When summer gets hot, so do these scallops. A little, or a lot of spice is just right for scallops fra diavolo, served over pasta.
Summer means one thing on Florida’s Big Bend—recreational scallop season. The general madness that comes with crowded marinas, boat ramps and waterways from Bayport to St. Marks bothers lots of folks, but I’ve learned to take all of that in stride and to focus on the dinner table.
Snorkeling for scallops is lots of fun, but coming home tired and waterlogged never puts me in the mood to cook. Luckily, shucked scallops fare well in the freezer for a few weeks, so tucking a few limits away isn’t a bad idea. Bite for tender bite, there’s no product of the Gulf tastier than a freshly shucked sea scallop. And while the adductor muscles are great raw, right out of the shell, most folks would rather have them cooked.
My traditional “down home” method of scallop preparation involves a light dusting of flour and frying in butter. But here’s a simple upscale recipe for scallops in a spicy tomato sauce with pasta that’s more fit for a hot date than a hot night at the fish camp. FS
Scallops Fra Diavolo
4 tbsp. olive oil
6 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
1 28-ounce can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. sugar
Crushed red pepper flakes,
the “devil’s touch”
1 pound (product of a 2-gallon personal limit) scallops, shucked and patted dry with paper towels
1 pound linguine or fettuccine pasta
Chopped Italian parsley or basil (as garnish)
In a large saucepan, heat two tablespoons of the olive oil and add the garlic. When the garlic begins to sizzle, add the tomatoes. Add the salt and sugar and bring to a boil. Finally, add the crushed red pepper. Start with a teaspoon, but depending on your tolerance for heat, more may be required. Then simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and then cook the pasta for 8 to 10 minutes. Don’t overcook the pasta, draining it to a colander when it’s still slightly chewy, or al dente.
When you add the pasta to the water, heat the remaining oil over high heat in a skillet and sear the scallops, taking care not to overcook them (into the consistency of rubber pencil erasers). One or two minutes should do the trick. Add the scallops to the sauce and simmer another minute or two.
Spoon the sauce over the pasta and garnish with parsley or basil. Serve with a chunk of crusty bread and a nice beverage. (Serves 4)
Buried deep in the heart of a 75-page federal court order was a statement we should display from the roof tops.
Quote it early, quote it often.
Somehow, we all missed it.
The words came from U.S. District Judge Lynn Bush (no relation to those other Bushes) in our lawsuit attacking the periodic dumpings of polluted dirty freshwater into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries.
“The St. Lucie River is by all accounts, a national treasure,” the judge wrote.
“The longterm environmental consequences of defendant’s (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) massive discharges into the river are tragic, and the court takes note of plaintiffs’ tireless efforts to reverse that damage.”
Bing’s dictionary defines that as a “very sad event: an event in life that evokes feelings of sorrow or grief.”
Unfortunately, the court ruled that a remedy to stop the harmful discharges must come not from the courts but from Congress. She dismissed the case.
You can read the full order as well as voluminous pleadings at RiversCoalition.org.
In the end the soiled ball is back in the polluters’ court and the congressmen and other minions who forever dance to the influential tune of profiteering despoilers.
Clever public relations and promises of change dull our senses once again. The very same influenced politicians who presided over the tragedy still reign.
While we gird for the next round of toxic drainage poisons, our leaders spiel forth misdirection tactics that would only slightly curtail the onslaughts, and even then far beyond the horizon.
Still, there is hope (surely hope springs…)
The single most important goal must be development of a storage flowway from the south end of Lake Okeechobee, running through cleansing marshes and a
dynamic storage area.
That would bring back estuaries teeming with thousands of important life forms.
Thousands of of wrecks, thousands of fishing spots and countless fascinating tales.
By Michael C. Barnette
In the past, those words were commonly heard along Florida’s shores. Numerous vessels met their fate off the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Florida, either by weather, war or chance.
Tales of local maritime tragedy have frequently emblazoned newspaper headlines since the early 1800s. While shipwrecks often resulted in emotional and economic loss, they also presented an opportunity to some in Florida, spawning an entire industry of those seeking to salvage vessels and cargo in peril. And just as the wrecking fleet in the Florida Keys benefited from a steady stream of unfortunate maritime incidents, fishermen and divers today also reap a shipwreck’s bounty.
Florida shipwrecks are more than just a productive site to pursue snapper, grouper and amberjack. A shipwreck is a time capsule—history captured in twisted steel, eroded wood and countless artifacts that can reveal important information about a former way of life. With a rich and diverse maritime history stretching back over four centuries, Florida’s shipwrecks include Spanish galleons, British warships, schooners, Confederate blockade runners, steamships and German U-boats. While many of Florida’s shipwrecks have been found, the vast majority still await discovery.
Potentially over 5,000 shipwrecks reside off Florida’s 1,200 miles of coastline. In and of itself, the Florida Keys archipelago, consisting of approximately 1,700 islands stretching 200 miles, is littered with the scattered remains of close to 1,000 shipwrecks. In fact, many of the reefs and shoals of the Florida Keys were named after various shipwreck events: the Marquesas Keys were named after the Marqués de Cadereita, commander of the ill-fated 1622 Fleet that included the famed Nuestra Señora de Atocha; Looe Key earned its name after the 1744 wrecking of the British frigate H.M.S. Loo; Carysfort Reef pays homage to the H.M.S. Carysfort, which ran afoul of the reef in 1770; and Alligator Reef, where the schooner U.S.S. Alligator met her fate in 1822.
It should come as no surprise that the Florida Keys are home to countless shipwrecks. The same inviting coral reefs to which divers and fishermen flock on vacation have doomed ships large and small. Historically, vessels heading south to destinations in the Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico closely hugged the Florida reefline to avoid the strong northward influence of the Gulf Stream. Unfortunately, all it took was a slight navigational error or violent afternoon squall to throw a sailing vessel onto the reef and tear her bottom out. The jagged coral reefs and treacherous shoals still wreak havoc on shipping today.
While coral reefs have sealed the fate of many vessels in South Florida and throughout the Keys, another destructive agent familiar to anyone living within the state is that of the dreaded hurricane. Hurricanes are a fact of life for Floridians. But, while we are fortunate to have satellites, radar and accurate forecasting to minimize loss of property and life, mariners prior to the mid-twentieth century were not so fortunate. Historically, hurricanes have impacted every coastal portion of the state and annually resulted in the loss of numerous vessels. In fact, the largest loss of life attributed to a single shipwreck event was due to a hurricane.
Florida’s greatest maritime tragedy is probably also the least well known—the Valbanera. In late August 1919, the 400-foot-long passenger steamer Valbanera departed Spain bound for New Orleans, with stops in Puerto Rico and Cuba. As she approached Havana in early September, hurricane-force winds buffeted the ship. Unable to enter the harbor, she waited offshore overnight for the storm to pass. However, by daybreak, she was nowhere to be seen. It would be several weeks before a U.S. Navy sub-chaser would find her submerged hulk west of the Marquesas on a shoal appropriately known as the Quicksands. Almost 500 lives were lost with the sinking of the Valbanera. The 1919 hurricane responsible for sinking the Valbanera and dozens of other vessels was the third most intense storm ever to impact the United States.
In contrast to the obscure sinking of the Valbanera, most readers have probably heard of the Nuestra Señora de Atocha and Mel Fisher. In September 1622, the Atocha was one of 28 vessels traveling back to Spain bulging with gold and silver from Central and South America. Only a day out of Havana, the fleet was devastated by a massive hurricane, resulting in the loss of eight ships. Debris and bodies were strewn from the Dry Tortugas to the Marquesas. In 1969, treasure hunter Mel Fisher began a 16-year quest to find the elusive wreck of the Atocha. While divers located the bulk of the galleon’s treasure in 1985, work continues to this day to find the remains of the stern, where it is believed an additional cache of treasure was stored.
Aside from the Keys, there are other areas of Florida that have had more than their fair share of shipwrecks. In particular, numerous vessels have been lost in the vicinity of Cape Canaveral. The predominance of shipwrecks in this area can largely be attributed to two primary agents. The first is the naturally occurring shoals off the tip of Cape Canaveral. Ever changing and moving, vessels that strayed too close to these shallows risked becoming a permanent addition to the dangerous shoals. While many ships were easily pulled off and saved, all it took was a strong afternoon thunderstorm to potentially seal a stranded vessel’s fate.
The other factor historically at play off Cape Canaveral was the fact that it was a bottleneck for shipping traffic. Because this point of land juts out into the Atlantic, vessels traveling north or south along the coast would invariably pass close so they could change course as appropriate and continue on their way. During World War II, German U-boats took advantage of this abundance of shipping traffic. Rather than actively hunt targets and expend their precious fuel supply, U-boats patiently waited for the targets to come to them. It didn’t take long: While over 40 ships were sunk by enemy action off Florida, nowhere else off Florida is there a greater density of war casualties than the area between Port Canaveral and Sebastian Inlet. The first victim to fall to a German torpedo was the tanker Pan Massachusetts. Two days later, the tanker Cities Service Empire was sent to the bottom.
Today, these two wrecks lie in deep water less than five nautical miles apart off Cape Canaveral. Popular with anglers out of Port Canaveral, the wrecks teem with life. Until divers identified the then unknown wreck in 2001, the Pan Massachusetts was known only as the “Copper Wreck.” The first casualty of World War II lost off Florida is upside down and split in half. Only the bow portion resides off Cape Canaveral; to date, the stern section has not been found. Conversely, the 465-foot-long Cities Service Empire, known simply as the “Tanker,” is upright and intact, and provides habitat for gag, warsaw and snowy grouper, as well as abundant schools of amberjack.
With so many shipwrecks lost in Florida waters, you may wonder why there aren’t more shipwrecks available to fishermen and divers. While thousands of ships have sunk off Florida, many have disintegrated beyond recognition or been swallowed by the shifting sands, processes accelerated by the numerous tropical storms that annually pummel the Florida peninsula. It is likely that many of you have been frustrated to find a passing hurricane has replaced your favorite wreck with flat, barren sand. This is especially true of vessels that wrecked in shallow water and near the surf zone. Over the years, wreckage can be strewn across several miles of seafloor. Large portions of a shipwreck can be cast up on the beach and buried under sand dunes, only to be uncovered for brief periods of time by subsequent storms. While shipwrecks are slowly reclaimed by Mother Ocean, new shipwrecks do occur.
Technology has helped to prevent many groundings, at-sea collisions and storm-related sinkings. However, attrition, neglect, fire, fraud and, sometimes, simple bad luck continue to claim new shipwreck victims. Many vessels in service well past their prime and held together with duct tape, paper clips and a prayer ply waters between Florida and various Caribbean countries. One such vessel, the Honduran freighter Mary Star of the Sea, sank while at anchor off Miami in October 2000 and was eventually abandoned by her owners. She was eventually raised, towed offshore and sunk in deep water to serve as an artificial reef.
The same advances in technology that help to prevent future shipwreck events also allow individuals to find existing wreck sites. Whereas in the past unreliable LORAN-A and paper fathometers offered little more than a crapshoot in seeking shipwrecks, GPS satellites offering precise position information and high-resolution sonar greatly increase a fisherman’s odds of locating and returning to offshore wrecks. Additional tools, such as the side-scan sonar and magnetometer, allow more comprehensive searches over a greater amount of real estate compared to more conventional methods. Regardless, it is likely that 95 percent of all shipwrecks exposed on the continental shelf have been “found” in one manner or another. Whether a shipwreck has presented a snag to trawler nets, a curious feature to oceanographers, an obstruction to navigation or a magnetic anomaly inventoried by the military, odds are someone in the past has encountered it. However, finding that data in archival files or obtaining the information from old salts can sometimes be as much an adventure as actually scanning beneath the waves from a boat bobbing on the ocean’s surface.
So, is it possible one of your honeyholes you have been fishing for years is a sunken Spanish galleon laden with gold and silver? Unlikely. However, it is quite possible one of the wrecks you fish is rich in history. The only way to find out for sure is by diving the site, plus some archeological research.
Editor’s note: Michael Barnette, an avid scuba diver and relentless note-taker, is the author of Shipwrecks of the Sunshine State. The 195-page, soft-cover book relates the histories of dozens of famous and not-so-famous wrecks along our state’s shores, from Spanish galleons, to World War II sinkings, to modern losses. It includes a list of over 1,000 GPS and loran coordinates. Some dive and tackle shops carry the book; you can also order it for $20 through the Web site for the Association of Underwater Explorers:www.uwex.us
Florida Sportsman Publisher Blair Wickstrom joins Ralph Baker of RJ Marine Group to talk about maintaining a vital piece of boat equipment, the batteries. They talk about the differences of lead-acid-based batteries vs. the newer gel-based batteries, as well as how to maintain your boat’s batteries to ensure plenty of power when out on the water.
I also pitched them the monster 7 inch Fender Walker topwater plug. These reds lost their minds when they saw that plug, I had one red of at least 45 inches come completely out of the water about a foot above the surface trying to dismantle my plug. It was epic action to say the least.
There are some big fish out in the ocean along the beaches, feeding on all that little bait moving along the coast. The trick is to fool them into eating in that clear ocean water. Can’t wait till all the big girls find their way up through the inlet and visit us this fall.
I had some fun with the trout for a while then made my way to the spot I had been fishing the last few times out and the reds weren’t there. So I started trolling around looking for some and came across a school of 30 to 40 over slot reds.
Took about an hour to find some redfish. Caught a couple decent trout on topwater while looking for reds. Finally started seeing tails so I anchored up and threw some top water, soft plastics and a spoon, nothing. So I turned to cut up pinfish.
We made the paddle out to the spot and we were greeted by 100 plus over slot reds happily tailing away in the grass, finning out, backs breaking the surface, the whole 9. We managed to scoop up 5 until the wind switched out of the east briskly and they all made their exit off to the deep end.
Within ten minutes of that mullet surfacing the water there was the blow upp! I grabbed the bell and set a perfect hook set and enjoyed the ride! She put up a nice and long fight for her size at 36 inches, I got her in and unhooked her. Of course we released her just in time to head in before the storm.
A little defeated we headed to one of our shorelines to soak some shrimp, hoping to catch some trout or reds. We were using light tackle with 25 pound leader. This was my wife’s first snook over 40 inches, and she did a wonderful job of handling her around the boat. The fish ran what seemed like 100 yards before slowing down. I finally got her in the net, but she would not fit completely.
School of 30 or so breeder reds tailing in the flats, carefully casted with the jerkbait and twitched it twice. Thought I spooked the school (as a huge wake was formed near my lure) but turns out two or three reds were racing to get to the lure first. Hooked up and after a nice fight on my lightest outfit I landed a 44 inch red!
I spent a ton of time up in north Brevard and some schools in the Banana this past week. I haven’t fished up there much in a while and figured I would go chase some schools of Redfish I used to fish for as a kid.
After a couple hundred yards on the pole I spotted a small school of slot reds. They were milling about, completely unaware of my approach. I tossed out the ole trusty CAL on an 1/4oz head, one fish spotted the “prey”, broke ranks and pounced.
There was no shortage of bait or game fish, we saw hundreds of black drum all morning long. We could hear them drumming through the water. Though we never could convince one to eat. We threw D.O.A. shrimp, cals and an assortment of flies. They were just completely disinterested.
This girl blasted my bait and screamed off line the fight is on. She headed for the dock pilings and the mangroves. After a fun battle and yelling ” no! ” a 100 times with every dart she took for the dock, I landed the old girl.
I think we only caught two fish that were under slot, and one that was just over. None of the fish were tailing, and 90 percent of them were caught while blind casting, and just like always they were all caught on artificials, and released to fight again.
My friend invited me out Sunday for a short trip. Caught a couple of small trout and reds, nothing major but it was nice to get out. Then this one took my DOA glow shrimp with my 6 pound line. Ended up being 30 inches long, one of the biggest I have caught in a long time!
We ran to our first spot and within a few hours had boated five keepers. Kris had the winner with a seven pounder! We ran out of fiddlers and the weather started to improve so we decided to go to port to get some food and more bait and try fishing at the mouth to see about a mix bag.
As soon as it got daybreak I was ready to fish. About 5 casts and then wham! Fish on and a good one, it came up shaking its head trying to spit the hook then surged for the trolling motor under the boat ,buried in the mud and then game over. right into the one arm landing net. This thing is a hog first fish of the day and wow. By this time another boat showed an was working the same area but keeping his distance. I kept on a fishing and wammo another hog at 25 inches and released it.
Not having a push pole we drifted the flat until we started seeing tailing reds (BONUS!).The wind dropped and the rain started but it seemed to really get the fish fired up. Although I struck first blood with a small rat red that I will not post pictures of, captain Adam was the top hook with a just short slot red and two slob trout!
Got a solid hook set and 25 to 30 minutes later, redzilla was boat side. It bottomed out our 40 pound boga grip scale with ease. We guess it to be 45 plus pounds and it was a hell of a way to start off the new year.
Occasional weeds fouled plugs and Friday and Saturday the waves made it a little dicey in a 16 foot boat to say the least, but the fishing was on fire. Managed to catch around 11 snook (2 slot before the 15th), 7 reds, and 2 tarpon and lost countless others. We were using 50 pound Yozuri Flouro with a decent size split shot about 8-12 inches above a Owner Mutu Light 4/0-5/0 circle hook.
I went fishing today for the first time out of Port Canaveral. I usually fish out of Mosquito Lagoon but decided to try something different. I fish out of a 17 foot flats boat so we were waiting for a nice day like today to fish along the shoreline. We picked up a few small bluefish and this nice bull Red. It is by far my largest red to date. I battled it for approximately 15 minutes before finally bringing it to the boat. I didn’t want to keep the fish out of the water any longer than necessary so no measurements or weights were taken , just this photo.
Did a trip with a good friend on Saturday evening. It rained on us most of the night but the fish didn’t mind. I’ll just show you the two big fish of the night. All fish caught on 6000 series PENNS with 50 pound braid, 50 pound fluorocarbon leader and 4/0 circle hooks. Baits were pigs, pins, croakers.
Then, as the sun was starting to drop Sammy hooks into something big. Never got it close enough to see it even though at some points the top of the leader was out of the water, fought it over about three quarters of a mile of inlet and almost 20 minutes before it pulled the hook. I thought he was going to lose it and chuck my pole in the water but he kept it together. And on the very next drift he had redemption.
At this point both the wind and water clarity were past what I like and my arm was now past the point that the two morning Aleve were doing anything. I was willing to quit with dinner in the well but thought,
“one pass on those oysters by the island over there” and that’s where this nice red was to finish the slam.
So here are a few more pictures. Started in the morning on west side out of the wind by Kars campsite. 2 reds there including the biggest of the week. Few trout and jumped another tarpon under that dock. Then went over to 528 and waded out to the bombing target. No reds but a lot of small trout. Finished about of the wind south of 520. Another red and a few trout on the Mirrodine. All fish this week released alive. Best part, not a single jack, catfish, or lizardfish!
The redfish bite is super hot right now, were catching 10 to 40 redfish a trip and all of them are on artificial. Topwater is definitely the best strike for them but you can use any of your favorite lures [...]
my fish was a stud, and would have been the biggest fish of the day, which got wrapped around someone’s boat and I actually managed to work it out, had it pretty whooped and to the boat. It made one more big run and crossed someone else’s hooked fish, and my line parted also had a double hookup of smaller ones that made it to the boat. we hooked 9, landed 5.
I drove down to Jacksonville and met my family at the ramp at 9, we took off and before we got to the first channel marker had engine trouble. Great start to the day, we ran the river looking for the big schools of spawning reds and after about an hour we found them. The school was so large it looked like a moving sandbar. We started tossing live pinfish and crabs at them with only the pinfish getting hit. We hooked up on the first fish and my mom gave it a good fight before pulling it in for some pictures. The school kept moving and the crowd began to grow. We worked the school for a couple more hours not getting to much action until I tossed out at top water. Second twitch I get blown up and the fish takes off, only to be broken off by a flurry of panicked fish swimming into my line. I quickly tied on another and as we got back into position I got my line right on the nose of the school. It seemed like the whole school targeted my bait. I got blown out of the water 3 to 4 times before finally getting a hook set.
