the day around the oyster bars and the mangrove shorelines for a little top water action. Got a few to cooperate [...]

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Fishing with the Reel McCoy’s

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Forum Member Brent (Reel McCoy) has fished with me a few times before this trip and it is always fun to have him and his family aboard. Today both of his sons Colby (the younger guy) and Dallas joined dad for a day drifting up some trout. We hit the water at 7:45 and ran out to 9′ to begin our drift with the outgoing tide [...]

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Fishing the Waccasassa

Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz

You know the weather man never gets the forecast right. So they predicted rain and since they are usually wrong it going to be a good day. With a early morning high tide we get to the ramp at first light.. A perfect morning for top-waters. I get this big blowup and don’t connect so Ponce comes back and scores a slot red.

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Nature Coast Weekend

Florida Sportsman member: jaeforceone

Had a chance to sneak out and do some fishing over on the Nature Coast with A2OZ. Working a certain cove I hooked a ladyfish and she spit the spook in the air. oh well…I twitched the lure three more times to have this fat snook smash it. Probably the most epic topwater bite I have ever experienced. With such a wide back I was hoping she measured over 35 but was 5 inches short. Either way it was a good fight and a great way to test out the new eyecon 6’8 MXF.

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Wacasassa Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz

Friday the 11th we hit Wacasassa knowing there was a little bit of a high in the morning but not a lot of water moving. Caught a few redfish on topwater, gotta’ love the blowups on topwater and quite a few blowups and short strikes. Not going to tell what color was happening- ha, ha. Trout were hitting Gulps and dines and got a good Georgia limit. Water was pretty clean for the WB [...]

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Spoon Fed Reds

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Mike and Rye wanted to get on some redfish on artificials. Like myself that means no bait no gulp just spoons, spinnerbaits and plugs. we took off at 3:30 to catch the late afternoon high tide. The skys were high so I concentrsated in areas that I knew would have some colored water. The reds were fiesty right from the start. They were chasing the spoons and we could see them miss often. A few found thier mark and inhaled the spoon. We moved around points with good flow and deep water near by and picked away finding a great late afternoon redfish bite. All the reds we caught were in the slot.

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Super Moon Slammin’

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

The CCBA tourney is a family fishing tournament that I have fish the past 5 years.The format is simple and fun for all. It’s main prize money is for trout and redfish and includes cobia and catfish as secondary categories. The past couple years Joe and Billy joined me as the team on my boat. It seems to be a rare thing when 3 guys can spend 3 days aboard a boat and not get on each others needs. It’s even better when my two guests are superb fisherman with the drive necessary to fish hard all day while keeping it fun and focused [...]

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Crystal River Reds

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

I finally got back on the water after 2 weeks. I end up getting a chance to fish with my old friends Dennis and Mike. We haven’t fished together since Christmas because our work schedules do not match but he took off today to fish with me [...]

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Inshore Red

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Don and I hit the water for a short afternoon trip on the inshore flats. The water temp was 69 degrees out near Marker 22 and clear. We drifted over the skinny flats on the incoming tide and the large trout and redfish were hungry! Mirrodines fished slow over the flats and along the shorelines produced lots of trout most over slot to 24″ and four reds to 32″. The fish are scattered all around the flats including some out to 6′ that I heard of today. Another fine productive day on the bay here in the Big Bend.

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Lesson One and Nice Snook

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Mike, A neighbor on our street had moved here a few months ago and is getting into the swing of saltwater fishing. He has spent lots of time here in Florida mostly bass fishing and has chartered a few times on the flats. He hooked up with a guide here and also a few neighbors that to him over complicated the flats fishing here and wouldn’t really show him the here and why of Homosassa. His friend who rewards our forum talked him into approaching me to teach him the ins and outs of Homosassa. Of course i agreed ’cause it’s what I truly enjoy doing.

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Homosassa Inshore with Don

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Well the family is all back to work and home now so it’s time to get back into my routine. Well the same game but the names have changed to protect! Don and I hit the water at a leisurely 9:00 and headed out onto the flats looking for some trout for dinner. We took a few in tight on mirrodines but decided to look around for some other areas. We did find some trout around the outer St. Martins Keys and once we had enough for 3 households dinner we moved inside looking for reds [...]

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Fish Were Hungry

Florida Sportsman member: Fishin Rod

Lightnin’ and I headed for HSB again this morning to see what we could get to come out and play. We dropped the boat in the water at a little after 6:00am and sat there in the howling wind waiting on daylight. As soon as it got light enough to see we headed for our favorite redfish hole and it was way to rough to hit the flats or even fish the outside today. We hit one of the creeks and it was nice fishing with the wind being blocked but then came the rain.

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HSB

Florida Sportsman member: tekmunki

The inshore seas were super-calm this morning and remained as such all day, the breeze was just enough to keep the heat from getting to you, and kept the bimini top down all day in spite of equipping it expecting a 90+ degree scorcher… When it got too toasty, we got up on plane and cooled off with some ice-cold dye-free Gatorades that really hit the spot. Now this was a great day to take kids fishing [...]

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Every Other Day

Florida Sportsman member: jaeforceone

Took some of my nursing classmates to the Homosassa area for a late morning launch. Started off landing 20″ Seatrout and some lower slot reds. Soon after a short instruction I had them working the spook jr trying to get the rhythmic motion down. Each of them caught only one fish each but they were big fish. One Trout at 20″ and One Red at 27.25″ [...]

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Reds with Joe and Billy

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

There are always a few guys that just seem to click when together on the water and today I had the pleasure of fishing with two of the best. Joe and Billy (both forum members) joined me this afternoon for a day pounding the banks for reds. With the strong high pressure and strong winds I figured we would go through the motions but really didn’t expect too much. We hit the incoming tide for it’s duration and found what shelter from the wind we could manage.

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Lovin’ Spring Time

Florida Sportsman member: jimsfishingobsession

I did a few fishing trips over the past couple weeks and of course got a dive in too. We got a ton of snook in the river one afternoon. The snook came in at all different sizes anywhere from a foot long to almost 40 inches. we mainly fished with the D.O.A. terror eyzs for the snook. We also managed to catch about a half dozen reds and 3 mangrove snapper that same afternoon in the river but most were small even though we did get 3 slot reds, all after the sun went down [...]

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FS TV Nature Coast Shoot

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Blair contacted me a couple weeks ago and asked if I would help out by doing an inshore segment for thier television series “Destinations” Our part was the Nature coast area. I agreed figuring it would be relatively easy to put together some inshore action this time of year. Well a couple of curve balls were toosed my way. Mother nature decided to blow 20 out of the east for a solid week having me worried about having enough water to even get near my fish. The other part was a real challenge [...]

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Windy River Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

Me, my son Jeremy, and my friend John decide to hit the creeks of Crystal River today no matter what the weatherman said about the SW winds. We end up hitting the river early so we can catch the incoming tide. We hit the water at about 7 am with the winds blowing at a 10 to 15 from the west. The winds got worse and worse the rest of the day. Turned 20 to 25 real quickly [...]

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Big Big Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Indianoutlaw

I got to fish a little bit with SnookMagnet two weekends ago, but we didn’t have much to report. Simply had a great day on the water, did well with the trout, but only managed three reds. Captain Jerry Kernan sent me pictures of a great snook he caught last week. Fish was hooked in 18 inches of water on a falling tide down South, made three blistering runs of 50-75 yards, and then [...]

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Homosassa Trout and Reds

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Mark contacted me and asked if I would take him and a couple friends out on the flats fishing during thier stay here in Homosassa. I offered to show them around at the begining of thier trip so they would have an idea where to start when they set out on thier own. We settled on a Friday afternoon trip with Bob and his friends Steve and Craig. They met me dockside at 12:30 ready to fish. All of them were able fisherman so I planed a day of chasing trout with artificials (mirrodines) and maybe a redfish or two

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Sheepshead Beat Down

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

Today’s plan was to hit the near shore rock piles and see if we could get the sheepshead to bite. The day started out beautiful with light winds from the west and air temps in the low 50’s. With the baitwell filled with 200 shrimp we set off to some rock piles that shutterkng and I hit a few weeks back and also some that I have not been to in nearly 15 years.

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First Tailer of the Season

Recent fly fishing reports from all around the state.


First Tailer of the Season

Florida Sportsman member: E-type

Forum member E-type posted his first tailing redfish of the fall. It’s hard to beat catching skinny water reds on the long rod. Tight work!

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 

 


First Redfish on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: staysalty

Forum member staysalty scored his first redfish on fly. This fish ate a small white minnow fly out of a docklight near Siesta Key. Congrats!

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 

 

 


A Juvenile Summer

Florida Sportsman member: redjim

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.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 


A Belize Adventure

Florida Sportsman member: DogDoc

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.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 


Fishing the Dream Stream

Florida Sportsman member: greenie-slayer

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.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 


Sanibel Snook

Florida Sportsman member: SUPER D

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.

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Putting Them in the Air

Florida Sportsman member: E-type

Forum member E-type got some killer Gopro video of some fun size tarpon. What’s better than a tarpon jump? A tarpon jump in slow motion!

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Light Leader Peacock Bass

Florida Sportsman member: Beto_Matheus

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.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 


Flood Tide Reds

Florida Sportsman member: T-Shirt Bob

Forum member T-Shirt Bob has been catching some nice flood tide redfish in Jacksonville. Tying up his own rendition of a fiddler crab and the fish seem to love it. Nice tie and great fish!

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 

 


Bonito Blitz

Florida Sportsman member: FlyFishJax

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!

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 


Big Blackfin on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Scott

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.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 


Baby Tarpon on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: E-type

Forum member E-type put together a video of some aerial action of baby tarpon on fly. These fish are a ball in the backwaters, always willing to put on a show.

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Summertime Trip to the North

Florida Sportsman member: Ol’DirtyCaster

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.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 


Bahamas Bonefish

Florida Sportsman member: Prhea36

Forum member Prhea36 put together a video of some DIY bonefish on fly! Chasing these fish with a fly rod can really get your blood flowing. Nice work!

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 


Gorge Fly Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: remo_5_0

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.

For Full Report Click Here.

 


West Coast Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Slamaholic

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.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 


Summer Snook

Florida Sportsman member: twobbles

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.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 


Sanibel Snookin’

Florida Sportsman member: Tgrass

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.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 


Withlacoochee Slam

Florida Sportsman member: capt louie

Pete has a couple of 3/4 weights really light fly rods and we had 4 pound tippets and small popping bugs. The fish were ready.

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New Personal Best

Florida Sportsman member: Pmoconnor89

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.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 


First on the Fly

Florida Sportsman member: HenrySRQ

I had borrowed a friends fly rod and after getting some casting tips I went out to a bridge light for a try at some snook with it. Practice payed off with this nice snook.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 


Big Trout Out Back

Florida Sportsman member: ShallowPersonality

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.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 


Hitting the Ditches

Florida Sportsman member: weetza

Had an interview in Naples on the way back decided to hit the famed Tamiami Trail. Middle of the day in the sweltering heat, hit a couple of spots last one finally paid off.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

First Snook on Sand

Florida Sportsman member: pjstevko

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.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 


Matlacha on the Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Gregg McKee

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.

For Full Report Click Here.


A Change of Pace

Florida Sportsman member: remo_5_0

Forum member remo_5_0 Shared his recent trout fishing trip in Wyoming. A change of pace from what Florida has to offer to fly fishermen. Beautiful fish!

