Big rewards lurk under big bridges—if you’re prepared.
By Jerry McBride
Lights at bow, stern and headlamp: don’t leave home without them.
The same fastidious thought needs to go into a night bridge-fishing expedition as an offshore trip. I admit to being a bit lackadaisical about safety when fishing a foot-deep grassflat far off the beaten-boat path. What’s the worst thing that can happen?
A lot of things can go wrong very quickly when trolling among bridge pilings, especially at night.
Lights and Leashes
Florida law requires only a flashlight or other light source that can be switched on for signaling in non-powered kayaks. However, if you’re busy rigging tackle or fighting a fish, you may never see an approaching boat, especially if it’s running with the lights off; a kayak is a mere speed bump to a bay boat in a hurry. Most kayak shops—or online kayak accessory stores—offer lighting accessories. Mount a white light on a tall stalk behind the seat; stick it in front, and you’ll ruin your night vision. There’s no shortage of inexpensive models that plug into a rodholder base or which suction-cup to the hull.
Red (port) and green (starboard) bow lights apprise approaching boats not only of your presence but also which way you’re heading. Shark-eye lights create a very cool, menacing look, but require installation, internal wiring and a relatively heavy battery. It takes just seconds to hang an inexpensive waterproof LED lamp from each side of the bow.
You’ll want a bright LED headlamp for rigging tackle anyway, and it’s a hands-free method of signaling approaching boats of your presence.
Tie One On
Know where your tools are. Fumbling in the darkness with a big fish at boatside is no time to start searching for the lip-gripper. Attach tools to a retractable gear-keeper device that keeps them handy but out of the way when not in use.
Leashes are stretchy cords that prevent the loss of fishing rods or paddles dropped into deep water. At $10 to $15, they’re a cheap investment compared to replacing a $200 fishing rod. They’re priceless as opposed to losing a paddle at night and being swept out with the tide.
Once the tide came in enough we headed out front to fish the outer bars. Was slow for an hour or so but the last hour and a half of daylight they turned on. Had a couple of doubles then switched out to topwater and got a few good ones on top.
Well Jacobs first blind cast was inhaled by a 20 pound stud. I was thinking this is a good way to start. Jacob, my youngest son, and I were on one boat and moved out to another cut to the gulf. Took a while for another bite and I finally got on the board with another 25 pounder on topwater.
My son Jeremy came home for Christmas so we went out and fished for a few hours for trout around some creeks. Caught our limit of trout and released about 20 more by 11:30. Also caught these on jig and DOA Cals and some with live shrimp on a jig.
Moving to some areas that were sheltered from the wind we caught jacks, more ladyfish than we cared to, mangroves with some keepers in the bunch, a red, and lots of snook. We managed to put twelve snook in the boat losing more than that before touching the leader.
We headed to the first spot and started throwing topwater over some oyster bars. Got one 25 inch red and a stud trout right off the bat. Pulled the hooks on two over slot reds and had several misses before making a move. I then jumped up on the platform and turned the front of the boat over to the boys.
We chased huge schools of mullet picking off reds here and there, Jen even hooked a nice flounder. After high tide we went to a bar to try our luck with black drum. Saw a few huge ones that didn’t seem to mind us being right on top of them, but the jacks were so thick it was hard to keep a lure in the water.
For the past few weeks we have been seeing fish transition from Summer patterns to Fall patterns and this means that they are in the mood to eat. Now is the time to get out on the water and take advantage of it.
Then the girls got a double hook up. It must have been a small school that swam by because they were hooked up back to back! April’s was a keeper, but Sophie’s had to grow up a little. It was legal, but we could afford to be picky and I don’t usually keep them unless they’re over 20 inches.
Drew’s first cast with his Zara Spook and boom, fish on! Nice drag screamer. I already had a piece of lady fish rig on a larger rod so I went ahead and threw it out while Drew played his fish. As soon as I netted Drew’s 26 inch red, he yells, Dad that rod is bowed to the water!
As we trolling motor up to the first pole, a 10 pounder sky rockets 6 feet in the air about 75 yards out in the open. First time I have seen one free jump. My brother makes a cast at the pole and hooks up instantly. The fish gave two amazing jumps and spits the hook.
The chop made it a slow boat ride out but busted one on the very first pole. The fishing was hard due to waves coming over the bow and only being able to see down 3 to 4 inches but we made the most of it and put 5 in the box and called it after about 4 hours.
All the fish were caught on artificial and I believe we didn’t get any on topwater. The snook was about 31 inches, the red is dinner, and the trout is back in the water. I have a place that you can almost always catch a trout even in this heat so we went there so Duane could try to get his slam. Duane came through with a Mirrodine.
The thunder cloud may have saved the day, because the first creek we hit had more activity than I have seen out of there in almost a year. A steady stream of live shrimp kept the bite on fire, and within an hour and a half we had 4 redfish to 28 1/2 inches, an 18 inch sheepshead and a 24 inch black drum.
So after the skies cleared up we were able to get up to where we wanted to fish. Strong tide and the breeze made for some tough fishing at first but we stuck with it and hit some quality fish. Five reds from 16 to 34 inches with two right at 27 inches that went home for dinner.
These fish weren’t just slobs, they were smart slobs just like all the big snook I’ve encountered. In fact the first 6 or 7 I hooked were on topwater lures and either threw the hooks, ran me into and around rocks and snags or had me on so long they wore through the 50 pound leader!
Brandon and I had the best day of our life inshore fishing for Reds. We caught Reds up to 32 inches and 13 Reds overall on the outgoing tide, all reds and trout were caught on soft plastic paddle tail on a jig. The big fish came first then as the tide was bottoming out came the four 26 and 27 slots for the cooler.
Started off the day at my honey hole. Caught several jacks and runners. Then Jen hooked a nice little Tarpon that burned off lots of line and gave us several great jumps for the camera. Later we headed out for scallops and quickly got out limit.
5 minutes after we came off plane I get a little 16 inch red on a topwater plug to start the day off. My step brother threw right behind me and picked up another one about the same size. It was starting out as a promising morning. Just around the corner I threw into a spot I knew I was gonna hook up with a fish. I didn’t expect a 27 inch red to go into the box.
My brother said he was tired of catching jack so he declined to throw into the madness. I got hit three times before getting buttoned up. This was a better class of fish. Thought it was one of the 12 to 15 pound jacks but after a good battle a 10 pound permit pops up next to the boat.
If I was to guess how many boats we saw out of Crystal River I would say maybe 1000. Even with all of the crowds we still got a boat limit of scallops in a decent amount of time. We had time today to even get some fishing done.
After seeing the scallops we decide to see if the fish were biting. Jeremy got a quick slam and I got a decent snook. Jacks seem to be everywhere as always. Everything was caught on the same bait, DOA Cal shad tail on a jig.
Picked one of the islands out and moved down the shoreline. Saw some reds but got no action. Finally I eased us up along a bar, gave it a cast and fish on! Took me under the boat a couple of times but managed to bring him to the net girl.
I started throwing my top water at it, but no luck, and a few minutes later , the tail pops up again. My wife casts a shrimp to it, and off to the races. She nails a nice 35 inch plus drum. about 10 to 15 minutes of fighting and we had it boat side. I reached down to get the lippers on it and it turned and broke line right at the boat.
After being done with catching mackerel and before the tide slowly started coming back in, we started drifting over some grass between 3 to 4 feet of water behind snake. We ended up with 5 keeper trout with the biggest being 19 inches. At first there was maybe one other boat out there, but around 3:00 I look around and it looks like a parking lot. There had to have been 15+ boats that were pretty close to each other on the flats!
I then jump up on the poling platform and start poling the boys around this big mud flat that has some scattered fish on it to see if we could sight fish some. We see a few and miss a few, then I see one headed down the bank and tell josh to cast a 11 o’clock and he nails the cast and the red jumps on the fluke. Another nice upper slot fish joins the party.
“We hit the water at the crack of noon. It wasn’t long before we had trout on almost every cast. Most were just underslot but we did manage to sort thru them for a nice bunch for dinner along with a nice pompano…”
Still looking for reds and trying to avoid the trout we pulled up on a point and a 33 inch snook hits my lure. After a long fight on trout and redfish gear I got it in the boat. The area we fish has some nice snook but they aren’t easy to catch until it warms up a bit.
I finished today around noon and took off to Waccasassa. Short and Sweet, here it is guys I`m not going to hide where , what bait and everything. Got on the water at 2:30 this afternoon and headed in around 5:30. Fished the outgoing tide back in the creeks and caught Trout up to 18.5 inches and a small Red around 16 inches.
The contrast of a dark fish on a light colored bottom made them real easy targets for sight fishing. For the next hour or so we took turns netting and releasing big over slot reds, high-fiving, and generally having an awesome time. We ended up with 3 keeper reds including 2 bookend 27 inch tourney winners, a handful trout, and a bunch of 30 plus inch over slots.
Liking what I was seeing, but with little or no bait action we decided to fish a few of the points with deep water. It didn’t take long as the fish were there and hungry, we made short order of putting some in the box for a couple dinners until this weather cleans up.
We worked the edges of deeper cuts during the outgoing tide and the shallow flats on the incoming. Every fish was taken on a MirroDine and several were sight fished. Long light leaders and longer casts were the trick today. Both Rob and I caught our personal best trout today on hard baits but I was more excited for rob as this was his first trip down the river! We easily put a limit of upper slot trout in the boat today but only kept a dozen.
Outside of a handful of trout, 3 being keepers, we managed two monster redfish on a double hook up. The first fish ate a jerkbait and was followed by two others. A quick cast of a spinnerbait managed the second fish. One weighed 26 pounds and the other was 20 pounds.
The first stop Jake says “Look at that gag”. I told him it looked like a trout to me and caught it to prove it. Seems like those trout just like me! It was so smooth I could read good structure from a half mile away by the surface boil from the tide moving over the rocks. Knocker rigs with 2/0 worm hooks 1/8 to 3/16 oz bullet weights tipped with shrimp did the job for us.
Had a good bit of time of over the holidays. Unfortunately the weather was bad for a good part of it. Was able to fish in several locations including Wacasassa/Cedar Key, Suwannee, and Palm Coast on the east coast. We managed to get good numbers of trout on the lower tides, but once the tide came in it was all about reds! Caught reds from 8 inches to 34 inches.
Then with about an hour left before we were due at the marina, headed off to the flats in search of the trout, which I thought were supposed to be tucked into their creeks. To our surprise, we found them! In about an hour of fishing we landed 4 keeper trout, Nia catching two 18 inch trout and I found a much smaller pair.
While we didn’t find fish at the same spot I’ve been seeing them, we did manage two nice reds while working our way to the spot. The largest was well over 36 inches (biggest ruler I have) and weighted 18.5 pounds on the boga grip.
The larger trout were in the skinny stuff along with a few reds but not real thick or active. The shallow flat north of the channel up to Homosassa point had a decent number of big trout. Ladyfish were in front of the river along with some big mackerel. Another good day to be on the water with friends!
We fished some nice deep creeks right behind our Red spots. The big Trout were loaded up in the deep cuts. There was a double hook-up mixed in there that were keepers. We lost some nice ones but Brandon had a real nice couple hours with his limit and I had a big one in the boat.
The largest trout of the season so far made it into the boat. Along with the trout were a pair of upper slot redfish and a pile of rat reds. We worked the channel edges waiting for the tide and moved in close as soon as we could. Several of the trout were between 23 and 26 inches with most of the big girls released. The reds were in all the usual places and feisty.
For 90 minutes the action was non-stop, with the majority of fish caught on Mirrolure Lil-Johns. The biggest trout was 20.5 inches. We had a good number of fish between 18 to 20 inches. We had our 3 person limit by noon. Ended up releasing about five 15 to 16 inch fish, and probably caught 5 to 7 shorts. The majority of fish were keeper trout, with only 2 ladyfish and a small redfish.
She got a nice over slot red, I got a little sheepy. After that the waves were getting to all of us so I figured I could maybe find some action in the crystal river. We anchored up inside of shell island near some bars and the rat reds were eating! We all proceeded to catch and release numerous little reds.
The water temperature was running about 59 degrees today and had a slight breeze to keep us comfortable. We got out to a dead low tide and as the tide turned there was even very little tide on the high. All the bars we fished were out of the water at High Tide.
Trout, ladyfish, and bluefish were all over our Mirrodines. For a couple hours we circled a small area and took a bunch of fat trout all pushing the top of the slot to over 23 inches. We did find a few smaller reds but stayed on the trout since they were pulling more drag. We kept a few for Mikes freezer and one for Bill and his better half’s dinner.
I saw huge swirl and quickly cast on it. Instantly the fight was on making plenty of exciting runs. After what seem like an eternity, this beautiful linesider broke the surface and was quickly scooped into the net. She measured in at 35 inches and I am happy to say swam off to fight another day.
We hit several islands and took a total of 8 reds with 3 being between 30 and 32 inches. As a bonus we caught fat 24 inch trout up with the reds on bait. Yes we fished bait as this was Eric’s first time targeting redfish and it was going to be an easy day
Immediately started throwing Mikes Aqua Dream Gold Spoons and landed a 20 inch Red within 30 minutes and got my 27 inch Red on a Zoom Super Fluke about a hour later on a weedy point to finish my limit.
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!
Her personal best Flounder to date at 19 inches. I saw some action also and tossed a rattle trap. Hooked up and had a good fight going until it came free. Turned out it broke one of the hooks on the trap. Looking at them, it needs a new one for sure.
Took the wife fishing this morning. Top water is about the only thing she fishes with anymore. I Caught one red about 22 inches then she went back to back on top water with a 38 incher and 36 incher. Bite shut down at 10:00am. Both were the largest I have ever seen caught on top water. They were sent back in with no harm done. Skitter walks around the creek mouths seem to work the best.
We had a great time, went for a dip with a few scallops, didn’t get too crazy or gung-ho about limiting, just wanted a nice day and something to nibble on… it should be noted, my scallop location skills pale in comparison to Marrio’s. LOL We didn’t spend all day on the scallops by any means, we managed to sneak in some fishing, which I’m sure was a welcome refreshing change to the nonstop scalloping Marrio has been busy with.
With Marrio’s help, I caught my first mangrove snapper and the kids each got to reel one in, then we moved into the red-fishing where Marrio got a taste of my redfish curse for a bit- that is until— BAM big hit, big fish, 30-inch red. I caught my first overslot red!
A friend of mine has a small house on a canal in Hudson. I hadn’t ever been to the area and she is out of town and asked me to mow the lawn so I figured I might as well make a weekend out of it. Adam met me down there Friday night. We fished in the canal for a few minutes but got run off by the rain. Got up at a decent hour Saturday and hit the nearest boat ramp. The wind was blowing a fair bit, and we were in my gheenoe and seeking protected water. We fished some grass flats right near the ramp and deep cuts on the outside of a little private bayou with no luck. We ran into some creeks south of a big residential canal and knocked around in there too. The water looked great, lots of deep cuts, grass, good amounts of bait.. but nothing was biting. We got tired of that after a while and ran back towards the marina and had lunch at the restaurant right near the marina.
Lunch was pretty good, and after chilling there for a while we went to the marina and got some frozen shrimp, and then headed north to try that area on a suggestion from a forum member here. The area there looked similar to the last place. We beached the Gheenoe near a shack and wade fished for a bit. After a while I had a blowup on a topwater plug, and landed an upper slot trout. That was the only fish caught wade fishing in that spot, so we shoved off and drifted a deep cut between islands, casting topwater plugs, paddle tails, and Mirrodines. Good size trout were just blasting my topwater plug and we took home 4 for a fish fry…
We went out Saturday and got rained on a bit, but that’s what rain gear is for. Cruised in the shallows basically spooking reds with the trolling motor down, alternating between; the gulp shrimp, pumpkin spice zoom super fluke, gold spoon, mirrominnow, and a top dog.