Went out of PC this morning hunting for tarpon with friend Capt. Alex Jr. On the water by 6:15 and saw no pogies till sunrise. Then they were everywhere. We didn’t see a single tarpon all day!
However, we did run into some nice snook right off the beach. Once we realized there were snook around we started to target them. Hooked five and netted four. Caught them on pogies and all fish were released in good condition.
Went out this morning with my friends Alex and Bob. Ran down the beach – pogies everywhere. Found some Tarpon rolling and busting bait between 520 down to steeples. We did run down to patrick but the pogie pods disappeared south of steeples. Was kind of weird but the water off Patrick was beautiful and clear.
We lost a few Tarpon but managed to get this one to the boat. Took me about an hour to get him in. Circle hook caught him right in the corner of the mouth. This fish was pulling an 18 foot action craft flats boat around. Almost spooled me so we had to chase him for a little while. Estimated somewhere around 100 pounds.
Revived Tarpon and he pushed off nicely from the boat.
I got some free time this weekend and took several friends and family out on a couple trips targeting Tarpon and anything else that would bend a rod on the beach. Our summer bait run is in full swing with huge pods of pogies and mullet invading the beaches. You can target Kings, Jacks, Snook, Tarpon, Sharks in depths from 8 feet to 30 feet.
Friday started off with two big poons on back to back drifts as shown in the video below. The next day we jumped 3 more tarpon and picked up a hero snook while weeding through a few sharks.
You can still see into the water with limited visibility but the chocolate milk is coming on hard. I am sure there is clean water in places but a guide I am not. Started fishing both Whale Tail and the shoreline due East of the Tail. Tons of mullet and 1 big gator but no redfish. Tons of boats around Cucumber Island, but as we were rolling into the area some knucklehead blew the place out with his prop aimed at the sky. Boats cleared out after that. Ended up fishing more spots as we headed north to Tiger Shoals. We fished out in the open, close to the shoal that zigs and zags in the middle of that portion of the lagoon. That provided the cleanest water of the day which was not very clear. Saw a slow cruising 26 inch red. I tossed a chunk of mullet out in front of it. It swirled, went down, and inhaled.
As I made my way back to the end, I see three rods bent over and all hell breaking loose! I ask Mike “what the hell just happened” He said the guys were tripled up on Reds and Permit!” Oh ****! Better get to it now!” I yelled as I tied up a fresh crab onto my rod. Within minutes of deployment, I started reeling some slack out of my line, which brang my crab to the surface for a moment, and I see a fin and a boil. “Hooked up” I yelled, as a permit literally flew out of the water, and the fight was on. But this one was short lived, as it only took about 4 minutes to whoop this cute little guy and for Mike to get him into the drop net. “Cool, we are on the board, its already a success.”
On the water by 6:30 and headed to the first spot. In just a few cast small trout is hooked up but comes unbuttoned half way back to the boat . After that nothing for a couple of hours except to see who could get the biggest oyster rock back in the boat. About 9 decided to try and head back north to fish a spot that has always produced fish but mostly small or trash but at this point I am looking to get the skunk off the boat. Pull up and the water is very dark almost reddish in color. A few cast later and drag is screaming. After a nice fight and a couple of runs a fat 24 inch red is in the well ready for dinner tonight. Finally the skunk is off the boat and I’m feeling a little better. I got the boat back turned around and in position. A few casts later I think I have a big over slot redfish by the drag it was taking and the runs it was making. It gets a little closer and I see that its a huge trout. Measured out at 28-29 inches after it made it in the boat.
Me and my dad fished the Lagoon toda,y for half of it anyhow. Bait is thick and the water was glassy early on and dirty. Started off with the topwaters but no one was interested. Switched up to some jerk baits and a little intrest, but not like a “I am hungry bite,” just small taps could of been pinfish I guess. Kept working around the mullet pods then finally a nice trout hits. Kept at it awhile releasing a couple small trout and a jack then thump a solid bite I put the steel to him and the fight was on but he hugged the bottom hard. I said “Great, I think I got a Ray” then bring it along the side of the boat and up pops a nice Flounder. Kept working and a casting for awhile with little to show except a few wind knots and a knot failure on a nice fish. I then make a long cast to a pothole as soon as it lands thud Hookset then screaming drag[...]
Put in at Eddy Creek. On the water by 6:30. Immediately start looking for fish. Not much there. A few singles and doubles that we couldn’t get close to. With the conditions I had expected to see some tails but there were none. About 45 minutes we get close to a decent school. As I had a friend with me I always give them first crack at it. His cast sailed wide right of the moving fish. Now it’s my turn. These guys were pretty much casting distance from the boat and I’m no sharpshooter (Theres a reason I dont fish mangrove edges, salute to those of you who do,) so I let my shrimp fly and it lands right on top of the moving red. Thinking I blew that one, I was a little surprised when it spun around and grabbed it. Fish on!
Went out for a quick trip today over in Titusville. First tried our trout spot but nobody was home. Went to look for something else to play with and got lucky when a blue crab floated by. Netted it up real quick and put in on the hook. Ten minutes later line starts screaming. After a 15-20 minute battle I landed a nice 39 inch fat redfish!
Redfish put a hurt on my ole bod today and last night. I made the mistake of planning TWO trips for reds within 24 hours. Lucky for me (or not) the fish were hitting it hard both trips. We ended up with 15 or so nice fish. Biggest was just about 50” and they were caught drifting the Inlet with live bait while the somewhat smaller fish were caught plugging in the north Indian River Lagoon.
Sunday, I had the pleasure of fishing with my 11 year old nephew. He’s an awesome kid who is constantly wanting to fish, learn knots, clean up the boat, etc. So, I figured why not take the grom out for a day on the water. Last time I had him out, I saw a major improvement in his skill level, his casts were more and more accurate and he’s beginning to learn to read the water. This time, all he could talk about was sight fishing…
So, we got over to the lagoon and started working a couple flats. We’d pole along, he’d see a trout in a sand hole but the cast just wasn’t there. It was either on top of the fish or too far left, too far right, too short. He was getting dialed in though with each presentation. At this point, I had whacked a couple of reds but our focus was on getting him a true sight fished fish. We came around a bend on a shoreline that has a few scattered sandy depressions and pot holes. Sure enough, he spots a nice trout just laying in a smaller sandhole.
Have been hearing about the shrimp starting to run so wanted to get out and check it out. It was pretty gosh darn cold so we only stayed from about 6pm-11:30pm. Only saw a few shrimp but we didnt hang out long after the current switched directions. Did net up some silver sides that were attracted to the lights and put those out to see who wanted to play. Not 30 minutes after putting them out my buddy got a nice hit, he’s some what of a novice so I figured it was either a catfish or the bottom knowing him. Then the line started peeling off! Game on. I coached him through the fight, and after about 15 minutes we boated a nice 34 inch slob of a red.
Went fishing the rocks down on Rockledge Drive for small reds that I usually end up with and came up with a BIG trout (for me at least). Caught her on a 1/8 jig with a green DOA CAL with 1000 series reel and 8 lb Power Pro. So that was fun for sure. Fish measured out at 30.5″ and was sent back home to fight another day.
Fishing the Indian river along some docks on Wednesday night. We were fighting a south wind the whole time.. not a very bad south wind but enough that we were skeptical about catching anything. I managed to put two dink trout in the boat within the first hour or so… not a good start. So we decide to head to another spot with less wind and on our way out stopped at one last dock.
I throw a paddle tail minnow on a jig head, and boom. Fish on, it immediately runs under the dock and out the other side. Some boat maneuvering ensues, I hand my rod off to my friend who passes it under some pilings and hands it back to me. The snook takes off like a rocket and covers about 50 yards in no time, going under another dock.
Here is my first GoPro video, an early Christmas present. Edited the footage after the trip, did it quickly, any tips or suggestions on the video are welcome. As far as gear I used a Star Seagis, with a Shimano Stradic Ci4. We threw gulp shrimp on a weighted twist lock hook.
I recently got a day to myself between the cruddy weather and running trips and I was able to throw out the pink barbie rod. Knowing I was in an area holding some giant trout, this would be the perfect opportunity to showcase you don’t need to spend $500 on a rod and reel to catch the big ones. I will admit that I did cheat a little bit and spooled up 8lb braid with a 15lb flourocarbon leader rigged with a 3″ gulp shrimp. [...]
With the sudden drop in temperatures, the thought of the redfish bite slowing down crossed my mind once or twice but as soon as the wind laid down, I was able to see for myself that it only improved the bite! Redfish are schooling over the flats like it’s spring and the monster trout are everywhere but not schooled up yet in the number they were last year…YET! I’ve kept the topwaters in the box and immediately start working soft plastics with instant results. Look for schooled reds in about 2′ of water and your single fish can be sighted next to land providing the water is deep enough for them to move around in. Our trout are sitting on deeper drop offs and potholes. [...]
My very first cast is a fish on, a real fighter and a 26 1/2 inch red is in the boat. I normally don’t keep anything but flounder or pomps, except badly injured fish that won’t survive, or the odd fish here and there for my jig maker or computer tech guy. I move to my next spot and have a few short hits, then a hard thump, but no real fight as it comes straight to me. And then, holy smokes! This fish goes ballistic and in the early light I see what I would consider a “mat”. In the net it goes [...]
Got a couple days off from work so decided to do a little fishing today following the first cool front of the season. With no set plan where to go I saw a Facebook post from a buddy of mine, Steve Brand. He was planning on hitting the No Motor Zone/KARS Park area. After texting him and inviting myself along, we made plans to meet this morning. We launched a began our trip to an area we figured would be holding some fish.[...]
Seven days into the month and I’ve put over a 100 reds in the boat. From slots to beasts, the IRL and ML is producing more fish than I’ve seen all year. The mullet run is also beginning and that means even more fish following. Look for snook following the massive schools of mullet. Use a DOA Baitbusters for these guys or a topwater can work just as well [...]
My father-in-law came into town for a few days and I wanted to put him on some fish! We started the day by stopping by the shop to load up on croakers (one of the many benefits of owning a bait and tackle shop). We then broke the inlet as the sun was cracking and made our way north looking for tarpon chasing the mullet schools. Made it about 5 miles before my passenger had had enough of the 3 to 4 foot, close period swell, so we headed back to the inlet to see what was chewing [...]
Got out with Tyler this morning and we headed to Titusville (10 minutes up the road) in search of some big breeder redfish. It was a nice morning with a slight 4 to 8 mph westerly breeze. On our first stop we saw absolutly nada although I landed a small trout blind casting. So we headed to a spot where there had been some recent bigguns hanging out. No luck on seeing any monsters but Tyler snatched up an upperslot beautiful tailer for the first of our targeted species of the day [...]
Within 10 minutes of motoring down we spot the biggest tail I’ve ever seen on the flats. He followed the jerk bait about 5 feet then dissapeared for the rest of day…sigh. All is not lost, 5 minutes later my buddy hooks into what looks to be 35 inch red, but after getting him to boat on 10 pound braid he makes the mistake of putting a little muscle on him and he breaks off. At this point the fish goes into hidding so we decide to pickup and move a little bit [...]
Plan was to run the beach and target tarpon. Had the 24 Pathfinder loaded with tackle (big spinners, bait casters, and Avets in case we headed offshore). Headed out of the port at day break and headed south looking for pogies and poons. No pogies at the pier and water temp kept dropping the further south we went [...]
Hit the lagoon early this morning, only to find tails all over the place. Water was very low, still dirty, and tons of grass. Fish were doing a very good job at sneaking through the grass this morning but we still managed a handful. Late morning we saw a nice size tail pop up, poled towards it and my buddy makes a perfect cast and gets nailed. A couple seconds into the fight we realize it’s not a red but a monster gator trout. Caught, weighed, quick photo shoot, and a healthy release. 8.5 lbs on the boga. Enjoy.
Heard reports of fish patrolling the beach recently and with calm waters, I couldn’t resist taking this skiff out. Ran down to the pier and loaded up the livewell with 30 pogies. We ran about 3/4 of a mile from the beach and we seen a couple tarpon rolling. So with that we stopped, put the trolling motor in and set out our baits [...]
Thanks to Debby, I’ve been going a tad bit crazy just staring at the computer screen and listening to the weatherman say stay off the water so I figured I’d give a report and a story. Topwater has been off and on this month. The more overcast, the more strikes I’ve seem to be having. Skitterwalks and Chugbugs have been the hot ticket for big trout and redfish for me on the days when they’re hitting. Other days it seems I might as well have brought the kitchen sink. On those days I quickly switch up to jerkbaits [...]
As most are aware, fishing on the Indian River and Banana River is going off. Reports from other guides are showing big fish from Mosquito Lagoon as well! I’ve been scouting new areas for clients and I’ve found some fish well off the beaten path from my normal area that make a damn fine picture! Smaller redfish are smacking topwaters all day long and the STILL hot trout bite dies off around 8 a.m. [...]
The fishing has been on fire in the lagoon the past few weeks. We have been catching lots of reds and trouts on Rapala skitterwalks and gulp jerk baits. The trout color has been working the best for me. Been catching the trout on the edges and drop offs fishing the bait pods. Reds have been a little tougher because the high dirty water but when you get a bait near them they will eat!
Went fishing in the Indian River down near Palm Bay yesterday. My buddy caught a nice 27 inch snook first cast, then a couple mins later I hooked up to a upper slot sized snook. As night fell the tarpon began to bite and my friend managed to catch one. We missed a bunch of tarpon but still had a lot of fun.
Decided to hit the water this morning before Memorial Day weekend boat traffic hits full swing. I’m fortunate to have a customer who is also a friend, so we can officially call it a work day. We lost more fish today than I can ever remember losing (pulled hooks, broken lines & frayed leaders from mangrove roots and docks, etc.). It’s still pretty fun getting freight trained; even when you lose.
Headed out with my buddy Bill in his boat today to look for some fish for a few hours. We started a little later than we wanted to, and made it to the spot at about 7am. Found out the trolling motor batteries took a dump, and it costed us another 30 minutes of primetime, although I managed about 10 casts with a skitter walk and boated a nice 18″ trout and had 3 blow ups on other casts.
This week I had great days on the water. Got to enjoy great fishing with good friends. Got my biggest trout on top water, got some black drum, and my buddy got an oversized red. SkinnywtrfdmanWe have used top water early I the morning and soft plastic the rest of the day. Oh’ yeah except the black drum would only take shrimp. I guess I need to invest in a fly rod. I’m thinking that may work better when the fish are spooky.
Put in to the ol’ Haulover Canal with light winds and glassy conditions at 8:30 a.m. Proceeded to travel West. Onto a (THE) flat 3 miles later and sighted very little surface action. We only had jerk baits, DOA’s, and a cast net for live bait. Fingering mullet were extremely HARD to find; everything was all grown up…BTW did you see that Publix now has mullet fillets in the seafood department under the glass? [...]
All I can say is wow! Just wow! It just keeps getting better and better as time is going by here in central Florida. It is starting to look more and more for all of us here on the Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River that this year is going to be epic. The weather has just been perfect along Florida’s beaches and along with this it has brought some of the best sight fishing I have seen in a few years now. The New Smyrna Beach, Oak Hill, Scottsmoor and Titusville areas are the epicenter for some of the greatest fishing on the backcountry grass flats there is.
I was at work Thursday when my lady friend texted me saying “I miss you we need to fish!” and she talked me into it. I checked the winds and tides and once I had seen low tide at 6ish I was eager for the port. So once 4:30 came I went straight to my house and hooked up the boat. We decided it was time to see if snook found there way to the port yet. I got to her house around 5:45 in Cape Canaveral and we were off. I decided before nightfall hit I’d try the beach and jetty to no avail [...]
My half bro Alex and his buddy Jeff flew in late Thursday night for a Florida fishing adventure. Plan was to fish for dolphin on Friday on my 24′ Pathfinder, go inshore Saturday, and fish Sebastian inlet Saturday night. Wind forecast for Friday had me and my ruptured C5-C6 disc worried, so my brother John and our buddy Gray stepped it up and set up a charter on the Incentive with Bruce Alcott. I’ve bottomed fished with Bruce before and he is the man!
Such a gorgeous day! Now the plan was to get lucky, find the redfish was the goal. Well I might have hooked one and lost it but chances are it was a trout, because THE Trouts back on the menu for the 4th straight week in the lagoonic waters off the space coast. All those underslot trout I caught last year must have grown up because they are big now! and super fun to catch [...]
Well after working at the FD 72 hours straight, I was able to get out on the water today. Got off to a late start around 8 a.m. Got on a school of big fish right off the bat. Lost one and then landed one. Once the wind picked up they stopped showing themselves. I don’t like to pressure them so instead of sticking around we left. We spent the rest of our day on this one flat [...]
I am on spring break as of yesterday so I was very excited to fish nonstop but the weather is starting off nice and crappy. It looks like this weekend will be terrible but luckily I was able to get out today. The bite was very hot, and very early. The wind was dead calm first thing and kicked up a little bit by around 11:00 but by then I was already working my way back to the launch. Lots of redfish schools prowling the flats and tails were everywhere [...]
Took the morning off and drove over to Mimms for few hours of fishing before going into work. I live in Mount Dora so it’s a hour and 40 minute trip one way for a few hours on the water, never mind the gas cost. Sometimes you just gotta go.
The wind was maybe 5 or 6 straight up the river from the south. Not too much of a problem in a kayak…if you don’t forget your anchor. I decided to paddle south down to the railroad tressle and drift back while looking for fish, hopefully some tailers. Drift back I did!! [...]
Today was kind of like summer (only not 100 degrees) the water level was up and it was calm in the morning, caught a trout before sunrise and then it rained in the afternoon. Anyway, fished middle lagoon with fairly good success caught a trout and a few reds really early. The water was up by a noticeable amount and very very clear, just beautiful. Fish were tailing and I got several great shots at singles, small groups and one school [...]
Well now that we are into the New Year of 2012 here in east central Florida and great weather is amongst us the flats fishing of the Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River has taken of tremendously here in the New Smyrna Beach, Titusville and Oak Hill areas of central Florida. Sight fishing the backcountry flats of the national park and refuge has begun to improve quite a bit, with water clarity getting into the optimal range it should be for this time of year and just outstanding days to fish in [...]
Fishing has been great with sight casting for tailing reds and black drum and the upper creeks have been great for a mixed bag of reds, trout, flounder and black drum . The weather forecast for next few days is light winds and sunny skies which equal some top of the line sight casting for schooling reds and tailing reds and black drum this could be the best week of fishing in last couple of weeks . Get out on the water and catch some fish while the girls or guys are out shopping and the weather is great. Merry Christmas.
by Florida Sportsman•
September 30, 2014
>Recent fishing reports from “No Motor Zone” anglers from all regions around the state.
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.
After 30 minutes, right before slack tide was there my line went tight and I started fighting a big fish. My target was tarpon so I was thinking TARPON! But since it didn’t jump I knew it was a big snook.
We paddled out to our first spot around 9:30 to simply catch a couple rats and get equipment tuned in for later spots. My first cast with the spoon landed a little red so I knew it was going to be a productive day.
We took a break out near Pelican Island, when on the way back to our launch point, my live bait rod starts screaming. He immediately starts yelling shark, we were pleasantly surprised as this is my biggest snook yet from a kayak which measured 37 inches.
The weatherman was wrong. Wind was blowing and the waves were pounding. About to call it a day till rob says “I got a plan B”. So off to his spot and sure enough it paid off. I got a nice 40″ snook that was a fatty and rob hooked up but the hook pulled on what I think was a tarpon.