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 


Fighting the Wind, Catching Fish

Florida Sportsman member: DKT

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.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 


Smashing the Docklights

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

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.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 


Busting Them on Top, The Fly Way

Florida Sportsman member: redjim

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.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 


Night Time Fly Fishing in Boca

Florida Sportsman member: fishfullthinking

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.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 


Keeping the Rod Bent

Florida Sportsman member: SUPER D

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.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 


The Best By-Catch

Florida Sportsman member: Docked Wages

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.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 


Red on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: E-type

Forum member E-type shared this video of a nice redfish on fly in shallow water, something that many epitomize as the best fly fishing has to offer.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 

 


Charlotte Harbor Snook on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: E-type

Forum member E-type shared some awesome pictures of stud snook on the long rod that him and friends have been enjoying this winter in Charlotte Harbor.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Guides Day Off

Florida Sportsman member: FlyFishJax

In this video forum member FlyFishJax decided to share what he likes to do on his day off from guiding, which is to fish!

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 


First Snook On Fly

Florida Sportsman member: LilJim

First night out hitting the lights I managed to convince this guy to take a bite after just 3 casts, ended up getting a small trout on fly as well.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Pompano On The Buggy Whip

Florida Sportsman member: sunflower

Pompano running this am. Got them on a kind of bright, high-tied clouser minnow.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 

 


Only One Fish, But Made It Count

Florida Sportsman member: SUPER D

Florida Sportsman Member SUPER D caught this beautiful 29 inch trout while fishing the north Indian River. Fish was caught on a tan shrimp fly while working it through a sand hole.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 

 


Always Will Remember Your First Fish

Florida Sportsman member: JonathanT305

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.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 


Tampa Bay Reds On Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Icatcher22

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.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 


D.I.Y. Louisiana

Florida Sportsman member: Chief_Osceola

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.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 


Good Outcome On A New Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

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.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Docklight Trout

Florida Sportsman member: bubujimbo

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.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Two Days of Action : Tarpon & Reds

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

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.

For Full Report Click Here


Trip to the Black Canyon of Gunnison

Florida Sportsman member: razorreilly09

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.”

For Full Report Click Here


Boca Peacock Action

Florida Sportsman member: Prhea36

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.

For Full Report Click Here


Sebastian Offshore Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Flyguy1

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!

For Full Report Click Here


A Day in the Park

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

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…

For Full Report Click Here


Battling Bonito

Florida Sportsman member:Capt. Scott

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….

For Full Report Click Here


Daytona Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: SUPER D

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[...]

Click here to read the full forum report.


Biscayne Evening Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: mbowers

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[...]

Click here to read the full forum report.


Miami Peacocks and Bones

Florida Sportsman member: paint it black

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[...]

Click here to read the full forum report.


Peacock Bass, Bonefish, and Snook, Oh My!

Florida Sportsman member: paint it black

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[...]

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Stuart Evening Snook

Florida Sportsman member: snook87

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.

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Flamingo, It’s That Good

Florida Sportsman member: paint it black

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.

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First Black Drum on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Dj Dan Decibel

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 [...]

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Fishing High and Low

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

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.

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Backyard Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: Joupdog1

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.

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Flipping the Coin

Florida Sportsman member: Dj Dan Decibel

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.

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Chunk Bass on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: ShallowExpectations

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.

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Red Races

Florida Sportsman member: SUPER D

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.

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Happy Days on the Fly

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

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 [...]

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Son’s First Fish on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: sunflower

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.

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Yankeetown Reds

Florida Sportsman member: deerfly

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 [...]

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Dorado Gone Wild

Florida Sportsman member: Carl Blackledge

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[...]

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Banana River Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Flyguy1

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.

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Carolina Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Bullshark

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.

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Back in No Man’s Land

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

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!

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Merry “Carpmas”!

Florida Sportsman member: KyTrkyHntr

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!!

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The “Gold” Mining Continues

Florida Sportsman member: KyTrkyHntr

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.

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Fly Fishing Tampa Bay

Florida Sportsman member: Shadowcast

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 [...]

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Kentucky Carp

Florida Sportsman member: KyTrkyHntr

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![...]

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Fly Times in the Everglades

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

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.

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Everglades City on the Fly

Florida Sportsman member: miket1515

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 [...]

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Bass and Bream on Fly

Florida Sportman member: Pmoconnor89

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 [...]

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Crystal River Snook on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: sparse grey

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 [...]

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Fly Fishing in the Summertime

Florida Sportsman member: Dj Dan Decibel

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 [...]

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Jupiter Snook on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: ABayne

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.

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Big Linesider on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Capt.Dino

A couple of fly catches from some recent fishing trips [...]

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False Albies on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: ABayne

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!

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First Snook on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: saltybum

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 [...]

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Biscayne Bay Nights

Florida Sportsman member: lemaymiami

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 [...]

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Independence Day Tarpon on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: sunflower

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!

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Multi-Fish Mojo

Florida Sportsman member: KyTrkyHntr

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! [...]

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Canada Northerns & Walleye on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Docked Wages

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 [...]

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Past Month on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: FLA_tony

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 [...]

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Tarpon on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Tight Loops

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 [...]

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Black Drum Redemption

Florida Sportsman member: freshfromthesalt

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 [...]

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Carp-O-licious!

Florida Sportsman member: KyTrkyHntr

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!

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Fly Fishing Tailing Reds

Florida Sportsman member: FlyFishJax

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.

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Big Peacocks on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: kahmad

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.

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Fly Fishing Carp in the Bluegrass State

Florida Sportsman member: KyTrkyHntr

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! [...]

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Up The Creeks

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Gregg McKee

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.

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Jacksonville Surf Report

Florida Sportsman member: FlyFishJax

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.

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First Albies of the Year in Jupiter

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Scott

Here they come! Got these guys fired up on live glass minnows and had at em’. Landed six or eight. Nice sized 12 pound plus fish. Tight lines indeed.

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Sight Casting Snook at Night on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: snookcook

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 [...]

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Solid Day Fly Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: SUPER D

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 [...]

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Banana River Red

Florida Sportsman member: Ol’DirtyCaster

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.

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St. Lucie River to the Indian River

Florida Sportsman member: snookcook

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.

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St. Lucie River Dock Lights

Florida Sportsman member: snookcook

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.”

Click here for the thread.


One Fly Reds and Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Super D

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 [...]

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Sails for All

>Recent fishing reports from “No Motor Zone” anglers from all regions around the state.


Sails for All

Florida Sportsman member: Pottymouth

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.

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Kayak Fishing Yankeetown

Florida Sportsman member: TideUp

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.

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Sailin’ off Boynton

Florida Sportsman member: Nick561

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.

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Amberjack From the Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: Janos

Forum member Janos recently caught his first amberjack, and a pretty nice one at that. He was fishing from his kayak in 230 feet of water off of Dania, the fish ate a 7 ounce jig.

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South Beach Snook and Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: Poseidon10/31

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.

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Runners off Boynton

Florida Sportsman member: John McKroid

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.

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Offshore Action in the Yaks

Florida Sportsman member: Ericjames22

Forum member Ericjames22 got into some nice pelagics lately, and happened to film it. Big Kingfish, Double hook ups on sails and more, all from the kayaks!

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South Florida Snakehead Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: peacockbass921

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.

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Dania ICW Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: peacockbass921

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.

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Yankeetown Yakin’

Florida Sportsman member: TideUp

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.

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South Florida Sail

Florida Sportsman member: bluewateryak13

What an awesome day on the water. It’s been a while since having a nice calm sunny day of fishing. Relatively quiet, but definitely a memorable day as this is a first for me.

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Chasing Tarpon, Catching Snook

Florida Sportsman member: lmp1978

I went to Dania cutoff canal, looking for tarpon and I end it up catching this beauty. 39 inch snook, this guy was happily released back in the water.

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Indian River Bruiser

Florida Sportsman member: davederb

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.

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Snook Saves the Day

Florida Sportsman member: Nick561

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.

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Making it Happen off of Pompano

Florida Sportsman member: John McKroid

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!

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Boca Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: AC_Yak

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.

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Reds in the Grass

Florida Sportsman member: Maverick

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.

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Treasure Coast Snook and Reds

Florida Sportsman member: evergladeskid243

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.

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Summer Slammin’

Florida Sportsman member: Devodud

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.

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Summertime Kayak Bite

Florida Sportsman member: evergladeskid243

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.

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Matlacha Kayak Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: jocofi

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.

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Wahoo from the Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Yak

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.

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Night Time Snook Bite

Florida Sportsman member: AC_YaK

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.

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Tampa Kayak Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: rkotinsky

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.

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Sashimi and Sail

Florida Sportsman member: timmcollins

Forum member timmcollins and friends had a successful day off of Boynton. Not only did they boat a beautiful sailfish, they also caught a 35 inch black fin tuna for dinner. Nice!

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Big King off Boynton

Florida Sportsman member: 1OzLead

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.

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Slammin’ in the Yak

Florida Sportsman member: summer daze

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.

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Big Fish off of Boynton

Florida Sportsman member: Nick561

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!

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Dania Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: kayakfrank

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

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Destin Kayak Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: jmj75

Forum member jmj75 shared a great video, kayak fishing off of Destin. Amberjacks, snappers and a nice tuna to top it off. Nice work!

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A Recap

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

Forum member mangohunter11 decided to post some pictures recapping recent fishing trips. Great photography and nice fish!

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South Beach Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: Poseidon10/31

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.

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Flamingo Kayak Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: BigGuyinaLittleBoat

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.

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Everglades Adventure

Florida Sportsman member: jvanpelt

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.

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Paddling off of Pompano

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Yak

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.

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A Week in the Glades

Florida Sportsman member: jvanpelt

Day 1 was spent in a canal system that I was familiar with but had never fished. We launched our kayaks and were immediately met with rolling tarpon.

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Boynton Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: Produkt

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.

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N.M.Z. Monster

Florida Sportsman member: RiverRat321

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.

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Vilano Kayaking

Florida Sportsman member: kayakling

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.

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Kayak Kings

Florida Sportsman member: meckert

Forum member meckert got into some nice kingfish recently from his kayak. Despite the storms chasing him off the water. Nice work!

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Wahoo from the Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: Pottymouth

Forum member Pottymouth caught this nice wahoo from his kayak. Fishing off of Pompano Beach with live bait produced the fish. Nice work!

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Siesta Key Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: strangeBrue

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.

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Slammin’ before the Storm

Florida Sportsman member: SlamPiece

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.

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Boynton Sail

Florida Sportsman member: Produkt

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.

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Emerald Coast Kayaking

Florida Sportsman member: brunyan

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.

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Kayak Trout

Florida Sportsman member: inshore dave

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.

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Dania Jumbos

Florida Sportsman member: frankthetank

forum member frankthetank crushed the big blackfin tuna this weekend via kayak. Fishing off of Dania with live goggle eye produced fish up to 27 pounds!

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Tangling with Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: Skunklife

Forum member Skunklife got down the keys recently and got into the tarpon! Going two for two from kayaks, while fishing channel edges. Tight work!

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N.M.Z. Bull

Florida Sportsman member: LilTucci

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.

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Slaying the Southshore

Florida Sportsman member: rkotinsky

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.

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Bluewater Kayaking

Florida Sportsman member: LilTucci

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.

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Redfish Sleigh Ride

Florida Sportsman member: cbmdk86

Got a good ride out of this dude. I usually jump out and stake off to fight a big one but they really tucker out quick when they’re towing an 18 foot canoe with a big ole dude like me in it.

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Battle in the Bahamas

Florida Sportsman member: palmbeachpete

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!

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Fort Lauderdale Wreck Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: kayakfrank

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.

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Boynton Phins

Florida Sportsman member: drichard1986

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.

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Hallandale Offshore Kayaking

Florida Sportsman member: bugdoc

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.

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Coral Springs Snakin’

Florida Sportsman member: USNAVY_Angler

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.

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Catching Fish and Bringing Home the Cash

Florida Sportsman member: cbmdk86

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!

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Football Season

Florida Sportsman member:AC_YaK

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!

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Weedon Island Gator Trout

Florida Sportsman member: rkotinsky

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.