Released 6 slot reds and one overslot. I lost a 30 inch plus red that went airborne after my top dog. After 3 attempts at the bait he finally got it but pulled the hook after a few runs. Big trout were busting the mullet schools and this made easy pickings with at mirrominnow. Released 8 trout that were all over 20 inches except one that was 18. Pops also got spooled by a tarpon after it made two jumps. Fish was probably 80 pound’s but he didn’t stand a chance with a 2500 stradic. Lots of juvenile sharks swimming in the shallows. Water temp 79-84.
Sunday-Only went out for a few hours throwing gold spoons we released 5 lower slot reds and one 25 inches. I did manage to successfully sight fish a 42 inch black drum with a gulp that put up a good 15 minute fight. After the tide got up high it was over and we decided to try for triple tail on the way back even though I had no shrimp. Saw 7 tripletail, hooked 4 and put 2 on ice. One that wouldn’t eat I attempted to throw the cast net on Water temp 81-85
Crystal River Snook, Reds & More
Florida Sportsman member: mitziboy
By the time I loaded the boat, made a sandwich, and lowered my baby into the canal it was about 11am. First spot first cast I missed about a 25 pound snook on topwater, that will get the blood flowing. It was a super low tide so I didn’t expect to get much more than that hit since whatever fish were in the hole would be trapped, but that was not the case. We ended up with close to a dozen snook, most around 25-30 inches and a half dozen reds around 17-20 inches. Fished around some more and caught a few more of both and headed back to the house.
Ran to my trout spot and I put a decent trout in the boat. We both said nope, “we want reds”, so back it went. After a couple more fish that didn’t make it into the boat we went hunting for reds.
To say Duane knows the area is an understatement. I thought I had a pretty good feel for fishing spots but he took it to another level.
The skies were clear as a bell and the sun was beating down but he had a few spots to try. First nice fish was a 21 inch red, then I got a 23 incher, we lost a couple more, Duane hooks a decent snook but it gets off at the boat. He hooks another and it gets off. He then hooked a touney winning red…right under the mark. I hook up on a snook, hoping for some sort of slam[...]
We had a window Saturday morning so another instructor and long time friend from North Dakota and I
made a run from the south to the Bend for some shallow water fishing. We hit the ramp at just after 6:30 am and I finely new why I have been spoiled by fishing weekdays, and staying away on the weekends! With that being said, we were out front Homosassa around 7:45 and in search of a bite There was no shortage of boats and people. It makes it tough fishing the skinny stuff with people constantly running by checking you out. The fish were there but very spooky and most times would fail to engage, even though you put the plug where it needed to be. We did manage a nice red and 7 big trout for our efforts with the red a hair under 27 inches, trout of 24 & 23 inches and five more from 18 to 20 inches.
Went out for what I thought was a couple hours topwater. Tide was high incoming, light wind and blue sky. First place- nothing. Second place, the bar was covered, but I fished it thoroughly, getting a few small Jacks and a lady fish and finally a small trout, but a trout none the less that would become important later. With the water higher than I expected, I decided to head way inshore. Even though it was getting late and the sun was high I pressed on with my trusty Skitterwalk. This 25 inch Red rewarded my perseverance with a great battle. It was one of those fish that would not give up[...]
Jake and I headed towards the channel out of Ozcello this morning looking for trout. Saw overcast skies so we thought it would be a good day for topwater! Started off with some nice trout on the spooks, the bites were a bit spread out and the tide was moving out so I didn’t want to get stuck so we moved out a bit. We started thinking when we hit 5 keepers we would limit easy so we were letting go anything in the 15 inch range and not bother measure anything unless it looked pretty big. Got a couple 20 inchers to add to the cooler and limit around 12. Jake’s went 22 inches and mine went 20 inches. Then came the tide change an wanted to get in the water and dive to change pace. Feels good to jump in once in a while to look at the inshore rocks and see all the spade fish, snapper, small sheephead and the ocassional gag in 3-8 feet of water. Caught and released some more trout, not many more keepers but we released a good 5-10 keeper trout and several under sized trout on the lil johns.
Went with two buddies of mine out of crystal river and ran south at first light. Got on a school of nice slot reds at first spot and had a double and triple hook ups on topwater. Limited out on reds in about 20 minutes and turned a few back before moving onto trout. Found the trout in 2-3 feet spotted bottom and all they wanted was topwater as well. Caught 3 limits of nice trout with the biggest being 24 inches by 11:30 and called it a day.
Jake and I headed towards the channel out of Ozcello this morning looking for trout. Saw overcast skies so we thought it would be a good day for topwater! Started off with some nice trout on the spooks, the bites were a bit spread out and the tide was moving out so I didn’t want to get stuck so we moved out a bit. We started thinking when we hit 5 keepers we would limit easy so we were letting go anything in the 15 inch range and not bother measure anything unless it looked pretty big. Got a couple 20 inchers to add to the cooler and limit around 12. Jake’s went 22 inches and mine went 20 inches. Then came the tide change an wanted to get in the water and dive to change pace. Feels good to jump in once in a while to look at the inshore rocks and see all the spade fish, snapper, small sheephead and the ocassional gag in 3-8 feet of water. Caught and released some more trout, not many more keepers but we released a good 5-10 keeper trout and several under sized trout on the lil johns.
Went with two buddies of mine out of crystal river and ran south at first light. Got on a school of nice slot reds at first spot and had a double and triple hook ups on topwater. Limited out on reds in about 20 minutes and turned a few back before moving onto trout. Found the trout in 2-3 feet spotted bottom and all they wanted was topwater as well. Caught 3 limits of nice trout with the biggest being 24 inches by 11:30 and called it a day.
With reports of Cobia moving north and the hot tripletail bite that has being going on out of Crystal River me and my brother headed out in search of some nearshore pelagics. We started our search at the scallop rack where we promptly caught a well full of live pinfish and a few small spanish mackerel. After loading up on live bait we headed west under cloudy skies in search of brown bombers on a series of small limestone ledges in 12 feet of water and we were not disappointed. As we pulled up on the first spot, my younger brother threw a 2 ounce Spro jig towards the spot and his jig was immediately crushed by a spunky 25 pound Cobia. As he landed his fish I pinned a live bait on a 5/0 circle hook and dropped it over the side and before I could put the rod in the holder my pinfish was eaten. I reeled down tight and the fish took off like a rocket towards the south and the fight was on.
We took off at 7:15 and headed out about 6 miles to a 5 foot flat I call the bombing range. Nothing military just the area we break out the bombers and pitch them at anything that would bite. This being my 1st trip there this season I really didn’t know what to expect. Ladyfish, blue runners seabass mackerel shark and of course trout. Lots of everything but plenty of trout to fill our limit with 16 to 22 inchers. The only slow period was on the tide change for about a half hour. Had a live pinfish out for any big guys that wanted to play but only shark today. The trout pushing offshore right on time and seemed to really like chartruse in the morning and green backs in the late morning and afternoon.
When the wife is away the men will FISH! Wife headed to California for her spring break so I took a planned mental health day this Monday with a coworker of mine. Hit the water around 8:30 in the morning to high cold winds The bite was too quick, caught two nice ones at 24 inches and 25.5 inches, and that was it. The water was coming out of the creeks so fast it reminded me of trout fishing in N.C. I was actually trying to get hung on the bottom. Once hung the fish would come by and pick up my shrimp. This did make for two very good fights. They would turn sideways and just pull drag! Unfortunately the catching was done within the first hour. The wind pushed the tide in so fast I don’t even think the fish noticed it.
This past week has been great for inshore fishing; guides from both Crystal River and Homosassa have had successful days with good catches of both trout and redfish not being uncommon. Rising water temperatures has been the driving force behind the great fishing this week. Anglers should look for the trout to be active in water temperatures above 65 degrees and redfish to become active in temperatures of 63 degrees and higher. The kelp grass flats and oyster bars in the Crystal River and Homosassa areas are holding good numbers of trout because those are the areas that warm up the fastest. The redfish are beginning to school up on the hard bottom flats and oysters bars in the Ozello area and they can normally be found patrolling the backside of most islands that are in the sun and out of the wind. The best way to target these fish is to fish live baits in the morning when the fish are colder and less active, as the sun warms the water artificial lures become the best way to cover the most water.
Forum member Roger was heaqding to Homosassa for a visit and asked me if I would take them out fishing for a day during thier visit. I rarely say no to a forum brother and we chose Wednesday to chase some trou. We took off at 11 and found scasttered slot trout while we waited for the tide to get right. There were pockets of small trout to be caught on every cast but we avoided those to find larger fish. As the tide turned to incoming the wind picked up to 20 from the NW making our drifts faster than ideal. Racheal had the hot stick this day catching several overslot trout. They took a dozen trout for a fish fry and released the rest. The water was clear and 62 degrees with small pockets of 64 degrees.
Weather was not promising, but Dan said lets give it a try, and I was glad we did. We hit some rock bars, oysterbars and shorelines off Crystal River and it was one fish after the next in the boat. The trout bite was so good we ended up throwing back a ton of fish because they were too big and we already had our three over twenty on board. We started hoping for some shorter fish. We hit it all, trout, reds, pompano, spanish mackerel, and sheepshead[...]
Kevin Joined me again today to see if we coulld get some big trout to pose for the camera (I lost the shots Monday). His brother Tom joined us as well. The forecast said light breeze and 30 percent chance of showers. Well it rained from the time we tossed our first lure till I was finished cleaning fish. Kevin used to -fish with me up in Rochester NY trolling for salmon but his brother has not spent that much time on the water. Despite the conditions the trout were really chewing. Another 50+ fish day with several solid 3 and 4 pounders.
Linda and I did the ten to two today despite the wind? All I can say is the fish are there even though today most were just a little shy of the slot? Its always fun having the action but we kinda picked our way around the sub slots to end up catching a few nice ones? Linda had fish of the day today at 22 inches most were returned to fight again, but we headed home with three for the grill!
We went up the West side to a nice productive hole last year but things were tough. The beginning of a new moon and nice winds did not go well for the hunt for Reds today. Lots of mullet but no signs of reds at all. Brandon got out and walked some creek bars and caught a couple smaller slot reds with me landing a nice 19 and 21-inch trout all on soft plastics.
Don and I spent a few hours on the flats today doing what we love to do. The day started off a bit slow while we killed time waiting for the tide to shift to incoming. Working the edges of cuts with Mirrolures we picked away at mid to under slot trout. When the tide got right we started picking up quality trout on a regular basis. We released several over slot fish and kept a limit of smaller 17-20 inch trout for the table.
Don and I chose today to jead out for the day on the bay. It looked like Thursday was to be the best day for us so off we went. The water temp started out at a chilly 58 degrees and very low tide. We worked the shallow stuff exclusively looking for some big girls. Today they were on but not in any real big numbers. The quality more than made up for it. We picked away for 4 hours and bagged 4 over slot trout from 21 to 26 inches. the 26 incher was my best in a year and she was fat and fought like a redfish despite the cool water temps[...]
My wife and I fished up around the Salt River today. What a great day in the back country. We casted plastic on 1/8 oz jigs. My wife does not like treble hooks so that was an easy fix. We only got one under size trout but oh boy we landed some nice trout over slot and a Spanish mackerel all in the skinny water. We did have to bring a couple fish home for dinner only because they were eating so hard they swallowed the bait deep.
The day started at around 9am with one of my friends from work Will and my son Jeremy. Launched at F.I.T. and went to the mangrove covered shorelines of the Salt River to sight fish some reds and trout. We saw a bunch of reds from the tower but soon realized that they can see me just as good as I can see them. We found some shorelines that the sun was at the correct angle to camouflage the boat. We got into a ton of rat reds next to a sandbar that appeared to have fiddler crab holes all over it. After getting our fill of rat reds we drifted some flats that had a good amount of kelp grass. That was the ticket today for the trout [...]
We started in an area along a series of islands casting spoons for reds with no luck. We saw very little life there so we decided to head inside to look for trout. With the 68 degree clear water we were unsure where the larger trout might be. We tossed mirrodines from the barrier islands out to about a half mile onto the flats with some success but nothing fast. I decided that we should move inside a good bit and that did the trick with trout coming to the boat often. Don hooked a nice red and landed it for a quick photo and back it went. Then we hit a deeper cut that put a trout on our lines on almost every cast. when that bite slowed we started drifting along a shoreline and I hooked and landed a 27 inch red that we took a photo and released [...]
We couldn’t wait to even put the fish away we were tossing them on the floor trying to get a bait in the water asap! After about 15-20 minutes of this bite we brought in 5 nice sea bass with two around 12 inches and a nice sheepshead a little short of 16 inches. Bite slowed down we looked at the floor and was like I guess we can put the fish away now . Moved around a bit in this nice hole, picked up a keeper here and there and then I got another sheepshead pushing 17 inches [...]
Put the boat in around noon to flat calm overcast conditions. I was thinking topwater all afternoon. Got to the first spot and within 5 cast had a nice trout in the box. 5 more cast and Bruce adds a 24 inch red to the party in the cooler. But then the clouds parted and the sun came out. Had to switch over to soft plastics and the bite slowed a bit but was steady and we had our limit of trout and reds with in just over 4 hours. I also took my fishing bow to shot the sheephead we have been seeing but had a very high tide that put 3 foot of water over most of the bars. Now the black drum are in full force and were running down soft plastics[...]
Got out today with Adam (LineDrive) and my son Jeremy for a day of fishing. Got out to Kings Bay early this morning to see if we could jump some tarpon before the dive boats show up. Got a bunch of ladyfish early on. Fun to catch but we wanted to see the pooners. Each of us ended up with one hitting our baits but no connection. The dive boats show up in full force and put the pooners on edge so we decide to hit the salt river for some trout and redfish action[...]
Today’s forecast was looking like a winner so we shoved off at around 11AM. The sun was shining bright but the wind was blowing a bit stiff from the north. As we hit the rivermouth well into the long outgoing tide, we picked an area that would allow us to cover productive areas casting with the wind. We worked the edges of cuts adjacent to the shallow flats with slow sinking twitchbaits and shallow diving crankbaits. The action wasn’t fast and furious but I managed half a dozen trout all right at 20 inches with one being 22 inches[...]
Since I was there and had a few hours to play Sunday morning, me and Mitchell left the dock at 8 am to see if we could find him a few trout to take home for dinner. The water was 64-65 everywhere we went, and the wind was lighter than forecasted for a change. We threw mirrodines and soft jerk baits for about 3 hours and picked up about a dozen trout with 2 just over 18″ and 6 keepers in all. Also had about a dozen ladyfish to keep us busy between the tide change. A better than expected quick trip and a good time[...]
Wanted to see if the trout have showed up yet. I Have not been to my old stomping grounds in months and my buddy Mike bought a new (to him) flats boat last week, so I had an excuse. Hit the water at daylight, if that’s what you want to call it. It was flat calm, very foggy conditions. Went to some of my shallow spots first and they were[...]
The fish were more active down there with average size 20-to 24-inch snook being caught along with some black drum off the bridge along with a assortment of other fish. There were a ton of mullet and white bait running the shoreline at Blind Pass so the cast net came in very handy [...]
Well what do you do when it’s going to be windy, tides are wrong, and the Gators are playing in the evening. Go fishing of course. I knew it was calling for some wind and they were right. It did make for some tough fishing but me and Capt. Mullet still got a good mess of trout while waiting for the afternoon high tide. Bright skies and a pretty good breeze made topwaters a no-go. So go to back up plan of traps and spoons and we were able to put a few reds in the boat [...]
After nearly a month off the water I was finally able to spend a couple of hours harassing some fish today. The day started out with a beautiful sunrise on the Salt River. We made our first stop at a few mangrove shorelines at high tide and my Uncle Roger was the first to hook up. A fat 23 inch redfish. We got on a few rats but this was the one that was coming home for dinner [...]
Don and I took a short trip today to work the inshore flats with plugs. I packed a light tackle bag with just (what I thought) I needed. The trout were taking Rapala Flat Raps but right off the surface. With my topwater plugs at home I made it work twitching that flat rap along the surface. Before long we had a couple trout each in the box for dinner and released a few more most pushing 19 inches [...]