At deep color, I could see it was a long slender bluish silver fish, and since I was out beyond normal kingfish territory, anticipation of a wahoo was high. About 10 minutes later she was on the gaff, 53 inches and 32 pounds! It was a total rush!
Weeds were a huge issue today with live baiting so i decided to set up shop and spool the baits out so they wouldn’t get weeded as bad. I’ve found this tactic to be extremely effect in the morning hours when the fish are aggressively feeding.
I use the yak to get close, very quietly, then slip out and wade to the fish. Makes it a lot easier to make a good presentation to the fish with a fly, especially in this wind. The fish were hungry and aggressive. I only spooked 1 or 2 with the line.
I made a couple more passes through the area having many strikes, wakes, and blow ups but no connections. Finally connected with a solid fish around that pulled me around and gave my stradic 3000 and 10 pound braid a good workout.
We set out in a southeasterly direction at sunrise and stopped in 150 feet of water. As soon as we stopped my live bait rod gets slammed. It ends up being my biggest kingfish of the day. Within 5 minutes Suede lands a kingfish that could be the twin to mine.
Found no shortage of baby tarpon feeding up in the shadows of the mangrove overhangs and culvert outflows. I caught lots of these little guys on both spin and on the 8wt on these small minnow patterns I have been tying, and on my new favorite lure I decided to try randomly, the Vudu shrimp.
We made a trip to Matlacha with big hopes of tarpon. They laughed around all around us most of the day. We even got a close up look at one that was sniffing around shallow waters. He seemed so intensely focused on the grass bed he didn’t notice that he came within a few feet of our kayaks.
I was losing line fast, so I started pedaling to chase him down. The fish came to the surface and circled about 15 feet away. I saw the unmistakably tiger stripes and my adrenaline skyrocketed! The wahoo made a deep run and I slowly worked him up tail wrapped. After about 40 minutes, I gaffed him and brought him up.
So far I have got over 10 snook over the 38 inch mark. All fish were caught in Boynton Spillway after sun down. All this rain has got the water moving pretty fast through the flood gates and it really heats up the bite.
My yak buddy made his way over to a deeper spot and hooked into multiple redfish and gave me a call to move on in. After landing his 4th fish, I failed to get a single hit with any of my lures; he continued to catch and release over the next hour.
Early on we trolled to 180 feet and found some scattered weeds and stuff was going on here and there. After some drops we decided to move to 220 feet and Gio calls out fish on! Some time later Gio calls a king and we get together to gaff it and bring the catch in my bag.
My top water plug was getting crushed just about every throw. Best fish of the day was a 39 inch snook. Caught lots of snook and trout and one redfish to complete the inshore slam. The biggest trout was 25 inches. Released everything except the big trout.
So I send the bait out while thinking how pissed I’m going to be when I lose another fish, I was in that mood. Well before I know it, a sail is cat walking right at me and I see my line slack, Fish on!
Anyways, found a nice north stream between 250 to 300 feet, and began jigging between those depths only. I couldn’t capture on film the first couple minutes of the long run. I was busy just trying to keep my focus on having a good hookset. I thought I lost the fish, as he began to swim toward me. That’s where the short video clip begins
I decided to start taking length and girth measurements of my tarpon so I could better calibrate my eye when judging weights of fish. I haven’t measured a fish in so long, I wasn’t sure if I was accurately judging weights.
My lure gets inhaled, I set the hook, and a 50 pound tarpon erupts. It’s not even light out yet, welcome to Flamingo! After the initial jump it stays in the water and ends up just dragging me along the shoreline towing me like I’m not even there. After getting drug back a half mile the way I came I put too much pressure on my 20 pound braid and broke him off.
Next it was my turn. As I sat and watched I noticed a small pod of tarpon feeding on some bait up against the mangrove shoreline. I through my Riptide Flats Chub past the pod and started to quickly retrieve it. I was immediately rewarded with an aerial display of another juvenile tarpon.
I quickly threw the goggle eye back in the bucket and began fighting. After about 10 minutes with several gaff misses, I quickly realized that it’s time for a longer gaff. I finally got it which ended up being a nice 42 inch king, my personal best.
We head to deeper water and continue jigging and drifting. I hook up to something big until it breaks my 30 pound test line. Seconds later my gog gets smoked in 180 feet. Nice blackfin in the boat after a short fight.
I casted my line out and let it sit for a second while I took a sip of my beverage and BOOM not even 5 minutes I was hooked up to the biggest fish I’ve caught to date unknowingly. The drag was screaming like no other. I set it as tight and possible without there being too much tension for my line to break.
A large shark (likely) did wind up eating a ladyfish half Drew was drifting, he started getting towed but as he added some pressure it broke off. At around 10:30 we decided to head over to the bridge. I caught a nice 6 pound flounder (my biggest) right away but then besides ladyfish and jacks that was really it for a long while.
Finally got my new Predator wet off the beach for a little tarpon fishing. I’ve been watching guys get dragged around for years and finally got my chance. I had a bunch of shots throughout the morning and finally got one to eat a whitebait around 9:30. It was quite a ride.
then got into a few schools that were interested, caught 6 reds up to 32 inches on Gulp!, jerk baits, and live mullet. Also saw several tarpon and hooked up to at least 8 or 9 times with no success but then i finally landed one! Also caught a few trout to complete a not so common slam for me.
We head out straight east and deploy our gogs at 80 feet. We make it to 250-ish and I hear my drag pull a little. I look at it again and it pulls a little more. Just as I’m about to pick it up I see a monster sailfish leap 30 yards away and my drag goes off. 30 to40 minutes later I have a huge sail in my lap.
Had a great time with a getaway to the Emerald Coast for opening of Snapper Season. First day went 4 for 4 on snapper (kept 2) and 1 for 1 on kings. Really surprised we didn’t get into more kings that day. Second day caught a short gag, 2 short red snapper, 1 vermilion snapper, and a king.
I spent the night at my buddy Stan’s place Sunday night. Woke up early to fish the Indian River at Hutchinson Island with Stan and his girlfriend Tammy. Conditions were good with winds out of the East from 5 to 15 knots and a wind ripple in the water. Caught my biggest trout to date-27 3/4 inches long and a fat 6 pounds.
I pull up my park n pole and prepare for the sleigh ride! 5 minutes go by with this fish tearing off 20 pound braid and dragging my loaded down pro angler no problem, I gain a little bit of line and finally get a glimpse of the fish as it breaks the surface in the distance. Those red scales shimmering in the sun gave it away and I immediately knew this was a solid bull red! Needless to say at this point I am grinning ear to ear as this is why we came here.
Managed to land a small snook and a 24 inch keeper red before having to take cover from the lightning for a couple of hours. After the storms faded, high tide approached and I began working the mangroves with the live target scaled sardine.
Trolled for a little over an hour and had the pleasant surprise of having a 10 foot hammerhead circle my kayak a couple times before he decided to destroy my flat line and take me for a sleigh ride for a few minutes. Thankfully the line snapped before he spooled me. Peddled out to 150 feet where I saw some weeds, was there no longer than 2 minutes and my last blue runner gets inhaled by a big dolly.
Forum member and contributing writer palmbeachpete shared his recent trip to the Bahamas while fishing in the extreme kayak and paddle board tournament. A lot of nice fish caught and looked to be a great time had by all!
As soon as we reached our first spot, we both hooked up to bonitos right away. Not what we wanted, but still an ice breaker on the jigs. After getting in our workout on those bonitos, Jason landed a small AJ for the smoker and an African Pompano. No BFT’s in these shallower waters. We averaged 225 feet or less depth throughout the day.
Headed north for the first time ever in the yak. Did a Boynton to WPB drift with Eric and the bite was good all day. I got 3 dolphin, he got 2 and they were decent size! Eric also snagged an AJ and jumped a sail a few times. Awesome day on the water and glad to get back out on the yak and get some fish.
Got another runner, then a few drops later I felt something a little larger. Got it about 60 feet off the bottom and it suddenly realized it was hooked, and drag started peeling out straight down. Finally pulled up a 28 pound amberjack after about 15 minutes. I went back to the rest of the group and took them back to the Tenneco, and I got a 22 inch mutton and what looks like a charcoal variant of a blue runner.
While Rob spent most of the day trying to effectively deploy a fly for a Snakehead to eat, I had many opportunities to seal the deal and uncharacteristically missed more hook sets than I’m proud to admit, not sure what it was today. All in all, managed to land a solid 28 inch 5 to 6 pound Snake, another medium one around 2.5 pound and a baby which was released.
Assumed that this was my tournament hopes down the drain, and made my way back to the truck, but after a 17 mile round trip and 6 hours of fishing time, my little dink trout proved enough to secure the victory! Brought it home despite the stiff competition of 175 other competitors, with a good number of them in skiffs. Proof positive you can go out and be successful with just the bare minimum!
After getting beat up on the wreck I headed out to see if the tuna bite would be on as it got later in the day and as soon as I got to 240 feet they were jumping everywhere. landed 5 out of 6 in 20 minutes CASTING the same 60 glow jig and ripping it on the surface. The last tuna I jigged up in 300 feet. A fun and action filled afternoon!
High tide peaked at 6:00PM so I placed my yak into one of the passes and waited for the big drain to start. At 6:01PM one of my trolling rods with a clear gold speckled DOA shrimp gets hit hard and after a decent fight I pull in a 24 inch gator trout.
There were no tails to be seen anywhere but we pushed through and eventually found the Reds munching but fully submerged. I was able to hook up to this beautiful spotless Red that finally allowed me to try my Abu Garcia Revo Inshore bait caster. What a fight it gave me. We each hooked Sharks and lost them. Oh well.
As fortune would have it, there was a small school pushing right towards me that I would’ve never seen except that the sun was at just the right angle, and though they weren’t making a wake, there was just enough of a disturbance to “bend” the reflection on the water a slight bit. At first I thought it was a slight breeze kicking up, but it soon became apparent what it was.
Our plan was to go to Googe Island and work all the back mangrove Islands on the way. We watched bait being attacked by pelicans and a lot of mullet action in deeper holes. We set up on the outside of the holes and would cast in Jig heads with live shrimp and bump the bottom. It didn’t take long to hook up on the Reds. Great day out with the family.
Inshore the trout bite has been picking up along with a few decent snook recently, haven’t been able to get into any reds except for a couple rats though. Last offshore trip I hooked into my first sailfish, went for a sleigh ride for 5 minutes but unfortunately the Sail wore through my line after a couple water walking jumps.
We started our final run back to the creek mouth and continued to work the grass edges, sand holes and oyster bars which resulted in a lot of small reds and trout. As we made it back to the channel I cast into a deep cut and thought I had snagged a rock with my LT greenie. The rock started moving and I knew it would be the biggest fish of the day. After a nice fight, this beauty made my day at 26 inches and 7 pounds.
Total tally was 6 Largemouths, one was 19 inches, two others were 17 inches, I estimate the 19 incher to be around 4-5 pounds. All caught on 6/0 Gamakatsu worm hooks and a variation of Gambler Cane and Zoom toads. Nothing better than topwater action.
Another beautiful day on the water, lost my gaff in the morning to two big waves that hit me bad and after that it wasn’t there any more. Did end up catching a nice spanish mackerel and a nice dolphin though.
Was about to call it and then a big beast latched on to my lure in around 25 feet. This is one of the two biggest fish I have ever caught from my kayak. I tail grabbed it into the yak and then had to paddle (couldn’t peddle with the tail up around my neck and the head blocking the peddles) over to shore to measure and photograph. I measured as best I could with it in the Hobie and wound up with somewhere around 43 inches.
We went 2 for 7 on tarpon from 80 pounds to the one pictured. It ate a Hogy 10 inch Original Series fished on a 6/0 Soft Circle Hook. 50 pound Power Pro Slick, 80 pound Mono leader, Sustain FG 10,000 on a Sewell Custom 8 foot Tarpon Rod. The fight lasted about 35 minutes and spanned close to a mile from start to finish.
After not getting any more bites and the wind starting to pick up and make it hard to jig in place, I switched back to trolling a live gog. About 10 minutes into paddling the rip, way out I saw my first sail come leaping out the water. Rob made it there in time to snap a photo of the landing which went off pretty well for my first time.
About 6 minutes into the hunt I spot a big fish gingerly patrolling the outer edges of shallow mud bank and I fire off a cast about ten feet in front of her. She’s slowly moving right towards my DOA shrimp and I leave it lie motionless on the bottom until she’s about 2 feet away and then I just slowly raise the rod tip causing the shrimp to “pop” off the bottom and she bulldogs it, fish on!
Before the sun was up high enough to sight fish, I was firing topwater and had a fish clobber a skitterwalk up shallow. he choked it and pulled some drag for me, came out to 27 inches. Once the sun came up it was game on, ended up picking one fish off on fly that was laid up on a mangrove shoreline and one on spin off of a flat. both fish being sub slot but were fun watching the eat and the fight when they’re shallow.
First Dolphin of the day was around 8:15am on a live runner in 225 feet on a weed line using my Avet LX and 20 pound mono. Notice the scars all over its tail. The tax collector tried to swoop in and steal my catch, however it was not your usual man in the grey suit but a monster barracuda.
Needless to say their was a good bite out there today before the front moved in. Bait was thick in 190 to 220 feet. Weedline running NNE in the same depth. Salvaged the day with this king that skied on a dead tunny with the tail cut off on a stinger rig trolling it in, 39 inches to the fork.
The seas were building and I made the decision to set my lines in a trolling spread and set an east course to do a large loop back to shore under sail. After my course changed back to west, I got a knock down on my starboard plug. It made a few good runs on my Penn 5500 and then in the kayak came my first blackfin tuna ever!
Boom! Again, but this time it felt deferent, it felt like a big fish! There it goes! My first Wahoo. I was impressed how fast this fish runs! I’ve never seen my drag going so fast. Definitely a unforgettable adventure!
Between Dave and I we spotted over 15 Reds, some we casted with both soft baits and topwater plugs and had no luck, we were able to land 2 solid slot Reds, and a couple missed my topwater plug. We safely released all, I didn’t feel like cleaning fish today.
Fun time out with my girlfriend on a windy day. Caught a nice trout on my D.O.A. shrimp within 10 minutes of throwing the anchor, this guy made for some amazing trout tacos! Caught another 4 trout that day with 3 out of 5 being over 18 inches.
Began the day throwing DOA CALs in the copper crush color and ended up changing to the dark green Bream color after blowing out a few cruising fish and that did the trick! First fish of the day ended up being a bit over 27 inches.
Started the day poling and sight casting in the lee of spoil islands only finding 1 slot red, casting to him with the fly rod, and have him follow it right to the yak before deciding not to eat it! Moved on and threw DOA jigs around some culverts and pulled what I thought was a decent snook, ended up being a solid trout!
Hit up Dania a little late this morning, no bait and peddled out into some face slapping slop. After a few drops landed a decent sized almaco then the biggest blue runner I ever caught. Moved out a little deeper, dropped the jig and fish on! After my sleigh ride up comes some stripes, wahoo baby!
I haven’t posted on here in awhile so thought I’d contribute. The past 2 days, I’ve hit up barrier islands in the Intracoastal Water Way in my kayak looking for reds and gator trout. Didn’t catch any real gators but got lots and lots of redfish all on topwater, z man paddlerz, and manic shrimp.
Lost a couple big ones due to leader fray. 80 pound was always plenty on a rod and reel but for some reason it’s not enough with the hand line. Anyways, live mullet were the ticket, trolled and free lined pretty much anywhere near the beach.
Click link to watch the video of this mayhem unfold
Aside from getting out and surprisingly sinking into muck above my knees my morning was rather uneventful. As we finished our trek from the no motor zone to open water I casted my DOA CAL, red and gold jerk bait into a deep channel. After a few twitches I got trucked. it didn’t feel like any inshore species I’ve fought before. When it broke the surface I was surprised to see the crusty camo of my first inshore Goliath.
I was throwing a topwater and when it came up next to my Pro Angler a big trout came out of the water on it, but threw it. I dropped it right back and he nailed it again. I had him this time! After a nice little fight I brought it up and lipped him. It measured out at 25 inches which is definitely me biggest trout in Matlacha to date.
I was working a lure in about 4 feet of water when it gets crushed and line starts screaming toward the mangroves. Managed to keep her out of the roots and forced her back to deep water. Maybe it was karma for letting the other one go but this one was 34 inches and a fatty!
He heads away from the docks and is all tuckered out. I feel him give up and now it’s just a matter of hauling him in. As he nears the yak, he heads underneath it and somehow I managed to pull a ninja spin around the stern of the kayak and get him to the other side. That’s no tarpon, it’s a monster snook!
We ended up hitting the water at 6:45 and paddled out to 280 feet initially. My plan was to learn how to vertical jig since I never had tried it before but I also rigged up a goggle eye and threw it overboard. Started jigging in 280 feet and my buddy immediately hooks up with a decent Bonita. We decided to go into 260ft and I finally had my first hook up, after a couple minute fight on my 5000 series reel I’m surprised to see a nice 24 inch snapper.
Me and my friend Conrad Fiocca fished the IFA Kayak Tour event in Ruskin this past weekend. Prior to the captains meeting we had very poor prefishing results and on tournament day I decided to fish close to the hotel area. On tournament day we launched by the hotel and paddled out to immediately get into redfish and trout. We caught quite a few trout with the biggest being 18 inches. We paddled over to the redfish spot and we both caught a red within 10 minutes of getting there. We decided to continue to try and upgrade our reds. We both caught 4 or 5 more reds until we each had a 24-25 inch red. We looked around but then came back to our original spot, and Conrad decided to throw a rattle trap and ended up catching a 27-inch red!
Loaded the slayer up yesterday and took it on its first trip to the NMZ. Lunched at sunrise and the trout bite was good on top waters. Switched up to Z Mann swimmers and ended up landing two slot reds. Poled the while day standing on the seat in the high position with no problems. This yak in by far the best yak if been in for fishing the flats.
Fishing was good once again. Started the day with a nice trout. Later in the morning found some Reds in very shallow water and they were tailing. I managed to sneak up on a school and luckily the camera was on when one of them attacked. Had the wind pushing from behind with a small island of dead grass in front of me. One of the fish was facing the opposite way and allowed me to get real close without spooking him…. The other Redfish hit a Topwater lure. I ended the day with two Reds, a beefy Trout and a psycho Ladyfish
Port everglades wanted to show a little love to skunk and a boat almost ran his *** over . Bonita city out there, I managed a med almaco and a sail, I lost another sail about 30 min later hooked up on a jig that sail went crazy popped my leader then Threw the jig. Slow day but at least the bonita kept us busy.
Had a late start guys getting bait at 15th st. We didn’t make it offshore until about 8am, where I followed andy to about 250 feet. We scored a little pre-work out on some bonita and a small amberjack that Andy got. Being in the middle of the group, Andy wanted to go to 340 feet to look for any bit of current so I followed. We almost left but then I finally got a small football in. First Tuna Since November! Andy gets one a little bigger. A few minutes later I got slammed and went on a speedy sleigh ride. After a couple minutes, I’m thrilled to see black and gold rising from the deep and it wasn’t small either.
I have a nemesis living in bear cut that has made a fool of me quite a few times now. It’s a giant barracuda whose size I didn’t fully know until today. Over the past 7 months he has cut me off and wrapped me on pilings about 6 times. It’s always in the EXACT SAME spot, making me think it’s the same fish. Last time by the bridge I put 18″ of #5 wire on to avoid getting cut off. That wasn’t enough and he PWND me again!!! Today I was using a float with a good 3′ of wire and a live 12″ blue runner. I put the bait in the water momentarily to spin the yak around (25′ up current of his home) and immediately the beast swirled at the bait, missing on the first pass but bit my line above the cork and wire. He spun around, grabbed the bait and took off.