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ENP Kayaking

Florida Sportsman member: USNAVY_Angler

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.

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Mosquito Lagoon Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Pescatoral Pursuit

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.

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Second Place Dolphin Via Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: Ericjames22

Pretty solid day on the water March 22nd, I ended up with second place with the beautiful bull mahi. Hit a live goggle eye in 160 feet of water.

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Weedon Island Kayak Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Slamaholic

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.

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Southeast Yak Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: LilTucci

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.

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Steinhatchee Yakin’

Florida Sportsman member: rkotinsky

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.

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Coral Springs Kayaking

Florida Sportsman member: USNAVY_Angler

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.

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Dania Beach Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: lmp1978

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.

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Monster Vilano Beach Red

Florida Sportsman member: kayakling

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.

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Big Tarpon on the Yak

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Ross

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.

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Sailing in the Kayaks

Florida Sportsman member: Cvstrat

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.

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Striking Chokoloskee Gold

Florida Sportsman member: pjstevko

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!

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Skinny Water Snook

Florida Sportsman member:Snookslayer772

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.

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Double Sailfish and More Via Yak

Florida Sportsman member: AC_YaK

My first Sailfish Double. It was hectic! Both jumping at once pulling my kayak in different ways but somehow lucky enough to land and revive both.

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Dolphin, Tuna, Tile, From the Yak

Florida Sportsman member: AC_YAK

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.

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Kayak Lobstering

Florida Sportsman member: frankthetank

Forum member frankthetank charged the 3 to 4 foot seas and 15 knot winds out of Dania Beach via kayak to be rewarded with some real nice bugs!

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Kayak Kings

Florida Sportsman member: AC_YaK

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.

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First Football From the Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: PESCAHOLIC

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!

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Dania Beach Kayak Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: lmp1978

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!

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Winter Kayak Fishing

Florida Sportsman member:Pmoconnor89

Location: Brackish water area of Myakka River
Time: 0845-1445
Tides: Outgoing
Weather: Overcast, pre-frontal conditions, Hi/Lo 68/57, Winds 10-15, gusting to 30.
Vessel: Native Watercraft Ultimate 14.5
Fish: 9 Snook to 26″, 1 Jack Crevalle @ 5 Lbs, 1 tarpon jumped @8-10 lbs, 1 Mangrove Snapper @ 11″
Tactics: Spinning tackle. Light jigheads with soft plastic jerk baits were most successful.

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Flamingo Fishing Adventure

Florida Sportsman member: USNavy_Angler

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.

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Yak Trout

Florida Sportsman member: ranckgarman

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.

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Drumming The NMZ

Florida Sportsman member: evergladeskid243

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.

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I.R.L. Yakin’

Florida Sportsman member: evergladeskid243

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!

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Dania Beach Hoo

Florida Sportsman member: Pottymouth

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!

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Intercoastal Reds

Florida Sportsman member: abm5926

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.

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Hand Lining Tarpon From A Yak

Florida Sportsman member: Poseidon10/31

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

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Estero Bay NMZ

Florida Sportsman member: jocofi

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.

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Nice Pine Island Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Bobbkkat

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.

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Great Way To Spend Your Birthday

Florida Sportsman member: summer daze

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!

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Kayaking Kings Bay

Florida Sportsman member: NoQuarterNoMercy

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!

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Awesome Offshore Kayak Bite Out of Pompano

Florida Sportsman member: LilTucci

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.

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Fishing the IFA Kayak Tour Ruskin Event

Florida Sportsman member: Bobbkkat

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!

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NMZ Trout and Reds

Florida Sportsman member: shallow water assassin

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.

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Sneaking Up on Reds & Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Hobie Angler

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

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Port Everglades Sail

Florida Sportsman member: Pottymouth

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.

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Big Jumbo & Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: frankthetank

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.

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Surprise Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Poseidon10/31

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.

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Round Island Snapper Bite

Florida Sportsman member: evergladeskid243

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.

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Boynton Beach Wahoo, Sails and Kings

Florida Sportsman member: bbarton13

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.

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Boynton Beach Wahoo, Sails and Kings

Florida Sportsman member: NELBAG

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.

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Playa Linda Tarpon Madness

Florida Sportsman member: Devodud

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.

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Dania Beach Gags and Kings

Florida Sportsman member: kayakangler

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.

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Ft. Lauderdale King

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Yak

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.

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Delray to Boynton Drift

Florida Sportsman member: 1OzLead

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.

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Dania Beach Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: Pottymouth

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.

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Tilefish Off Delray Beach

Florida Sportsman member: Hooked

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.

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North Biscayne Trout Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Poseidon10/31

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.

Read more: http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?107054-Hot-trout-bite-(North-Biscayne-4-17-13)#ixzz2ZPKMXVDq

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North Mosquito Lagoon

Florida Sportsman member:Hobie Angler

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.

Heres a video taken throughout the day

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Offshore Mothership Trip

Florida Sportsman member:Heywood

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.

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Beach Tarpon Madness (Video)

Florida Sportsman member:Devodud

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.

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Snookin’ in the Rain

Florida Sportsman member: jocofi

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

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Dania Drift

Florida Sportsman member:drichard1986

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

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Vilano Reds

Florida Sportsman member:Flats Broke

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.

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Big Kayak Bull

Florida Sportsman member:Flats Broke

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


Ultralight Bull

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…

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Boynton Bonita’s

Florida Sportsman member: Hooked

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…

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Dania Offshore Success

Florida Sportsman member: Bugdoc

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.

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Dania Beach King and Wahoo

Florida Sportsman Member: drichard1986

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

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Backcountry Grand Slam

Florida Sportsman Member: evergladeskid243

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!

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Mosquito Lagoon Trout

Florida Sportsman Member: Stalker1211

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.

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South Florida Mahi & Blackfin

Florida Sportsman Member: NELBAG

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.

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Ft. Pierce Inshore Slam

Florida Sportsman Member: Ginzu

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

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Ft. Pierce Inshore Slam

Florida Sportsman Member: evergladeskid243

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.

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Exploring Kismet

Florida Sportsman Member: jocofi

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.

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Maiden Voyage Snook

Florida Sportsman Member: evergladeskid243

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!

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“Smoker” Kings off Pompano Beach

Florida Sportsman Member: meckert

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.

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Pompano Beach Amberjack

Florida Sportsman Member: Pottymouth

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[...]

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Pompano Beach King & Grouper

Florida Sportsman Member: Poseidon10/31

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.

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Pine Island Topwater Bite

Florida Sportsman Member: Bobbkkat

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.

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Tuna Time

Florida Sportsman Member: NELBAG

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.

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Plenty of Action Out of Kismet

Florida Sportsman Member: jocofi

After reading a recent post my friend and I needed to make another trip to the Kismet launch. This is in north cape coral.

The tally for the day was:
Reece, 1snook (22 inches), 2reds (21 & 22 inches, infinite trout( largest was 21 inches) and 4 flounder.

Josh, 3snook (16, 15 and 17 inches), infinite trout(largest was 18 inches) and a Pompano (see picture for size) The Pompano was a new addition to my caught species fishing list.

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Double Ling Up

Florida Sportsman Member: Red Fish

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.

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Bonito Bonanza

Florida Sportsman Member: Poseidon10/31

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.

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North Biscayne Trout Bite

Florida Sportsman Member: Pmoconnor89

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.

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Placida Snook and Trout

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.

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Pompano Beach Offshore Meet-Up

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 [...]

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Dania Beach King

Florida Sportsman member: drichard1986

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.

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Navarre Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: Ginzu

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.

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Dania Beach Macs and Jack

Florida Sportsman member: Baxter22

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.

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St. Augustine Top Water Reds

Florida Sportsman member: cbuckholts

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.

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Reds to Spare

Florida Sportsman member: cbuckholts

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.

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Pompano Beach Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: drichard1986

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[...]

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Boynton Beach Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: NELBAG

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!

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Everglades City Jack & Reds

Florida Sportsman member: jvanpelt

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.

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Everglades Paddle Bassin’

Florida Sportsman member: jvanpelt

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.

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Kites and Kayaks

Florida Sportsman member: FLATS BROKE

The thought of flying kites from our kayaks has been in our minds for a while and today we had a perfect opportunity to do so. With a NE wind whipping in at 10-20KTS plus, We had to go.

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1,000 Island Park

Florida Sportsman member: jocofi

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 [...]

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Pine Island Catches

Florida Sportsman member: jvanpelt

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.

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Pompano Beach Offshore

Florida Sportsman member:FLATS BROKE

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.

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Kismet Snook

Florida Sportsman member: jocofi

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.

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Everglades Backcountry

Florida Sportsman member: miket1515

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.

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Inshore Miami 20 Pound Jack

Florida Sportsman member: levosgien

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.

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First Red in Chokoloskee

Florida Sportsman member: quatin

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.

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Pineland Reds & Pompano

Florida Sportsman member: jvanpelt

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.

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Offshore Variety

Florida Sportsman member: FLATS BROKE

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.

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Dania Beach King

Florida Sportsman member: drichard1986

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.

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Dania Beach Offshore Video Recap

Florida Sportsman member: Pottymouth

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.”


IRL Redfishin’

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 [...]

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Fall in Flamingo

Florida Sportsman member: Dj Dan Decibel

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 [...]

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Topwater Galore

Florida Sportsman member: YakerLG

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 [...]

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Dania Beach Sailfish

Florida Sportsman member: FLATS BROKE

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.

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Pineland Kayak Catches

Florida Sportsman member: jvanpelt

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 [...]

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Flyfishing in the Everglades

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

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! [...]

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Trout North of Heckscher

Florida Sportsman member: mrtopwater

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 [...]

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Biscayne Bay Smörgåsbord

Florida Sportsman member: bugdoc

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 [...]

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Flood Tide Catches

Florida Sportsman member: Maverick

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.[...]

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Paddling Pine Island

Florida Sportsman member: Bobbkkat

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 [...]

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Who Needs a Flats Boat? A night on the Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: JoupDog1

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 [...]

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Mingo to Keys Chronicles

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

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 [...]

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Action-Packed Day off Delray

Florida Sportsman member: Mmusser0

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[...]

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NMZ on Fire, Redfish for Dinner

Florida Sportsman member: Redfish Chuck

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 [...]

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Windy Day Snookin’ at Pine Island

Florida Sportsman member: bobbkkat

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!

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Slammin’ in Flamingo

Florida Sportsman member: Yak Hard

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.

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Cobia Surprise off Canaveral

Florida Sportsman member: Stalker1211

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 [...]

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Kayak Session Before Work

Florida Sportsman member: HotDragKnep

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 [...]

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Hooked on Kayak Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: FSChris

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 [...]

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Hooking Up in Matlacha

Florida Sportsman member: jvanpelt

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 [...]

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Jumbo BFT’s off Pompano

Florida Sportsman member: kayakangler

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 [...]

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Estero Bay Get Together

Florida Sportsman member: bonitabob

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.

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Paddling for Ft. Pierce Gators

Florida Sportsman member: NELBAG

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.

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Mixed Bag at Bayport

Florida Sportsman member: mleach82

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 [...]

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Big Snook on the Yak

Florida Sportsman member: Chobeeboys

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 [...]

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Kayak Lobstering

Florida Sportsman member: quatin

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 [...]

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Fishing the IFA Kayak Tour

Florida Sportsman member: Bobbkkat

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 [...]

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Skinny Water Tails

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

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 [...]

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Dirty Water Days

Florida Sportsman member: Redfish Chuck

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.

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Kayak Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: Baxter22

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 [..]

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First Kayak, First Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: stanandsnow

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 [...]

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Kayak Sailfishing with Bananas

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Yak

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 [...]

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Hot Water Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Dj Dan Decibel

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!