So, when the bite is good, it’s hard to stay home. Plus, it’s always fun to put some friends on the hot bite, so I had Don and Lee join me today. We finally found a few ladyfish and some decent trout so the bait was in the box by noon and it was off to the islands. A strong high tide along with overcast skys and rain on the way put the reds on the bite even better than yesterday [...]
Woke up early for some topwater and was greeted with some rain just offshore, SHOCKER. Actually, it worked out well since there was a good cloud cover, just what I like. Decided to stay in the Salt River area since it is a shorter run when the %#&@* hits. Caught a 21 inch red in the first area, but the Jacks were so thick it was hard to get an undisturbed retrieve, but fun! [...]
First of all I would like to thank windysurfer and troutman for helping me over these past few weeks. It’s been YEARS since I’ve been scalloping and yesterday didn’t disappoint. We put in at Yankeetown and traveled south to CR for scallops. Water was clear and the tide was high. My wife, mother, and sister had never scalloped before. Once I figured out what I was doing we had our limit in a couple of hours. Had to move around a few times but no biggie. Had a BLAST!
Both reds were in the mid-slot and returned to fight another day. A first for me was seeing two reds casting at both and actually catching both. I usually blind cast to areas that I know hold fish but this time was a bit different tossing spoons past and infront of fish I spotted. It certainly is a ton of fun to see a the fish smash a spoon (or any other bait). A short but sweet trip with my neighbor and friend Don.
Don and I got up early this morning to hit the daybreak tide to get after some reds with spoons and then head out to drift for some trout. We hit the 1st half of the outgoing and the reds had started moving out off the banks a bit. But for an hour the bite was hot with 3 reds boated all in the upper and over slot [...]
We headed to the Camp and Water Outdoor Resort for our first family scalloping adventure. I have always wanted to give scalloping a try and finally got a chance to make it over to Homosassa.
We started our trip with very little knowledge of the area other than head out the river and look for boats. We quickly found the boats and also got a few scallops. We started kind of deep in 6-8 feet and didn’t really know what to look for but we still got a few dozen [...]
Mike contacted me from Coneticut by reading our fishing reports. His Mom and dad bought a place in my neighborhood and love to fish but are new to saltwater fishing. Mike and his wife are here on a visit and asked if I would take His wife Laura, his Mom Patty, His dad Eric and himself out and show them the ropes [...]
Had to shake the cobb webs off after the storm so I decided to head out and work the shoreline for ladyfish with Pete. The water temp was a comfy 80 degrees and stained. We worked the cut infront of the Homosassa River and picked away at ladyfish and trout all morning. The trout came near structure at the ends of the tides and the ladyfish were everywhere. I believe I limited on slot trout, keeping only one for dinner [...]
We decided to give the redfish a break today and do a little Carolina drifting for trout. We first started the day around the oyster bars and the mangrove shorelines for a little top water action. Got a few to cooperate [...]
Forum Member Brent (Reel McCoy) has fished with me a few times before this trip and it is always fun to have him and his family aboard. Today both of his sons Colby (the younger guy) and Dallas joined dad for a day drifting up some trout. We hit the water at 7:45 and ran out to 9′ to begin our drift with the outgoing tide [...]
You know the weather man never gets the forecast right. So they predicted rain and since they are usually wrong it going to be a good day. With a early morning high tide we get to the ramp at first light.. A perfect morning for top-waters. I get this big blowup and don’t connect so Ponce comes back and scores a slot red.
Had a chance to sneak out and do some fishing over on the Nature Coast with A2OZ. Working a certain cove I hooked a ladyfish and she spit the spook in the air. oh well…I twitched the lure three more times to have this fat snook smash it. Probably the most epic topwater bite I have ever experienced. With such a wide back I was hoping she measured over 35 but was 5 inches short. Either way it was a good fight and a great way to test out the new eyecon 6’8 MXF.
Friday the 11th we hit Wacasassa knowing there was a little bit of a high in the morning but not a lot of water moving. Caught a few redfish on topwater, gotta’ love the blowups on topwater and quite a few blowups and short strikes. Not going to tell what color was happening- ha, ha. Trout were hitting Gulps and dines and got a good Georgia limit. Water was pretty clean for the WB [...]
Mike and Rye wanted to get on some redfish on artificials. Like myself that means no bait no gulp just spoons, spinnerbaits and plugs. we took off at 3:30 to catch the late afternoon high tide. The skys were high so I concentrsated in areas that I knew would have some colored water. The reds were fiesty right from the start. They were chasing the spoons and we could see them miss often. A few found thier mark and inhaled the spoon. We moved around points with good flow and deep water near by and picked away finding a great late afternoon redfish bite. All the reds we caught were in the slot.
The CCBA tourney is a family fishing tournament that I have fish the past 5 years.The format is simple and fun for all. It’s main prize money is for trout and redfish and includes cobia and catfish as secondary categories. The past couple years Joe and Billy joined me as the team on my boat. It seems to be a rare thing when 3 guys can spend 3 days aboard a boat and not get on each others needs. It’s even better when my two guests are superb fisherman with the drive necessary to fish hard all day while keeping it fun and focused [...]
I finally got back on the water after 2 weeks. I end up getting a chance to fish with my old friends Dennis and Mike. We haven’t fished together since Christmas because our work schedules do not match but he took off today to fish with me [...]
Don and I hit the water for a short afternoon trip on the inshore flats. The water temp was 69 degrees out near Marker 22 and clear. We drifted over the skinny flats on the incoming tide and the large trout and redfish were hungry! Mirrodines fished slow over the flats and along the shorelines produced lots of trout most over slot to 24″ and four reds to 32″. The fish are scattered all around the flats including some out to 6′ that I heard of today. Another fine productive day on the bay here in the Big Bend.
Mike, A neighbor on our street had moved here a few months ago and is getting into the swing of saltwater fishing. He has spent lots of time here in Florida mostly bass fishing and has chartered a few times on the flats. He hooked up with a guide here and also a few neighbors that to him over complicated the flats fishing here and wouldn’t really show him the here and why of Homosassa. His friend who rewards our forum talked him into approaching me to teach him the ins and outs of Homosassa. Of course i agreed ’cause it’s what I truly enjoy doing.
Well the family is all back to work and home now so it’s time to get back into my routine. Well the same game but the names have changed to protect! Don and I hit the water at a leisurely 9:00 and headed out onto the flats looking for some trout for dinner. We took a few in tight on mirrodines but decided to look around for some other areas. We did find some trout around the outer St. Martins Keys and once we had enough for 3 households dinner we moved inside looking for reds [...]
Lightnin’ and I headed for HSB again this morning to see what we could get to come out and play. We dropped the boat in the water at a little after 6:00am and sat there in the howling wind waiting on daylight. As soon as it got light enough to see we headed for our favorite redfish hole and it was way to rough to hit the flats or even fish the outside today. We hit one of the creeks and it was nice fishing with the wind being blocked but then came the rain.
The inshore seas were super-calm this morning and remained as such all day, the breeze was just enough to keep the heat from getting to you, and kept the bimini top down all day in spite of equipping it expecting a 90+ degree scorcher… When it got too toasty, we got up on plane and cooled off with some ice-cold dye-free Gatorades that really hit the spot. Now this was a great day to take kids fishing [...]
Took some of my nursing classmates to the Homosassa area for a late morning launch. Started off landing 20″ Seatrout and some lower slot reds. Soon after a short instruction I had them working the spook jr trying to get the rhythmic motion down. Each of them caught only one fish each but they were big fish. One Trout at 20″ and One Red at 27.25″ [...]
There are always a few guys that just seem to click when together on the water and today I had the pleasure of fishing with two of the best. Joe and Billy (both forum members) joined me this afternoon for a day pounding the banks for reds. With the strong high pressure and strong winds I figured we would go through the motions but really didn’t expect too much. We hit the incoming tide for it’s duration and found what shelter from the wind we could manage.
I did a few fishing trips over the past couple weeks and of course got a dive in too. We got a ton of snook in the river one afternoon. The snook came in at all different sizes anywhere from a foot long to almost 40 inches. we mainly fished with the D.O.A. terror eyzs for the snook. We also managed to catch about a half dozen reds and 3 mangrove snapper that same afternoon in the river but most were small even though we did get 3 slot reds, all after the sun went down [...]
Blair contacted me a couple weeks ago and asked if I would help out by doing an inshore segment for thier television series “Destinations” Our part was the Nature coast area. I agreed figuring it would be relatively easy to put together some inshore action this time of year. Well a couple of curve balls were toosed my way. Mother nature decided to blow 20 out of the east for a solid week having me worried about having enough water to even get near my fish. The other part was a real challenge [...]
Me, my son Jeremy, and my friend John decide to hit the creeks of Crystal River today no matter what the weatherman said about the SW winds. We end up hitting the river early so we can catch the incoming tide. We hit the water at about 7 am with the winds blowing at a 10 to 15 from the west. The winds got worse and worse the rest of the day. Turned 20 to 25 real quickly [...]
I got to fish a little bit with SnookMagnet two weekends ago, but we didn’t have much to report. Simply had a great day on the water, did well with the trout, but only managed three reds. Captain Jerry Kernan sent me pictures of a great snook he caught last week. Fish was hooked in 18 inches of water on a falling tide down South, made three blistering runs of 50-75 yards, and then [...]
Mark contacted me and asked if I would take him and a couple friends out on the flats fishing during thier stay here in Homosassa. I offered to show them around at the begining of thier trip so they would have an idea where to start when they set out on thier own. We settled on a Friday afternoon trip with Bob and his friends Steve and Craig. They met me dockside at 12:30 ready to fish. All of them were able fisherman so I planed a day of chasing trout with artificials (mirrodines) and maybe a redfish or two
Today’s plan was to hit the near shore rock piles and see if we could get the sheepshead to bite. The day started out beautiful with light winds from the west and air temps in the low 50’s. With the baitwell filled with 200 shrimp we set off to some rock piles that shutterkng and I hit a few weeks back and also some that I have not been to in nearly 15 years.
Went out Sunday off Port Richey to some reef lines in 30 feet. The water was pretty nice all day. Temperature was 62 on the surface. We trolled some Rapala Mag 30′s and a stretch 25′s. Trolled about 2 hours from 3pm to 5pm on either side of high tide. Managed 5 gags with 2 double headers!
In 120 feet of water, these huge, alien fish, would slam your stoutest meat stick against the gunwale again and again using squid, sardines, live bait – it didn’t matter. This would continue until your back gave out, fighting belt or not. Mixed in with these beasts were some amberjacks that you could not lift off the bottom and other fish, that, if you tried to, would break your terminal tackle somewhere in between hook and main line.
The Florida Fisherman ll, Hubbard’s Marina, is ready to challenge 2015 with the first ever 44 hour trip one hundred miles off beautiful Madeira Beach, Florida. We will be fishing a couple of days before the full moon; it just does not get any better than that.
We went out friday and saturday afternoon to 70 feet of water. It was non stop gag action with some amberjacks, scamp, and mangroves mixed in. All were caught on live bait. Spotted most of the bait in 50 to 60 feet.
For the Florida Fisherman that means it’s mangrove snapper time. The mangrove snapper is one of the best eating, most abundant, fish Florida has to offer. They can be found from very shallow bays to way off shore. We will be fishing 100 miles off beautiful Madeira Beach, Florida.
Despite high wind and big seas we were able to get out to the trolling grounds for one last meat trip before the upcoming closure. As usual, gag grouper trolling ace, Justin Spigener, put us on the fish even in relatively rough conditions.
That’s it! The boat has completely limited out on grouper; and that’s a two day limit of 8 each. We are still a very long ways from Madeira Beach, Florida. Let’s feast on that Chef Tammy steak dinner, with all the trimmings, and hit our bunks. We are tired, I mean really tired; grouper wore out tired.
It was take the neighborhood kids fishing day! Headed out at 8:30 and tried to get bait. It was tough but managed to get a couple dozen runners, grunts and a few squirrel fish. We went out to 55 feet of water and set up. The AJ and gag action was non stop from 10:30 to 12:30, all caught on live bait.
I hopped aboard the gag grouper catching machine, the Grumpy Grouper, and trolled up some of the fattest fish I have put on the deck this season. We caught fish from 27 to 35 inches and no shorts. Limited out and back to the dock by noon.
We left my dock around 7:30 and headed to 40 feet which is about 7 miles out. It started out slow but after some hopping around we found some fish willing to eat. We ended up with 4 gags and 5 red grouper which was a little surprising.
Monday evening we went out 12 miles and anchored up. On the way there saw schools of cigars minnows and spanish sardines and loaded up 5 at a time. We were in 50 feet and the area was covered in small baits. We caught gags, cobia, barracuda, spinner sharks and Ajs.
Whenever cold fronts move into the gulf the pressures starts to plummet, this causes the fish to go into a feeding frenzy because they know the coming storm will stir the water and prevent them from feeding easily. So the days leading up to a front are great fishing, but then the day the weather blows up the fishing stops.
Three P.M. friday afternoon, Madeira Beach is under a severe storm warning. As we board the Florida Fisherman ll at Hubbard’s Marina, we can not help but wonder will this overnight trip produce, ‘A Mountain of Fish,’ or be a complete wash-out?
We ran south and hit some hard bottom spots that were very productive. The current was strong and the bite was on at most spots we hit. starting out with dead bait, then switching to live once the fish got chewing. We started out with a couple smallish red grouper and some medium sized scamps, then the bigger fish started to show.
About 15 seconds later our flat line starts singing and as soon as my friend grabs the rod the sail starts dancing on top of the water for about 15 yards. I broke off on my fish and jumped up and pulled the anchor. We chased it down and after a great fight we were able to boat the fish for a few pictures and get it back in the water to revive it.
Once again time for a 39 hour adventure that defies the imagination. Our weekend home away from home is Hubbard Marina’s Florida Fisherman ll. We love to catch fish, however, what makes these extended trips really special is the chance to get to really know real sportsmen/women from all over the country.
I got the chance to venture to my new fishing spot. I call it The Spanish Sardine Fishing hole. We managed to catch 3 hogfish in 2 hours. We also caught triggerfish, grunts, porgy’s, gag grouper, red grouper, and mangrove snapper.
The trophy fish takes Matt from the starboard bow to the stern, and across the stern to the port side. Finally, forty five minutes later, we see color, the color of a huge amber jack. Quick Will, the gaff. Kyle, get the other gaff; it’s going to take both of us to bring this trophy of all trophies over the bow.
The Middle Grounds, located roughly 100 miles north west of Madeira Beach, Florida, is a prehistoric coral-reef complex covering 461 square miles, and is home to 170 species of fish, including the hard to fool, hard to catch, mangrove snapper. Mango snapper are notorious bait thieves.
The bite was on right away for mangos with a few other tasty fish coming over the rail.Best mang bite this year for me but most were around 15 inches,but quantity made up for quality.The two biggest snapper of the day got eaten bye sharks just under the boat.
We did well for a few hours then the bite shut down, we tried moving around but was limited because we only had about 125 feet of anchor line. Towards the end of the day we drifted over the best shows and put a few more mangos in the box.
We caught lots of short reds, a few keeper scamp and five good gags. the kids were reeling in a fish and about half way up it got blasted so I put out a mackerel we had sabiki’d up. Soon we had a shark on, a tiger shark. About 30 minute later another Tiger ate a red grouper right next to the boat.
We came in closer to public numbers in 30 feet, and experienced the hottest grouper bite I have ever seen. Nonstop gags! Live blue runners, frozen sardines, regurgitated whatever from caught fish picked off the deck of the boat, nothing lasted more than 20 to 30 seconds. We limited out in about half an hour, and released a few fish after that. It was mayhem, totally crazy.
Florida Sportsman member: guifri
We are on vacation from Germany. Trolled around the crab buoys 1.5 Miles from the shore to catch some Macks. After a while put a white/red yozuri on the Second rod. It only lasted minutes until the drag was singing!
Captain Mark Hubbard fires up the Florida’s two huge Caterpillar diesels and punches in the numbers for ‘One hundred miles off Madeira Beach.’ We are on a mission, a mission to catch fish. Will the mangrove snapper be hungry? Join the party as we find out together.