Being over in Europe, cruising the Med and crossing the Atlantic was cool and all but the whole time my mind was on the Indian River! Loaded the Slayer and hit the river to check continue where i left off before my departure. Hit up my Vero Beach backcountry spot twice last week with nuthing to show but a few small snook and one baby tarpon…
Decided to hit Round Island this afternoon and see if she would produce for me. Couldn’t find a trout anywhere, first fish was a mangrove on a topwater. Checked some spots in the mangroves for some baby tarpon and snook, but there were none to be found. Ended up getting on a good lane snapper bite out off some of the spoil islands by the ICW. Not the bite I was hoping for, but when everything else is slow you just roll with it.
Yesterday Marty Mood ( PA hillbilly) and I decided to get a quick last minute trip in. We ran into some big bulls in the shallows and they were hungry for some top waters! There is nothing like catching big reds in 2 feet of water. When they exploded on the topwaters it sounded like a whale breaching. The biggest red was my 41 incher that ate a one knocker spook.
Been trying to get an upgrade on my weehoo from early this summer and finally did. Had to weed though the sailfish and kings to get one. I lost a few fish over the last few weeks and went through changing different bait presentations and hook set-ups. The fish weighed 25 pounds, caught in 200 feet on a live gog off Boynton Beach.
We paddled towards the area where we saw the tarpon roll and my depth sounder screen lit up with large objects. A look over the side of the kayak revealed a couple dozen tarpon in the 70 pound to120 pound class lazily swimming 15 feet directly below me. I opted to bait my light 20 pound class kingfish rod knowing full well I would never land a fish; I just wanted to fight one on the light rod for a while. Suede was using an 8000 Battle spooled with 80 pound Power-Pro and an 80 pound fluorocarbon leader, fully intent on landing a tarpon.
I took my croaker out of the live-well and dropped it straight down over the pod of tarpon. The croaker made a futile attempt to swim away from the pod but a large tarpon rose from the school and inhaled the bite size fish. I set the hook and line started coming off of my reel. The fish didn’t make the usual instant jump; it just took off straight east. Within a few seconds I hear Suede’s drag screaming and one of the giants energetically leaped from the water just feet from my kayak. We had just doubled up on tarpon and complete chaos was enveloping the scene.
We made our way to one of drichards secret grouper spots(which I of course marked on my FF) and started dropping the jigs. after a couple drops I pull up an decent 10-pound gag. Shortly after, drichard hooks a small almaco that gets engulfed and then let go by a large grouper that rips all the scales off the little almaco. Later the same thing happens to me but this time the larger fish was hooked good. I tried my hardest to stop this thing from running down into the rocks but it was impossible, I almost got pulled over board. Doug was screaming that I had a monster grouper on and I was praying that my line didn’t snap.
Launched at 7am off of Ft. Lauderdale beach. The ocean looked like a sheet of ice. I tried multiple depths not getting anything on my go-to jigs. I also tried multiple depths trolling a few different lures. Turned out to be productive. Got a bonito, trigger, squirrel fish, remora… All trash. Decided to call it a day. Trolled an x-rap on the way in when I hooked up on this king around 130 feet.
Keeping an eye peeled out for storms, Damon, John, Sebastian, and I headed out of Delray to calm seas and clear skies. The current was low, somewhere between 1.5-2 knots so we started jigging on 180 feet. Everyone was getting on fish today and the AJ bite was intense. Later we hit 300 feet and then we got into the Tunas across from the Martini glass. We approached Boynton inlet as soon as a small twister touched down.
I Hit up Dania Beach and it was beautiful out. Flat sea’s, light wind & current, and tons of people going on the hunt for bugs. It was pretty fishy out, so I tossed the cast net from the Pa and loaded up on chum(small pilchards). On the way out I got slammed by a nice king, once we made our way to the desired depth I tossed out my gog and it got slammed, so of course I thought it was another king just bigger. Nope once I saw stripes I knew it was Mr hoo and he was coming to dinner.
Blazing Reels and I hit the sands of Delray Beach this morning before the crack of dawn. We were welcomed with the sight of calm winds and sea. We rush to get out on the water to enjoy the morning bite, so we headed south towards Boca to provide us a little drifting distance. We heard reports of the current picking up strong, but we found out there was none at all. We picked up some good sized Bonitas on the way out which helped us with a good warm up. Our first stop was in about 200 feet of water, we both dropped our jigs a few times and kept an eye on which way the current was flowing. I guess the fish were pretty hungry this morning because on one of my drops I got a double header. I first felt one big slam on my jig and then a few seconds later another big slam, but it was weird because it was going the opposite way.
I decided to try my luck on the grass flats just south of 195 this morning. Got on the water just as the sun was coming up with 3 dozen shrimp. I tried some topwater baits to start things off but only one small trout wanted to play. After 15 minutes, I switched to the go-to popping cork and it was non stop action from then on. I literally blew through all 3 dozen shrimp in about an hour. The majority of the trout were 16-18 inches, only had two little runt trout all day. Didn’t get any needlefish or cuda’s all day, and I was really surprised by that! The grovers were in full force too, caught 8 or 9 in the 6-10″ range. After I used all the shrimp and only got 2 that were just about 20″, I sabiki’d up some pinfish.
What a beautiful morning…. With a picture perfect sunrise, went out and found that I was the only kayak out there all morning. I just can’t get over how perfect the conditions were and yet there was nobody around. Fish were very active and the opportunities were numerous. Was somewhat disappointed that I ended up losing what would have been the biggest fish of the day. A beefy Red comes to the surface and aggressively snags the lure. Had the fish on for a good run and yet a minute later I am standing there wondering in complete disbelieve.
This past Wednesday, July 10th six of us chartered the “Fish Taxi” captained by Ryan Wagner out of the Salt Rock Grill for some off shore action. The targets would be grouper, AJ’s, snapper or just whatever was biting. Joining me would be my good friend Mark Watanabe, Rusty Driver, Rob Devore, Edward Ratanun and Tyler Peterson. Arriving before our schedule launch time of 7am, we quickly loaded the 32 foot Sabalos and made a short trip down the ICW, stopping just short of Johns Pass for fuel. Once done with that we headed out the pass for our 20 mile trip out into the Gulf.
So once in position we dropped our baits, which consisted of either cut or whole sardines and live pinfish and the fight, was on. One Red Grouper after another. You had to go through 20 or 30 short ones to get one that was legal to keep, that being larger than 20 inches.
We headed to A1A and began checking beach launches for acceptable surf, bait, and fish activity. We only had to hit a couple of cross-overs before we found an acceptable launch area. We launched to find widely scattered pogies and a few rolling tarpon ranging from just outside the surf to a quarter mile from shore. The water close to the surf was really muddy so we paddled until we found some clearer water and began drifting our baits. Almost immediately we began hooking up. I jumped a couple tarpon and caught some sharks on pigfish and mullet. Suede put out a jumbo mullet and had a tarpon chase it to the surface and leap completely out of the water trying to eat it, all this just feet from his kayak. Neither of us landed a tarpon first thing in the morning, but we had fun trying. Once the morning bite slowed we tried trolling some stingers and diving plugs out farther offshore. The only fish yielded was a huge bonito and a tiny barracuda.
Over the 4th of July holiday 3 friends got together to enjoy a day of fishing. Almost everyday has been a down pour but the early part of thursday was blue skies.
We headed out from one of our favorite spots. The over abundance of rain run off has turned much of our saltwater spot into fresh water so we needed to head further out to find fish. All 3 of us found snook as well as double digits of trout (not pictured). The snook were hungry all day feasting on DOA Shrimp, zara spook jrs, and skitter walk’s. The rain was held back for most of the day but we did finally get hammered by multiple storms. Though the storms did not break our spirit to continue to fish. We found a few snook on our way back. It was an amazing day in our back country
First time getting out since the big wahoo and fishing has slowed way down in the last few weeks. Went out after work Friday for an hour or so and managed a nice king and lost a big mutton right under the yak Saturday did a drift from port Everglades inlet to Pompano with a couple other guys Doug P, Rob and Andy. First time out of the inlet and it was fun to say the least. With the outgoing tide there was 4-6 foot rollers all the way out to 100 feet of water. Awesome scenery to start the morning though. Fishing was slow with a bunch of huge bonita caught as well as a handful of football bfts. I managed to pull up a small snowy grouper deep droppin in the 300 foot range which was a first for me. Also hooked up to a nice mahi maybe 15 pounds that shook the hook first jump. Also had a fun visit and a couple circles from mr hammerhead. Slow day but nice to get out on the water again
After monitoring extraordinary fluctuations in the evening’s weather forecast for St. Augustine, myself and Josh/WDE414 decided to load the Hobie’s and just go. We arrived at the Vilano ramp at around 17:30 and the conditions were excellent. Winds were light from the west and the current was slow and steady outgoing. The plan was to fish the Usina until at least nightfall and mainly drop Got-Cha’s and other heavier lead-heads around the deep spots. When we got to the bridge we quickly racked up multiple trashcan slams but both of us still had high hopes. When the tide was just about bottoming out I hooked-up and boated a 31.5 inch redfish. Shortly after that I was hooked up again to another redfish right around 31 inches. Josh caught some bluefish at around that time and kept one for the grill. I managed a keeper trout somewhere in there too that I threw on the ice. Right after dark fell and the tide switched, I managed a perfect 27 inch redfish that joined the trout on the menu tonight.
Joe Hector landed this fish, off Pompano on June 27. This bull dolphin was caught on a dead sardine, in 180 feet. Having no gaff did not cause to much of a problem until the fish got wrapped around the mirage drive. The angler Joe was with, Fred York, had to jump in and untangle the line. Joe then reached down, grabbed the fish and bear hugged it into the kayak. The fish weighed an estimated 30 plus pounds
Florida Sportsman member:Chuck D
Fished the Indian River today, and the water is DARK. Super brown, but the fish are there, and they still have to eat. Launched the kayaks at 5:30 to an overcast sunrise. Decided to give my ultralight a workout today, 4 to 10 pound Seagis with a 1000 Saros, 8 pound braid. We started throwing topwater plugs, and they started getting hit. Caught a lot of trout early, and hooked up with a nice red that came unglued on the zara spook jr. Looked for tails, saw none. Kept plugging away with topwater until it stopped working around 10 or 11 am. Started throwing a DOA CAL shad tail and caught a few more nice trout, and hooked up with the first red of the day trolling it behind me (and working it a little) while moving across the flat.The artificial bite slowed a bit after that, so we decided to deploy a few fresh mullet chunks out. Was throwing two lines out on the deeper section of the flat and the action started to heat up. First I nailed a 30 incher as a storm was passing and then we had a double hook up of slightly over 30 inch reds. I had to play these fish and chase them down to not get spooled on the light tackle, they all seemed to hit the bait on the light rod. Maybe because of the lighter leader I was using on it (20 pound floro). I finally get a screaming hit quickly after re-deploying baits, and the line is dumping off the little Saros 1000. In about 4 seconds I was starting to see the spool through the braid, as I was unhooking from my makeshift anchor (my paddle). I got free just in time and started to chase down this fish. I was trying to play it as best I could, and it was dragging me all over the place. My rod was doubled over, my drag was locked but still screaming, and I was very afraid something in the setup would break, possibly the rod. I see the huge tail, and know I’m in for a long fight.Finally the beast rolls over, and gives up. I applied boga grips and it was a caught fish.Revived very quickly, and off to spawn or whatever those big fish do.Thanks to user EasternGlow for help taking the pics! I’d post yours but I know some people may be wary of posting their photos online for the masses…
The Boynton Boys are definitely feeling the summer time, its when you have to catch 20 bonita’s before you catch anything worth wild. We had more pics for you all but one of are camera’s fell of the kayak while in transit probably due to us rushing to get into the cold a/c of vehicle and not checking the traps on the gear. Last Saturday Oarknot and I launched out of Delray Beach and drifted to Boynton and ended catching this little guy in about 300 feet deep with a Tormenter Jig. We have also been having some success with mutton snapper and some nice size reef donkeys. Since they dredged Delray Beach we haven’t seen any nice grouper…
Finally got a chance to head offshore again. The surf was a little sporty in the morning. A newbie in the parking lot asked if it was a good day to try his new kayak off the beach. It didn’t sound like he had much experience and just a 12 foot kayak, but I figured with an experienced hand like myself I could get him past the waves. I was wrong, he flipped twice in little waves that weren’t even breaking, so I advised him to practice in Whiskey Creek and launched myself out. Once the clouds moved on the seas died down to summer normal. Got a small bonito trolling around 110 feet, lost something on the jig at 120 and got a 2nd bigger bonito jigging. I then foul-hooked a juvenile african pompano and a tiny blowfish. Met forum member jcan and family on the paddle back, they at least got a couple of black-fin tunas for dinner. It’s still nice to get a bend in the rod, especially when you set the drag light so they pull some line.
Ft. Lauderdale Blackfin Tuna
Florida Sportsman Member: Captain Yak
Peddled out with no live bait. Just trolled a plug out to the deep waters and almost snagged a huge sea turtle. Was able to luckily get my line off the turtle without hooking him or putting him under any pressure. Got out to 140 feet and hooked up on a decent bonnie. Threw him back and went to 160 feet.
Immediately hooked up and this fish was a monster. Checking the time on my video, it took my drag for over a minute straight. As it got closer, I realized that I had a monster bonnie. Got him in, but he was so worn he didn’t make it back in the drink.
Switched up Jigs to get away from the bonito. On my second drop and I feel a light hit. I Set the hook and the fish is not really fighting. I get him to the surface and realize I have a jumbo blackfin tuna. I worked him real slow just before bringing him on the yak. He saved his fight for when I had him on board.
Launched at sunrise and headed out solo with some gogs swimmin happy in the livewell. Got out to 185 feet, not much current. I caught a few almacos on the jig and then my gog gets whacked. A few good runs and i land a nice 25 pound smoker king. Went out deeper in search of some dolphin and tuna where i found some nice weeds in 380 feet or so. Pulling up to the weeds a school of small dolphin start going crazy and at the same time my gog goes off. At first I though i had a schoolie but after it ran 400 yds off my reel i knew it was something serious! About an hour battle of tug-a-war I get a glimpse of the stripes! A few minutes later I sink the gaff in its head and struggle to pull her in the yak! weighed in at a little over 61 pounds
Loaded the Slayer 14.5 up around 11:30 and decided the day wasnt over just yet and that I would go check out a new backcountry spot up in north Ft Pierce. Got some lunch and killed some time while the hottest part of the day passed. Got to the launch spot and set off towards the spot. Got there and started exploring every inch of it with the super spook jr. Landed a baracuda and then my lure gets hit by something that instantly breaks the line, bummer my favorate lure is gone only 5 min in! I tie on a mirroLure topwater prop bait and continue on. I hook into what I thought was a snook, but turned out to be a nice Redfish! Gave a hell of a fight in a foot of water, trying to catch me in the mangroves the entire time.
Throw off a mangrove point and something big hits the lure but dosnt stick which sends the lure flying back at me and tangling my line on itself forcing me to retie. Retie the lure with 25 pound florocarbon this time instead of 20 and cast back to the same spot and it gets inhaled! I set the hook good, anticipating a big jump, but it doesnt jump. It heads straight for the Mangroves so i pull harder and then it jumps… a giant snook again!
Went out Saturday with friends Austin (fish4reds) and Tammy for a little recon during this “Brown Tide” craze everyone is talking about. Indeed, the water clarity is poor, and the water quality is suffering as well. But Mother Nature will always find a way to adapt.
The wind kept switching directions: South to South East to South West. Then all of a sudden, the wind stopped. Tons of mullet appeared, and more tails started popping up. Then I noticed these tails had spots all over them. These aren’t Reds, they are giant Trout! With slick glass calm conditions and within 40 feet from these tails, I grabbed my Slayer Lure SSB with a little Pro Cure Ladyfish Scent and pitched it past a few tails. Of course, the minute I stop paying attention I get thumped. Set the hook into what felt like a solid brick wall.
Switched it up a little bit today and launched further north than usual. Making our way out to blackfin country, I picked up a small one on my deep plug. Put him on ice and continued out. Two minutes later my shallow plug gets hit, I look back and see a cow in the air. My first thought is “cool, but she’s gonna pop off the trebles.” To my surprise she held on and I got her into the Hobie. I ended up with 5 blacks, mahi and few bonita.
I rolled out this morning to get a little time on the water, since I have to work an evening shift today. I had visions of landing another Cobia after seeing my boy’s slob from yesterday. Well, it didn’t take long. I had a 25 pound Cobia decide to hit my Yozuri deep diver after I got out past the second bar. Fought a short fight and had him yak side. Hit him with the gaff and he flips out doing the gator roll. In the process he slips off the gaff and bent out the treble on the lure and off he swam. I was livid. Cussing at no one for hours. Pulled up one trophy snapper on a spot, then moved to another pulling the only live bait I had, a big hardtail. Well somehow he wiggles off, so now I am stuck pulling nasty cigsicles I had. On the way to our famed Trigger hole I see some birds working the water pretty hard. I start heading that way when I notice an odd thump on the King rig
Met up today with Nick (ShallowWaterAssassin on the FS forum), launched and headed towards one of my favorite flats that has been producing lately. Found the mullet and we began working the schools with topwaters. No more than five minutes in, Nick gets a huge explosion on his topwater but it didn’t stick unfortunately. I finally get a nice hit but it didn’t stick, so I slowed the bait down and sure enough here comes a huge wake behind the bait. The bait gets nailed, fish on! The fish takes me on a nice little ride before I landed a slob redfish, measuring right at 29 inches. It probably would have measured at 30 inches if its tail wasn’t so chewed up.
I came up empty for the day but the wife got a few nice sized trout. Probably because I was paddling while she fished and napped. My buddy had no problem killing it with a few large reds(26″,28″), one 21 inch snook and a hand full of trout. Most of the fish were picked up along a newly explored path. Can’t wait to get out and explore more spots.
I located and purchased a Slayer 14.5. Picked the boat up yesterday and took it out this morning to hit up some of my favorite flats in Fort Fierce. Got on the water around 6:30 and paddled out to some mullet schools that were getting busted on by snook. Hooked and lost a fish on a super spook jr. but then I got one to stick. Landed the barely slot snook got some quick picture with it and the new yak. I was super pumped. Good way to break the Slayer in!
Another great morning. Sunny, wind was down, no Surf…Perfect! As soon as I got to 150 feet my gog gets slammed! I knew it was a “smoker” by the run it took. 20 minutes later when I got him to the yak I was in 300 feet! Heck of a fight. Decided to release him (hopefully someone catches him this weekend!) I estimated him to be about 30 to 35 pounds. Around 10:30 decided to call it a day ( never caught anything after 10:30 anyways ) When I got to 85 feet and my rod goes off again. This time I hear a big splash, so I’m thinking Sail…but knew quickly it was another “Smoker” when it ripped off 200 yards in a matter of a few seconds.
Hit up Pompano scouting for the tourney, meet up with Bobby and his old man and decided to head out together, it was a nice launch but I knew it was gonna get ugly fast. Meet up with Larrythelobsterman ( I think JetskiLarry is a better name) out in deeper water. As we made our way to my fav wreck, I noted a nice little rock pile and marked it. We made it to the wreck and first drop fish on Bobby hooks up as well. It was good fight and then my leader popped right at the knot . I switched rods and by the second drop I had fish on, tearing line off my reel had to palm it a few times[...]
Took the yak off Pompano since I’ve had good luck up there. Seas were less than 2 feet with a north breeze. Just past the third reef there was nice rip and I put a gog out. Saw a couple kings launch out of the water probably 5-10 feet in the air. Pretty awesome to see. I paddled that way and got bit. There was a sharp tug and then nothing… I opened the bail thinking it was a short strike and the fish would come back for the rest. After 10-15 seconds of nothing I reeled up the slack to find dead weight on the other end. There was no tug, no run, just dead weight. I didn’t even think it was a fish until I dragged it in 50 yards to the yak. Then the king took off and decided to fight.