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Paddle Craft Happenings

Florida Sportsman member: irishjean

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!

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Clearwater Bull Reds

Florida Sportsman member: abm5926

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!

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Summertime Tails

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

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 [...]

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After Work Blackfin

Florida Sportsman member: FLATS BROKE

Had the itch bad yesterday. As soon as I got off work, 5 p.m., I ran straight to the beach. Paddled out, no depth finder. Managed to get this nice blackfin, at 31 inches.

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Lake O Kayak Bassin’

Florida Sportsman member: shallow water assassin

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.

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Dania Drift, Wahoo!

Florida Sportsman member: pottymouth

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 [...]

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Tuna Slaying, Kayak Style

Florida Sportsman member: NELBAG

I had forum member davederb and his nephew Devin out with me today to slay some tunas and that we did.

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Check out the the video here.

 

 

 

 


Kayak Bottom Bouncin’

Florida Sportsman member: drichard1986

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 [...]

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Big Tarpon, Little Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: highstrung

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.

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Check out the video on YouTube. 

 


Palm Beach Sail

Florida Sportsman member: NELBAG

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.

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Kayak Sailfish off Pompano

Florida Sportsman member: Livinthedream

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.

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Kayak Fishing Estero Bay

Florida Sportsman member: golflaxfish

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! [...]

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Summertime Beach Snookin’

Florida Sportsman member: FLATS BROKE

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.

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Saint Augustine Springtime Recap

Florida Sportsman member: Action Kayak Adventures

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 [...]

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Sailfish on a Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: FLATS BROKE

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.

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After Work Kayak Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: SWCracker

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.

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Fishing the Everglades

Florida Sportsman member: Dj Dan Decibel

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 [...]

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Paddling the Indian River Lagoon

Florida Sportsman member: Redfish Chuck

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 [...]

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Stand Up Paddleboard Amberjack

Florida Sportsman member: FLATS BROKE

AJ CAUGHT IN 250FT ON THE JIG, SUP!?! “EXTREME BALANCE”.

Watch the video!

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Memorial Weekend BFT

Florida Sportsman member: Pottymouth

Hit it up all weekend, nice and early, got’em in different depth’s too. Sun was a quick hit and run, it sure was fishy out. Picked up alot more big bonies but still managed 2 BFT [...]

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Kayak Fishing Biscayne Bay

Florida Sportsman member: frankthetank

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 [...]

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Kayaking for Miami Exotics

Florida Sportsman member: bonitabob

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.

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Lake Worth Kayak Snookin’

Florida Sportsman member: frankthetank

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 [...]

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Boynton Boys Offshore Report

Florida Sportsman member: CamDawg

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.

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Offshore Kayak Success

Florida Sportsman member: FLATS BROKE

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!

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Super Moon Kayaking

Florida Sportsman member: bbarton13

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 [...]

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Delray Beach Kayak Sailfish

Florida Sportsman member: blazing_reels

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.

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Paddling the Florida Keys

Florida Sportsman member: bugdoc

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.

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The Delray Yak’ Drift

Florida Sportsman member: lckirk

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.

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A Month of Action

Florida Sportsman member: Dj Dan Decibel

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 [...]

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Palm Beach Offshore Yakin’

Florida Sportsman member: NELBAG

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′ [...]

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Little Hickory Pass

Florida Sportsman member: bonitabob

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 [...]

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Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: Yaksquatch

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 [...]

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Estero Bay Double Slam

Florida Sportsman member: bonitabob

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.

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Florida Sportsman Member: FLATS BROKE

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 [...]

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Dolphin off of Miami

Recent offshore fishing reports from the South region.


Dolphin off of Miami

Florida Sportsman member: ReelObsession

The pallet had all kinds of life under it and as soon as we trolled by it was game on. We caught 22 dolphins up to about 12 pounds. We threw back another 10 or so that were borderline keepers. After we caught enough dolphin we decided to jump in a spear a couple.

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Tearing up the Tortugas

Florida Sportsman member: Reef Bandit

Motoring a few hundred yards, we all readied. It didn’t take long to find out that the next spot was loaded with big red snappers. We caught them one after another. The only problem was that they were out of season so we had to vent them and let them go.

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Down South Yellowtails

Florida Sportsman member: wahito

I don’t know if it was the chum or just plain luck but we couldn’t keep the yellowtail away. They were biting everything we would throw at them live bait, frozen, artificials, everything! We almost had our limit and we ran out of bait. So we pulled anchor and decided to head back.

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Miami Jig Bite

Florida Sportsman member: angryangler

Ray shrilled “it’s a warsaw!” already dreaming of how many different ways he would prepare and eat the fish, my kids will eat for days! High fives all around and the boat was rocking, group pics and all.

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Big Fish on the Bottom

Florida Sportsman member: The BEAST

We did another fun trip with family and friends down in Key Largo. They had fun swim fishing for hog fish and schoolmasters. We went after some muttons with the only 3 live ballyhoo we managed to catch. We got 3 nice muttons, 8, 9½, and 17 pounds.

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Mangroves and More Off of Miami

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

We have been having a strong current most days, making fishing very hard to the unexperienced, in some trips it has defeated the ability to hook the fish that bite. Not everyone can pick up this technique proven to work day after day and brake their own habits, they have had for years, all in one trip.

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South Florida Spearfish

Florida Sportsman member: Poseidon10/31

Today I put my hands on my first shortbill spearfish, which is super rare for these waters. I fish on the Miss Britt out of Coconut Grove with the legendary Ray Rosher. In his decades of commercial and charter fishing this is only the second one he’s landed.

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Key Biscayne Bull

Florida Sportsman member: GameTimeFT

15 minutes into trolling, the rod takes off! A cow jumped and we immediately saw that she was a nice size fish. As we bring her in, directly behind her we see the bull jumping. Once we get the cow in the cooler the other rod takes off!

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Port Everglades Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: flybycrb21

Since we weren’t catching fish we decided to give the potential spot a drop. On the first drop the bait hit the bottom and the rod immediately bent over. We ended up pulling up a 23 pound barrel fish from 1200 feet. We dropped three more times after that and got a 15 to 25 pound barrel fish on each drop.

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Summer Sails

Florida Sportsman member: snookyj

Headed in to the reef and saw sailfish free jumping everywhere, i think we must have seen at least 7 fish free jumping. We set up a drift in 200 feet and almost immediately the mid depth rod gets hammered and we have a sail in the air. Wound up only catching one, but it was one that counted. It was Monica’s first sailfish!

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Miami Mutton Madness

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

It’s been non stop action, weather has been great and it’s supposed to continue good.The currents have been strong. The groupers are biting good and the yellowtails are also biting great. groupers have been more on the shallower reefs just below the tails.

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Down South Bottom Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Lucky Hook II

The bottom bite has been outstanding with good catches of grouper up to 30 pounds some nice muttons and a lot of yellowtails. Also, the mangrove snappers have started showing up on the reef in good numbers.

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Filling the Coolers Down South

Florida Sportsman member: GIT-R-DUnn

I put the rod in a holder to get a drink and not a minute went by she was buckled over. I grabbed the rod and knew it was big. But the reel with 50 pound braid put a whoopin on this fish and up came to be my best mutton.

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A Little Bit of Everything

Florida Sportsman member: cudaman

As the boat turned the engines on and started to move I let out the trolling rig and as I snapped the release clip on, I looked to the right I heard a scream and saw my rod bending, I picked it up and let the fish run a bit. I tightened the drag and started to fight the fish, I saw a big wide flash and screamed BIG DOLPHIN!

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Deep Dropping Down South

Florida Sportsman member: copout@castaways

Forum member copout@castaways got into some nice fish while deep dropping. Catching 7 barrel fish and 2 tile fish.

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Terrific Tortugas Trip

Florida Sportsman member: Reef Bandit

“We ended up catching over 100 groupers, a dozen muttons and limited out our snapper bag with yellowtails. I’d been down two days before this trip on a big boat and literally had to run away from all the red snappers, they’re everywhere! We even caught 10 of them on fly!”

Want to catch huge grouper like these guys? Click here for how-to videos, feature stories, and more.



Port Everglades Sail

Florida Sportsman member: 23T

Forum member 23T caught this nice sail out of port everglades, While trolling for dolphin.

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Fishing on the Edge

Florida Sportsman member: Double Threat

Amberjack are biting pretty well on the wrecks (deep and even some shallower wrecks). We have had some king bites but it has been inconsistent. Lost some decent ones at the leader and a few other charter boats have caught them to 40 pounds. Blackfin tuna to 30 pounds are starting to show as well. Be careful live chumming though because the bonito have been insanely thick.

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Miami Muttons

Florida Sportsman member: Miami mutton

the screen was marking a load of fish so I gave it a couple minutes and brought up the first fish, that weighed on the Boga grip 13 pounds, after I bring this fish in, Al gets hit and is fighting another.Then Cal is on another fish on the other side, these fish were all big, I had a flash back and remembered, Captain Greg, from times on the Yankee Capts when we would get to a sunset spot and he would be marking a lot of fish and no one was catching for a few minutes while people would take the time to eat and he would sit there a few minutes longer and then , The bite started and the floor all around the boat would be pink and the mates would not have time to take each fish off the hook as they had to gaff another.

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King Cuda and Friends

Florida Sportsman member: The BEAST

This time the line got very heavy and for over an hour I watched Steve, then Rjon and even Devon, take turns on the rod. All 3 were grunting and working up a lather of sweat. The fish would give up a yard or two of line and then take back 3. Sometimes it would let them feel like they had it beat, allowing them to take in 25 or 30 yards of line, only to have the fish make a good run that stripped all that and more. This fish was doing whatever it wanted.

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South Florida Sails and More

Florida Sportsman member: The BEAST

The short rigger popped off and Devon put Jesse on the rod. He did the drop back and hook up perfectly. Sailfish on! Yeah Buddy! This fish went nuts for about 30 seconds and then dropped into the depths taking Jesse “down & dirty” for the remainder of the fight. It wasn’t a pretty fight, but it was a pretty long fight.

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Making It Happen in the Rough

Florida Sportsman member: danmanswag

Spent the day kite fishing with a few additional flat lines. We would catch 2 mahi and then reset, catch another 2 and then reset, pretty much the entire day minus 1 or 2 drifts. Was another grinder but made the best of it and finished with 9 mahi. Nothing big, but plenty of food on the plate. Our last drift produced a nice sail in about 150 feet just north of Triumph that hit the flat line.

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Swordfish on Soft Plastics

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Ross

The fish made two passes at the bait before getting hooked. Unfortunately the hook pulled just a minute or two in the the fight. With our adrenaline back up, we repositioned our boat and made another drop. This time using a Black 18 inch Hogy Soft Bait, just over the nose, we threaded a small pink octopus style skirt and added a squirt of pro cure scent.

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Hot Bottom Bite Down South

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

We hit the first spot in 60 feet and the current was just perfect, after chumming a little while, We had the yellow tail eating good behind the boat and the catching began. We fished this spot until the current got too strong and the big sharks showed up. After, we went deep for the mutton’s and King fish, but the kings did not want to eat dead bait today. We did get two nice muttons and lost a few big fish in the deep water.

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Droppin’ Deep for Big Fish

Florida Sportsman member: copout@castaways

Forum member copout@castaways Got into a mess of fish deep dropping with some buddy’s including this beautiful tile fish and many other species. This is a great way to fill the cooler with some of the best fish there is.

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A Full Day of Fun

Florida Sportsman member: The BEAST

We worked the area a bit longer and then I headed for a good mackerel spot I know. Within minutes of arriving in that area the down rod pops off and the reel is screaming. Brian jumped on it and we were thinking “smoker” king. Brian begins whipping up on the fish and soon we see color. Dang! It’s an extremely large Caribbean Spotted Mackerel, but darn impressive!