I got one red snapper and one large amberjack, some mangos, beeliners, and such. Some people did well and some people didn’t. The weather held out pretty good. At 1 a.m. on the way out it got bumpy for a little while but then softened back down so we could get some rest [...]
Pulled double duty today, had two 4 hr trips and again huge seas, but not as bad as the day before. We managed 6 reds and a batch of nice grunts before the current decided it wanted to move as fast as the breeze we were in. We got nice fish in 40 feet today. I love it when they are super close! We were in by 12 fish cleaned and headed to go get our next group.
2nd trip we got a good number of fish as the seas totally laid down in only an hr, loved it ! 28 knot cruise out and back and nice fish to boot !
With the 10 knot West wind, the trip out was into 2 foot or less chop. Water was clean and flying fish started showing up around 50 feet. Schools of bonito were boiling every so often, saw a couple of king mackerel “sky” as well.
Stopped about 20 NM out, about 3/4 mile from a public number (found this spot while re-rigging/drifting one windy day and saw it on the sonar.) Anchored up and my wife and I caught 21 reds. Pulled anchor and drifted over area and caught 3 more. Released all but 7, the one pictured below was the biggest, and was my personal best grouper. All caught on live pins.
While we were out the winds died down and it was hard not to head farther west, but we had more than enough fish in the box and were happy to head home.
Went out for some grouper Sunday from Ft D (finally my first trip since the season opened). No tidal movement and other issues in the morning made bait catching difficult at the small bridge. Wasted enough time so just headed out. Ran through a solid rain on the way but made it to the area we wanted to fish and the day turned beautiful. Weed pushed in from the west wind made the trolling difficult but we did get a nice 29-inch gag to the boat as well as 24-inch spanish. Started bottom dropping with the bait we did have and only found short rg. Tried ledges in 45 feet, 55 feet and a wreck in 40 feet.
Got the boat wet around 6:30 and headed out to the island for bait.
Whitebait was super thick and super tiny. After getting about 450 net wreckers and a couple dozen pins we headed back into the river to fuel up and ride. We hit the GPS and made the long 5 mile run to his first spot. When I think grouper fishing I think straight drops on 4/0 reels and falling to my knees to yank them off the bottom. This was a whole different ball game. The water was so shallow we had to anchor way off and cast to them just like if we were mangrove or dock fishing. Basically once you hook up you have to drag them across 50 feet of bottom that they can wedge themselves into rather than yank them vertically 10 feet until you’re safe. I’ve never had a 24 inch gag fight harder then the ones we caught on this trip. Shallow water fish have a different gear, I swore everyone was 30 pounds during the fights and the bruises on my arms and hips are testament.
After casting off out of my place at 530am in palma sola we were met with beautifully calm seas out of bean point. We stopped at the 3 mile north and quickly filled up on cigars and pins. From there it was a nice 43 mile run out. We got 31kph at 2.1 mpg on the freshly re worked 250. We got to our spot in 147 feet and immediately were greeted with a Christmas tree on the foruno. It felt like 20 minutes and we had our boat limit of keeper snapper. they were loving the threads more than anything. We then moved to a barge in 80 feet and of course had the water walking with bonita, sharks and cudas. A captain in a contender came up and asked to share the wreck. He then unloaded hundreds of white bait in to the water and it was game on with monster cudas, mango snapper, sharks, golaiths, bonitas and some baby amberjacks.
After another 2 hours of getting the crap beat out of us we finally made it out deeper to the first spot. We made a couple of drifts and it produced a mixed bag of jacks, gags, and mangos. Anyone who has ever fished with me knows that I hate to anchor but with the stiff winds, big swells, and ripping current it was a must. We dropped the hook and it was perfect, 7 feet directly in front of the spot. The next two hours we proceed to fill a 150 quart cooler with big mangos. It would have been more snappers but we kept getting the occasional by catch or break off from big jacks or gags. Just before I decided to leave that spot I managed to catch a nice rusty belly on 30 pound snapper tackle. I actually broke the fish off earlier because when I got him up I saw two circle hooks buried in the corner of his mouth. Greedy grouper couldn’t stop eating those 3 inch pinfish.
We ran out to a spot in 135 feet between New Pass and Longboat pass, I had found these numbers back in April and new right away it was covered in snapper. I fished it once or twice in May just seeing what was there and found out the Mangos and ARS were stacked up 20 feet off the bottom. I brought the numbers with me and sure enough we marked a nice pile of fish so we set the anchor. We started with smaller gear and worked our way up to the red grouper. Had a nice mixed bag[...]
We decided to hit some numbers past the 400 foot contour line. Definitely worth the run time, although next time need to budget for more line in the water time for further exploration. Spent most of the day running, but the fish were there. While we did come up empty trolling, deep dropping was interesting. Neil F. bagged a nice Yellow-Edge Grouper around 25 pounds and I managed a 50 plus pound AJ that hit on the bottom at 430 feet (not fun, especially when you are expecting another big deep-water Grouper). Looking forward to more time fishing this depth to better learn how to approach it.
We headed out of Longboat Pass at first light, with a few dozen shrimp and lots of old bait to cut up. The pinfish catching was slow, due to large blue runners tangling and breaking off sabikis. Wind and tide opposition made for slow going without getting soaked in small boat.
As we got out deeper the sun broke through the clouds and seas laid down for a nice day. We drifted for Red Grouper first, quickly putting keepers in the box around 90 feet. We saw some structure during drift and threw out marker. On second try we were on the spot. Given the last few trips RG success came quickly, we brought different setups and shrimp to try to diversify the catch. I brought a 4000 reel with 20 pound mono/ 20 foot 20 pound fluro sliding 3 ounce to 3/O hook, this caught all the mangos.
Launched the boat out of Fort Desoto around 5:30 PM and cruised over to the Skyway to put a few live baits in the livewell, bait wasn’t hard to find at all. Cruised out to the pipeline at sunset, tried a few different spots and picked up a few Mangos hear and there. On our way to the next spot watching the bottom machine found a sweet spot! It was loaded with Mangos! Made short work of filling our limit and caught my personal largest. Just before the sun was coming up we cruised out to 125 feet of water to try and find decent AJ’s. Couldn’t find them anchored so we started trolling. We were getting Bonita one after another which is fun to catch for me but then the rod bent over good and line was screaming off. We hooked into a decent Blackfin Tuna! This was my first tuna I have ever caught.
Headed out towards the Elbow to see if we could hit the big fish for a 2nd trip in a row. Started out fishing the Pipeline in about 155 feet and hit a few mangos here and there. Most were of decent size, 2-4 pounds. A few 5 pounders came over the side as well. Then it happened. One of the regulars, Ritchie hooked up with a fast moving fish that turned out to be a nice blackfin tuna that ate one of his pigfish being sent down on a knocker rig for mangos. I was working a 1 ounce jighead with live bait and got hammered about 5 feet off the bottom and ended up boating a 25 pound Blackfin.
I was a bit skeptical only going about 9 miles out for Mangrove Snapper but the first 2 fish that came up were a couple small mangs. After that we did everything we could to get away from the “endangered” Gags. It was an amazing bite, every drop produce Gag after Gag. Thankfully a couple Mangs were mixed in to get some fish in the cooler. Finally tally for the day was 8 Mangs brought home, biggest being 21”, at least 40 gags with more than half of those being keepers. The biggest came on a triple hook up that we all managed to land our fish.
Florida weather, Florida fishing, Florida shrimp, and Florida hunting, all in one week. Who could ask for anything more? Sunday, three P.M., twenty eight emotionally charged anglers are ready to go, ready to challenge the monsters of the Middle Grounds. The Florida Middle Grounds, 100 miles Northwest of beautiful Madeira Beach, Florida, consist of underwater formations of stony hard and soft coral growths, ledges with twenty-thirty foot drops, and numerous ship wrecks. The 330 square mile Middle Grounds provides a natural aquarium for many species of fish and a tropical wonderland for the serious angler[...]
I had the day off of school for MLK day and the weather looked good for a trip offshore. I called a few buddies and we did the first trip of 2013 in my boat and it was a good one. We fished 90-100 feet. and the mangroves were chewing. Most fish were caught on light jigs or knocker rigs. We headed in around 1:30 and had over 30 mangroves and a handful of red grouper. The biggest snapper was just shy of 25 inches. It was a great day.[...]
Took out the dusky for it’s 2nd fishing trip since being completed. Had an old Navy friend come over from Lakeland to fish with us. I also brought along two guides that I have come to know since working at O’Neill’s, Capt. Lee Blick and Capt. Craig Weaver.We set out about 0800 and headed west. Got out to a snapper spot that has been good to us for the last few trips. Fishing was slow to start but picked up as we moved around the area to find the fish.[...]
My buddy has been working for the last 14 months restoring an 85 foot Dusky. Some of you may have actually seen his thread on the Hull Truth. well, he finally got it complete and after a quick sea trial last Friday to make sure it floated and ran as desired, we decided to take her out for the maiden fishing trip. Left out of O’Neill’s at 8ish and the fog was still thick. After a slow trek out of the bay through Pass-a-Grille, we finally were able to get up to speed and head 30ish miles west. seas were a bit sportier than the forecast called for, but we pushed on with hopes they would lie down as advertised. Got to the area we wanted to fish and came upon a spot that lite up the bottom machine about half a mile from our intended stop. We dropped down some sardines and it was game on with the mangos and yellowtail. We boated 4 or 5 within the 1st 10 minutes and then the rudderfish hit us. We couldn’t get away from them.
I haven’t been able to get offshore for awhile, with my wife past 8 months pregnant I needed to stay close. The newest fisherman has joined the family and things are getting back to normal. On the drive to friend’s house was thinking I hadn’t gotten a king trip in this year, just a passing thought on long drive. Load boat with ice and old cooler full of old bait from freezer. We were met with a real challenge safely navigating to pass. Sabiki’d blue runners and cigar minnows, just outside of pass. Headed for 85 foot area we fished last few times out. Got two keeper Red Grouper on drift and tossed marker out. Started chunking old bait and caught short reds and grunts while slick built up. Once the chum was built flat lines didn’t last more than a minute in the water. Baits intended for the bottom didn’t make it. Didn’t prepare for kings, had 40 pound mono with circle hooks on flat lines. Lost quite a few, but landed some beasts [...]
The action picked up pretty quick with a Dolphin (small) right away, then a 20 pound class Blackfin Tuna not long after that hit the shotgun line. After that we were nearly spooled by what turned out to be a monster Kingfish around 60 pounds that we released, to bad there were not any tourneys going on as this fish would have won.The King hit a Marauder plug as did the next Tuna in the box (15 pounds), then were nearly spooled again on the same lure by a big fish that broke off after a 30 minute fight. That killed the party as we did not have any more Marauder plugs. Not bad action for 2 hours of trolling, unfortunately with short daylight this time of year, we had to crank up and make the run home soon after. [...]
Got the kids up and decided to head out for a quick quick grouper trip . Found pinfish and blue runners a mile off the beach in 20 ft. Went to a good bottom area in 40 ft and anchored. Every bait down got eaten. We a mix of red and gag grouper with the biggest gags all taken on blue runners.After 2 hours our live bait was gone and it was time to go. The kids are reeling in a small red grouper and Im reeling up my bait. As we get to the surface a tiger shark goes after the red grouper, misses but grabs my pinfish and then tries to get the grouper again. i quickly back the drag off has he starts running – now hes tangled in the red grouper line, goes around the anchor, then heads back underneath the boat and kids are screaming “shark” non stop ! [...]
Went out with a buddy on his bad a** 35 foot center console. First stop at 20 miles or so and reeled in a couple keeper reds. Bait was northern mackerel live shrimp and live 2 inch greenbacks. Second stop was around 45 miles out and let me tell you the scamp were on fire. I cant remember the last time I caught scamp like this. Every shrimp down barely made it to the bottom. As you can see in the video there are no shortage of them at this spot [...]
A few of us had the afternoon open so we headed out of clearwater. Marked bait as I was heading out of the pass , steve threw the net out the back and loaded us up with scaled sardines. Took 3 of us to bring it in, filled the well and 2 five gallon buckets – still had the deck covered. Stop by the rube and toss out a few free lines. slammed right away and steve gets a cobia. Next bait out, slammed again. This one almost spooled my battle with 320 yds of 30lb power pro. I got a nice king. The boca grip was going between 38-42 lbs . [...]
With the recent winds, we wanted to wait a few days until the water cleared up. My cousin Tan wanted to show some east coast friends what it was like to fish on our side of the state. We loaded up with lots of live shrimp, white bait, and frozen sardines. Great day to be out on the water…overcast clouds, slight breeze, small chop. Mystery sighting of the day: As we were going out, Tan spotted a sailfish…he said it popped its bill and sail out of the water while chasing bait. That would have been a cool sight, considering we were only in about 50-60′ and 20 mi out. We got to our first spot in 65′. Gene was the first to drop down a shrimp and gets railed on his light tackle setup. The fish kept digging and running all over the boat. After a tough fight, we netted a nice 35″ cobia[...]
About 8 miles into our trip I see a really nice show on the screen. I Turn around and the bottom just exploded with color. Throw the jug. Drift it a couple times and some almost keeper reds come over the side. But way bigger than the last spot so we were hopeful. We decided to anchor.
Within an hour and a half we had our limit of Red Grouper and a nice king that is about to go on the smoker in about 20 minutes… Not a bad day for no plan,not hitting the water until almost 11:00am, and not putting a line in until noon[...]
“Headed out of John’s Pass Friday afternoon for some Friday night mangros. Ran into a school of mahi 30 miles out. Luckily, we had plenty of live whitebait to keep them at the boat.After an hour of mayhem, 33 mahi were In Da Box and we left them biting to get set up for the nighttime mangro bite[...]”
The Florida Fisherman, Hubbard’s Marina, has been on dry dock for a few weeks. Spent my weekends attending Jesuit High School football games instead of fishing the Florida Middle Grounds. That is about to change, the Florida is back. Forty eight anglers and a crew of five are busting at the seams in anticipation. Let’s go! The weather forecast is great, the moon is full, the Florida is loaded with enough food & drinks to supply a small, make that a large, army. It’s time! [...]
Friday means deep water time for the Florida Fisherman, Hubbard’s Marina. The moon phase is perfect for an all out assault on the ‘Monsters of the Elbow & Forty Fathom Break.’ Thirty dedicated anglers wait to board the Florida Fisherman ll. This is going to be all out war.
Monday’s trip hit a little snag when we got to the marina, they were out of live shrimp. We never head offshore without a livewell full of shrimp, everything eats them. Instead we got a box of dines and castnetted up some pins and greenbacks.We ran out to the pipe knowing that there is some big mangs out there [...]
Friday, June first, 2012, American red snapper season opens. The very best to one & all, let’s go get them. Finally! It’s ARS pay back time. No more free meals.Forty four anglers, and a full crew, departs Hubbard’s Marina on the Florida Fisherman ll. We will be fishing two days before the full of the moon, the best time of the month. Will the fish be hungry? Let’s go see.
Took my buddy out today for a lil’ action, he hasn’t fished in 12 years. So I rolled up to the marina at about 9:30. Droped 300 dollars on gas, loaded the boat, and we were off to the nearest flat to catch bait. After a few tosses we had bait and we were off to the wild blue yonder. Feels like we threw back 100 plus fish today. Bite was sick.
A good buddy asked me if I wanted to go out on his newly re-powered Calcutta 263 well I said said “OH YEAH!” A lot different from the 18 foot Mako I usually run. We went out to our favorite cobia spot to see if anybody was home, it was pretty rough at 45 feet, in about 3-6 foot swells the boat handled it great. We ran 25 mph the whole way through it and didn’t get wet. Enough about sounding like a Calcutta commercial and back to fishing. We anchored up and started to chum and I hooked up on the biggest blue runner I’ve ever seen, it was huge! [...]