Launched out of Pineland marina this morning and was in the rain right away. We started to get into trout just out of the marina using topwaters. The fish were nailing the unfair lures dawgwalker 110 in the pearl olive w/red head. Those bites were some of the most violent trout bites I have ever seen. I caught quite a few trout, and I even caught a 20 inch and a 22 inch trout right after each other. We moved towards the trees and started getting hits right away. We had a few nice reds explode on topwaters but couldn’t connect with any. Finally I had one boil on it right in front of my kayak and then it boiled again and inhaled the bait three feet in front of my kayak.
Launched in Boynton this morning anticipating to dodge storms throughout the day. To my surprise, I didn’t get a rain drop on me. I Worked a jig from 200-240 feet targeting areas that hold tuna this time of year. By the time I hit skycliff, I had 4 blackfins on ice and lost one sail to a break off. Soon after, forum member Blazing Reels comes out of the blue and decides to tag along for the rest of the day. We continued to work our jigs with good success. Blazing got on some mahi and lost a sail that hit his jig . By the end of the day I ended up with 14 blackfins…one at 18 pounds.
The plan was to head out to the 2nd color change and look for ling as we headed east. We dragged cigs hoping to pick up a smoker but no dice.
I decided to head out a little deeper and see if we could find any bottom to drop on. I drifted over some hard bottom and flipped my flounder jig and immidiately slammed. I was worried I had a jack cause it was kicking my tail. After about 7-8 minutes, I pulled a nice red up. I looked beneath him and there was the first ling of the day mixed in with this massive school of reds. I moved on trying to get back with the school when my other rod with the cig on started screaming. I first thought king but then realized it was probably another red. But with no head shakes my hopes were high it was a ling. After about 30 minutes I gaffed this guy. He weighed 27 pounds.
There was an all day feeding frenzy over the third reef stretching as far as the eye could see. Mostly bonito or little tunnys with some blue runners and mackerel mixed in. I had a goggle eye down deep that got crushed and cut off after a screaming run. The fish were keyed in on these little 1 inch baits (not sure what kind exactly) and paid no attention to my pilchards. Tried a couple top water baits with no bites til I tied on a Shimano Waxwing. I was hooking up every other cast with the waxwing. I kept looking for a blackfin tuna mixed in there somewhere but no takers. Still, it was fun to keep a tight line. Ended up with a small spanish mackerel and around a dozen of these guys.
I decided to try my luck on the grass flats just south of 195 this morning. Got on the water just as the sun was coming up with 3 dozen shrimp. Tried some topwater baits to start things off but only one small trout wanted to play. After 15 minutes I switched to the go-to popping cork and it was non stop action from then on. I literally blew through all 3 dozen shrimp in about an hour. The majority of the trout were 16-18 inches, only had two little runt trout all day. Didn’t get any needlefish or cuda’s all day, and I was really surprised by that! The grovers were in full force too, caught 8 or 9 in the 6-10 inch range. After I used all the shrimp and only got 2 that were just about 20 inches, I sabiki’d up some pinfish. Even caught a couple trout on the sabiki too. Using the palm size pinfish I caught with the sabiki I managed to get 3 trout over 20 inches, and lost one that was over 25 inches.
We met up when I got off work Sunday morning at a launch in the Placida/Gasparilla sound area. I had success here early in the week so we figured it would be worth a shot. I tried to offer as much input and knowledge as possible… stuff like “I’ve caught a redfish on this dock using this bait…” “Snook like to hang out there…” “a faster retrieve here gets more trout but if you slow it down…” It wound up paying off because within about an hour he had a decent slam including his biggest trout ever at 18 inches. My luck was almost non existent for most of the morning, as I caught a handful of trout with only one even being slot sized.
[...] I knew it was a snook right off the bat. It gave a nice headshake above the water and I realized it was a bit bigger fish. It was a perfect scenario, the fight started about 50 yards from the closest dock and about 25 yards from the closest submerged mangrove roots, so there wasn’t much chance of the fish getting in to anything and breaking me off. After a lot of drag screaming I got the fish to the side of the boat and asked my brother to come over and get a picture as I knew it would at least be competing for my biggest snook ever.
The meet-up turned out well, a lot of kayakers showed up. The weather was nasty! Wind was non-stop blowing from the SSE, and every bit of 3 to 5 feet. Hats off to everyone that stuck it out and continued to fish throughout the day. Those conditions do not make it easy to fish but some fish were caught. Congrats to kayakangler AKA Joe Kraatz with the biggest combo of the day (nice king and 31 pound AJ). We started fishing in 250 feet where the AJ was landed [...]
Got to the beach at sunrise and saw Rob there so we headed out together. He had his sail on the ocean kayak and damn does that thing haul. I dropped a gog out at 100 feet on the way out and 2 minutes later the drag starts to scream… After a 20 minute fight of drag screaming, I pull up a fat king. Rob headed out deep and landed a few small dolphin and a king. I stayed in, bouncing on the shallow wrecks in search of a cobia but just got a few almacos. Overall it was a slow day but it was nice to get out.
Beautiful flat goodness greeted me at the launch. Trolled a cig duster and a deep diver. No taps. Moved on to another spot and decided to drop down the tried and true flounder setup. Thumped the bottom once, and bam! It was on like donkey kong. Fish was running hard, so I cupped the spool to try and slow him down. I Couldn’t put too much pressure on him cause I was rocking my Stradic 5k with 30lb braid. My initial thought was shark, and as I got him within sight, it was none other than the brown bomber.
Winds and outgoing tide made it look “sporty” like my buddy and mentor Android likes To say. Close to limit of macs using all artificials.They hit everything! Biggest fish trolling 1 1/4 oz spoon. Jack hit ballyhoo on kingfish rig with sinker removed trolling east from towers. The kids said mac bite was over till I used a different jig and got four more in the boat. Did not head out as big waves came in. Knew we were done when surfers showed up.
The fishing was a bit slow this morning. We saw few reds really pushing any wakes. After about 20 minutes or so we managed to pick up a red around 17 inches. A few trout here and there climbed on in the kayak. It was around 7:45 and I hung into a 30 inch monster red. He slammed the top water and took off the opposite direction I was facing. He snapped the kayak around the started stripping drag. This fish meant business. After he pulled me at least 50 yards down the creek I was able to get him at least turned around. After getting pulled like a dog sled down the creek I managed to land this monster.
We’ve really been catching the reds up here well. They’ve been hanging out in around 3 feet of water early in the morning and later afternoon. I caught a monster 27 inch red and another 29 inch red on top water earlier in the week. I’m heading out to a new spot in the trusty yak to catch some more monsters tomorrow.
Weather was calling for 14 foot seas so me and flats broke decided what the hell lets give it a shot lol. Got a late start but weather started beautiful, 2-3 foot seas with weedlines and blue water. Flats hooked a mahi right away on jig but shook the hook. Few minutes later my live bait gets hit n I land a decent phin… Few more drifts with no luck and the wind kept increasing with seas 4-6 feet we decide to call it a day[...]
Started out on a solo Dolphin trip today, but met Paul in the surf and he asked to tag along. Being the nice guy I am, I said sure. I Hope my kind deed pays off later because Paul hooked this stud not 15 feet from me. First ever in the yak! Congrats!
Headed down to Everglades City today with the one and only Bonitabob himself. We met up with Woody Callaway of Native Watercraft and Rich Jones (RJVermont) and hit the water a little later than usual. I did a little bit of fishing but was more interested in playing with my new camera than anything else.
Drove down to Collier County today to do a little bass fishing. Day started off with a ton of small ones and then just as I was starting to discount this lakes productivity the big girls started to show up.
We left Kars park headed almost straight out for deeper water. We fished for a while, after only two 10-inch-plus trout, the frustrating puffer fish destroying my gulp, and the wind picking up, we decided to head for cover. My friend said that 1,000 Island Park in Cocoa Beach has miles of mangrove canals to fish. It was a great place. Lots of canals that protected us from the wind. We saw a few small schools of reds that had lock jaw and tons of finger mullet [...]
Headed out today despite the forecast calling for wind and rain. Hit up Pine Island with redfish on the mind. Very quickly that was satisfied and we continued to explore some back creeks out in Pine Island. We all managed quite a few fish, reds, trout, and snook. The best part of my day however was getting good fishing buddy Ken hooked up and watching him land his first ever tarpon.
Paddled out from Pompano beach on Sunday at sunrise. Beach was flat. Offshore was nasty. The wind was relentless. First 2 fish that were caught were Black fin tuna by Drichard1986 & Jvanpelt. Both fish were caught on live flat lined Pilchards. I stayed in a little shallower and was able to land a nice size King on a flat lined Goggle Eye in 135 feet. Soon after that I peddled over to KayakAngler to see he landed his first ever grouper and a nice one at that! The grouper was caught on a vertical jig in 250 feet.
So we made it to the Kismet launch (north cape coral) yesterday. It was an awesome trip. I had heard some great stories about the area and the real thing didn’t disappoint. We saw so many fish, some monster reds and snook out there. We made it all the way out to Charlotte Harbor but the wind kept us off the grass flats so we headed back into the mangrove lakes. I was able to pick up one snook and my friend caught one red and one snook. Also there was so much drift wood..I need a bigger yard for all that. I can’t wait to get back out there.
Next I decided to do some Fly Fishing in the Everglades Backcountry by myself.Total count for the day. 11 Snook and 6 Tarpon all on flies. Saw some huge Black Drums tailing but they refused my fly.
So after I told my buddy how I did he decided to come along. So we went in my yak towards the backcountry and I showed him what the Everglades backcountry was all about. Of course the backcountry delivered. As we were almost leaving I tossed my paddle tail to some bait jumping in 8 inches of water and my biggest Snook to date was hooked to the end of my line.
Launched off morningside after waiting for the gurds to open the gate 30 minutes late. When I finally get on the water, I see pods of mullet getting hammered by something big. I cast a sub-surface lure to see if I get hit but nothing, so after the third cast I switch to a zara spook. By this time whatever was chasing the bait splits into 3-4 groups and hit the bait hard, by this time I worry these may be dolphins. Next thing I know a wake comes towards me so I cast and walk my dog in front of it and bam! I get hit hard.
It’s that time of the year. Our “annual” weekend trip to Chokoloskee. We rented a lodge at the Chokoloskee Island Park Marina and fished all day Saturday and Sunday morning. The weather was a bit spotty with storms pushing through the area. We had our moments of flat calm throughout the day though. The local residents had a fish fry when we got back from the first day and invited us to some free chow. Can’t find a nicer bunch of folks.
Went out today with bonitabob and his brother in law for the first time in a long time and slaughtered the fish. Here’s a few pics and I’m sure he’ll be adding his as well. Another great Southwest Florida winter day.
Well it was a slow weekend for me as I only managed to land one alamaco and a couple Bonita but Mr Joe Hector, tournament director for Extreme had a great weekend and day today. He landed one nice Black fin tuna on 1/5/13, Joe Kraatz (Kayakangler) landed a small mahi (no pic) and this stud of a wahoo the morning of 1/8/13. Both fish were caught on live Pilchards in 180-200 feet of water.
Got out deep n got 4 or 5 almacos and lost a sail. Then I found a pod of toothy critters that cut off 4 of my jigs back to back. My luck they were all wahoo. Went in to a shallow wreck in 115′ n as soon as I got there my goggle eye gets eaten. It screams out 300 yards of line on first run. After about 15 minutes, I get him in. It’s a jumbo king. I Decide to call it a day and head in.
Clear water, light current, and low winds, beautiful two days on the water. Dolphin “flipper” all over the place, two big turtles, a huge manta ray, and a hammerhead all came by to say “hi.”
Florida Sportsman member: Art Vandelay
I was able to get out and do a little kayak fishing yesterday. It was pretty chilly in the morning but it was forecasted to be the calm and warm up in the afternoon. We launched into some super clear shallow water and almost immediately started spotting some slot sized reds. They were really spooky with the clear water and it made it hard to get within casting distance. The water warmed up during the day and we ended up catching most of our fish [...]
It has been quite a while since I’ve posted here, I know this report ins’t strictly kayak fishing but most of the fishing was done on the kayak. I figured I post up some of the trips of this Fall. I have been going out on the kayak, Gheenoe, and a friends boat. It has been tough some days to fish with this winter pattern as we are getting days where the wind is blowing all day but if you get those two or three days of nice weather, make them count. Some of my friends are recently getting into the fly fishing scene and I have been taking them on the Gheenoe to catch their first reds, snook, and tarpon on fly [...]
Woke up and made the long drive down to the Everglades this morning, still a little buzzed from last nights festivities. The wind forecast was calling for 2 to 3 mph winds all morning, and the tide seemed just right-making my two hours of sleep easily forgotten.
The drive down was foggy, and by the time I made it to the ramp the sun had just risen, revealing a beautiful skyline. After having my only two one knockers cracked by redfish on Tuesday, the Skitterwalk was tied on by default. Threw the pink skitter into the mangroves and picked up a nice snook to start the morning. He hit it four times before the rusty trebles stuck [...]
Headed out of Dania on the 8th. The conditions weren’t the best, with a straight east wind that made paddling out take forever. Decided I was only going to jig that day I didn’t bring any live bait. Fishing was real slow for me. Ended up catching a perfect size blue runner for live bait in 180 feet of water, tied up a stinger rig real quick and tossed him out. Not even 10 minutes later I get a hit and see it jump.
Headed out today with my Ryan Warden. Bite was a little slower than I expected it to be today but there were a few nice fish caught, we managed a few decent reds, and some trout including the smallest trout I’ve ever seen that popped a trout pattern topwater bigger than him, and I managed to find a nice hole loaded with keeper mangrove snapper [...]
Been doing quite a bit of exploring fishing with some of my good fishing buddies deep in the Everglades in no man’s land. The paddles are long full of creatures that would not mind having you for dinner or biting you to fill there stomachs but the fishing has been outstanding. Fly-fishing exclusively for these fish has been a challenge but the rewards have been much sweeter! [...]
Had a chance to get my wife Stephanie out on the water this morning in “Her Native Mariner”. So after a quick stop at BCFC for some of their ninja mudminnows we were on the water about 8:15 am. We come up on Dreads, spoke with him a minute then we set up to locate the trout. Stef does not get out to fish much so I wanted her to catch plenty of fish. Which she did, we must of caught 40 plus trout in the range of 13 inches to 17 inches. Did not get on any big fish but did manage a few rat reds mixed in. She had a great time and that’s all I was after [...]
Hit North Biscayne Bay about 0800 looking for whatever. Tried the trout flats for an hour and a half with nothing to show for it but some pinfish-chewed up soft baits. Since bluefish and mackerel had been showing up lately, I headed to the deep channel and tossed on a refurbished crystal minnow. Quickly hook up with a nice Spanish mack, followed a few minutes later by a nice bluefish. The bite died again, so I paddled south of the causeway and got a just keeper size trout and another bluefish [...]
Decided to do a little fishing this afternoon with the flood tide. I have not tried flood tide fishing in the middle of the day yet and figured I would give it a try. Was joined by a buddy of mine and we were off by about 1. Pulled up to my first flood flat and saw 1 tail. He then disappeared so we moved to the next flat. Pulled up to the second flat and saw nothing, looked a little more before we decided to just start working the creeks and islands. Then it was on. My buddy was throwing a rootbeer DOA shrimp and flipped up along the grass and I heard his drag start screaming and the yak took off.
After a good little fight we had our first red of the day.[...]
Launched at Pine Island this morning with a very strong breeze and some dark clouds. As we launched the kayaks I was wondering if it was going to be worth it, and it was! One my first cast i Had a nice red blow up on the topwater, which was right at the launch! Of course he missed it and we pressed on. We came out on the flats and I hook a really nice fish on the topwater, and pull in a 25-inch trout! That was definitely my personal best in Pine Island [...]
Dad and I dropped the kayaks in this evening just before 8:00pm. We Paddled over to our first dock light and before I could even get my rod out, dad was already hooked up on a small fat snook! So I skip in and get another fat snook to start things off. Next light there are some larger fish popping in and a few casts later, I’m locked into a better fish. Turns out to be my personal best fat snook. Dad then gets another fat snook that was only slightly smaller than the one I had just got! That’s four fat snook in a row. Then dad breaks the streak with a small common. We Head around to one of our last lights and we quickly pick off two nice snook. Both about 25 inches [...]
OK folks, here is a compilation of trips in the recent mouth. I will start with the best. As all epic trips start off, I get a phone call from Chris “Tex” Lewis telling me about an idea of a trip from Flamingo to Islamorada on kayaks as I was driving to work one afternoon. With out hesitation, I say I am in. Minutes later, I get a call from Dj DanDecibel all pumped up about the trip. So for the next 6 days we planned everything out and got all the gear ready. After days of gearing up tying flies and looking at the weather the day of reckoning [...]
My buddy Justin and I had the day off of work so we decided to head out on the Yaks. After finding some bait we had the yaks in the water around 10:30. Lines in the water about 105 feet and within seconds my buddy Justin spots a 6 foot Hammerhead on one of his baits…
…Total for the day One Hammerhead, 2 Big Dolphin, and Our First Yak Sailfish! Awesome day and so worth the crazy paddle back. Got an awesome gopro video that I edited and put up[...]
After talking with Alan Ryland about the day he and Steve Brand spent on the “NMZ”; the location of our next Boondoggle, I knew I needed to get out there and put hooks in fishes faces! So I met up with Alan around 7:15 a.m. or so, got all unloaded and off we went in search of reds and trout. The wind was light out of the west and the water was very cool already so we knew it would be a bit of a waiting game until the flat warmed up a bit [...]
After a little while my friend hooks up into a 25 inch snook that gets off next to the yak, so I start to work an area near him and I hook into something big! It starts screaming out drag and honestly I thought it was a big jack crevalle at first. But once it started going into the trees and thrashing on the surface I knew it had to be better. I finally get it up next to the kayak and it is a nice snook!
Had plans to head into Snake Bight this morning, but never made it that far. The bite was on at the ranger dock during a strong sweeping tide letting out of the flats into the little channel there. I anchored up in a sweet spot and started off with a decent shallow water jack on a top water, but a DOA Shrimp was the champion of the day. A slow retrieve with a light lift/drop of the rod tip landed everything for the remainder of the day.
Last weekend, I had the chance to try my hand at something I’ve always wanted to do: hit the beach out of my kayak. My good buds Nick and Jon helped show me the ropes, since they had already fished the beaches before. We launched around 7 a.m., heading straight offshore and growing hairs on our chest as we pummeled through 2 foot swells. They had been telling me all week “Dude, we will just sabiki up a ton of croakers when we get out there to use for bait.” I’m thinking “Hey, croakers are awesome bait; until I see that what they thought were “croakers” were actually horn-bellies, which I thought was trash, but hey, we made lemonade [...]
Myself and AJ a.k.a EastCoastAngler decided to save a little gas money and take out the yaks. We headed out of Stuart and started catching some jacks that were feeding on the big schools of glass minnows. We moved on to some submerged trees and caught a snook that was about 20-inches. We got to our mangrove destination were we had some good bites on topwater, so we decided to net some fingers. Tried for a while before I finally hooked a 35-inch snook that nearly got me into the mangroves [...]
It looks like my love for kayak fishing has finally become an addiction. After becoming the proud new owner of a Wilderness Systems 14 Commander a few weeks back, I have been trying and trying to get on the water. Busy schedule it seems. Finally, about a week ago, I was able to put her on top of the Jeep and head out in search of some reds that had been (and still are) my mind for quite some time [...]
Went out today with my buddy Josh Harvel (YakNitUp Charters) to Matlacha around 9:30 to catch the 11 a.m. low tide. We immediately were concerned with the wind and with the approaching storm clouds, BUT, we launched anyways. We headed out and were immediately greeted with a very welcome site, TARPON, and man they were everywhere!!! We played around in the canal systems for a little while having a blast watching the tarpon bust our topwaters [...]