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Rough and Tough Sailfish in the South

Florida Sportsman member: The BEAST

“As the day moved along we caught several skipjacks. This seemed to be the predominate catch rolling down the corridor we were fishing. The day dragged on and the seas built up with each minute. As the time was running low we had a taker on the short rigger and here we go, sailfish! The guys were happy to see that fish as it did its acrobatics out of the water…”

Want to tune in on the winter sailfish bite? Click here for how-to videos, feature stories, and more.



Florida Bay Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: Miami mutton

also hooked up with a Goliath, that was so big my friend could not lift it to the surface as it stopped where we could see it but could not lift it with his current rod, the fish looked around 400 pounds. We also caught and released a cuda and a few sharks, Then, we headed to the rivers and anchored in my favorite Gag spot. The first bait down got slammed by this 27 inch gag, we also got a snapper and lost three more gags to the bottom structure.

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On The Fish, Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: e-money

Left LWI at 8 a.m. with west/southwest winds at about 12 to 15 miles per hour. John found some “pretty water” in 160 feet off Lost Tree and birds working. Set out a seven rod trolling spread and as I put last bait in the ‘rigger the pink Moldcraft/bally combo gets crushed! Cool, nice gaffer in box.

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Deep Dropping Daylight Swords

Florida Sportsman member: ultraplayer26

From 1600-1700 feet it came right up. Once we got to the lead sinker the fish finally decided to take a dive back down to 400 feet. When the fish was brought back up to around 60 feet from the boat we see a big head splash above the water with a long bill. After 2 long hours we finally bring the fish boat side. It weighed 375 pounds at the scale.

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Solid Reef Fishing Down South

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

I put out my new hoop net and ended up catching a load of ballyhoo for the well, with the bait secured, I rigged a butterflied ballyhoo and sent it down for my customer. Two minutes later he got his first mutton of the day. We caught a few yellowtail here and put down a few baits, one of which got inhaled by a big grouper, that took drag to the bottom for the second time as he was able to find his hole.

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Offshore Kayak Action

Florida Sportsman member: gdholbrook

Right off the bat a big skipjack and double dolphins on the flatlines. Reset the kayak spread and another couple mahi make it to the boat. The limited cooler space on the yak was evident.

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The Fish Are Chewing Down South

Florida Sportsman member: The Beast

Ivan gets the Cow to the boat and Devon sticks the steel to her. One down and one to go. Ken works hard, retrieving 20 and then losing 30, gaining 30 and losing 10. Finally we have the Bull at the boat and Devon clocks him with the gaff and stones him with one pull. We have a beautiful matched set.

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Florida Bay Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: Miami Mutton

I see them come up and toss my bait in front of them and I’m hooked up with a 34 pound cobia, as I’m getting it close, I told Eddy “toss your bait close to my fish” and as soon as he did that he was hit, now we have a double hook up , after a 15 minute fight I bring mine close enough for a self gaff and got him in and then gaffed his fish.

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Government Cut Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: snookyj

We were stoked to be hooked up so quick, after about a 30 minute battle, Kristy had her first sailfish boatside ready for the release [...]

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Party On The Patch Reefs

Florida Sportsman member: Gettin’ Jiggy

For grouper, mutton snapper and cero mackerel, I use whole live ballyhoo or cut into plugs, depending on the size of the baits. I fish my baits on the bottom in the sand, near the edge of the rocks for grouper, and for muttons I like to cast my baits far from boat in the grassy areas, either on a sinker or free-lined live. There are some nice yellowtails that can show up as well, best baits for those are thin strips of ballyhoo fillets on tiny trollrites.

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Dolphin Bite Down South

Florida Sportsman member: The BEAST

We were sizing up the Cow and guessing it to be somewhere around 20 pounds. She was spent and reluctantly came to the boat where Devon put the steel to her. As he pulled the fish over the side she just kept growing. The tail finally crossed the gunwale and we couldn’t believe her size. This fish was large for a cow dolphin. We took some measurements after we settled down. She was over 49 inches long and pulled the scale down to 35 pounds.

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Miami Bottom Fishing Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

Today I was lucky to have another mate that helped me a lot, by taking fish off the hook, as I was baiting hooks and catching bait and directing the fishing to keep the frenzy going. we got at least 30 yellow tails here and then moved on as the current dropped too much shutting the bite down to very slow. We got to another spot miles away to find a slow but fishable north current [...]

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Miami Muttons

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

Went to the famous missing buoy, the past two days, did good as the current has been moving north at a good flow.The muttons have been scattered lately, picking at some, as many have moved to very deep structure and wrecks. Ballyhoo have been plentiful on the reef and we have been seeing some nice dolphin in the edge of the drop off in 50 to 85 feet, we have tossed live hoos at them but they rather hit our 12 pound yellowtail line and being fish over 10 pounds, they didn’t last on the hook too long before fraying the line and cutting us off

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Big Bull out of Haulover

Florida Sportsman member: sflskier

Went out early Saturday out of Haulover on my new 24 foot Sailfish. Weather was nice and we went about 10 miles offshore. Found a nice slick, trolled it for a while got nothing. Saw some birds diving, pitched out a livie and hooked into a giant blue runner. No other birds, nothing. Started blind trolling on the way back with belly strips of that blue runner. About 7 miles offshore the spinner in the wash starts singing. 40 minutes later the bull was in the boat.

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Mutton Snapper out of Elliott Key

Florida Sportsman member: farinco

I have been itching to get out there again w/ my good friend Benny (Miami Mutton Man) to further improve my bottom fishing techniques. Last year we fished out of Haulover and this year we decided to head a bit more south towards Elliott Key to try and take advantage of some spots Benny knows and a little better fishing. After 1 re-scheduling due to weather, this Saturday was our day to go out there and try to make it happen.

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Marlin Double Header

Florida Sportsman member: Team Mayhem

Last weekend some buddies and I headed down to Tavernier to fish the Plantation Boat Mart Owners Tourney. After a 7:30 shotgun start out of Snake Creek We headed out to the 409 hump. I told the guys the plan was to run a little past the 409 Hump, put the spread out, and then troll over it with the current for as natural a presentation as possible. On our very first past the right mid (Squid Bait) gets hit and starts running.

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Tuna Time out of Gov’t Cut

Florida Sportsman member: JustinZ

I went out yesterday late afternoon/evening with my friend Mike. After reading all the reports of the big blackfins lately we were ready for some of our own. I wait all year for this time when the big tunas are around. My favorite fish to catch. Luckily Pedro was near government cut and sold us a few dozen nice pilchards.

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Haulover Mutton & Yellowtail

Florida Sportsman member: farinco

Today was a guest trip as I was taking out my mother and one of her client’s and kids. We pulled up to the first spot and had great north current. Got a bunch of yellowtail, but no muttons on the bottom. We went out a little deeper and fished the tail end of a dying north current and managed 3 muttons, with 2 of them making the box. All in all it was a great time. Tight lines out there!

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Port Everglades Blackfin Tuna

Florida Sportsman member: SmittysTeam

Caught this just north of Port Everglades Inlet. The tuna was caught on a free-lined pilchard. The conditions were perfect for live bait fishing. This huge blackfin tuna took 25 minutes to get to the boat. This tuna measured in at 28.5 pounds.

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Dolphin are Plentiful

Florida Sportsman member: cnunez3024

Went out Monday morning to fly the kites. Could not find live bait anywhere, so decided to look for dolphin. Ran out to about 400-500 feet looking for birds. Within 20 minutes, we saw 8 birds diving down like crazy. We tossed some cut ballyhoo where they were diving and then BOOM. We had a fish on within 10 seconds. After fighting the first fish for about 20 minutes we landed it on the boat.

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Port Everglades Sail, Blackfin & More

Florida Sportsman member: SmittysTeam

We trolled all the way to about 800 feet then decided to go live bait. We started live baiting around 300 feet. There was a massive color change around 200 feet and right when we went over it the line starts screaming. Then BOOM! fish off… Once we got to shallow, we did our second drift at 300 feet again. Then we drifted to 120 feet and the line screaming out!

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Miami Muttons and Yellowtail

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

This trip I took off in my boat, with my old time friend Billy, we fished back in the 80’s and early 90’s In the Tortugas aboard The Yankee Capts with Capt Greg and also fished Flamingo together, years ago. I called him and he was free, so we planned to be at the spot by 4 am and that is what we did, he is a bottom fishing fanatic, so it was easy to get him out there early. We got to the spot and the current was great we had frozen speedo and goggle eyes for bait, so he sends down a speedo head first and gets a nice mutton in just a few minutes and then I sent down a chunk of the body and soon enough I was hooked up too.

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Big Mahi Out of Haulover

Florida Sportsman member: Big_Boy

Decided to stop for lunch around 11:30 am, put out some pilchards and within 10 minutes a small group of schoolies showed up. Managed to pick up 3. Twenty minutes later we saw a tern working the water hard and managed to pick up 3 more. And then Mr. Frigate decided to join the party. Decided to change our game plan and troll a purple islander-long and a green one-short. We patiently tracked him for 20 minutes when BANG!

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Out of the Cut : Grouper, Pompano, Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: JustinZ

Headed out of government cut this morning with my buddy, Mike. We went down to bug light to meet Frank to buy some pilchards. Apparently it was tough getting bait this morning around Government cut. We set up over the wrecks off key biscayne in 130 feet and did a bunch of drifts over the same area. We caught four african pompanos, two of which were big enough to come home for dinner. We landed one really nice grouper that had to go back, probably my biggest one ever.

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Port Everglades Bull

Florida Sportsman member: Blue Chip

Needed to run the boat and decided to head out into a choppy 2-4 foot sea with occasional 5 footer. It settled nicely later in the evening as the wind died a little. Trolled from Port Everglades to Hollywood ball zigging and zagging from 180-350 feet on a nice edge for about 1 1/2 hours with only a knockdown trollying Island lures and a few bally’s. Seen a nice sail all lit up behind the blue and white islander but didn’t eat. Decided to head north at the ball and head a little deeper being down sea. Found a magic temp break from 73.3 to 73.9 in 400 feet and port side short gets slammed. Fish on! Seeing the size of the fish when he jumped, I knew it was a good one.

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Push it to the Limit

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

We got to a spot in 58 feet and started chumming with a perfect current going north and a beautiful ocean less than a foot. Chris fished the bottom, releasing a nice black. As the tails were gathered behind the boat, Dylan, an 11 year old, and his grandfather took a crash course to quickly pick up my technique and bring in many double hook ups of nice size tails. Even though they never got a big flag, they had fun catching 15 to 18 inch tails. As they took a lunch break, Chris the Capt took over to finish off the limit of 40 fish.

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Easter Weekend Bull and Cow

Florida Sportsman member: Mahigator

Headed out of PE for some Easter weekend fun with my bro in law Mark and step dad Mark. We have been fishing together for years from WPB to the Keys. Managed to set a boat record bull 52 pound and 34 pound cow combo. We got an official weight at Lauderdale Marina. The cow hit the short line and the bull hit the out rigger. We were roughly off Haulover in about 1,000 feet with sparce weed.

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Haulover Mahi & Mutton

Florida Sportsman member: Reef-Chief

I went out yesterday w/ my cousin farinco and we tried to get some muttons and tails but only got 1 mutton so that means they are not thick out of Haulover yet so we will have to keep waiting.

The day started off flat calm with a west wind and once it shifted to the northeast it got snotty out there. We went offshore into 7 foo t+ Swells and setup a few deep drifts. We managed 6 Mahi to 15+ pounds and then were taking in too much water and it got scary a few times so we decided to play it safe and head in for the day

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Hillsboro Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: JVL

Got a late start on Saturday. We Cleared Hillsboro at 9:30 a.m. in search of the edge. We found it, but the wind wasn’t blowing nearly as hard offshore as it was at the dock. Down goes the kite rigs and out comes the dragging gear. The first knockdown was a screamer that hit around a tuna school shortly after lines in. That fish hit a skirted Bally, and as we suspected, zebra stripes emerged from the blue water as we got him close.