Showed up at Mango’s house and loaded the boat. Heading out to challange the GOM beasts would be Mango, Kokosing Lover, Manny (Mango’s friend) and myself. Got the boat in the water sometime between 12:30 and 1 PM. Headed out of Blind Pass and started looking for the bait. Got a few cigars and runners and then headed out to about 100′. Started to drift over form fishy looking hard bottom and I get hooked up by a big fish only to have my knot to the swivel come undone [...]
Finally had a day off with school and work being so crazy so Capt Vern treated me to a trip. Started off at the 3 mile and sabiki’d up pins, blue runners, pig fish, sardines, you name it. We were going to run out to 100 or so in search of some big fire trucks but we found a bottom chunk we couldnt pass up. Several gag grouper in the large and larger range were caught. RGs got in the action as well with bringing 4 keepers home…between 20-23″ [...]
While most of you were fishing the king of the beach. I didn’t enter cause kings are a hit or miss with me. Headed out to a public wreck in 45 feet about 10 miles out looking for some light tackle bonita mackerel action, well that wasn’t the case. Filled the well at a bridge in the intercoastal so we started chumming, the first bait in the water gets slammed not even 5 minutes in [...]
Once again we challenge the Florida Middle Grounds. Once again the weekend weather prediction is less than perfect; in fact, down right lousy. Forty eight anglers hope for the best. Low pressure or no low pressure, we know what the Grounds has to offer. Most of us arrive at Hubbard’s Marina early. One reason is to watch the 1/2 day boat returning. Sure enough, the Friendly Fisherman returned one P.M. Friday afternoon. Grunts were targeted. Grunts, small but very good eating. Also some very impressive king fish and mackerel were landed.
Ran out for opening grouper and got on the mangos something nice. See the 8#er. Had the ARS chummed up from 200′. Folks these bastards have doubled in size. It’s almost like they know they get a free pass. Some sort of hope and change I guess…. $1000 in fuel, couple of fish, day on the water, priceless…Life is good.
Went out to run the boat because it hadn’t been ran in a while. Engine had a hard time and thought it was gas. Got out 4 to 5 miles and started trolling. Dropped a big lipped lure down and was about to get the spoon out and boom the lure gets killed. Stopped the boat and he was not moving. Maybe I got hung up. Motor back over it and he comes out. About a 28 in gag. Have no idea how he got in the rocks trolling. I turned the engine off and when I went to turn it back on, nothing. I opened a compartment and smelled gas. The water fuel separator is spitting out gas [...]
Me and my neighbor went on Hubbard’s Sunday morning half-day. Trolling on the way out we caught a bunch of Spanish mackerel. One was at least 4-5 pounds (sweet). These were caught using a #1 planer and a green drone spoon off one of the corner spots. My buddy used a silver spoon with a small trolling weight wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy back [...]
Cobia have started to show up at the mouth of Tampa Bay to just inside the Skyway Bridge in decent numbers to where I think we are going to have a great cobia year. On back to back trips we were able to catch four while sight casting to them. Pinfish or scaled sardines under a popping cork is a deadly combo for these brown bombers. They fight great especially the second time after they see the boat. Look for these fish to be around reefs, bridge pilings channel markers and similar structure [...]
LateAgain, Myself and an old Navy friend from Lakeland went out to try our luck with the Mangos this morning and to say the bite was tough would be an understatement. Only 1 Mango wanted to come home for dinner, so we of course obliged him or maybe her. Gags were hot and eating everything we dropped down. Sardines, live shrimp, dead shrimp. Largest went 11 something pounds [...]
The weather looked decent so I tried to get a crew together but only my buddy Kit could ride out,oh well time to go find something willing to put up a battle. On the way out about 12 miles out we see something that looked very stange, there was a loon diving down and there was a huge colorspot under him.We pulled up and to our surprise it was a massive whale shark with a school of bait fish all around him,the loon was diving down getting him some.I made the mistake of taking my eye off the whale shark fetching the camera,when I got he dove down never to be seen again [...]
Ended up fishing with 3 buddies today. I just put the boat back at O’Neill’s the other day and we departed from my lift around 6:50. Stopped at the PAG marker and got some smallish Pinfish to go with the live shrimp I got from the marina. Headed out to the Egmont channel markers and got some nice Sardines and Cigar Minnows to join the crowd in the livewell [...]
My uncle is a long time local who moved to Tennessee. Whenever he comes in town I make sure I have plenty of time to take him out. This past week Thursday-Saturday looked to be the best days. Took another person out with us, his son-in-law, never really been offshore before. We ran out to the pride in hopes of playing around with some aj’s. We get there and the aj’s are all over. Uncle throws out a soft plastic and gets hooked up. He saw that it wasn’t a aj as it was really silver [...]
This past year, local conservation leader Brevard Zoo and partners Brevard County and the University of Central Florida celebrated the biggest accomplishments yet for their Oyster Gardening and Oyster Mats programs (referred to collectively as “Brevard Oyster Restoration”) thanks to help from community volunteers.
The Oyster Gardening program concluded its first year of operation having successfully recruited more than 800 waterfront residents who dedicated about 135,000 hours to growing oysters inside specially designed habitats suspended from their docks. These volunteers also collected data that determined the most successful areas of the county for oysters.
In November, that data was used to select three sites for Brevard County’s very first oyster reef-restoration construction projects. By the end of the year, 15 reef sections were completed at those sites, populated by the more than 60,000 live oysters grown through the Oyster Gardening program. Those oysters will soon filter a combined 3 million gallons of water per day while providing wildlife habitat and natural erosion prevention, too.
It’s been a big year for the Oyster Mats program, as well. More than 6,000 volunteers contributed well over 10,000 hours to constructing about 4,300 oyster mats, bringing the total number of volunteers who have participated in the program to date up to an impressive 41,128.
Five oyster reefs were restored this past year using oyster mats produced through the program, and an additional 3 reefs were repaired following boat collisions, making for a total of 68 reefs and 2.01 acres restored to date. According to Dr. Linda Walters, Pegasus Professor of Biology at UCF, those restored reefs could provide substrate for up to 6.94 million oysters.
Both oyster programs will also benefit from a new oyster shell recycling partnership between
Brevard Zoo, Brevard County, Waste Management, local seafood processing plant Southeastern SeaProducts, and Anderson Rentals, Inc. The Oyster Mats and Oyster Gardening programs have also both secured funding to expand into 2015 and beyond, so look for more great things to come in the New Year.
by Florida Sportsman Editor•
January 27, 2015
The largest sailfish tournament in the country, the Sailfish Challenge, is returning to Fort Lauderdale on February 5th. Over 60 boats are pre-registered and ready to battle for a purse that is expected to exceed $375,000. It’s another shot closer to winning the Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series and the chance at the champion’s burgundy jacket.
Unlike any of the other Quest for the Crest tournaments, the Sailfish Challenge is unique in the fact that it allows anglers to check out of three different South Florida inlets. The chosen inlets, Lake Worth Inlet in Palm Beach, Government Cut in Miami and Hillsboro Inlet in Pompano Beach, offer teams easier access to their preferred fishing areas. In addition, they are also able to check back into any of the three inlets, regardless of where they checked out. Last year’s top team, Liquid, checked out of Hillsboro inlet and checked back in with total winnings of $146,820. The 2014 Sailfish Challenge winners, Utopia, checked out of Lake Worth inlet and released a total of 12 sailfish that was good for a payout of $56,000. Vitamin Sea Too grabbed 3rd place fishing out of Government Cut in Miami to earn near $80,000. The 1st, 2nd, 3rd finishes out of all three different inlets reinforced the tournament’s multi-inlet structure and the fact that the sailfish bite can fire up anywhere along the South Florida coast during that time of year.
This one-day sailfish tournament also offers a meat fish division that includes kingfish, dolphin, wahoo, cobia and tuna. A team weighing in the largest meat fish can potentially take home over $14,000! Last year, Native Premonitions had the largest meat fish, a kingfish weighing in at 48.3lbs, earning them the Heaviest Kingfish division and the Big Fish Bonanza.
Teams don’t just fight for the prize money in this tournament, they can also compete for their boat brand in The Boat Builder’s Throwdown – a fun spirited competition with a perpetual trophy that circulates between builders with 3 or more boats competing in the tournament. Last year, Contender Boats dominated the competition with 66 points to earn the title.
In addition to the angler payouts, the Sailfish Challenge also donates a portion of its proceeds to IGFA Conservation Programs that work to promote ethical sportfishing and productive science around the world.
Final registration for the Sailfish Challenge is February 5th at the kickoff party, which is hosted at the International Game Fish Association in Fort Lauderdale. Competition day is Saturday, February 7th and the awards ceremony follows on Sunday, February 8th at Blue Moon Fish Company. For more information on the tournament, visit www.sailfishchallenge.com or call (954) 725-4010.
The final stop in the Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series is Key West! Final Sail will take place April 15-19, 2015 in the southernmost point of the United States. A champion will be crowned and the island may be drained of every last drop of alcohol!
If it’s not easy getting there, it’s probably worth the effort.
My new friend, Jeff, asked if I was okay with a bit of a walk to the lake.
Naturally, I asked if I could bring my lab. “Not a good idea,” Jeff said. “Wear waders and travel light. I have all the tackle we’ll need. Be at the house at 6 a.m.”
The next morning in Jeff’s truck, he explained what lay ahead of us. Years ago, he discovered a trail into a hidden lake, a long way back through a swamp. He’d even hauled an aluminum boat out there. I asked him how many buddies used his boat. He told me he’d never seen another soul out there. I knew right then that this was going to be very special.
But, it wouldn’t be any ordinary walk. We hauled our gear in a single person kayak: a trolling motor, a fresh 12-volt truck battery, a small cooler with ice, drinks and lunch, spin outfits for each of us. Surviving the two-mile hike while pulling the load was tough, but without my guide I would’ve never even found the lake, let alone his boat hidden among the thick cattails. On these kinds of pursuits, I would strongly recommend doing at least one dry run to get a good GPS track with waypoints at landmarks—especially on your first attempt to find a hidden gem before carting all your gear along.
We caught bass all day long ranging from 1- to 4-pounders. Jeff said he thinks the reason there aren’t many larger ones (6 pounds is his max, here) is that there are so many bass competing for the food source. Our tackle box consisted of a plastic bag with a heap of black plastic worms, hooks, bullet weights and a half dozen Rapalas. We used the Rapalas trolling, and cast worms at the weed lines.
Author's friend leads the way to a secret lake where bass like the one above are abundant and hungry.
Back home that night, I reflected on what I’d experienced. Over the next few days, I spent a lot of time on Google Earth, looking at Florida’s huge tracts of hunting and fishing lands: Wildlife Management Areas, publicly accessible military properties such as Eglin Air Force Base, and timber and ranch lands with private leases.
Hidden lakes are attractive and challenging, but make no mistake: You are—as we used to say as kids—“in Indian country.” Float tubes are probably not a good idea around Florida’s alligators. Bring a kayak, walk slow and watch for snakes.
When you find your backcountry pond, make sure it’s not on private property; if it is, ask the landowner for permission.
Realistically, I would limit the distance to a mile or less (the two miles with Jeff was a huge job). These trips should be all about having fun. Make a list of what you need and check the item off as you pack. You really don’t want to forget something important, like the bug spray. Breathable waders are the best. You can hike in them all day long and they take a pretty good beating. In briars or really bad stuff I’ll wear a large size pair of quail pants over the Gore Tex. I do this a lot chasing wood ducks.
My list would also include Gatorade, about a gallon per person. As for personal flotation, I love my CO2 camo duck vest. With its game bag in back, shell pockets in front, it lets me carry lots of stuff. I got mine though Cabela’s years ago and test the CO2 system once a year; it’s never failed to inflate and the CO2 replacement cartridges are pretty cheap. FS
by Florida Sportsman Newswire•
January 27, 2015
Don’t wait, the clock is ticking! The winning ticket for the Pathfinder 2200 TRS with a 150 hp Yamaha (or $25,000 CASH) will be drawn at the CCA Manatee County Banquet on February 26th!
For more than 25 years Coastal Conservation Association Florida has been the voice of recreational saltwater anglers in Florida. Now you can support CCA Florida’s efforts and have a chance to win a brand new boat, motor, trailer package!
by Florida Sportsman•
January 27, 2015
Recent offshore fishing reports from the Florida Keys region.
Islamorada Deep Dropping
Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy
The kings made for some fast action and after catching our limit of them on cigar minnows just offshore of the reef. We then headed offshore and spent the rest of the day bottom dropping in depths from 400 to 800 feet deep. We wound up with an excellent catch of yellow eye snapper, vermillion snapper, queen snapper, tilefish, and a couple of beautiful yellow edge grouper up to 30 pounds.
Along the way we set out a dolphin spread of four Billy Baits. Luckily I put out one that had some wire on it as it got slammed by a nice wahoo. Others suggested at hookup that it was just a skipjack tuna but this fish was pulling some serious drag and did not want to come in. Finally getting it closer Harry yelled from the upper helm that it was a good wahoo. Bingo!
Albert takes the first drift. Only one angler drifts at a time. At a moderate distance back he gets a run-off and hook up which produced a nice mangrove snapper. My wife Tania and myself each took our turns having bites and landing fish also. I think Albert went 7 or 8 fish straight without a miss.
The weather was still good so we went for it one more time. Picked up some nice dolphin on another weedline and then the big hoo shows up. Hit a blue and with Islander with a rigged ballyhoo. The bait was rigged with mono so it was a little tense until he hit the deck.
Found dolphin all afternoon and into the evening. Dolphin were on small current rips and slicks. Found a couple on small white birds. Fish were between 270 to 350 feet for me. They were in closer as well, but found the best action in that depth so I stuck with it.
In the morning I started jigging and was able to connect with a red grouper, a story that would repeat over and over about 20 times. On this trip the ged groupers seemed to like jigs slowly jigged near the bottom.
We managed to hook three and land two 40 pound hoo’s. My guests then looked at me and says, “Capt let’s head on in because we can’t top this” and I happily took her on in. We ended the day with 7 wahoos, 40 mahi, 2 tripletail, and a dozen tunas.
We were now 5 for 6 on the day and we deployed once more and as we were near the end of the drift, there was the unmistakable tap. We went to work, he felt heavy all the way up so we were thinking it was foul hooked or a shark.
Went solo today looking for a phins and maybe wahoo and the fish were hungry! The bull and the cow crashed the baits at the same time. Cow hit the wire leader and the bull smacked the mono. 20 minutes later put them over the rail, thankfully the seas were flat. Both ate blue and white islanders.
I started the usual chum slick to find the yellowtails eating right behind the motors. The guys took pictures and were excited to begin the catching, which they did just that, in a short time we had our limit and a mutton on the bottom to make the 50 snapper limit.
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.
by Florida Sportsman Newswire•
January 27, 2015
Florida Sportsman Member Fish Addict (left) took this fine Osceola turkey recently in South Florida. The report is posted in the General Hunting Forum, under FINALLY bird down.
From Tony Young, FWC Outta’ the Woods Columnist
Whether you oversee a large tract of land or own a smaller parcel, there are many wildlife management techniques you can use to help attract wild turkeys to your property.
Wild turkeys, like white-tailed deer, are referred to as “edge species,” because of their need for more than one type of habitat. Most of the time, with large tracts of land, this isn’t a problem because the vast landscape is diverse enough. But in the case of small-acreage, one-habitat properties, it’s up to you as the landowner to create varied, preferred habitats if you expect turkeys to use the property.
For optimal turkey habitat, half of your property should be in mature forests and the other half in early-succession “openings,” such as fields, clearcuts or forests having between 40 and 60 square feet per basal area. Basal area is a measurement used to determine the density of trees per acre. Land that falls into the 40-60 basal range has 40 to 60 average-sized (13.5 inches in diameter at the base) pine trees per acre.
To create even better and more varied habitats for turkeys, you should offer “differing age classes” of forests and early-successional areas – and make prescribed burning a big part of your management plan.
Harvest pine trees on a different section of your land on a 10-year cycle so that after a few decades, the property consists of several sections with trees of varying sizes (ages).
Early-succession habitat can be achieved on “plantation-cut” areas with a 40-60 basal count, because the trees are spaced out enough for sunlight to penetrate the forest floor, where frequent fire enables new growth of succulent woody ornamentals, native wiregrass and goldenrod.