Kellan and I got a late start yesterday, we launched off pompano around 9:30 a.m. The waves were crashing pretty hard on the beach but we managed to get out after a good soaking. We headed out to the first wreck and on my first drop with a jig, my line started screaming. I get the fish up to the yak and realize it is a very nice mutton. This is my first mutton on a jig. I must say this was a very nice start to the day [...]
Some of the folks from the SWFKAA got together for a little fishing in Estero Bay. We arrived at 6:30am and spent the next 30 minutes waiting for the rain that would evenyually cancel the trip. At around 7am, we ran out of excuses and decided to launch. We had Troy (Yaknew), Esteban (CaptBlackbeard), Joe (jcorrigan), Josh (Jfish), Eric (my boy) and me. We launched into surprisingly calm conditions and were instantly on the fish. First up was the trout and they did not disappoint on topwater.
Finally had a day to fish inshore with no clients or tournaments to worry about. Launch with a 5 to 10 knot wind from the south which became 15 mph by 10 a.m. The south wind and a strong current incoming tide from the north made it difficult to fish. Jacks, blues and a few small trout was about it until 11 a.m. First fish was FAT! 26 inches. Someone has been enjoying all the mullet! Probably one of the largest girths I have seen on a trout that size.
With my available fishing weekends quickly narrowing down, decided to head out to Bayport today to see if we could improve upon last weeks trip. Put in around 7:30 to a low tide and steady breeze. Tide wasn’t supposed to be in until 2 p.m. so we had a few hours to kill until the water started moving again [...]
After reading the article on seawall snook, saltwater assasin and I decided to try our luck and work some seawalls in Stuart. We started the day with the last drizzle of the outgoing tide. This morning I decided that I would throw a black and gold Top Dog. While still trying to perfect my walk the dog I was able to hook up with one snook before the tide went slack. As the article stated when the water isn’t moving the fish are not biting. The big gal inhaled my lure about 10 feet in front of my kayak and then lazily let herself get dragged to the yak [...]
After years of talking about going “lobstering” by kayak, weeks of practicing and the 3rd day trying to catch one. I finally caught my first lobster.
Kellan, Chris and I went to Dania Beach today with our Hookah setups to go lobstering. The storm must have pushed them shallow since we were getting them in ~15 feet. The visibility was pretty poor and I had to surface several times when I lost the reef [...]
We fished the IFA kayak tour regional event which was held in Titusville on August 26. We arrived Friday afternoon and fished on the south end of the Banana River with some great results. It was our first time fishing anywhere in this area and I caught my first red there within 20 minutes of hitting the water, I was able to easily see him along the mangroves when I was standing on my Hobie pro angler 12 [...]
With the last few months of summer looming upon us, Mother Nature has not given up her relentless grasp just yet. With mornings feeling more like an ascent at the summit of Mt. Everest leaving one gasping for air, mid day has brought punishing temperatures that could only be compared to the most hostile places in our solar system. Combined the weather with grueling paddles, endless miles of poling and lighting storms that could only be compared to science fiction movie “War of the worlds” and you begin to wonder what draws fisherman to this inhospitable world [...]
Hit the water with my good friend Chris in search of some ML Redfish. At the launch I noticed the water looked alot like coffee with a lot of creamer, well it is that time of the year so off we go. Once we got to the flat we saw pushes near the bank and tails in the thick grass, so we fan out to cover more water.
Met up with Andriod this morning for first trip off Dania Pier. He was kind enough to lend me a jigging rod, jig and point me in the right direction. After sunrise broke the ice with small bonito. Followed his lead and kept drifting and jigging. Lost a trigger fish but was good sign. Lost a jig to a mystery break off [..]
I recently purchased a new Hobie AI. Wow, what a blast. I’ve been fishing offshore three times now and I guess the third times a charm. A little background, I grew up fishing in the Keys and other South Florida spots and have come to love offshore fishing. I recently came across the sport of kayak fishing and dove in head first. What a difference [...]
I ate a banana today which everyone was saying was bad luck for fishing. Even though my luck was doomed, I still decided to go out this morning out of Dania with Redneck Rocket and NewYorker. A couple of new guys also tagged along for their first offshore trip. Grabbed some bait from the beach and headed out [...]
THE WEATHER HAS BEEN HOT WITH COUPLE OF STORMS AROUND BUT DEFINITELY WORTH IT SOMETIMES GOING WITH THE BAD WEATHER I HAVENT BEEN TAKING MANY PICTURES BUT I HAVE BEEN DOING TONS OF RECORDING. I WILL PUT THE LINK WHERE YOU CAN WATCH A VIDEO I PUT TOGETHER OF SOME OF THE FLY FISHING IVE BEEN DOING. ENJOY THE REPORT!
Let’s start with the fact that the water temperature was spring cold, 72 degrees at 11am. Caught lots of big Bluefish and plenty of Trout as well. While paddling around I passed over some deep water and a freaking Sailfish (approx. 4ft?) passed under my kayak!!! I just started laughing, that’s a new one for me! Then I caught these two Grouper on the same DOA Shrimp. What a day!
Got out early and started catching slot reds and small snook and then in caught 2 big snook and 2 bull reds in the afternoon. Caught bulls on cut bait under a cork and big snook on 1/8 oz jighead with z man scented paddlerz. The biggest of the snook is the biggest fish I’ve ever caught on artificials. Caught flounder, snook, redfish, blk drum, and trout. One of the best days I’ve ever had fishing!
Summertime fishing can be the most rewarding and most frustrating time to fish south Florida waters. With temperatures soaring well over the hundreds and afternoon thunderstorms just about every day it has been a challenge. Being able to predict the weather and fighting the heat has paid off in my quest for the next thrill seeking adventure [...]
Just got in from a great day on the lake and figured I would give a report. Got on the water at 6 a.m. and first cast, boom, 2 pound bass on a Big Easy topwater. Got a few more on topwater then swiched to fliping docks with a trick worm as I was zoned out with that my Buddy Ryan gets a 6 pounder on a KVD frog 15 feet away from me.
Went out this morning with livingthedream and Larry the lobsterman. Hit some nice weeds, couldn’t tell you how deep (no fishfinder) and no lives today so everything was caught on jigs and plugs. Picked up 3 blackfin tuna, caught 3 throw back mahi-mahi, 4 almaco’s, and a bunch of BIG bonito, and called it after landing a 5 foot wahoo [...]
Went out of pompano today with a floatilla of other yakers. From what I’ve heard so far it was pretty much a bonita bonanza for most of the people that went. Flats Broke got a blackfin tuna, I ended up dropping a chicken rig down on one of the deep wrecks and hit the vermillion snappers pretty good. Past them around to a few yaks so nobody was over the limit [...]
I got in between my friend Dale’s little kayak and big tarpon with my video camera yesterday just off the Port Charlotte Beach Complex. We were fishing for snook with 12 pound test and a chrome spook jr. I posted a short under 5 minute video on youtube of some of the highlights called “Dale’s Big Tarpon, Little Kayak”. Dale guessed 80 pounds.
The one day I forget my Gopro Camera pole I catch this sail that had to jump 20 times with her whole body coming out of the water each time. Thanks to the Spanish speaking Americans for the pic that thought I wanted thier gaff when I was asking for a picture. After 10 minutes revival she swam off strong.
Started the morning early and launched with Chris (frankthetank) around 6 a.m. from Pompano Beach. We were greeted by decent size waves breaking right on the beach. So we timed our launch and got a little wet as we passed through them, luckily without rolling.
We got in last Saturday to breezy, rainy conditions that didn’t seem to let up the whole week. Crazy things happened on Saturday and Sunday, so let’s fast-forward to Monday, and our first fishing day. I guess you could say that it was a learning day, as all I could find was mud bottom and no current…sweet . I did end up accidentally catching a short sheepshead in the cast net, so I won’t count it as a skunk. Anyway, on to Tuesday, and where the fun begins. My uncle Roger and his family were in town, so I was determined to put him on some nice fish, so after an hour or so we moved in search of oysters, current, clean water, and grass…we found it! [...]
Well the beach fishing is phenomenal right now. Decided not to take the kayaks out because of the strong NE wind and current. Tarpon and snook are everywhere on the beaches right now. No matter where you go. We jumped off several tarpon before we landed this nice snook. Using live pilchard with a 3oz pyramid weight to hold the bait in place. After a few pics the snook was released unharmed.
Has been a fun spring. My clients have been doing great getting back to the fish and able to close the deal on some really nice redfish, flounder and trout. Even some dirty ginclear water days for some close up sight fishing. The weather has been awesome for kayaking with the exception of the occasional south 20 mph afternoon winds [...]
Paddled out with Capt.Yak. Headed straight to the wrecks in 250 feet to try and jig up an AJ but not much action going on. Reeled the jigs up and tossed out some live bait on the down rigger set at 60 feet. As I start to head shallow in about 215 feet I get my first hit, 41 inch King. Skinny guy but had the length. As I get into 115 feet my down rigger pops and my reel starts screaming, up comes the sail. 5 minutes later I land this beautiful sailfish.
After work yesterday fellow forum member Nolez12 and I headed out to get some fishing time in. Both of us were forum members before all the changes and recently decided to get back on the forum. Anyways, we launched around 6 p.m with a nice incoming tide. I had a nice snook that didnt completely commit along the first wall we fished.
Fishing has been pretty good. I have broken a couple of my personal records. Recently I caught my biggest snook at 35 inches, my biggest redfish on fly, and also caught a big black drum. I never got to measure the black drum because he did not fit inside my kayak [...]
It’s been a while since I have been able to spend some time on the water, but this past weekend I took advantage of the good weather and set out on a solo trip looking for Redfish and Trout. I hit the launch at day break and worked my way south along the west side of the river [...]
Me and my bro headed to Biscayne to meet Dave, who was kind enough to show us a hot trout spot. As we paddled out through snapper creek, I trolled a soft plastic and got slammed by a monster snook, which broke off immediately. We kept going and as we rounded the corner Dave spots tailing bones. My bro makes a cast and hooks up [...]
I asked noted Photographer Doug Stamm to join me on a day trip over to Miami for some Peacock Bass fishing. We left the West coast at 0600 and began the drive. It was tempting to stop at all the canals along the way, but we were on a mission. We arrived after a few short stops at around 0830 and met up with Mike Teixidor. Mike is a good friend and fellow Blue Line Fishing Team member, and he knows Miami Peacock bass.
Woke up early to haul but to Lake Worth. We launched at the snook Island Kayak launch me and my older brother and began our journey. We fished in an out of every nook and cranny of the snook island area nothing but a stingray and bait everywhere. Paddled north seen some sheepies but no connections, we found this nice little sandbar exposed with rock piles next to it so we worked the only lure I ever caught snook on, a Bass Assassin silver chartreuse, hooked up [...]
Better weather is finally approaching, and the fishing is hot hot hot offshore. Saturday winds and surf were a little choppier than predicted but we got into some nice fish. Winds were great for the kayak and currents did not start ripping until after 1pm. On saturday, hooked, oarknot, and myself ventured out. caught alot of bonita, nice kings, runners, jacks of all sorts and sizes and one tuna. Water was murkier than normal which is not a bad thing, plankton and silt brings bait and bait brings predators. I will also make note that, absolutely zero bait, live or dead, are used on any of our trips, so whatever we catch is on artificials.
Everyone I spoke to slayed fished yesterday. Here are a couple of the bigs boys Joe & I brought in. I was happy about my 35″ BFT until I spoke to Rob(PottyMouth) and he told me he landed a 40″! What a beast!
We decided to hit some bottom spots off destin on this super full moon. well we didnt launch till about 3 a.m. or so and it was calm and the sky was lit up! got to the first spot and josh pulls up this beast red snapper. not much going on after that till’ the sun started to rise. We heard a loud splash and everyone looked over there then we saw a sailfish jump and we all freak out and started going over towards it [...]
I was free lining a whole squid on the Penn Torque and had not checked the bait in quite a bit. I had let out quite a bit of line and was trying to speed reel the line in. As the line got close I slowed down to a stop to see if anything might of been following it. Sure enough I see a rather large shadow behind the squid. I let it sit but the lack of action made him lose interest. I pulled it in a threw it out in front of my yak, sure enough I saw him dart right for it.
Took the wife down to Conch Key Cottages, MM 61, for a few days of paddling and exploring. She let me fish a little. The hotel is right on the water adjacent to what should have been good bonefish flats, but I did not see one the whole trip. There were some respectable barracudas to be had. It’s nice to be able to roll out of bed and be fishing within 5 minutes.
Planned on a Delray to Boynton inlet drift, even staged a car at Boynton inlet. We put in at the beach in Delray water was perfect, flat and a light wind. We never got that far off only about 80ft we let the wind take us. It ended up taking us south east not the way we planned on going. The ocean had a good April fools joke by taking us the wrong way. But it ended up working out. Birds were diving all around us and bait was getting slammed on the top of the water. My bro-in law ended up with 2 AJ’s and I was skunked. Still a great day on the water.
I haven’t posted anything in about two months or so, I just got back from Djing out of the country in late February. I’ve been doing some fishing here and there but this month has been really windy and it seems like the only time to have some fishing opportunity has been in the mornings when the winds are kind of calm. Even though the high winds we have, I have had some luck here and there [...]
Well the plan was to get on the Cobia bite today as I have been hearing scattered reports. We hit the beach at Phipps Park in Lake Worth and are greated by 2-4′ seas and a erroded beach. We disscussed for awhile and decided to charge the surf at 7am. We hit 100′ and throw out flat lines and start jigging with DOA swimming mullets. Hour into the trip..nada..so we decide to paddle back out and north as the east wind has blown us in. My buddy Hoke trolls a DOA Terror Eyz in golden bream and is slammed by this gal in 65′ [...]
The plan was to launch from the North end of Lover’s Key and visit the islands in the middle of the bay and look for reds and snook. When I arrived at the launch, I found my plans thwarted as one million mph winds were coming across the bay. Not to be outdone by weather, I opted to launch at Hickory Pass and maybe find some shelter from the wind. I met up with my buddy Mike, and we took off at sunrise [...]
Decided to try somewhere brackish I haven’t spent much time, just to try something new this afternoon. Fished a few hours of daylight plus about 30min after dark with the moon so bright.
Was push-poling around in a foot of water when I came across a big, dark, gnarly tail sticking out of the water. Thought it was a big black drum and threw on him. After a 20minute sleigh ride I found out I was mistaken [...]
I wanted to get over my dismal 12th place finish in the IFA tournament so I called Allen Reddick for some Estero Bay fishing. We launched at Week’s into a little wind, but not as bad as it was yesterday. Week’s is such a great place to lauch as it’s never too busy! We started fishing the flats right outside of the channel on the falling tide. I was using my usual, Gulp shrimp on a DOA cal jighead and it didn’t take long to snatch up a slot redfish [...]
Downrigger Plus Gog Equals Smoker Kayak King
Florida Sportsman member: FLATS BROKE
Went out yesterday with a half dozen gogs paddled out to 90ft and put my baits out, 1 flat line 1 on the downrigger. Slow troll out to 165ft and drop my jig and pull up a small king 28 inch. Headed in to 140ft where there was a nice color change and my rigger goes off zzzz’. 15 mins later I land this nice king. The downrigger was set at 50 feet.
Fishing was slow for us this weekend, Current was ripping North 3+mph. Managed to catch this kingfish (70ft) on the way out on a deep diving Yozuri plug. We did a lot more kayaking than fishing. I sold the fish on the beach for a whopping $13.00 to a Canadian couple that really wanted it. They offerd to buy it so I said “$20 its great deal”, Then he said he had no cash .I loaded up my kayak and was ready to leave when I noticed the guy running down the street towards me with cash in his hand. He told me he managed to borrow $13 and thats all he had. So I gave in and took the $13.00 and used it for bait the next day [...]
by Florida Sportsman•
September 30, 2014
Recent offshore fishing reports from the South region.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
“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!”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
“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…”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 [...]
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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[...]”
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
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.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
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.
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! [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
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.
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.
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 [...]
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.
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.
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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! [...]
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 [...]
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.
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′ [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
by Florida Sportsman Staff•
September 29, 2014
Florida Sportsman magazine joined Aeon’s Will Leslie at the St. Lucie River to get a firsthand look at their custom-built Aeon 23 Pro Guide. Will Leslie is originally from England and moved to the Bradenton area close to a decade ago, where he and his wife opened a successful boat repair and restoration facility called Bayside Marine Services (www.baysidemarineservices.com). They specialize in fully rehabbing late-model Chris Craft, Aquasport and Wellcraft boats. From his repair shop perspective, Leslie noticed inadequacies in other boats and strived to build a custom boat free of the flaws he saw.
Aeon Marine offers anglers offshore and inshore capabilities with its 23 Pro Guide. Twelve-inch draft, Minn Kota trim tabs and 3-second holeshot allow this boat to access the deeper flats for inshore gamefish; while offshore, an 8-foot beam, optional tower, insulated 40-gallon livewell and crabwell, and 5-foot fishbox assist anglers targeting pelagic and benthic species. Standard features include hydraulic steering, bilge pump, Porta hydraulic engine bracket, stainless steel hardware, and transom and forward hatches for storage. Dry weight is 2,300 pounds; length is 22 feet, 6 inches; beam is 8 feet; deadrise is 14 degrees; and standard fuel tank is 70 gallons. Maximum horsepower is 300. Price is $46,500, rigged with a 175 horsepower Evinrude ETEC and T-top.
Center console with optional T-top. Will Leslie describes deck as a soft white color.
A shot of the bow; notice the large fish box. Clear, flat space is ideal for fighting tarpon off the beaches and passes. Aeon Marine has a crew fishing the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series (PTTS).
Will Leslie shows off one of two compartments in the forward casting deck. There are different layouts available for the bow area.
A close-up look of the anchor locker, popup bow light and two stainless steel cleats.
Space under gunnels allow for better stability when fighting fish against the rail.
A view of the hull which features Aeon’s signature “Performance Lift.” Performance lift is made up of a progressive deadrise to cut through waves smoothly, reverse chines to deflect water down, strakes for maneuverability, and reduced wetted surface to decrease drag.
Front hatches access electrical wiring and batteries underneath console.
Optional T-top with six rod holders. Green top matches hull color.
A view of the console. Features include hydraulic steering, backlit switch panel, and tilt out storage unit. This boat was rigged with Humminbird electronics.
Undergunnel rod storage runs along starboard and bow, three rods on each side.
Two-person custom helm seat features fold-down footrest and built-in livewell.
Lifting up the seat reveals 40-gallon, insulated livewell.
Tilting up the clear acrylic lid shows a well with dual aerators, LED light, and overflow drain with removable cover.
This boat featured a plain stern setup. Both hatches open to bilge area. Aeon Marine can add livewells and other options to stern section.
Opened up. All hatches feature stainless steel hardware.
This boat was rigged with a 175 horsepower Evinrude E-TEC, Porta Bracket jackplate and dive platform. Max horsepower is 300.
Get up and go. Aeon performance reports show (with a 175 E-tec) this boat tops out at 45.5 MPH. Best performance was at 3,000 RPM, cruising 25 MPH, burning 4.5 MPG.
by Florida Sportsman•
September 29, 2014
Recent offshore fishing reports from the Florida Keys region.
Fishing on the Edge
Florida Sportsman member: ShallowSalt
Biggest score of the week was a 19.5 pound blackfin tuna caught on 20 pound spin gear while drifting. We began to see the big boys skying about a quarter mile behind the boat and eventually they worked their way close enough and took a drifting bait behind the boat.
Based on what we saw, if you want a shot at a dolphin, you’re going to need to run a bit. I know some bigger dolphin were caught in close, but no real numbers. If you want blackfin tuna, both the 409 and Islamorada Hump were loaded with small fish.
Dolphin were abundant about 10 to 17 miles off Key Largo. The ocean was glass and no one around to compete with. The edge of the stream was clearly visible in these condition, which was really interesting to see so defined.