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Miami Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member:ReelDeep

Went out of Matheson Sunday morning. Plan was to high speed troll down south and then do a couple drifts on the edge. We caught one nice wahoo and lost two other rigs. We caught this fish in about 100 feet near pacific reef. We did try to do a drift but there wasn’t much current and went straight north. Not much action on the edge so we headed in.

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Kings on Fire

Florida Sportsman member: farinco

The fishing has been tough this winter, very spotty, with few cold fronts and unpredictable fishing. Went out yesterday with my cousin, uncle, and 2 friends in search of kings and mackerel, and we found them. They are chewing. Go get em.

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Port Everglades Blue Marlin

Florida Sportsman member: JVL

Snuck out Friday AM with a couple of good friends to drag baits on what was supposed to be a light southwest wind and, as I have come to expect, the forecast was wrong again! Pulled for three hours in choppy seas with nada when the mid positioned just behind teaser starts to scream. Knew it was a big fish from the start and thought it may have been a nice YFT after 10 minutes of digging, circling and head shakes. Then the slob began to rise in the column and a bill pops out of the water….MARLIN.

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Hillsboro Inlet Tripletail

Florida Sportsman member: Gary M

I got my Forum buddy Kevin (Treetopflyn) to join me for a day of trolling and trying for some dolphin. The Portuguese Man-O-Wars were thicker than I have ever seen in 30-plus-years of fishing off of South Florida! We pressed on beyond most of them but after two hours of zero hits and finally finding a scattered weedline, we nearly ran over a big pod of nice tripletail!

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Wahoo out of Port Everglades

Florida Sportsman member: TRalph

Fished out of PE, Saturday, on the 28 Hydra- Sports with my son and buddy Justin. We could only fish the morning because I had to coach my daughters soccer game and the guys had to teach a ladders class in the afternoon. We pushed from the dock at 5:45 am. Live well filled with gogs and pilchard with the plan to fly the kite for a few sails.. We also knew the timing was right for a possible wahoo bite. We cleared PE after holding for the march of the cruise ships and looked to see what ships were still anchored in the anchorage. There were 4 vessels moored but the ocean yacht transport has been hooked to the bottom the longest so she was are target and we planned to set up the kite. Since it was about 30 minutes before sun up, low tide, 5 days after full moon and overcast… well out went the wahoo rigs.

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Christmas Gags & Muttons

Florida Sportsman member: farinco

We went out today to try and get a Christmas Special and like clockwork the Gags came out to play. We hit three spots and all of them produced strikes. We caught & released about eight just-short muttons, at least 5 just short gags, a few strawberries, and kept one 21-inch keeper mutton & two Big Gags (one 16 pounder) for the fish paella my uncle is making for my grandmother’s 75th birthday on Thursday I’m taking a few days off now because I’ve fished the past six days and I am officially beat

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Patch Reef Mutton

Florida Sportsman member: FlagMaster

Was fishing a patch reef in 20 feet of water. After bringing in one small tail after another, my son got slammed by something big two times that broke the 12 pound leader. I upped the leader to 20 pounds and the third time was the charm. Line started to scream and I knew he had something big. Helped him a little after Mr. Pink wrapped him up around some fan corals, but we were lucky enough to get him up boat side before the leader could break.

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Great Day Off Haulover

Florida Sportsman member: No_Bananas

Today was amazing. We left the dock at 9:00am today and had lines in by 9:30am. I begin with the vertical jig and by the third drop I had a fish on, 5 pound Almaco Jack. A few drops later I get a small king and get the feeling its going to be a good day. We’re fishing and all I hear is line getting ripped off the reel of one of our regulars named Bravid who was bottom fishing a double ballyhoo plug. This is a big fish. The way it was running line off and fighting i could have sworn he had a big shark on but he stopped him, got him turned and started putting the heat on him. After about 15 to 20 minutes and a mile of line we see a monster Gag coming up. The first mate Mike puts the gaff in him, and brings up the biggest gag i have ever seen. A 50 pounder, unbelievable.[...]

 


Gag Grouper in the Bay

Florida Sportsman member: UrbanAnglerMiami

“Caught some pilchards and pin fish and hooked onto some gag groupers, a nice cero mackerel & some mangrove snappers at night. We got our limit of gags in less than 5 minutes. on 4 casts. We saw some tarpons rolling but no cigar. Good times in Miami, FL. with Capt Rob Munoz a.k.a. “Gettin’ Jiggy!” on his Key West. Hard core angling at its best, especially by a local in our own back yard[...]”

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Muttons on the Move

Florida Sportsman member: Gettin’ Jiggy!

Muttons have been on my mind lately and figured since the waters much cooler now, thought we should give it a try. Actually the water temps were about 12-14 degrees cooler than before hurricane Sandy. Average temp in the bay was 70 degrees. It turned out that it wasn’t a bad idea. First spot resulted in two nice pinkies at 23 inches and 19 inches. Great fight on my favorite light outfit using 6lb Sufix and 20lb flouro leader and tiny size 2 Mustad live bait hooks [...]

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Bulls in the South

Florida Sportsman member: tonyfern

Went out Saturday on HydraMax to see if we could find some dolphin. We did not find many, but picked up two 10-pound cows and this nice 20-pound bull in 1100 feet off of Government Cut. Caught the bull trolling a naked ballyhoo on the long-line and the cows on live baits around scattered weeds. Not much out there and we were lucky to find these fish [...]

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Mack Attack off Miami

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

Back on my feet, this weather has been terrible and finally the winds dropped. The fish are there, but so are the predators and big AJ’s. We left Key Largo and headed north. On Edwin’s Yellowfin 36 we headed to the first intended spot in 60 feet, only to find very slow current crossed with a north wind, so we didn’t even put a line out for the tails, we just headed deeper to find some bottom fish [...]

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Three Hours of Catching!

Florida Sportsman member: The BEAST

I received a phone call from Josh Bailer whose friends were in town. They had but one afternoon available to fish before they had to fly out that same evening. He had 3 days to put this together and wanted to know if we had that day available for him. We did and of course we said sure! I never recommend doing a ½ day because it’s like putting handcuffs on Devon and me. Half days still require the same run time to and fro, and it limits your fishing time to 3 hours or less [...]

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Paying it Forward!

Florida Sportsman member: The BEAST

A very good customer of mine, Jon from Atlanta, booked an all day trip with us to acclimate his kids to offshore fishing. Jon has fished with me well over 50 times dating back as far as 1998. I’ve fished with his wife, Melissa, a time or two but this was the first time I ever met the children. I remember when the kids were born and now Ryan is 11 and Caroline is 8. I must be getting old! His plan was to see how the kids could handle the blue water scenario before he took them to Costa Rica in April [...]

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Epic Day off Port Everglades

Florida Sportsman member:

Sometimes, you have that feeling that you are in for an epic day of fishing. It’s the combination of preparation, the right crew, and perfect conditions which leave you spending the whole day in anticipation that you are in for one of those special days where the stars are going to align and you are going to have an unforgettable day on the water [...]

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Cubera Snapper Finale

Florida Sportsman member: The BEAST

We turned The BEAST out and made our way to grab a few quick Hardtails for backup bait. That happened with relative ease and in short order the Zuke 300’s were running for our Cricket patch. Although Uncle Al and I are, for lack of better terms, a senior crew, we managed to grab enough bugs in a reasonable time. Uncle Al may have a few years on Devon but he is still a bug snatching maniac. Since Jorge also brought along a custom jigging rod with 65# braid on a nice shiny Shimano Stella reel, we decided to give the “Grunt & Sweat” wreck a tryout [...]

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Key Biscayne Muttons

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

This trip was out of Miami, waited for one of the two doctors to go to a meeting early, then we left the dock at 8:30 a.m. and headed straight to the Bug Light. There, we caught some cigar minnows and a few pinfish, then we headed out. The first spot was in 65 feet. The current was heading north, and moving a little too fast for the yellowtail fishing, but for the bottom fishing it was good. Shortly after getting down the first bait, one of the docs hooks into a nice mutton and in he comes [...]

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Spectacular Mutton’s out of Haulover

Florida Sportsman member: Reporte de Pesca

One of our club members went out today out of Haulover and caught some phenomenal muttons, the smallest ones were 12 pounds and the biggest was 16 pounds, weighted not estimated. Also some nice 12 pound kings to top it off.

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Rod and Reel Yellow Eyes

Florida Sportsman member: Ufhalbert

I love fishing in South Florida, because on any given day you never know what you are going to catch. With not much current we headed to some numbers between 200 to 225 feet out of Port Everglades and caught 2 yellow-eyes and a giant porgy on squid and pilchards. I have seen yellow-eyes caught deep dropping in the Bahamas, but never on rod and reel and never off of South Florida. Either way, we were stoked to catch a new fish on the boat on an otherwise slow day.

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Gaffer Saves the Day

Florida Sportsman member: danmanswag

In 800 feet we see a LONG weed line, longest I think I’ve ever seen, went on for miles. Five minutes into the troll we hook up and our day is saved with a nice gaffer size mahi, only problem is we didn’t have a gaff. So I basically leave the fish in the water for an extra 10 minutes on light drag to let her get tired and my buddy finally puts on some gloves and grabs her by the tail and throws her into the boat [...]

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Big Groupers and Muttons

Florida Sportsman member: Lone Drifter

I had been really anxious to do another trip with Benny (on my boat of course) and get some payback on those runaway trains I wasn’t able to stop last trip. Huge groupers and snappers I was hoping to target I told Benny. I wasn’t really interested in any yellowtail, big groupers or muttons would be the intended target of the day [...]

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Miami Dolphin Report

Florida Sportsman member: ReelObsession

Headed offshore today in search of dolphin. We found them from 350 to 800 feet under birds and scattered weeds. Got most of the them on trolled ballyhoo. Found one school of about 10 and picked off a couple but couldnt get any more to bite. By 10 a.m. we had 6 dolphin and decided to head in to do a little free-diving. Got one nice hogfish and saw a lot of shorts. Called it a day by 12 and headed for the barn.

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Spectacular Muttons

Florida Sportsman member: Reporte de Pesca

One of our club members went out today out of Haulover and caught some phenomenal mutton snapper, the smallest ones were 12 pounds and the biggest was 16 pounds, weighted not estimated. Also some nice 12 pound kings to top it off. Same technique we’ve been using to target mutton snappers with great success [...]

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Wahoo Time

Florida Sportsman member: Saltydawg

Headed down to Key Largo on Saturday so decided to do a little high speed trolling in an area that has produced in the past and it produced again. Nothing like going to the Key for the weekend having enough fish to eat for the week before you get there.

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A Quick Afternoon Trip

Florida Sportsman member: farinco

Went out with my cousin and a friend of his today. We got out of the inlet with lines in the water by 5:45PM. First spot, no current. Second spot, no current but we decided to try and wait it out. A short while later the current started smoking to the North and the yellowtails were behind the boat pretty thick [...]

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Trophy Yellowtail

Florida Sportsman member: NVMata

Went out Friday morning beyond excited since  I haven’t fished in a while and knew it was going to be great weather. Got to our first spot anchored immediately and began to chum and work the area. In our spot we always get the tails right behind the boat. Unfortunately didnt even see a tail but had enough ballyhoo behind the boat to start a bait shop.