It also is important to keep any hardwood hammocks, drains, ravines, bottoms, wetlands and other unique habitats intact and free from timbering. Hardwoods are an essential element of wild turkey management. Thick hardwood lowlands provide travel corridors that turkeys and deer use extensively.
If there’s not any water on the property and you have the financial means to do so, dig a pond. Turkeys, as well as all other critters, need water to drink, so if you have that, then you have yet one more piece of the turkey-management puzzle.
“Buffer” strips of native grasses and woody ornamentals should be left unmowed. Hens require this thick understory cover for nesting. When possible, prescribed burning should be applied that allows for a low, woody component to be scattered throughout most of the timber stands. Periodically lengthening your burning rotations will give you this desired effect and help provide suitable nesting habitat.
In Florida, most hens begin to lay their eggs in late March or early April, but the nesting season can extend through June. After all the eggs are laid, they take about 25 days to hatch. Therefore, if you can, you may want to limit burning or mowing of preferred nesting habitat through August.
Good brood habitat should hold food in the form of seeds, insects (an invaluable protein source) and tender, new-growth vegetation for young poults to feed upon throughout the summer. It should consist of 1- to 3-foot-tall grass and weeds open enough to enable the young poults to move about, yet dense enough to provide cover from predators.
There is great interest nationally in the planting of food plots for wildlife, including for turkeys. Within extensive closed-off canopy forested areas, food plots and/or game feeders are essential to keeping turkeys on your property. Where an open forest structure is maintained by adequate timber thinning and the use of fire, such supplemental feeding is not as necessary because there is enough natural “browse” vegetation on which game can feed.
Food plots are a lot more cost-effective at feeding game than using feeders on moderate-sized pieces of property. In cases of smaller tracts, perhaps where food plots can’t be utilized because the landscape is all lowland and you have a closed canopy, game feeders filled with corn or soybeans are your only option for attracting turkeys.
Once the decision has been made to create food plots, you need to know where to put them, how big and what shape to make them and what to plant. The best ones are long and narrow rectangular shapes that follow the contour of the land. When possible, create food plots where the length (longest part) runs east to west. That way, the planted crops will receive the most direct sunlight.
For tips on food plots, go to your local IFAS Extension office or for the website, click here.
by Florida Sportsman•
January 27, 2015
>Recent fishing reports from “No Motor Zone” anglers from all regions around the state.
Skinny Water Bulls
Florida Sportsman member: cbmdk86
We actually had a sweet double hookup at this point but his pulled the hook. After a quick photo op with my fish, Neil was hooked up again within two minutes and after a half hour fight put his redzilla in the yak. The girth on his fish was unreal, it was 35 pounds plus and healthy.
I planned on scouting reds either tailing or pushing water on the flats. As I moved out onto the flat, I was instantly gratified by seeing a bunch of single reds pushing wakes and leaving evidence of redfish with trails of dust.
Hard to describe my emotions when I saw it wasn’t a red, but it was the biggest trout I had ever seen.
I didn’t have a scale or a tape measure. But using my old bass fishing days as a reference, I would say it was a lunker at least 6 to 8 pounds, at least 26 inches, and fat!
Here are a few fish from the day that helped me catch a slam. Although the poons had me numbered I jumped about 10 and happened to land the micro but none the less a slam. Snook were everywhere in that spot and it seemed like every other cast I was hooking up.
To say that the day was stellar is an understatement. Between Steve and I we caught over 75 fish. Most were dinks in the 1-2 pound range with a good mixing of 3 pounders too. We also caught fish from just over 4 pounds to the biggest caught by me at 8 pounds 6 ounces.
I managed to come tight on a 50 to 60 pound fish that fought hard to get away. But after a long and intense fight, I got my picture and released the fish with good energy. After resetting the lines we had a few missed hits and with the last bait I hooked a monster over 150 but wasn’t prepared and after a minute long run my leader popped.
I started working the islands in this area and as I made my way around one of them something exploded on my DOA Shrimp. I thought it was a red at first because it wouldn’t show itself and kept making long runs. Turns out it was a nice Snook.
Pushed further out towards the gulf and found a nice channel with depths from 3 to 4 feet and water temperatures near 70 degrees. Switched to a RipTide mullet paddle tail with 1/4 ounce jig head in order to work the channel deeper and began landing trout after trout.
I tossed my RipTide mullet with 1/4 oz jig head into a channel chokepoint and out of the depths only a few feet from my yak a large trout inhaled the lure. It was an awesome sight to behold given it’s above average size and the visual provided after hours of fruitless fishing. For the next few hours I worked the area and landed over a dozen or more trout and limited out with 4 nice keepers.
The one cigar minnow that I caught did not last 5 minutes in the water before being inhaled by a mahi. I think a tank full of pilchards would have produced a lot of Dorados. Trolled quite a bit with the blue runners looking for a wahoo, only to catch another shark. Even though it was relatively unproductive, it was a pleasant day on the water.
I have done freshwater and inshore and I have done pretty good so far. Offshore was always in the back of my mind and I definitely wanted to try it. After declining a couple of invitations, because I didn’t have any gear, I decided to go for it.
Saw what I thought was a big red about 75 feet away on a transitional edge. I pitched a copper colored Banks Lures Pimpin Shrimp with a dab of Blue Crab Pro-Cure at it, and the fish happily mowed it down.
Went out yesterday around 1p.m. from Dania. Was only out for 3 hours in 280 to 320 feet of water. I caught these bad boys plus some smaller ones that I let go. It was an awesome day of fishing, no current, 5 knot winds, and the water was like glass.
So, at about 1am I made a 15 mile hike to another location and splashed in. As we rolled up, fish were happy and popping on top. On Zack’s first cast, he hooked and landed this respectable tarpon on a 7inch Bone Hogy Original.
What ensued next was simply amazing, as I worked the GOLD spoon with hard violent twitches I had an ensemble of jacks and reds follow the spoon, some came within 4 feet of my yak! The harder I worked the spoon the more fish that followed it, unfortunately the jacks are faster fish and grab the lure first so I decided to toss out more cut pinfish.
Two clients, one from Colorado the other from Canada flew down for one thing, a South Florida sailfish lap dance. They gave me 4 days to put em on sailfish, we got it done the first day out and went 3 for 3.
I ended up finding a beautiful shell flat that produced big time. There were small schools of black drum and sheepshead everywhere just waving their tails at me asking for a precise cast! I ended up catching more black drum than I wanted but managed to dodge a few to find some nice sheepies.
Within 10 minutes one of Robs clients hooks up on a sail and it was off to the races. while they played with that I managed to lose 3 jigs to to cutoffs. I finally started jigging up some small blackfins.
Fished this am with Mapache Mike in Government Cut. No bait pods, luckily I brought some mullet for us. We landed a couple snook in quick order at the mouth of the inlet. He had to take off so I decided to escape the sharks and slow troll a hog leg mullet down the beach.
I was drifting 2 live goggle eyes near the skycliff when the rainbow runners hit both my baits simultaneously. I was lucky to land the smaller one, then grab the other rod out of the holder and land the bigger one that had hooked itself.
I love the small Ribbit frogs, black or green in color and using 6/0 Owner hooks for them. Small frog, big hook, this allows the Snakehead to take the whole frog and increases the chances of hooking them to about 75 percent.
After 30 minutes, right before slack tide was there my line went tight and I started fighting a big fish. My target was tarpon so I was thinking TARPON! But since it didn’t jump I knew it was a big snook.
We paddled out to our first spot around 9:30 to simply catch a couple rats and get equipment tuned in for later spots. My first cast with the spoon landed a little red so I knew it was going to be a productive day.
We took a break out near Pelican Island, when on the way back to our launch point, my live bait rod starts screaming. He immediately starts yelling shark, we were pleasantly surprised as this is my biggest snook yet from a kayak which measured 37 inches.
The weatherman was wrong. Wind was blowing and the waves were pounding. About to call it a day till rob says “I got a plan B”. So off to his spot and sure enough it paid off. I got a nice 40″ snook that was a fatty and rob hooked up but the hook pulled on what I think was a tarpon.
At deep color, I could see it was a long slender bluish silver fish, and since I was out beyond normal kingfish territory, anticipation of a wahoo was high. About 10 minutes later she was on the gaff, 53 inches and 32 pounds! It was a total rush!
Weeds were a huge issue today with live baiting so i decided to set up shop and spool the baits out so they wouldn’t get weeded as bad. I’ve found this tactic to be extremely effect in the morning hours when the fish are aggressively feeding.
I use the yak to get close, very quietly, then slip out and wade to the fish. Makes it a lot easier to make a good presentation to the fish with a fly, especially in this wind. The fish were hungry and aggressive. I only spooked 1 or 2 with the line.
I made a couple more passes through the area having many strikes, wakes, and blow ups but no connections. Finally connected with a solid fish around that pulled me around and gave my stradic 3000 and 10 pound braid a good workout.
We set out in a southeasterly direction at sunrise and stopped in 150 feet of water. As soon as we stopped my live bait rod gets slammed. It ends up being my biggest kingfish of the day. Within 5 minutes Suede lands a kingfish that could be the twin to mine.
Found no shortage of baby tarpon feeding up in the shadows of the mangrove overhangs and culvert outflows. I caught lots of these little guys on both spin and on the 8wt on these small minnow patterns I have been tying, and on my new favorite lure I decided to try randomly, the Vudu shrimp.
We made a trip to Matlacha with big hopes of tarpon. They laughed around all around us most of the day. We even got a close up look at one that was sniffing around shallow waters. He seemed so intensely focused on the grass bed he didn’t notice that he came within a few feet of our kayaks.
I was losing line fast, so I started pedaling to chase him down. The fish came to the surface and circled about 15 feet away. I saw the unmistakably tiger stripes and my adrenaline skyrocketed! The wahoo made a deep run and I slowly worked him up tail wrapped. After about 40 minutes, I gaffed him and brought him up.
So far I have got over 10 snook over the 38 inch mark. All fish were caught in Boynton Spillway after sun down. All this rain has got the water moving pretty fast through the flood gates and it really heats up the bite.
My yak buddy made his way over to a deeper spot and hooked into multiple redfish and gave me a call to move on in. After landing his 4th fish, I failed to get a single hit with any of my lures; he continued to catch and release over the next hour.
Early on we trolled to 180 feet and found some scattered weeds and stuff was going on here and there. After some drops we decided to move to 220 feet and Gio calls out fish on! Some time later Gio calls a king and we get together to gaff it and bring the catch in my bag.
My top water plug was getting crushed just about every throw. Best fish of the day was a 39 inch snook. Caught lots of snook and trout and one redfish to complete the inshore slam. The biggest trout was 25 inches. Released everything except the big trout.
So I send the bait out while thinking how pissed I’m going to be when I lose another fish, I was in that mood. Well before I know it, a sail is cat walking right at me and I see my line slack, Fish on!
Anyways, found a nice north stream between 250 to 300 feet, and began jigging between those depths only. I couldn’t capture on film the first couple minutes of the long run. I was busy just trying to keep my focus on having a good hookset. I thought I lost the fish, as he began to swim toward me. That’s where the short video clip begins
I decided to start taking length and girth measurements of my tarpon so I could better calibrate my eye when judging weights of fish. I haven’t measured a fish in so long, I wasn’t sure if I was accurately judging weights.
My lure gets inhaled, I set the hook, and a 50 pound tarpon erupts. It’s not even light out yet, welcome to Flamingo! After the initial jump it stays in the water and ends up just dragging me along the shoreline towing me like I’m not even there. After getting drug back a half mile the way I came I put too much pressure on my 20 pound braid and broke him off.
Next it was my turn. As I sat and watched I noticed a small pod of tarpon feeding on some bait up against the mangrove shoreline. I through my Riptide Flats Chub past the pod and started to quickly retrieve it. I was immediately rewarded with an aerial display of another juvenile tarpon.
I quickly threw the goggle eye back in the bucket and began fighting. After about 10 minutes with several gaff misses, I quickly realized that it’s time for a longer gaff. I finally got it which ended up being a nice 42 inch king, my personal best.
We head to deeper water and continue jigging and drifting. I hook up to something big until it breaks my 30 pound test line. Seconds later my gog gets smoked in 180 feet. Nice blackfin in the boat after a short fight.
I casted my line out and let it sit for a second while I took a sip of my beverage and BOOM not even 5 minutes I was hooked up to the biggest fish I’ve caught to date unknowingly. The drag was screaming like no other. I set it as tight and possible without there being too much tension for my line to break.
A large shark (likely) did wind up eating a ladyfish half Drew was drifting, he started getting towed but as he added some pressure it broke off. At around 10:30 we decided to head over to the bridge. I caught a nice 6 pound flounder (my biggest) right away but then besides ladyfish and jacks that was really it for a long while.
Finally got my new Predator wet off the beach for a little tarpon fishing. I’ve been watching guys get dragged around for years and finally got my chance. I had a bunch of shots throughout the morning and finally got one to eat a whitebait around 9:30. It was quite a ride.
then got into a few schools that were interested, caught 6 reds up to 32 inches on Gulp!, jerk baits, and live mullet. Also saw several tarpon and hooked up to at least 8 or 9 times with no success but then i finally landed one! Also caught a few trout to complete a not so common slam for me.
We head out straight east and deploy our gogs at 80 feet. We make it to 250-ish and I hear my drag pull a little. I look at it again and it pulls a little more. Just as I’m about to pick it up I see a monster sailfish leap 30 yards away and my drag goes off. 30 to40 minutes later I have a huge sail in my lap.
Had a great time with a getaway to the Emerald Coast for opening of Snapper Season. First day went 4 for 4 on snapper (kept 2) and 1 for 1 on kings. Really surprised we didn’t get into more kings that day. Second day caught a short gag, 2 short red snapper, 1 vermilion snapper, and a king.
I spent the night at my buddy Stan’s place Sunday night. Woke up early to fish the Indian River at Hutchinson Island with Stan and his girlfriend Tammy. Conditions were good with winds out of the East from 5 to 15 knots and a wind ripple in the water. Caught my biggest trout to date-27 3/4 inches long and a fat 6 pounds.
I pull up my park n pole and prepare for the sleigh ride! 5 minutes go by with this fish tearing off 20 pound braid and dragging my loaded down pro angler no problem, I gain a little bit of line and finally get a glimpse of the fish as it breaks the surface in the distance. Those red scales shimmering in the sun gave it away and I immediately knew this was a solid bull red! Needless to say at this point I am grinning ear to ear as this is why we came here.
Managed to land a small snook and a 24 inch keeper red before having to take cover from the lightning for a couple of hours. After the storms faded, high tide approached and I began working the mangroves with the live target scaled sardine.
Trolled for a little over an hour and had the pleasant surprise of having a 10 foot hammerhead circle my kayak a couple times before he decided to destroy my flat line and take me for a sleigh ride for a few minutes. Thankfully the line snapped before he spooled me. Peddled out to 150 feet where I saw some weeds, was there no longer than 2 minutes and my last blue runner gets inhaled by a big dolly.
Forum member and contributing writer palmbeachpete shared his recent trip to the Bahamas while fishing in the extreme kayak and paddle board tournament. A lot of nice fish caught and looked to be a great time had by all!
As soon as we reached our first spot, we both hooked up to bonitos right away. Not what we wanted, but still an ice breaker on the jigs. After getting in our workout on those bonitos, Jason landed a small AJ for the smoker and an African Pompano. No BFT’s in these shallower waters. We averaged 225 feet or less depth throughout the day.
Headed north for the first time ever in the yak. Did a Boynton to WPB drift with Eric and the bite was good all day. I got 3 dolphin, he got 2 and they were decent size! Eric also snagged an AJ and jumped a sail a few times. Awesome day on the water and glad to get back out on the yak and get some fish.
Got another runner, then a few drops later I felt something a little larger. Got it about 60 feet off the bottom and it suddenly realized it was hooked, and drag started peeling out straight down. Finally pulled up a 28 pound amberjack after about 15 minutes. I went back to the rest of the group and took them back to the Tenneco, and I got a 22 inch mutton and what looks like a charcoal variant of a blue runner.