We went to work and after a short battle placed a 50 incher on the deck. My spell had been broken and it was my buddy’s turn, unfortunately we pulled the hook on the next bite and then we caught a big mako in 1700 feet of water, we let that one go as it was only 1130 am and no point on putting that on the deck.
Greg said we could go ahead and load our gear. So we lugged all the above mentioned gear from the truck to the boat. Then it was off to the Hogfish for a bowl of lobster bisque and an order of hogfish fingers. Soon the rest of the anglers for the trip started showing up and went through the ritual of loading their gear on the boat. Finally it was 8 pm and time to shove off.
We all agreed the next morning that none of us had ever seen such a long, hot bite of such consistently BIG yellowtails! Even Ed, who fishes for yellowtails a lot in the Bahamas, was having a hard time remembering such great action over in the islands.
It was getting to be early evening so we decided to troll back in and saw a frigate at about 600 feet. Followed him for a short while and a schoolie mahi hits a lure. As we are bringing him in 3 or 4 big mahi are following. Avery, who is 12, grabs a pitch rod, puts a pinfish on the big circle hook, tosses it out and hooks the 47 inch cow. About 20 minutes later, good gaff shot and it is in the boat.
We set up a drift, and put down some bonita chunks. First pull up 3 roses, we were ecstatic! We did two more drops with 3 rosies each time. Afterward we continued to troll and found a nice log in 650 feet. This was loaded with schoolies, most of them were right at 20 inches but we landed 5 that were 22 plus inches. Many were thrown back to get bigger.
Around 12:30 pm, we came up on a frigate tracking fish from about 30 yards up, with bait splashing below. Followed him for a few minutes, and our two trolled ballyhoo got hit. About a 30 pound cow jumped and spit the hook, but this bull came aboard after a long fight. It hit a green skirted ballyhoo in 670 feet, about 17 or 18 miles out.
Looked for weed lines and birds and didn’t find any. A lot of sargasso patches but no distinct weed lines to troll up and down. I trolled around 5 knots when I hit the 330 foot mark my drag started screaming. About 5 minutes later my wife and I got the fish in the boat. 20 pound 40 inch first dolphin for my wife and I!
We went out to about 625 feet today, East of Big Pine Key & West of Sombrero Light. We caught some really nice phins (triple header), some peanuts which were tagged and released, average size wahoo, a black fin tuna, and some cudas. Left at 8am and was back by 3:00 pm.
Reef bite has been ok when the current cooperates. Been having some fun catching and releasing Permit. Got to do some grouper fishing on Sunday May 4 for the first time in along while. First drop we took a nice black grouper for dinner!
On Saturday we took out Greg, George, Eric, Jomal, and Lynn and released 32 amberjacks all between 30 and 75 pounds as well as a dozen almaco jacks and banded rudderfish. These guys are a group of vertical jiggers from Miami and loosely refer to themselves as the “Miami wrecking crew”.
We kept the first 3 and released number 4 and passed on number 5. We could have taken more.They ate whatever we threw at them. My clients also kept about a dozen yellowtails between 18 to 20 inches. Sharks are thick. We leadered a large Bull shark after a 45 minute tug of war. Only saw 2 Sportfishers all day.
Found a nice bucket with bait but no mahi, then came across a nice piece of bamboo with heavy mono tied to it with again lots of bait and a triple tail but no mahi. Kept running southwest till about 11:30 am when we spotted a hawk heading down on the water in 750 feet and it was chaos from then on. With only 3 guys on the boat, we got covered by 3 large slammers, hooked all 3 fish but ended up landing the bull and the smaller cow.
The mate gaffed the fish and a beautiful mutton hit the deck. I don’t know if Juozas had ever caught one before, but I believe it was his first on the Yankee. At 10-years old, on his first trip out here. That’s impressive. You couldn’t wipe the smile of his face.
Decided that was enough mutton meat for us so we headed in a little shallower to a wreck in 100 feet to get some tails. After sandballing for about 45 minutes we had as much as I could keep and give away to a few buddies.
The deep dropping has been spectacular when the conditions have been right for it. Mostly a mix of queen snapper and nice blueline tilefish with some snowy grouper mixed in. I think I’ve probably seen more queen snapper this winter than I have in years. The queens and bigger tiles have been in 600 to 800 feet of water while there have been yelloweye snapper, and some nice vermillions in the 400 feet depths.
Capt Greg motored us to a canyon with current. Golden tile fish, barrel fish and numerous other fishies appeared, then the highlight, queen snappers! I was lucky and nailed on of the largest of these beauties, almost as big as the one I caught last summer. What a climax to the trip! About eight or ten were landed, including one that came unhooked and was floating away. Greg got us to reel in and went on a recovery mission. You don’t abandon a beauty like that!
We only had a few hours due to prior commitments but we ran out deep and rigged up while we figured out the drift. We made one pass over the structure, adjusted and quickly into the next pass it was game on. Jeff, with some help from Bugsy, got to work.
Was a little bumpy on the south side when we left the dock, so I was glad that we were headed to the Gulf. Stopped by the airport marker to get some Pilchards for the live well, and they were there. After sabiking some up we headed for the Gulf. Sad to say that we didn’t find and Cobia, but conditions were awesome. Flat calm seas, clear skies.
Just looking for birds, we stumbled on a weed line that was clean on the north edge and ran for a couple miles on the edge of the Ups and Downs. We were in 575 feet at daylight and never saw another boat. Only a fool would troll that deep this time of the year for dolphin. Gentle breeze changed to the east and the bite was over. We were back by 11AM. Mark and I ended up with 8 dolphin to 24 pounds.
The bait used today were goggle eyes. While drifting we fished the bottom rod and hooked up to some mutton snapper and small sharks. We also caught some yellowtail snapper on the patches. The first sailfish came up on one of the baits mid-day and had a successful release. The next sailfish came up on the long bait about 30 minutes later and unfortunately unhooked during the fight.
Paul, the angler who caught it paid his dues big time for this one. He stayed out and got soaked for over an hour fighting this fish on 20# spinning tackle. With the rain pouring down and some pretty big waves breaking over the stern while we where backing down. I was afraid we might lose him overboard one time.
My wife and I went to the reef yesterday morning on Christmas Eve. We went 1 for 3 on wahoo. Fish were eating in 190 feet of water. Caught on red/black on the down bait over dead ballyhoo, trolling 7 knots. Got the one we wanted!
Most of the fishing has happened from the protection of land. We have caught lots of small to keeper mangrove snapper, and grouper around bridges. Some of the best spots have been deep holes in channels where we have caught good numbers of muttons and red grouper with several keepers.
The next time the bottom rod when off, I knew that I had a real fish. When I finally saw “pink”, I no doubt grinned as it was my favorite fish, a nice Mutton Snapper. I netted him and he measured out at 19 inches. The fish box instantly got a lot better looking!
The black grouper bite continues to produce for my clients who want to target them. Finding them between 60 to75 feet. Took A couple guys from Missouri last week in for a short reef “meat” trip. They made one request prior to the trip, catch a black grouper for dinner. Caught a mess of tails then switched over to dropping “grouper bombs”. Went 1 for 3 then headed in with a grouper for dinner.
Yesterday afternoon we targeted Wahoo without success. Today, with reports of slim pickings on pelagics offshore, light winds and little current we kept the trolling gear in the racks and opted to deep drop. 6 tilefish later we headed home after a successful ‘Plan B”, 27 inches being the biggest.
Thursday I had another group of repeat clients from Denmark. Trolled for a little awhile but these guys like reef action more than chasing tunas and dolphin. Tails were chewing for them on Wednesday night. Seas were slick and we had good current. They were of pretty good size. Not spring time quality but still good looking fish.
The day started off really rough with a storm moving through. We tried to stay away but all it did was ruin the time we had to fish. We decided to run through it and get to some spots. We started chumming and here came the trigger fish. Once we were able to get past them we had the yellow tails coming over the sides. Finished with 17 tails and a few had some real good size to them. Made for a good dinner that night with friends visiting from Ocala.
Clients have had “grouper” fever of late, No muttons or yellowtails, just grouper. So we did the grouper thing again on Saturday morning. Had a couple from Iowa first time fishing in the Keys. The fish were beating them up but they stuck with it. Was going to switch them back to Yellowtail fishing when McKayla made one last drop for her “picture” fish. Heard her scream, thought something was wrong. She put the heat on this fish. Caught the fish in the middle of day. We put the fish in the box and went home.
Today I was out on the Yellowfin 42 again, with the girls. These girls are fishing fanatics they will fish all day long and want to reel in every fish that they hook big or small. We got to today’s spot and the current was running fast to the north, caught one yellowtail before a big yacht went right across the chum slick. We left for another spot 3 miles away in 68 feet, we anchored there and saw a small boat with two guys fishing about 200 feet on the east side of where we anchored. Instantly I knew when these girls got going and start catching fish the neighbors were not going to feel to good. It was a perfect day with the correct conditions, even though I would of preferred a little less current, and the fish started coming over the gunnel
I was out today from south Key Largo, we headed to Tavernier, I put the yellowtails behind the boat in 65 feet and the current was so slow they would not eat. The barracudas however, would eat as soon as wee hooked a fish. My customer got a nice mutton on the bottom As I caught about 15 ballyhoo, then we were set for the mutton bite in deep water we headed north 10 miles or so and got to 150 feet deep in a spot marking good fish on the bottom so we anchored. after a few minutes, my customer hooks up with a nice black grouper that fought real nice, I pulled him in the boat, then began with the high fives and pics. After the celebrations were over back down we go with another ballyhoo and a good north current. He hooked up to a nice mutton next after pulliing him in his son hooks up and its another mutton. We got a hand full here and time ran out,but they where happy to get dinner for a couple of days….
We headed straight out to the deep as we had a load of goggle eyes and ballyhoo. We headed north and anchored in 140 feet, put down a bait using a 24 oz lead and it was barely holding as the current was ripping north. We put down another line on the other side with a 28 oz weight and ended up catching two muttons The current was getting stronger as time went by, we got out a 32 oz weight and it was just too much for these guys to feel the bottom while keeping the weight there, So I decided to go back south and hit 60 feet, for some yellowtails and bottom fishing there. We got to the spot and the yellowtails came close behind as I was chumming heavily. I put two guys on the bottom rods and as one of them started fishing for the yellow tails the fish pushed back and the muttons started to bite on the yellow tail rigs with a small hook and 12 lb test. The first mutton, just couldn’t be turned as he ran for the bottom, another 6 made it to the boat though, as Jeff put the pressure of the rods to work turning the head of the fish towards the boat as they all took some drag.We also released an undersized black and lost the usual fish to the rocky bottom, they had a great time and all took turns catching fish overall a great day on the water until next time tight lines
Lower Keys Tripletail
Florida Sportsman member: swordslayer71
I’ve been thoroughly enjoying this break in the weather pattern we’ve had since the end of May and taking advantage by staying primarily offshore. There have been dolphin everywhere each day from 300 feet. and on out to the wall. I haven’t seen too many larger fish, but some 15 to 20 pounders are still being caught with an occasional 35 plus being heard of. Lots of blackfins still scattered around as well [...]
My buddy and I cleared Tavernier Creek about 7:30 and headed out to find that the forecast was actually on point. We found a decent weed line in 400 feet of water and began trolling. We hooked up with a nice cow which we boated, and caught 2 more schoolies on the troll. At about 10:00 we got hit hard, and a huge bull jumped out of the water. Seconds later the cow takes the other bait and starts running, but soon after jumps shaking her head and spits the bait. After a 25 minute fight, we finally landed the bull which ended up weighing 44 pounds.
I squeezed one more trip in yesterday before bringing the boat back to Lauderdale to prep for Bimini. Based on our recent trips I decided to focus on 650′ of water and see what we could find. We were rewarded almost immediately with a nice cow.
These fish were very finicky and we had to follow them for extended periods to get a strike. They were gorging themselves on flying fish and had tuna sized flocks of birds over them. We could shadow the fish at trolling speed and watch them lazily cruise by the boat. They’d turn on pitched baits but not hit and then casually swim from bait to bait in the spread. It was frustrating but at the same time very cool to watch the fish for an extended period of time. Finally after following one fish for nearly an hour (and having a “run & gun” boat give up ) we got the largest dolphin of the day to eat a pitched ballyhoo.
Finally got the opportunity to get offshore and chase all these dolphin everyone is talking about. Water temps were 77-78 degrees and a solid SE Wind at 13 mph. Well, we had to work, but managed to put together a respectable haul. It was a bit sloppy, call it a solid 3-4 feet at times, some a bit more. We shot out to 900+ feet briefly, but ended up pushing back in to the 300-450 foot zone. At least there was broken live grass in this area and lots of terns. Anything past 500 feet was pretty desert-like, no grass, debris, and minimal bird activity out there. Once we came back in, we picked up the only frigate we saw all day, along with a tern working hard to the southeast. The flying fish were flying! We casted live bait into the activity and hooked up a nice 30-lb cow
We headed offshore and after talking to a few others on the radio, we decided to drop in and start trolling at 350 feet or so. Almost immediately we hooked and landed a schoolie that was about 25 inches. At about 450 feet the rigger popped and we had a much better fish, call it 38 inch fork length. We continued south through the ups and downs with reports of the occasional fish in the second 600 feet. Sure enough, a way back goes off and another 38-40 inch fork comes in. We continued to troll and on the way back in at 600 feet we hook up again and put another 40 inch fork Mahi in the box.
Finally got out yesterday and the wife and I had a really nice day! We ended up running in about 1PM as a couple of Storm clouds were moving in. We were in 120′ Grouper were really biting. Our one Red went the better part of 15l pounds. I Hated putting him back. Water was flat and clear.
After getting through the windy/rainy/lightning filled Friday I was excited for the “predicted” calm(er) Saturday. It of course wasn’t to be and with a small craft advisory hanging out we decided to give it a little time to lay down. We finally left the dock at 11 or so and got on the water. It was still pretty sloppy but calmed down a fair amount while we were out there. Very fishable, just had to drive carefully. The plan was to head offshore and get some people their first AJ’s. The fish were very cooperative and readily ate the jigs we presented.
Have not venture offshore in awhile, but here is what I know. Bigger Tuna on the Islamorada Hump and the 409 Hump showed up. Phins are being caught on the southeast wind. Pick and choose your days. 300-600 feet. Guys got on them late yesterday, right place at the right time. Pick your sick days on the southeast wind. Few wahoo. We lost one yesterday on the edge in 130 feet on the tide change. Chewed through #7 wire. Fished 85 feet for Yellowtails yesterday, few fat flags, but the water temp. is hoovering around 73 degrees fahrenheit. Few sails cruising the edge. Kingfish bite was on with the cold.
The offshore bite is there, but not rock solid. Wahoo have been caught but not in any serious numbers. The tunas are out as well but it seems the most reliable bite is coming from live chumming early in the morning. I’ve been playing around with the early tarpon on light tackle that have been showing up and they’ve been pretty co-operative. As long as the wind is from the north it’s pretty nice out front. Here are some pictures of a baby goliath we got on the reef, a nighttime tarpon release, my good friend Capt. Joe and his recent wahoo catch, and a picture I like that I took of bahia honda today.
We’ve had some great fishing down here in Islamorada this week. Today we had a beautiful catch of mutton snapper and kingfish. The kings haven’t really shown up too good this winter, but today we had a nice bite of fish from snakes all the way up to 30 pounds. We also caught some really nice muttons. Both the kings and muttons were taken on live cigar minnows. If anyone wants to know where we caught them, all of the muttons were caught right in the corner of the mouth. There’s also been some really nice dolphin lately. This 46 pound bull was caught along with a 27 pound cow on friday in about 250 feet of water.
We caught a lot of muttons, blackfin tuna, red grouper, had a sailfish on the line, kingfish and more. Incredible trip. We left Key West at 7:30am and got to our first spot at 9am. First spot was good with a couple of muttons. We then moved to another spot that was solid action. At one point one of us was fighting a sailfish, another was fighting a blackfin tuna and the other was hauling in a mutton[...]
Got a late afternoon start today so I only had a couple of hours to get some fishing in before the cold front pushed through, did not feel like chasing phins. Decided to stay in close & look for mutton snappers and groupers. Had one dead bonito for bait. At about 2:30 PM the fish fired up, caught two heavy lifters. After putting the second one in the box, it was time to go as it was starting to get ugly looking off towards the west, not to mention the Bonito meat was gone and the Cudas were thick around the boat. [...]
Grabbed 3 conventional rods & 1 spinning rod today, no ballyhoo rigging. Just going fishing. Keeping it simple paid off today. Fish were chewing. Got to love the Southeast wind in December. We were working a weedline that had been picked through pretty good early in the day by other boats, spotted a lone frigate bird about 2 miles off the weed line, set the course, then hooked a tuna under the frigate then up came the dolphin. All the drags started screaming. Had a serious fire drill going on, but it was a hell of a lot of fun! The fish did not want to stick around the boat, so we stuck under the Frigate bird for another 2 fish then started to move back in, had enough fish. Caught 5 at 2:00 PM, that was a enough for us. [...]
Fished a patch in 15 feet, inside of little conch reef using shrimp and ballyhoo plugs. Caught a few short muttons around 10-12 inches, a red grouper about 1 inches, a couple keeper yellowtails and this pretty nice short black too. We only fished for a little over an hour at this spot and there was good action. I’m sure there were some keeper groupers down there we just didn’t find them. Water was very clear, light winds under 10 mph from the ENE , and almost flat calm with a tiny bump. Very light current.[...]
My fishing report might be different from others because I concentrated on jigging on this trip testing/experimenting tackle as I own a tackle shop specializing in jigging and popping.
I am an addicted grouper jig fishermen and I knew I could catch many groupers on jigs on the trip.
But I really wanted to catch black grouper on jigs as I haven’t done it before. Also, I wanted to catch mutton snapper on jigs and figure out what kind jigs work best for them. But, the most important objective of this trip was to know whether jigging actually scare off mutton snapper as some mutton snapper bait fishermen claim [...]
Wind was gusting pretty good from the North early Friday. Did not want to mess around chasing Sailfish offshore as my guests just wanted to bend the rod & catch dinner. Set up in 90 feet, but sea sickness took its toll shortly after the hook was set. Went with Plan B and hit a couple of my favorite patch reefs and rockpiles in 15 feet to 20 feet of water that hold nice snappers in the winter [...]
Started of with a beautiful day with winds under 7 mph. Joined some friends for a day of bottom fishing with Captain Jack with Two Conchs Charters. He put us on a reef and we hit the mangroves and yellowtail snapper. Then we headed out to deeper waters for the big boys. We caught four fat mutton snapper to complete the day. Thanks Captain Jack for a great outing!
We headed out Saturday afternoon before the winds started on Sunday. My family got a couple hours of fishing in. Caught tons of smallish yellows, regardless of where we anchored. Can’t complain about the bite though, it was constant, just drop and reel up. Although the only notibles were a 19-inch mutton, 18-inch mango and a 24-inch grouper, we had a great time. And yes, my son outfished me again, he got the grouper all by himself [...]
It was going to be a mixed jigging trip and bait trip. We had planned what worked for us last year, no bait in the water until we finished jigging. It worked at the beginning but later on we seemed to have gone in our own individual plans to get the fish to bite. We all had mixed jigging and baits at the same time and it worked ok. Jigging didn’t impair fishing with bait and fishing with bait didn’t impair jigging. Dead bait worked better by switching to different baits as often as the bite slowed down [...]
My son and I went out to Big Pine reef area on the 30th for some yellowtailing. The forecast said 1 to 3 but really was 2 to 4 and wind chopped (they were way off with the wind forecast too). I aimed a little shallow because I wanted my son to catch lots of fish and have a good time, so we ended up in about 50 feet of water. Right now there are tons of ballyhoo in the area, so when we started chumming they were everywhere [...]