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Impressive Tails off Miami

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

Today, I went out in my boat with my son and an old friend and his son, that came from Puerto Rico; he is stationed there in the US Coast Guard. They wanted to get the big tails and some muttons, so I took them to the area where I can get them just that. We got to the spot and the current was ripping to the north as expected. The commercial boat was fishing inside his original spot so I went to the south up current from him on the deeper end pretty far ahead, where I marked good fish in 65 feet [...]

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Afternoon on the Wrecks

Florida Sportsman member: Double Threat

We headed out with the intention on jigging up a few fish. It was flat calm and it was a beautiful afternoon to sneak offshore. We got to the spot where conditions looked favorable. We had manageable current and overcast weather. We then proceeded to catch a decent number of fish while losing a few more. Several couldn’t be stopped.

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Key Biscayne Bugs

Florida Sportsman member: Dream Catcher

Limited out with 36. Hit the water at 7am and we were done by 10:30 a.m. Was filmed by Channel 7 & 10 as well as Telemundo.

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Haulover Mutton Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: farinco

The plan was to go out with my cousin and 2 of his closest friends tonight to celebrate his birthday with some fishing fun. We started fishing earlier than usual today (around 5PM) as I was keen to try some of the tricks I learned from Miami Mutton Man about fooling fish during the daytime. Chum in the water, a nice steady south current, and fish on! [...]

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Hammer Time

Florida Sportsman member: Reef Bandit

It’s not often that I start writing one of my stories 10 days before the trip starts but I figured that I might forget about some of the happenings as they occurred. I am to take some buddies that worked on the boat doing minor repairs fishing as a thank you (they didn’t charge for their time), so I figured I’d do the same for them [...]

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Dania Beach Variety

Florida Sportsman member: Nickc33

Headed out to Dania two days ago for some snookin and bait gathering for an offshore trip yesterday. Lots of bait, mostly smaller 2 to 3 inch pilchards and scaled sardines. Some bigger schools of 4-5 inchers just have to be patient. Had been fishing the few days before with artificials, had some hits and misses so decided to go with bait [...]

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Whistle Buoy Muttons

Florida Sportsman member: Lucky7Team2

Copout and myself got the invite from Rafael (Alacrity) to do a little bottom fishing at the whistle buoy. Anticipation was high all week long as the three of us had not fished in almost a month. We got there pretty early but the flotilla was already working the area. We moved around a bit looking for the right spot and settled in about 75 ft of water. We had 2 cases of chum ready to go and a barrel with 2 defrosted cases, some fish oil and oats. It was a beautiful day and the current was moving north at a good clip [...]

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Yellowtails and More

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

Went out of Government Cut and headed to the bent marker and filled the well with a bunch of threadfin herring, some real big ones. Then we headed south, the ocean was nice and an overcast morning made it stay cool for most of the morning. I was riding a diesel boat that was toping 19 knots, but was a solid fishing machine [...]

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Smoker King and More

Florida Sportsman member: Double Threat

Lots of kings out there, few sails around, and still the occasional blackfin, a couple dolphin on the edge with more way out there. Baits has been kind of spotty down south right now.

Caught 3 kings to 40 pounds, a sail, 3 bonito, a remora, and a moray eel in a half day on Friday.

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Weird Weather!

Florida Sportsman member: The BEAST

The month of May was pretty weird to say the least. So far, June is not doing much better either. We have run the gauntlet in regards to the weather. We’ve had record rainfall to bluebird skies, gale force winds to no breeze, strong current to barely moving current, and big rough seas to slick calm water. Each of the extremes requires a bag of tricks to pull off a good trip [...]

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Big Cobia!

Florida Sportsman member: Ikaika

My Wife and I had a charter with Capt. Dave Kostyo “Knot Nancy”. Dave’s great and I highly recommend. We launched around 3 pm and within 30 minutes we were in about 160 ft of water with a choppy southwest wind. Hot wind too. We put out a couple of herring on 20 lb spinning outfits and slow trolled to stay in the blue water. After 15 minutes we we got a hit – turned out to be a 25 lb blackfin. He is sashimi now [...]

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Mutton Report Key Largo

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

Today’s trip was out of Key Largo. Like the previous trip, We headed to a spot and chummed up some tails and caught a few, then we headed to another spot in 50 feet and put a bait down and lost nice a fish and the next bight produce a 28 inch red grouper. After throwing the net and getting some ballyhoo, we headed for the mutton grounds [...]

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Offshore Miami

Florida Sportsman member: alacrity

Left the dock before 530am on Sunday. Caught good bait, sardines and blue runners, at Bug Light.

Went offshore about 15 miles and trolled and live baited a few weedlines and found nothing. Some of the best weeds I’ve seen in a long time and was surprised to find nothing [...]

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One of Those Days

Florida Sportsman member: Flats Broke

The bite was on today. We all caught fish, non-stop action. All fish were caught on jigs in 185 to 350 feet.

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Grouper and Muttons

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

Today’s trip was out of homestead, I’m fishing everyday now. Second time, I go with Fro and Tony, we got to the first spot in 55 feet of water and the anchor got stuck on the winch and we missed the spot. I didn’t care since the screen showed a load of fish. I put both of them on the bottom and I started to catch bait. I put 8 speedos in the boat and a few dozen live hoos [...]

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Beasts of Burden

Florida Sportsman member: waterman419

Got off to a bad start, you see the boat is on a rack in Dania and there is this bridge and if you hit the dead high you will be sitting there cuz’ your sweet arse outriggers just won’t make it through. Anyway 5:45 a.m. turned into 8 a.m. Leave P/E and head out to 600 feet. My buddy was out yesterday and said there were tons o’ weeds and that by the a.m. they would clump together pretty nicely. Well he was right. We hit this beautiful weed line and troll it [...]

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Blackfin Tuna Feast

Florida Sportsman member: Double Threat

Left the dock early and headed to Bug. Bait was slow so we hit another spot and threw the net and loaded up on cigar minnows and spanish sardines. We ran to the edge and did a long drift from 130′ out to sea with the southwest wind. In about 300′ a sail came up on the left mid, and inhaled the spanish sardine on 30 pound fluorocarbon (We were targetting blackfin so everything had a fluoro trace). The fish was very acrobatic and danced around the boat in circles. We got the release after a few minutes.

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Slammer in Grove Slam

Florida Sportsman member: Team O-SEA-D

Team O-SEA-D wins biggest fish in Grove Slam and 4th overall on Cinco se Mayo banking over 12K for the day. After a 2 month break Team O-SEA-D wins in two back to back tournaments. Two weeks ago they slayed the Dolphins on a day that was meant to be on land. Battling 10 to 12 footers they landed 3 solid dolphins and one king to win 1st place. In Saturdays Grove Slam on a day that was relatively slow they boated a 41.2 pound bull to take the biggest mahi. We found pallets, Bambo, logs, and everything but the kitchen sink and all we saw were fish under 10 pounds. The bull was caught outside of Ocean reef in 480 feet under a frigate on fresh ballyhoo.

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Busy Catchin’

Florida Sportsman member: The BEAST

This past Friday we met Chuck and the boys, Mike, Justin and Gerry at the dock. 7 AM rolls around early and they were a tad bit late but who’s counting? Devon and I were ready and waiting and as soon as we got them loaded we unleashed The BEAST for this ¾ day trip. As we headed into the Bay, the winds were coming from the E at about 10-15 knots. We quickly hit a couple of Hardtail spots and got a dozen or so baits. OK. Let’s go see if we can get some ‘hoos real quick. I put the whip to the 600 ponies and we were up and cruising the reefs.

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Mother Nature vs. The BEAST

Florida Sportsman member: The BEAST

I got a call from a friend of my good buddy CL up in North Carolina. Carlton, his dad Carl, and his sister Sarah, wanted to come down and give our fishing a go. Our buddy CL told them to hook up with Devon and I on The BEAST. We were scheduled for this past Saturday. The weatherman called for winds and rain. They flew in from NC just for the weekend and were leaving early Monday afternoon. They came just to fish with us so we met at the dock on Saturday morning at 7 AM anyway [...]

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Dolphin, Kings, and Sailfish

Florida Sportsman member: farinco

The wind has been blowing 20 knots plus relentlessly all week but I’ve been itching to get fishing and figured 3 to 5 feet with 7 foot plus rollers would have to do. Called up the Tarponator and we were on the water by 4:00PM. We were planning on bottom fishing originally but with the sloppy conditions we quickly and wisely re-considered Off to the edge. First drift — nice mahi.

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Dolphin off Hillsburo

Florida Sportsman member: Dcurbelo1000

Got to get out yesterday out of Hillsboro. We put out our spread within 20 minutes we get our first fish in the box, a nice dolphin in a 150 feet. Then we decided to go deeper in about 400 we ended up getting some more dinner. We got to see a nice sword on the surface, what an amazing sight never seen that before in 350 feet of water.

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Yellowtails are Chewin’

Florida Sportsman member: farinco

Started to head out with the one and only Tarponator, as well as my cousin Jason at about 6:00 PM. Ran out to 800 to 1000 feet in search of the dolphin everyone seems to be catching this week, but no luck yet, just a 7 pound blackfin tuna. Decided it was time to hit the reefs at around 7:00PM with first lines and chum in the water by 7:15PM. Bite was on fire for the first 45 minutes at which point the current died and we had to relocate about 2 more times before we got back on the fish [...]

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Miami Dolphin Report

Florida Sportsman member: ReelObsession

Headed out yesterday morning. The plan was to hit the reef and catch some tails then head offshore for dolphins. Got to the reef and started chumming. We caught a few nice size tails, all around 20 inches but the bite was kinda slow so after about an hour we decided to head offshore. Got offshore and trolled some weeds in 250 but didn’t get anything so after 30 minutes we decided to head further out. In 600 we found some more weeds and only a couple minutes into the troll we had our first fish on.

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Kayak Bull

Florida Sportsman member: drichard1986

Decided to go out for a few hours after work on this beautiful day. Didn’t have anytime to get live bait and only had some squid left in the freezer so I went out expecting to really be just jigging for tuna. Got out to 300 saw some weeds and started drifting while free lining squid. Lol. Current was nonexistent but grabbed a decent almaco on a jig that went back in the drink then dropped the jig to the bottom and saw a large blue and green mass coming toward my kayak [...]

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Kings for the Smoker!

Florida Sportsman member: farinco

Been fishing pretty hard lately, everything from the reef at night to offshore looking for dolphin in the day time, or settling on macks and kings when I can only squeeze in a quick trip. Today’s mission was to get a fish or two for the SMOKER!! Bait of choice were the gogs we had left from last night’s trip.

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Jurassic Park Tails

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

We caught, Jurassic park tails today, It was a beautiful day on the water, the ocean was flat. Went out with John and his wife Jossei, we already had fresh ballyhoo, so we went straight to the Big tail spot, in 90 feet, the tide was very slow at first, but I new it would pic up and we were going to catch fish here, so I told them, get ready you are going to start catching big tails here, that will tire your arms, from the fight and I gave them instructions, and off they were, The tails started getting closer as the tide picked up to a perfect drift [...]

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Some Good Eats

Florida Sportsman member: JustinZ

Went out for a quickie after work since I had been dying to get out for weeks waiting out the bad weather. Mike and I headed out of Haulover after picking up some pilchards from Lester. We drifted the wrecks off the diamonds and right away caught a huge mutton. Then nothing for an hour and as we were getting ready to head back in, a school of dolphin and tunas, traveling together I guess, swam right by us. We had one free line rod ready to go, Mike threw it in with a pilchard and hooked up with a tuna [...]

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Sailfish, Dolphin, Blackfin…Hot Bite!

Florida Sportsman member: Double Threat

We left the dock at 7 and headed to Bug. Pilchards were thick on the mark and we loaded up pretty quick with a few cigar minnows as well. Conditions have been a bit better south so we made it to the edge and began trolling south. We put out a spread of swimming ballyhoo and feathers and started to make way. The wind was blowing about 15 knots out of the ENE and there was a decent water color out front that improved as we headed south [...]