While Rob spent most of the day trying to effectively deploy a fly for a Snakehead to eat, I had many opportunities to seal the deal and uncharacteristically missed more hook sets than I’m proud to admit, not sure what it was today. All in all, managed to land a solid 28 inch 5 to 6 pound Snake, another medium one around 2.5 pound and a baby which was released.
Assumed that this was my tournament hopes down the drain, and made my way back to the truck, but after a 17 mile round trip and 6 hours of fishing time, my little dink trout proved enough to secure the victory! Brought it home despite the stiff competition of 175 other competitors, with a good number of them in skiffs. Proof positive you can go out and be successful with just the bare minimum!
After getting beat up on the wreck I headed out to see if the tuna bite would be on as it got later in the day and as soon as I got to 240 feet they were jumping everywhere. landed 5 out of 6 in 20 minutes CASTING the same 60 glow jig and ripping it on the surface. The last tuna I jigged up in 300 feet. A fun and action filled afternoon!
High tide peaked at 6:00PM so I placed my yak into one of the passes and waited for the big drain to start. At 6:01PM one of my trolling rods with a clear gold speckled DOA shrimp gets hit hard and after a decent fight I pull in a 24 inch gator trout.
There were no tails to be seen anywhere but we pushed through and eventually found the Reds munching but fully submerged. I was able to hook up to this beautiful spotless Red that finally allowed me to try my Abu Garcia Revo Inshore bait caster. What a fight it gave me. We each hooked Sharks and lost them. Oh well.
As fortune would have it, there was a small school pushing right towards me that I would’ve never seen except that the sun was at just the right angle, and though they weren’t making a wake, there was just enough of a disturbance to “bend” the reflection on the water a slight bit. At first I thought it was a slight breeze kicking up, but it soon became apparent what it was.
Our plan was to go to Googe Island and work all the back mangrove Islands on the way. We watched bait being attacked by pelicans and a lot of mullet action in deeper holes. We set up on the outside of the holes and would cast in Jig heads with live shrimp and bump the bottom. It didn’t take long to hook up on the Reds. Great day out with the family.
Inshore the trout bite has been picking up along with a few decent snook recently, haven’t been able to get into any reds except for a couple rats though. Last offshore trip I hooked into my first sailfish, went for a sleigh ride for 5 minutes but unfortunately the Sail wore through my line after a couple water walking jumps.
We started our final run back to the creek mouth and continued to work the grass edges, sand holes and oyster bars which resulted in a lot of small reds and trout. As we made it back to the channel I cast into a deep cut and thought I had snagged a rock with my LT greenie. The rock started moving and I knew it would be the biggest fish of the day. After a nice fight, this beauty made my day at 26 inches and 7 pounds.
Total tally was 6 Largemouths, one was 19 inches, two others were 17 inches, I estimate the 19 incher to be around 4-5 pounds. All caught on 6/0 Gamakatsu worm hooks and a variation of Gambler Cane and Zoom toads. Nothing better than topwater action.
Another beautiful day on the water, lost my gaff in the morning to two big waves that hit me bad and after that it wasn’t there any more. Did end up catching a nice spanish mackerel and a nice dolphin though.
Was about to call it and then a big beast latched on to my lure in around 25 feet. This is one of the two biggest fish I have ever caught from my kayak. I tail grabbed it into the yak and then had to paddle (couldn’t peddle with the tail up around my neck and the head blocking the peddles) over to shore to measure and photograph. I measured as best I could with it in the Hobie and wound up with somewhere around 43 inches.
We went 2 for 7 on tarpon from 80 pounds to the one pictured. It ate a Hogy 10 inch Original Series fished on a 6/0 Soft Circle Hook. 50 pound Power Pro Slick, 80 pound Mono leader, Sustain FG 10,000 on a Sewell Custom 8 foot Tarpon Rod. The fight lasted about 35 minutes and spanned close to a mile from start to finish.
After not getting any more bites and the wind starting to pick up and make it hard to jig in place, I switched back to trolling a live gog. About 10 minutes into paddling the rip, way out I saw my first sail come leaping out the water. Rob made it there in time to snap a photo of the landing which went off pretty well for my first time.
About 6 minutes into the hunt I spot a big fish gingerly patrolling the outer edges of shallow mud bank and I fire off a cast about ten feet in front of her. She’s slowly moving right towards my DOA shrimp and I leave it lie motionless on the bottom until she’s about 2 feet away and then I just slowly raise the rod tip causing the shrimp to “pop” off the bottom and she bulldogs it, fish on!
Before the sun was up high enough to sight fish, I was firing topwater and had a fish clobber a skitterwalk up shallow. he choked it and pulled some drag for me, came out to 27 inches. Once the sun came up it was game on, ended up picking one fish off on fly that was laid up on a mangrove shoreline and one on spin off of a flat. both fish being sub slot but were fun watching the eat and the fight when they’re shallow.
First Dolphin of the day was around 8:15am on a live runner in 225 feet on a weed line using my Avet LX and 20 pound mono. Notice the scars all over its tail. The tax collector tried to swoop in and steal my catch, however it was not your usual man in the grey suit but a monster barracuda.
Needless to say their was a good bite out there today before the front moved in. Bait was thick in 190 to 220 feet. Weedline running NNE in the same depth. Salvaged the day with this king that skied on a dead tunny with the tail cut off on a stinger rig trolling it in, 39 inches to the fork.
The seas were building and I made the decision to set my lines in a trolling spread and set an east course to do a large loop back to shore under sail. After my course changed back to west, I got a knock down on my starboard plug. It made a few good runs on my Penn 5500 and then in the kayak came my first blackfin tuna ever!
Boom! Again, but this time it felt deferent, it felt like a big fish! There it goes! My first Wahoo. I was impressed how fast this fish runs! I’ve never seen my drag going so fast. Definitely a unforgettable adventure!
Between Dave and I we spotted over 15 Reds, some we casted with both soft baits and topwater plugs and had no luck, we were able to land 2 solid slot Reds, and a couple missed my topwater plug. We safely released all, I didn’t feel like cleaning fish today.
Fun time out with my girlfriend on a windy day. Caught a nice trout on my D.O.A. shrimp within 10 minutes of throwing the anchor, this guy made for some amazing trout tacos! Caught another 4 trout that day with 3 out of 5 being over 18 inches.
Began the day throwing DOA CALs in the copper crush color and ended up changing to the dark green Bream color after blowing out a few cruising fish and that did the trick! First fish of the day ended up being a bit over 27 inches.
Started the day poling and sight casting in the lee of spoil islands only finding 1 slot red, casting to him with the fly rod, and have him follow it right to the yak before deciding not to eat it! Moved on and threw DOA jigs around some culverts and pulled what I thought was a decent snook, ended up being a solid trout!
Hit up Dania a little late this morning, no bait and peddled out into some face slapping slop. After a few drops landed a decent sized almaco then the biggest blue runner I ever caught. Moved out a little deeper, dropped the jig and fish on! After my sleigh ride up comes some stripes, wahoo baby!
I haven’t posted on here in awhile so thought I’d contribute. The past 2 days, I’ve hit up barrier islands in the Intracoastal Water Way in my kayak looking for reds and gator trout. Didn’t catch any real gators but got lots and lots of redfish all on topwater, z man paddlerz, and manic shrimp.
Lost a couple big ones due to leader fray. 80 pound was always plenty on a rod and reel but for some reason it’s not enough with the hand line. Anyways, live mullet were the ticket, trolled and free lined pretty much anywhere near the beach.
Click link to watch the video of this mayhem unfold
Aside from getting out and surprisingly sinking into muck above my knees my morning was rather uneventful. As we finished our trek from the no motor zone to open water I casted my DOA CAL, red and gold jerk bait into a deep channel. After a few twitches I got trucked. it didn’t feel like any inshore species I’ve fought before. When it broke the surface I was surprised to see the crusty camo of my first inshore Goliath.
I was throwing a topwater and when it came up next to my Pro Angler a big trout came out of the water on it, but threw it. I dropped it right back and he nailed it again. I had him this time! After a nice little fight I brought it up and lipped him. It measured out at 25 inches which is definitely me biggest trout in Matlacha to date.
I was working a lure in about 4 feet of water when it gets crushed and line starts screaming toward the mangroves. Managed to keep her out of the roots and forced her back to deep water. Maybe it was karma for letting the other one go but this one was 34 inches and a fatty!
He heads away from the docks and is all tuckered out. I feel him give up and now it’s just a matter of hauling him in. As he nears the yak, he heads underneath it and somehow I managed to pull a ninja spin around the stern of the kayak and get him to the other side. That’s no tarpon, it’s a monster snook!
We ended up hitting the water at 6:45 and paddled out to 280 feet initially. My plan was to learn how to vertical jig since I never had tried it before but I also rigged up a goggle eye and threw it overboard. Started jigging in 280 feet and my buddy immediately hooks up with a decent Bonita. We decided to go into 260ft and I finally had my first hook up, after a couple minute fight on my 5000 series reel I’m surprised to see a nice 24 inch snapper.
Me and my friend Conrad Fiocca fished the IFA Kayak Tour event in Ruskin this past weekend. Prior to the captains meeting we had very poor prefishing results and on tournament day I decided to fish close to the hotel area. On tournament day we launched by the hotel and paddled out to immediately get into redfish and trout. We caught quite a few trout with the biggest being 18 inches. We paddled over to the redfish spot and we both caught a red within 10 minutes of getting there. We decided to continue to try and upgrade our reds. We both caught 4 or 5 more reds until we each had a 24-25 inch red. We looked around but then came back to our original spot, and Conrad decided to throw a rattle trap and ended up catching a 27-inch red!
Loaded the slayer up yesterday and took it on its first trip to the NMZ. Lunched at sunrise and the trout bite was good on top waters. Switched up to Z Mann swimmers and ended up landing two slot reds. Poled the while day standing on the seat in the high position with no problems. This yak in by far the best yak if been in for fishing the flats.
Fishing was good once again. Started the day with a nice trout. Later in the morning found some Reds in very shallow water and they were tailing. I managed to sneak up on a school and luckily the camera was on when one of them attacked. Had the wind pushing from behind with a small island of dead grass in front of me. One of the fish was facing the opposite way and allowed me to get real close without spooking him…. The other Redfish hit a Topwater lure. I ended the day with two Reds, a beefy Trout and a psycho Ladyfish
Port everglades wanted to show a little love to skunk and a boat almost ran his *** over . Bonita city out there, I managed a med almaco and a sail, I lost another sail about 30 min later hooked up on a jig that sail went crazy popped my leader then Threw the jig. Slow day but at least the bonita kept us busy.
Had a late start guys getting bait at 15th st. We didn’t make it offshore until about 8am, where I followed andy to about 250 feet. We scored a little pre-work out on some bonita and a small amberjack that Andy got. Being in the middle of the group, Andy wanted to go to 340 feet to look for any bit of current so I followed. We almost left but then I finally got a small football in. First Tuna Since November! Andy gets one a little bigger. A few minutes later I got slammed and went on a speedy sleigh ride. After a couple minutes, I’m thrilled to see black and gold rising from the deep and it wasn’t small either.
I have a nemesis living in bear cut that has made a fool of me quite a few times now. It’s a giant barracuda whose size I didn’t fully know until today. Over the past 7 months he has cut me off and wrapped me on pilings about 6 times. It’s always in the EXACT SAME spot, making me think it’s the same fish. Last time by the bridge I put 18″ of #5 wire on to avoid getting cut off. That wasn’t enough and he PWND me again!!! Today I was using a float with a good 3′ of wire and a live 12″ blue runner. I put the bait in the water momentarily to spin the yak around (25′ up current of his home) and immediately the beast swirled at the bait, missing on the first pass but bit my line above the cork and wire. He spun around, grabbed the bait and took off.
Being over in Europe, cruising the Med and crossing the Atlantic was cool and all but the whole time my mind was on the Indian River! Loaded the Slayer and hit the river to check continue where i left off before my departure. Hit up my Vero Beach backcountry spot twice last week with nuthing to show but a few small snook and one baby tarpon…
Decided to hit Round Island this afternoon and see if she would produce for me. Couldn’t find a trout anywhere, first fish was a mangrove on a topwater. Checked some spots in the mangroves for some baby tarpon and snook, but there were none to be found. Ended up getting on a good lane snapper bite out off some of the spoil islands by the ICW. Not the bite I was hoping for, but when everything else is slow you just roll with it.
Yesterday Marty Mood ( PA hillbilly) and I decided to get a quick last minute trip in. We ran into some big bulls in the shallows and they were hungry for some top waters! There is nothing like catching big reds in 2 feet of water. When they exploded on the topwaters it sounded like a whale breaching. The biggest red was my 41 incher that ate a one knocker spook.
Been trying to get an upgrade on my weehoo from early this summer and finally did. Had to weed though the sailfish and kings to get one. I lost a few fish over the last few weeks and went through changing different bait presentations and hook set-ups. The fish weighed 25 pounds, caught in 200 feet on a live gog off Boynton Beach.
We paddled towards the area where we saw the tarpon roll and my depth sounder screen lit up with large objects. A look over the side of the kayak revealed a couple dozen tarpon in the 70 pound to120 pound class lazily swimming 15 feet directly below me. I opted to bait my light 20 pound class kingfish rod knowing full well I would never land a fish; I just wanted to fight one on the light rod for a while. Suede was using an 8000 Battle spooled with 80 pound Power-Pro and an 80 pound fluorocarbon leader, fully intent on landing a tarpon.
I took my croaker out of the live-well and dropped it straight down over the pod of tarpon. The croaker made a futile attempt to swim away from the pod but a large tarpon rose from the school and inhaled the bite size fish. I set the hook and line started coming off of my reel. The fish didn’t make the usual instant jump; it just took off straight east. Within a few seconds I hear Suede’s drag screaming and one of the giants energetically leaped from the water just feet from my kayak. We had just doubled up on tarpon and complete chaos was enveloping the scene.
We made our way to one of drichards secret grouper spots(which I of course marked on my FF) and started dropping the jigs. after a couple drops I pull up an decent 10-pound gag. Shortly after, drichard hooks a small almaco that gets engulfed and then let go by a large grouper that rips all the scales off the little almaco. Later the same thing happens to me but this time the larger fish was hooked good. I tried my hardest to stop this thing from running down into the rocks but it was impossible, I almost got pulled over board. Doug was screaming that I had a monster grouper on and I was praying that my line didn’t snap.
Launched at 7am off of Ft. Lauderdale beach. The ocean looked like a sheet of ice. I tried multiple depths not getting anything on my go-to jigs. I also tried multiple depths trolling a few different lures. Turned out to be productive. Got a bonito, trigger, squirrel fish, remora… All trash. Decided to call it a day. Trolled an x-rap on the way in when I hooked up on this king around 130 feet.
Keeping an eye peeled out for storms, Damon, John, Sebastian, and I headed out of Delray to calm seas and clear skies. The current was low, somewhere between 1.5-2 knots so we started jigging on 180 feet. Everyone was getting on fish today and the AJ bite was intense. Later we hit 300 feet and then we got into the Tunas across from the Martini glass. We approached Boynton inlet as soon as a small twister touched down.
I Hit up Dania Beach and it was beautiful out. Flat sea’s, light wind & current, and tons of people going on the hunt for bugs. It was pretty fishy out, so I tossed the cast net from the Pa and loaded up on chum(small pilchards). On the way out I got slammed by a nice king, once we made our way to the desired depth I tossed out my gog and it got slammed, so of course I thought it was another king just bigger. Nope once I saw stripes I knew it was Mr hoo and he was coming to dinner.