We’ve had some great fishing down here in Islamorada especially this past weekend. On thursday the 20th we started the weekend out with a swordfish trip and had a great day bringing 2 swordfish back to the dock. The current was ripping out in the deep, but the bite was on with 3 bites on 3 drops [...]
Headed out for a brief trip to the reef Saturday after finding a break in the weather. Did some bottom fishing and found the usual snapper/grouper suspects willing to cooperate. My buddy Jack who was yellowtailing on straight 10lb got a solid hit from a mystery fish. We all suspected it was a yellowtail that had gotten cuda’d but we hadn’t seen any tell tale cuda’ signs yet. Once we finally saw the fish as it shot to the surface we were all pretty surprised to see a cobia.
Hey guys! Fishing started with a 7 hour ride, way west. We dropped our first baits and it was on, bites right away. I thought for sure it was on, but I thought to soon, the bite shut off for a little bit and then sharks started to turn on. After some sharks, we made a move and we started to pluck some more muttons. The trip wasn’t on fire but if you put in time on the rail you managed to do well. Goggle eyes were working well, as well as ballyhoo [...]
For those of you that have read my reports you know it’s usually dolphin, dolphin, and the occasional dolphin. This one will be a little different. We fished Friday and Saturday and here’s what we found.
We spent most of our time between 350′ and 750′ (10 mile to 16 miles) and conditions were similar over that entire spread. The dominant theme is birds and tunas, LOTS of birds and tuna [...]
Well everything seemed to settle down after the minimal tropical storm we encountered last week. The weather has been been very good, with moderate to light winds in the 5 to 12 knot range for the most part. The mahi bite has still been fair the past few days. If you find the right piece of debris (which holds bait and keeps the mahi around), your day can be made, which happened on the Catch 22 a few days ago. They found a piece of bamboo and caught 50 mahi off it to 12 pounds!
We were down for the long weekend and decided to try fishing three different ways on the three different days.
Saturday was a little choppy for my son, so we started off on a patch reef. We caught quite a few small snapper and grouper and kept a decent mangrove and a couple of grunts. Before you laugh, try it. Grunt is excellent. There just isn’t much meat on them.
Today, I was out of Key Colony, with a family that wanted to fish for yellowtails. They rented a house there and didn’t know the area well, so we started by going to a spot where I’ve caught many tails and some bait with a previous customer with his family. I moved around and anchored near and all we caught where some bonitos, so we moved on and tried a few more spots [...]
Made a trip offshore from Tavernier creek today, stopped at the Islamorada hump and trolled up a few Tuna, then headed out to look for the elusive Mahi Mahi. We managed to find a huge school of peanuts, but no keepers. The wind picked up a bit for the ride in this afternoon, made a couple of quick drifts for grouper, but no takers. All of the out of towners caught a fish, and came home with smiles, so a good day, topped off with a plateful of seared tuna and a cold cerveza [...]
Late post , we were actually down on the humps last weekend on the 12th, what a great day we had, got 9 nice blackfin tuna. Never even saw a dolphin or any sign, lots of birds and tuna schools on the way to the humps but we could not get them to eat, we tried several schools [...]
Today’s trip was out of Tavernier, The ocean was nice with smooth conditions, we ran out to 70 feet and the current was slow to the north, the fish did not want to show very much, I started with a demo and got one tail but, the bite was too slow and far so we moved on to another spot in 82 feet and I noticed a commercial boat near by he was a friend of mine [...]
With all the lobster and spear fishing reports I just had to add that you can actually catch fish hook and line in the Florida Keys. With a weak current up the anchor line, the ‘tails developed lock jaw after a couple were boated so we shifted to patch fishing. The Mangrove was about 25 inches and the Red grouper 22 inches. The mutton was just legal, but Tom seemed pretty happy to invite it home for dinner.
We lobstered Monday and Tuesday. A bit rough for my boat to do much else but we did get some nice snapper with some help from CaptDallas2. Then bit a little Sunday afternoon [...]
The plan was to do some spearfishing and then hit the reef for full moon snapper fishing. On the way out back we dropped the pinfish traps and then since we had a youngin on board, we hit some shallow water for some hog hunting. We saw lots of them, but only small ones. I did see one big one in the deeper water, but I was out of air when he appeared and he was not sticking around [...]
Kinda’ new to the forums, but I decided to post our report from yesterday. Trolling off Big Pine we found some nice weed patches and birds in about 600 feet, but only got a couple throw back dolphin early. At about 11:00 we hooked up with this bull in about 550 feet in some scattered weed. He made a few hard runs but in about 10 to 15 minutes we were able to gaff him!
Went out with Capt. Geoffrey Campbell on the Sweetwater. Headed out to 600 feet but didn’t see much action. Decided to go back to 400 feet where we saw a nice weed line. As soon as we get there we see a big splash, looked like a marlin, but not 100 percent. We had a chin weighted ballyhoo back deep on a 20 pound outfit, she hits hit twice and lets go, but on the third time she’s hooked. Took two and a half hours to get her boatside for pics and release [...]
Today we went out of the Channel Five Bridge and headed south. My customer said he wanted big fish, he didn’t want quantity he wanted quality, so I changed my original plan since he was with his kids. I was going to get them in an easy catching frenzy of tails, so I changed to a flag spot in deep water where the bottom holds unstoppable groupers [...]
Hi, last week took the family out for a short trip with Captain Geoffrey on the Sweetwater. We only fished for 2 hours (storms were coming) but had non-stop snapper action and great conditions. Kids had a blast!
Been trying to post our trip for a couple of days now. I think I broke the code on posting pics. We’ll see in a few lines. After a ton of planning and prep, we finally set a date for our trip to the Tortugas. Crew consisted of myself, son-in-law Matt and a former Chief of his in the USCG, also named Matt. We’ll call him Chief for the remainder of the post. Chief just got back to the keys from the panhandle and brought his beautiful new toy, a 27′ Walk around Grady! [...]
I’ve been on vacation, doing what I like best, fishing with family and friends. We went out after all the storms and fished for mangroves at night and got our limit of 20 in 1 hour and ran in quickly with another storm coming. We took the nephews and cousins the next morning, went out and got 25 yellowtails. These fish where flags [...]
Headed down to Key West on June 24 ready to do some fishing. I had never been there before and was excited to get some new species. Unfortunately the weather was not cooperating and I had to sit at the dock June 25, 26, and 27. Finally on the 28th I was able to get out and fish. I hopped on the Allison Jane out of Key West with Captain Steve Sanchez. Captain Steve has been fishing there his whole life and it showed [...]
In general, as we got closer to the full moon…the bite got tougher. Last Friday there were tuna all over the place, but it was tough to get in front of them and get them to bite. Finally did and got a double on the skippies on a Rattle Jet in the way back position and on a ballyhoo/skirt combo in close. Dolphin were tough too, ate the blue Rattle Jet mid spread [...]
Ran out to the wall looking for dolphin and tuna. The dolphin have been scattered but we manged this one around 5 miles past the wall under a couple of birds. Hit a rigged ballyhoo on a blue and white Island lure. We had a big Boone bird teaser out and that may have helped him find the bigger bait. Found the tuna schools right at the wall and caught them till our arms hurt. Purple and black were the hot colors for the tuna.
At the last minute I decided to jump on the 2 day Yankee Capts trip. I did not have much time to go out and catch bait on my own but I did look for Gogs but couldn’t find them so I loaded with white bait, small runners, and dork jacks. Nilson (rare) one of my fishing buddies gave me some more bait including some pinfish and so I went on my way to the Keys [...]
Been taking advantage of this nice weather as of late and have fished both offshore and the reef. The offshore bite has been kind of sporadic dolphin wise, where it seems to be if you find ‘em you’ll kill ‘em but if you don’t, you don’t. The skipjacks have been large and in good numbers right on and near the wall itself. 9 out of 10 pieces of debris I’ve found have been empty, but that 1 has been holding dolphin and tripletail. The reef is real hot right now, both shallow and deep. Tight lines.
Hi all, new to the forum so here goes. Also, sorry for the late report. Headed down to the keys on Thu 6/14 for our annual Dry Tortugas pilgrimage with the famous Capt Yuri. Our group of John, Gil, Bob, Dean and myself (Frank) have gone on many trips with Yuri (this one made 9 for me) and we always have a great time. This year, Yuris’ nephew Chris joined us since he was down visiting for a few months. What a great kid and pretty good fisherman too, must run in the genes [...]
It’s Saturday morning, and the same old story’s really getting old. Small craft advisory yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. Yesterday we fished really hard only to boat three mahi. Found the first one under some birds just beyond the reef and thought it might be one of those days when we find the fish inside, but we ended up having to run 23 miles out to find birds.
I had the opportunity to run offshore with a father/daughter team to go catch dolphin on Dream Catchers 32′ Yellowfin Wednesday and had a blast! The trip was originally scheduled to go on Tuesday, but Capt Steve and I discussed it and decided if the pair could fish Wend it would be much better. Fortunately, their schedule allowed for the shift and it was set [...]
We arrived on Saturday and will be here for two weeks. Considering the long-range forecast deteriorating from bad to worse, we decided to take a beating on Sunday. It’s hard to fish when you can’t stand up in the boat, but we trudged out toward the Hump, looking for signs along the way. Ten miles off, we found birds and practiced for awhile on short schoolies before moving deeper. In 650, we found a decent weedline that held a big red plastic water tank. We trolled by and a nice bull immediately slammed a skirted hoo. Though our gaff broke on the first attempt, we pulled out the backup and put the 25 pounder on ice [...]
The morning started slowly for me, one pink muffing and since I saw Bobby hooked on an AJ I took out my toys to do some jigging and had some fun with a 50 pounder AJ that was released. What a pain they are to fight but I love it [...]
The dolphin have definitely been around this past week. I’ve seen the majority of the fish in the 350-450 foot range on scattered weeds, with the tell being small birds hovering over the fish. The average size has been smaller, around 18-25 inches, but there are still plenty of keepers to be picked out. We were able to catch as many as we wanted, and whenever they’d get finicky I’d throw a plastic swimbait out and they’d get fired right back up again.
Just had to post Elijah with his first mutton snapper. The current was a little off for the tails. Only put a couple in the box before the ceros and rainbow runners took over. We caught the mutton on in the channel scouting spots. Fun little half day showing them around.
Went down to the keys before the weekend started to get on some hogfish action. The day was rainy, with some bad weather rolling in early in the morning. The wind and current were not our friends that day. They were totally opposite and everyone knows how much of a pain that can be. Anyways we managed to pull up a few Hogs and some nice sized mangroves. The day wasn’t the best, but was able to spend some time out with my dad and some friends [...]
We got to the mothership at 8:45 a.m., and began the process of unloading the suv and U-Haul. Then the clock hit 12 and then 12:15 and still we didn’t leave. Greg has always been punctual on departure time, anyways we had a few late birds show up at 12:30 and if me and my boys didn’t help them unload we would have been at the dock till 3 p.m. Anyways we leave at 1 p.m. and we heard that we were going for a long ride, we started fishing at 6:30 p.m. [...]
I’ve been fishing a pretty even split of offshore and reef recently, and both have been producing pretty well. The dolphin are definitely “here” now, and we’ve been finding them from as shallow as 50ft(chasing bait onto the reef), and out to 650 ft. with consistency. The last few days the ticket was a color change in 450 feet that was very strong and full of weed/birds just due south of Looe Key [...]
My luck changed for the better this past Saturday with folks from Boca Raton, the Rotenbergs and their friend David. We worked out from KCB in a Southeast direction staying mostly in the 450-650′ range. We had a nice surprise of a sailfish that came in open ocean with the fish taking a lure without ballyhoo. Billy Bait Super Magnum in dolphin colors. Never caught a sail before on just a lure [...]
I have fished in Key West growing up my whole life and never made the trip out to Dry Tourtugas. So a few friends and coworkers of mine decided to plan a trip out for the holiday weekend. We left friday morning after loading up on bait, fuel, and ice. Stoped at the Sub wreck, caught a alamaco jack, and a large, what I thought was, a big grunt…but was informed it was a margate. It was the first I’ve ever caught. After that we went onto the reef to try spearfishing and load up on some live ballyhoo [...]
Today I went out with Carl for the 3rd time and Jeff and Tyler for the second time. We left port largo at 7 Am picked up some pin fish traps and didn’t get many, so we went out to 55 feet anchored up and the current was going south and slow, Ocean was 1 foot and water was cloudy.
We planned the reunion of friends from the late 1970′s and early 1980′s who lived in the mountains of Colorado. We were all fishing and hunting buddies from Summit County, Colorado. This is the ski country region 75 miles west of Denver- Breckenridge, Keystone and Copper Mountain. Life has taken us all different directions and careers [...]
My good friend DogDoc(Bert) and I left at noon and found a weedline in 700. Nothing active until we found a little debris and I started chunking ballyhoo while Bert jigged. He has been able to bring a school up from the depths in the past. After 10 minutes the school could be seen and we boated several schoolies on pitch bait and lures.
TeamTeke had the pleasure of fishing with Dan Bloomquist and his lady friend Evamarie Buskirk from Kalkaska, MI. today on a deep offshore trip to the Marathon Hump. We got an early start and were blessed with calm seas but heavy overcast skies all day. Rain threatened throughout the day but we only had a short sprinkle in early afternoon. The air was heavy and the humidity high [...]
After taking a little trip, to New York, to take “Roll Tide” back to her homeport on Long Island I needed a fishing fix. We had planned to stop in the Bahamas for some fishing along the way, but mother nature kept the winds up…so outside of hand-lining some Trout, Lookdowns, Ladyfish and Stingrays in various Marinas…there was no fishing included in over 1,000 miles of water.
When you have a Yuri trip booked it is hard to sleep the week before, at least for me. Particularly because the weather the week before was 4 to 6 foot seas and 15 to 20 knot winds which is hard fishing and not very comfortable. The seas the whole trip was 1 foot or less as you can see in the picture of Al with one of his Kingfish. Three of the six parties on this trip went down early on the 6th in the hopes of securing bait. Glenn unfortunately was hit broad side and his car was disable which put a wrench in the bait situation.
Left the house around 8 a.m. and headed out to about 150 feet and got our troll on, nothing until about 550 where we spot a white crab trap buoy. At about half mile we head that way to check it out and it is attached to what looks like a small parachute….needless to say SCORE! We notice a big triple tail on it. The area is full of dolphin but they are small…so we catch about 10 to 15 letting them all go except the couple that were not fortunate with an easy release [...]
If it was possible to anchor there, I would. We didn’t catch a fish outside of 500′ all week and very few inside of 300′. Today most of the boats went further offshore because the weather allowed it. I heard very few positive reports on the radio. Don’t give in to the temptation to run “far”[...]
After getting blown and rained out the last few days of April and Tuesday, we finally managed to get out there on Wednesday and today. The grouper season started out very good for us with limit catches of blacks and gags the first two days so far. A few of the wrecks have been an instant bite as soon as you hit bottom and they’ve been biting on the edge of the reef as well [...]
Yesterday was good because the winds DROPPED to only 20 to 25 knots. We were limited in the number of lines we could troll and trolling into the seas wasn’t a good idea. We made it out as far as 425′ but found more action in close around 300′. At about 12 miles out we noticed a nearly one degree jump in water temperature. Not sure if the stream could be in that close (doubt it) but there was an edge there for sure [...]
This trip was booked when we got off the boat last year so there were 360 days of anticipation for this trip. The six of us met at the boat on Stock Island and made a quick trip to Duval Street for a couple cold ones and then back to the Hog Fish Grill for a good stuffing before we loaded the boat with everything we would needed for the next four days, beer, food, tackle and more beer [...]
A bit breezy for offshore (for us anyway), so we went exploring to the Marquesas and played with snappers and jacks in a couple of the channels. On the way back played with some more jacks, snappers, etc. in the channels draining the Lakes Passage. The best fish of the day was this mutton my wife caught in one of the channels. She has some mutton magic going on…she has caught several good ones over the past couple of years. She caught another nice one in the NW Channel a few days ago.
Fished this past Monday with Matt & Jennifer Ruff from North Carolina. They wanted a Hump trip and the weather was a question mark up until the morning of the trip. Winds had been 20 knots but luckily it calmed down on Monday morning.
We got an early start at 7am leaving from Capt. Hook’s Marina at Vaca Cut. It was somewhat bumpy but we averaged about 22 knots on the ride out. When we got to the Hump it was a pleasure to see that I was the first boat out there. Arriving early or staying late is what you want to do to find the tuna active and on top.
First day on the water in KW this year. Beautiful day…seas flat. Went out a little past Western Dry Rocks looking for yellowtail. Scouted around the reef and bar, and didn’t mark any fish…at least no obvious schools. Meanwhile, saw some nice weed lines, with fish busting… false albacore/bonito and ceros mainly. We chased those around for a while and caught this nice cero probably at least 5 lb and a nice flag yellowtail under the weeds on a spoon near the surface [...]
I’ve been out fishing the last few days and took the day off today to get some rest and get caught up on paperwork as well as other misc “stuff”.
On Thursday, I was out fishing with the Adler family aboard their 45′ Silverton (Eagle VI). We had the grandkids aboard and needed to put them on some fish before they headed home on Friday. It was blowing a little more than the kids were prepared for, so I took the safe route and took them to the North West Channel for some assured catching in calm waters.
This 520-pound swordfish was caught last week on the Caribsea out of Islamorada with Captain Kenny Spaulding. The 2-hour battle waged in 1,000 feet of water, but angler Mike McIntyre, of Ft. Myers, was finally victorious. The fish was officially weighed at Bud ‘N’ Mary’s Marina.
The Reef and Luck
Florida Sportsman member: urbanRenewal
Vicky is down from VA visiting so we did offshore trolling the other day, trying to get her hooked up with Mahi and got skunked. The next day was diving for lobster. She found lots out there but most were shorts! Then a day of diving on Looe Key which is a can’t miss proposition. We were one for three and today was the day for reef fishing [...]
“I guess the easiest thing to do is post some “Fish Porn” so that everyone can see the variety that was caught over the weekend during the Tourney. Keep in mind that “lines-in” was at 8:30 am each day and “lines-out was at 3:00.”
Over in General…I said that I was fishing today no matter what. Seas were good, scattered rain, Strong tides (full moon), green water, not too bad and cool…Fished just West/Southwest of Smith Shoal. Caught Cobia, Grouper, Mangrove/Yellowtail Snapper, Grouper (all Reds) and various Jacks and Bluefish [...]
Well, I must be living right or something ! For the second time in three days we’ve put a big Mahi in the boat. Two days ago it was with Dave on his boat in 275 feet off American Shoal. Today Susan and I took advantage of the great weather to head back offshore on our boat and hooked up in 575 feet just on the outside edge of the ups and down. Just like 3 days ago, it was the only hit we had all day [...]
Fishing has been pretty good down here in Islamorada lately. This report is a few days old, but we had Pat and the boys from South Dakota out for 2 days late last week and managed to show them a great time. On day 1 we started out catching kingfish just off the edge of the reef on live cigar minnows which made for some fast action. After warming the guys up with our limit of kings and a nice blackfin tuna I decided to hit some of the deeper wrecks in the 200 foot range and put a few nice mutton snapper in the box [...]
Thursday night I go through the regular routine of readying all the tackle, boat, food, and miscellaneous items. All the while, in the back of my mind, I’m constantly thinking to myself if the trailer is ready for the 160 miles to KW and if boat engines are up to the 35 miles to Tail End. Luckily, a few trips out of Miami in recent weeks had given me a little sense of security. Friday morning 3 am and we’re loaded and on our way down.
Had a trip yesterday and today and went trolling for both to try and get some nice fish. Yesterday we managed to get some nice schoolies and lost a wahoo. Today we went two for three on wahoo. The weather was really nice both days. Scattered weeds around and the dolphin were under birds. All fish caught on Ballyhoo.