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Mack Attack

Florida Sportsman member: farinco

Been itching to get fishing but contrary to my plan, I just could not seem to get out of bed early this morning. At about 12:00PM I made a few calls to rally up a few friends I know don’t mind fishing in the middle of the hot sunny afternoon. I got 2 takers and the three of us ended up leaving the dock at about 12:30 PM with first baits in the water at about 1:30 PM. We landed a few solid fish for a few hours before the bite shut down but all in all we had a blast and lost many more than we could count! [...]

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Daytime Cubera

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

Today, I was out for fun with my friends from Team Champion, on their 33 Hydra-sport, what a nice dry ride. We got out after making plans Friday with a forecast of ENE 15 to 20 Friday afternoon, by this morning it was down to 12 to 14 and seas 2 feet, but in reality it was 2 to 4 East then NE by the end of our trip, with a somewhat slow tide to the north at first followed by a perfect north flowing tide after noon [...]

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Swordfish!

Florida Sportsman member: osead marine

This is a late report from last week..So I’ve been wanting to get out lately but I’ve so busy at the store.So a couple of my customers were like come on lets go out and catch a monster,come on. So I couldnt resist and I said yes. So we boarded the (Tiburon)boat name, And headed out to 1900ft to find us a sword. After getting there the wind starts to pick up. 5.3 drift North and wind was blowing South. So I set up lines at 100/200/300/400 and then 2 flatlines 100/50.

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Got Lucky!

Florida Sportsman Member: Reel_fishy

Caught this little nugget as we were in neutral fighting a 15 pound cow this 30 pound bull came up and ate the ballyhoo as it was drifting! Wish I could be lucky like this every time we go out!

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Saturday Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: JoeGuil

Headed out late and reached the inlet about 8:30. Trolled a pink rattle jet, 2 rapala magnums, a couple of other lures and a dolphin colored yozuri bonito. Zigged and zagged north for a little bit out to 450′ and in to 100′. Nada. Headed south and just north of the steeple picked up a smallish Wahoo on the rattle jet which surprised me with all the other stuff down deep. We were in 110′ [...]

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Miami Mutton Report- Yellowtails

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

Today, I went for the 5th time on the( take it easy). It’s a 30ft Robalo, out of key Biscayne. The seas were suppose to be 3 ft it was 2 to 4 at first then picked up, before we left around 2:pm it was already 4 to 6 feet, with east to southeast winds. We anchored in 90 feet, We were the only boat in the area. The tide was moving, but slow, started to chum and there came the yellow ball, the kids Inigo and John, started to catch tails back to back, while Ed, was fishing on the bottom, where he had a few hits and lost some nice fish [...]

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Kayak Sailfishin’

Florida Sportsman member: Saltysack

Well, where do I begin. How about, no one was up for Pompano and the second I walked out the door I saw lightning…solo trip and lightning. Well a few months ago I had a BAD run-in with a hammerhead and will only go solo on nice days when there are fellow boaters in the sea. Today was not that day. I saw the storm was pushing east and wouldn’t be a problem. But, I knew Rob was heading out of Dania. But, no bait in Dania [...]

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Skipcasting from Kayaks

This kayak angler is a proper distance from a mangrove edge, allowing him to skipcast underneath the overhangs.

Fishing mangroves and docks requires being able to cast your presentation underneath overhanging structure using a method called the skipcast. Fish stage under the structure to attack current-swept prey. Plus, they stay cooler in the moderate waters during the midday sun and are protected from larger predators.

It’s vital that you get your lure or bait to them.

Many boat fishermen are familiar with the technique–casting low and parallel to the water’s surface, allowing the bait to skip along top until it reaches its destination. It requires a strong arm motion to keep the water from “gobbling up” the bait too early.  Aim your bait to initially hit the water’s surface just outside the overhang, allowing the bait to skip or tumble end-over-end into the strike zone. If you cast too hard, grab the top of the reel and stop the line.

One quick bounce or a “rolling” along the surface are both different outcomes to a skipcast. They both work, too. Consider that your angle of trajectory may vary depending on your rod length and how close you are to the structure. Too drastic of an angle and your bait splashes into the water loudly near the boat; not enough angle and your bait may never touch the water’s surface.

A few quick tips for skipcasting:

1) Shy away from skipcasting with a baitcaster unless you are experienced with these types of reels. Tournament bass fishermen will tell you that they have more control with their baitcasters than spinners–but they tend to be the exception. Most saltwater inshore anglers use spinners when fan-casting or live-baiting: stick with it when skipcasting.

2) A 6-foot spinning rod is not a bad option when skipcasting. The shorter length allows for pinpoint casts. Longer rods generally mean longer casts, which are not necessary when skipcasting near structure.

3) If spinfishing and right-handed, leave room along your right side to make casts. Left-handed fishermen should leave room on their left side. It’s amazing how quickly skipcasting becomes frustrating when casting from your non-dominant side.

4) Use soft baits that are weedless, or at least single-hooked. Live baits work well too. When skipcasting, a light bodied soft bait skips best across the water’s surface. Plus, if you accidentally hit the structure–and you will catch the overhang–a weedless bait should pop right out (and may even fall into the strike zone). Treble hooks get caught and don’t come out.

A kayak skipcast is a different animal altogether

Plenty of flats and bayboat fishermen have enough trouble with the skipcast as it is…and they have the advantage of standing. Because kayakers sit much closer to the water, their cast should be angled more like a baseball swing and less like a boat fisherman’s golf swing.

Treat the lure like it’s a flat-sided rock and you want to skip it across a lake. Cast so your rod is parallel to the H20 surface, and your bait is just inches from the surface. Don’t have more than one foot of leader hanging from the rod tip when preparing for a cast. You have to get that bait low and keep it low. If the structure has an overhang that extends far over the water, give the cast a bit more power–that first bounce off the water’s surface always slows down the lure’s speed significantly.

As with most things in life, practice makes perfect. Don’t expect to master kayak skipcasting on the the first trip out, but once you do, snook and redfish will know you by your first name. Below, Captain Rich Jones demonstrates the proper way to skipcast while standing from a Native Watercraft.

By Sam Hudson

Regulator 34

With outboards mounted on an Armstrong bracket, the Regulator 34 has the same size cockpit as most 39’s. This rig is optimally powered with twin engines to a maximum of 700 horsepower. At a length of 33-feet, 10-inches and 10-feet, 11-inches wide, not having to give up any cockpit for engine mounts gives this boat a much larger feel.

A large baitwell with sink and prep station sit aft of the helm seating and the seat/bolster combination make those long runs very comfortable. The console design can accommodate two 14-inch multifunction displays and the boat can be driven either while standing up or seated with your view unobstructed. A berth large enough for two adults over 6 feet tall is inside the center console and extends forward of the all fiberglass, stand up head.

The successful angler will find a tournament-size fishbox with a split lid built into the transom and to the starboard side a full Tuna door with flip up gunnel top. For seating comfort close to the action, a stern seat folds down from the face of the transom. At the end of the day the ride home will spoil your guest with built in bow seating which also doubles as storage for all of your gear.

The fresh water tank can hold 31 gallons and the fuel tank has a 380gallon capacity.

Regulator 34’ w/T350
LOA – 33’ 10”
Beam – 10’ 11”
RPM – 3500
MPH – 30.7
GPH – 22.5
MPG – 1.36
WOT – 58.8 MPH
MSRP w/power – $264,595.00

Regulator Marine
187 Peanut Dr.
Edenton, NC
252 482-3837
www.regulatormarine.com

Fly Line Backing

By Chris O’Byrne

Out of sight, close to mind.
Pink layer is 200 yards of 20 pound Dacron backing, insurance in the event of a long run.

Backing serves a few functions beyond letting us know when our fish is getting away. First, it takes up space in the portion of the system where the loops of fly line are very small. If your fly line were tied to the middle of your reel, small and long lasting loops would all but destroy the line. Backing also saves money. Fly line can cost over $1 per foot.

Since fly line backing can cost only pennies per foot, the function of taking up space is cheaper with backing. Most importantly, backing helps you catch fish. In Florida, we grow fish that require long casts and that run when struck with the hook. They will bring your backing to hand and make you glad that you paid attention to it.

Installing backing or changing fly line? Be very careful to avoid a tangle like this.

Modern backing is made from high tech chemicals which are extruded into threads, then braided together multiplying strength and stretch resistance like a fasces. The primary materials used for backing today are Dacron and gel spun polyethylene. Dacron, the trade name for a synthetic polyester, is wider than gel spun, so you will be able to carry fewer yards of it. Gel spun polyethylene is much stronger than Dacron, allowing for a thinner line; thus, we can fit up to 60 percent more gel spun backing on a given reel. Strength and capacity benefits of gel spun are purchased with a much higher price and some undesirable characteristics.

Backing is rated for breaking strength in the same manner as general fishing line. Twenty- and 30-pound test are common and 35-pound backing is available. Heavier backing is used only in rare applications, such as marlin fishing with 14-weight gear. Twenty-pound Dacron is sufficient for most Florida inshore and freshwater fishing. Many specification charts will show that a large arbor saltwater reel will hold hundreds of yards of gel spun backing, but do you need or want this line?

For most saltwater species, Capt. Jon Cave goes with the basic 20-pound Dacron, same as he uses for largemouth bass in the St. Johns River. The distances that a redfish will run will not take out enough backing to merit the extra length of gel spun. Same goes for snook, as Norm Zeigler of Sanibel Island writes in his book, Snook on a Fly.

The extra cost of gel spun is more defensible during the run of a big tarpon or permit. Industry pros suggest using gel spun with 9- or 10-weight rods. Beware: Thin gel spun, ripping out between your index finger and the grip, can cut you.

To attach backing to your reel, the arbor knot or uni knot will work. The first wrap must be snug to the arbor or tangles will cause problems. The thin gel spun wraps may dig under the previous layer if wound on with too much or too little tension. When I spool reels I squeeze the backing between my thumb and index finger, shielded with a handkerchief.

Next decision is connecting backing to fly line. The nail knot holds well when using Dacron. Get the wraps lined up like teeth on a comb, and test the knot by pulling the line and backing with gusto. The thin diameter of gel spun makes attaching it to the plastic outer shell of fly line a little more difficult. If you use a nail knot, check regularly for signs of wear on the fly line. An Albright knot, spliced connection or loop to loop connection will wear less on the fly line.

After fishing in salt water, over a particularly abrasive bottom or even after many trips to dark fresh water, strip the backing off, rinse it clean, and then allow it to dry. Dacron can mildew over time, though Tim Daughton of Orvis assures us that gel spun will not corrode or break down. Inspect Dacron or gel spun for signs of abrasion from sand or salt or loosening braid. Be sure to wind the backing on properly again. An inexpensive line winder makes this easy, or a fly shop might inspect and remount your backing for a nominal fee. FS

First Published Florida Sportsman March 2014

HD – Flood Tide Tail Hunting

Flood Tide Tail Hunting, photo by Capt. Rich Santos, www.flyfishjax.com.

Gheenoe’rs waiting on tailing reds. The summer and fall spring tides in NE Florida bring in the highest water levels, up around 6 feet, which flood the spartina grass flats at high tide allowing redfish, sheepshead and black drum to rush in on the flats to gorge themselves on the millions of fiddler crabs that inhabit flats.

Capt. Santos says, “While the doors are open to this restaurant we hunt for rooting fish with their tails up in the air waving at you, stalking them with a quite accurate cast will get your heart racing. So standing on the edge of a grassflat sight fishing is one on the most exciting ways to get out and enjoy our pristine salt marsh.”

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