Blazing Reels and I hit the sands of Delray Beach this morning before the crack of dawn. We were welcomed with the sight of calm winds and sea. We rush to get out on the water to enjoy the morning bite, so we headed south towards Boca to provide us a little drifting distance. We heard reports of the current picking up strong, but we found out there was none at all. We picked up some good sized Bonitas on the way out which helped us with a good warm up. Our first stop was in about 200 feet of water, we both dropped our jigs a few times and kept an eye on which way the current was flowing. I guess the fish were pretty hungry this morning because on one of my drops I got a double header. I first felt one big slam on my jig and then a few seconds later another big slam, but it was weird because it was going the opposite way.
I decided to try my luck on the grass flats just south of 195 this morning. Got on the water just as the sun was coming up with 3 dozen shrimp. I tried some topwater baits to start things off but only one small trout wanted to play. After 15 minutes, I switched to the go-to popping cork and it was non stop action from then on. I literally blew through all 3 dozen shrimp in about an hour. The majority of the trout were 16-18 inches, only had two little runt trout all day. Didn’t get any needlefish or cuda’s all day, and I was really surprised by that! The grovers were in full force too, caught 8 or 9 in the 6-10″ range. After I used all the shrimp and only got 2 that were just about 20″, I sabiki’d up some pinfish.
What a beautiful morning…. With a picture perfect sunrise, went out and found that I was the only kayak out there all morning. I just can’t get over how perfect the conditions were and yet there was nobody around. Fish were very active and the opportunities were numerous. Was somewhat disappointed that I ended up losing what would have been the biggest fish of the day. A beefy Red comes to the surface and aggressively snags the lure. Had the fish on for a good run and yet a minute later I am standing there wondering in complete disbelieve.
This past Wednesday, July 10th six of us chartered the “Fish Taxi” captained by Ryan Wagner out of the Salt Rock Grill for some off shore action. The targets would be grouper, AJ’s, snapper or just whatever was biting. Joining me would be my good friend Mark Watanabe, Rusty Driver, Rob Devore, Edward Ratanun and Tyler Peterson. Arriving before our schedule launch time of 7am, we quickly loaded the 32 foot Sabalos and made a short trip down the ICW, stopping just short of Johns Pass for fuel. Once done with that we headed out the pass for our 20 mile trip out into the Gulf.
So once in position we dropped our baits, which consisted of either cut or whole sardines and live pinfish and the fight, was on. One Red Grouper after another. You had to go through 20 or 30 short ones to get one that was legal to keep, that being larger than 20 inches.
We headed to A1A and began checking beach launches for acceptable surf, bait, and fish activity. We only had to hit a couple of cross-overs before we found an acceptable launch area. We launched to find widely scattered pogies and a few rolling tarpon ranging from just outside the surf to a quarter mile from shore. The water close to the surf was really muddy so we paddled until we found some clearer water and began drifting our baits. Almost immediately we began hooking up. I jumped a couple tarpon and caught some sharks on pigfish and mullet. Suede put out a jumbo mullet and had a tarpon chase it to the surface and leap completely out of the water trying to eat it, all this just feet from his kayak. Neither of us landed a tarpon first thing in the morning, but we had fun trying. Once the morning bite slowed we tried trolling some stingers and diving plugs out farther offshore. The only fish yielded was a huge bonito and a tiny barracuda.
Over the 4th of July holiday 3 friends got together to enjoy a day of fishing. Almost everyday has been a down pour but the early part of thursday was blue skies.
We headed out from one of our favorite spots. The over abundance of rain run off has turned much of our saltwater spot into fresh water so we needed to head further out to find fish. All 3 of us found snook as well as double digits of trout (not pictured). The snook were hungry all day feasting on DOA Shrimp, zara spook jrs, and skitter walk’s. The rain was held back for most of the day but we did finally get hammered by multiple storms. Though the storms did not break our spirit to continue to fish. We found a few snook on our way back. It was an amazing day in our back country
First time getting out since the big wahoo and fishing has slowed way down in the last few weeks. Went out after work Friday for an hour or so and managed a nice king and lost a big mutton right under the yak Saturday did a drift from port Everglades inlet to Pompano with a couple other guys Doug P, Rob and Andy. First time out of the inlet and it was fun to say the least. With the outgoing tide there was 4-6 foot rollers all the way out to 100 feet of water. Awesome scenery to start the morning though. Fishing was slow with a bunch of huge bonita caught as well as a handful of football bfts. I managed to pull up a small snowy grouper deep droppin in the 300 foot range which was a first for me. Also hooked up to a nice mahi maybe 15 pounds that shook the hook first jump. Also had a fun visit and a couple circles from mr hammerhead. Slow day but nice to get out on the water again
After monitoring extraordinary fluctuations in the evening’s weather forecast for St. Augustine, myself and Josh/WDE414 decided to load the Hobie’s and just go. We arrived at the Vilano ramp at around 17:30 and the conditions were excellent. Winds were light from the west and the current was slow and steady outgoing. The plan was to fish the Usina until at least nightfall and mainly drop Got-Cha’s and other heavier lead-heads around the deep spots. When we got to the bridge we quickly racked up multiple trashcan slams but both of us still had high hopes. When the tide was just about bottoming out I hooked-up and boated a 31.5 inch redfish. Shortly after that I was hooked up again to another redfish right around 31 inches. Josh caught some bluefish at around that time and kept one for the grill. I managed a keeper trout somewhere in there too that I threw on the ice. Right after dark fell and the tide switched, I managed a perfect 27 inch redfish that joined the trout on the menu tonight.
Joe Hector landed this fish, off Pompano on June 27. This bull dolphin was caught on a dead sardine, in 180 feet. Having no gaff did not cause to much of a problem until the fish got wrapped around the mirage drive. The angler Joe was with, Fred York, had to jump in and untangle the line. Joe then reached down, grabbed the fish and bear hugged it into the kayak. The fish weighed an estimated 30 plus pounds
Florida Sportsman member:Chuck D
Fished the Indian River today, and the water is DARK. Super brown, but the fish are there, and they still have to eat. Launched the kayaks at 5:30 to an overcast sunrise. Decided to give my ultralight a workout today, 4 to 10 pound Seagis with a 1000 Saros, 8 pound braid. We started throwing topwater plugs, and they started getting hit. Caught a lot of trout early, and hooked up with a nice red that came unglued on the zara spook jr. Looked for tails, saw none. Kept plugging away with topwater until it stopped working around 10 or 11 am. Started throwing a DOA CAL shad tail and caught a few more nice trout, and hooked up with the first red of the day trolling it behind me (and working it a little) while moving across the flat.The artificial bite slowed a bit after that, so we decided to deploy a few fresh mullet chunks out. Was throwing two lines out on the deeper section of the flat and the action started to heat up. First I nailed a 30 incher as a storm was passing and then we had a double hook up of slightly over 30 inch reds. I had to play these fish and chase them down to not get spooled on the light tackle, they all seemed to hit the bait on the light rod. Maybe because of the lighter leader I was using on it (20 pound floro). I finally get a screaming hit quickly after re-deploying baits, and the line is dumping off the little Saros 1000. In about 4 seconds I was starting to see the spool through the braid, as I was unhooking from my makeshift anchor (my paddle). I got free just in time and started to chase down this fish. I was trying to play it as best I could, and it was dragging me all over the place. My rod was doubled over, my drag was locked but still screaming, and I was very afraid something in the setup would break, possibly the rod. I see the huge tail, and know I’m in for a long fight.Finally the beast rolls over, and gives up. I applied boga grips and it was a caught fish.Revived very quickly, and off to spawn or whatever those big fish do.Thanks to user EasternGlow for help taking the pics! I’d post yours but I know some people may be wary of posting their photos online for the masses…
The Boynton Boys are definitely feeling the summer time, its when you have to catch 20 bonita’s before you catch anything worth wild. We had more pics for you all but one of are camera’s fell of the kayak while in transit probably due to us rushing to get into the cold a/c of vehicle and not checking the traps on the gear. Last Saturday Oarknot and I launched out of Delray Beach and drifted to Boynton and ended catching this little guy in about 300 feet deep with a Tormenter Jig. We have also been having some success with mutton snapper and some nice size reef donkeys. Since they dredged Delray Beach we haven’t seen any nice grouper…
Finally got a chance to head offshore again. The surf was a little sporty in the morning. A newbie in the parking lot asked if it was a good day to try his new kayak off the beach. It didn’t sound like he had much experience and just a 12 foot kayak, but I figured with an experienced hand like myself I could get him past the waves. I was wrong, he flipped twice in little waves that weren’t even breaking, so I advised him to practice in Whiskey Creek and launched myself out. Once the clouds moved on the seas died down to summer normal. Got a small bonito trolling around 110 feet, lost something on the jig at 120 and got a 2nd bigger bonito jigging. I then foul-hooked a juvenile african pompano and a tiny blowfish. Met forum member jcan and family on the paddle back, they at least got a couple of black-fin tunas for dinner. It’s still nice to get a bend in the rod, especially when you set the drag light so they pull some line.
Ft. Lauderdale Blackfin Tuna
Florida Sportsman Member: Captain Yak
Peddled out with no live bait. Just trolled a plug out to the deep waters and almost snagged a huge sea turtle. Was able to luckily get my line off the turtle without hooking him or putting him under any pressure. Got out to 140 feet and hooked up on a decent bonnie. Threw him back and went to 160 feet.
Immediately hooked up and this fish was a monster. Checking the time on my video, it took my drag for over a minute straight. As it got closer, I realized that I had a monster bonnie. Got him in, but he was so worn he didn’t make it back in the drink.
Switched up Jigs to get away from the bonito. On my second drop and I feel a light hit. I Set the hook and the fish is not really fighting. I get him to the surface and realize I have a jumbo blackfin tuna. I worked him real slow just before bringing him on the yak. He saved his fight for when I had him on board.
Launched at sunrise and headed out solo with some gogs swimmin happy in the livewell. Got out to 185 feet, not much current. I caught a few almacos on the jig and then my gog gets whacked. A few good runs and i land a nice 25 pound smoker king. Went out deeper in search of some dolphin and tuna where i found some nice weeds in 380 feet or so. Pulling up to the weeds a school of small dolphin start going crazy and at the same time my gog goes off. At first I though i had a schoolie but after it ran 400 yds off my reel i knew it was something serious! About an hour battle of tug-a-war I get a glimpse of the stripes! A few minutes later I sink the gaff in its head and struggle to pull her in the yak! weighed in at a little over 61 pounds
Loaded the Slayer 14.5 up around 11:30 and decided the day wasnt over just yet and that I would go check out a new backcountry spot up in north Ft Pierce. Got some lunch and killed some time while the hottest part of the day passed. Got to the launch spot and set off towards the spot. Got there and started exploring every inch of it with the super spook jr. Landed a baracuda and then my lure gets hit by something that instantly breaks the line, bummer my favorate lure is gone only 5 min in! I tie on a mirroLure topwater prop bait and continue on. I hook into what I thought was a snook, but turned out to be a nice Redfish! Gave a hell of a fight in a foot of water, trying to catch me in the mangroves the entire time.
Throw off a mangrove point and something big hits the lure but dosnt stick which sends the lure flying back at me and tangling my line on itself forcing me to retie. Retie the lure with 25 pound florocarbon this time instead of 20 and cast back to the same spot and it gets inhaled! I set the hook good, anticipating a big jump, but it doesnt jump. It heads straight for the Mangroves so i pull harder and then it jumps… a giant snook again!
Went out Saturday with friends Austin (fish4reds) and Tammy for a little recon during this “Brown Tide” craze everyone is talking about. Indeed, the water clarity is poor, and the water quality is suffering as well. But Mother Nature will always find a way to adapt.
The wind kept switching directions: South to South East to South West. Then all of a sudden, the wind stopped. Tons of mullet appeared, and more tails started popping up. Then I noticed these tails had spots all over them. These aren’t Reds, they are giant Trout! With slick glass calm conditions and within 40 feet from these tails, I grabbed my Slayer Lure SSB with a little Pro Cure Ladyfish Scent and pitched it past a few tails. Of course, the minute I stop paying attention I get thumped. Set the hook into what felt like a solid brick wall.
Switched it up a little bit today and launched further north than usual. Making our way out to blackfin country, I picked up a small one on my deep plug. Put him on ice and continued out. Two minutes later my shallow plug gets hit, I look back and see a cow in the air. My first thought is “cool, but she’s gonna pop off the trebles.” To my surprise she held on and I got her into the Hobie. I ended up with 5 blacks, mahi and few bonita.
I rolled out this morning to get a little time on the water, since I have to work an evening shift today. I had visions of landing another Cobia after seeing my boy’s slob from yesterday. Well, it didn’t take long. I had a 25 pound Cobia decide to hit my Yozuri deep diver after I got out past the second bar. Fought a short fight and had him yak side. Hit him with the gaff and he flips out doing the gator roll. In the process he slips off the gaff and bent out the treble on the lure and off he swam. I was livid. Cussing at no one for hours. Pulled up one trophy snapper on a spot, then moved to another pulling the only live bait I had, a big hardtail. Well somehow he wiggles off, so now I am stuck pulling nasty cigsicles I had. On the way to our famed Trigger hole I see some birds working the water pretty hard. I start heading that way when I notice an odd thump on the King rig
Met up today with Nick (ShallowWaterAssassin on the FS forum), launched and headed towards one of my favorite flats that has been producing lately. Found the mullet and we began working the schools with topwaters. No more than five minutes in, Nick gets a huge explosion on his topwater but it didn’t stick unfortunately. I finally get a nice hit but it didn’t stick, so I slowed the bait down and sure enough here comes a huge wake behind the bait. The bait gets nailed, fish on! The fish takes me on a nice little ride before I landed a slob redfish, measuring right at 29 inches. It probably would have measured at 30 inches if its tail wasn’t so chewed up.
I came up empty for the day but the wife got a few nice sized trout. Probably because I was paddling while she fished and napped. My buddy had no problem killing it with a few large reds(26″,28″), one 21 inch snook and a hand full of trout. Most of the fish were picked up along a newly explored path. Can’t wait to get out and explore more spots.
I located and purchased a Slayer 14.5. Picked the boat up yesterday and took it out this morning to hit up some of my favorite flats in Fort Fierce. Got on the water around 6:30 and paddled out to some mullet schools that were getting busted on by snook. Hooked and lost a fish on a super spook jr. but then I got one to stick. Landed the barely slot snook got some quick picture with it and the new yak. I was super pumped. Good way to break the Slayer in!
Another great morning. Sunny, wind was down, no Surf…Perfect! As soon as I got to 150 feet my gog gets slammed! I knew it was a “smoker” by the run it took. 20 minutes later when I got him to the yak I was in 300 feet! Heck of a fight. Decided to release him (hopefully someone catches him this weekend!) I estimated him to be about 30 to 35 pounds. Around 10:30 decided to call it a day ( never caught anything after 10:30 anyways ) When I got to 85 feet and my rod goes off again. This time I hear a big splash, so I’m thinking Sail…but knew quickly it was another “Smoker” when it ripped off 200 yards in a matter of a few seconds.
Hit up Pompano scouting for the tourney, meet up with Bobby and his old man and decided to head out together, it was a nice launch but I knew it was gonna get ugly fast. Meet up with Larrythelobsterman ( I think JetskiLarry is a better name) out in deeper water. As we made our way to my fav wreck, I noted a nice little rock pile and marked it. We made it to the wreck and first drop fish on Bobby hooks up as well. It was good fight and then my leader popped right at the knot . I switched rods and by the second drop I had fish on, tearing line off my reel had to palm it a few times[...]
Took the yak off Pompano since I’ve had good luck up there. Seas were less than 2 feet with a north breeze. Just past the third reef there was nice rip and I put a gog out. Saw a couple kings launch out of the water probably 5-10 feet in the air. Pretty awesome to see. I paddled that way and got bit. There was a sharp tug and then nothing… I opened the bail thinking it was a short strike and the fish would come back for the rest. After 10-15 seconds of nothing I reeled up the slack to find dead weight on the other end. There was no tug, no run, just dead weight. I didn’t even think it was a fish until I dragged it in 50 yards to the yak. Then the king took off and decided to fight.
Launched out of Pineland marina this morning and was in the rain right away. We started to get into trout just out of the marina using topwaters. The fish were nailing the unfair lures dawgwalker 110 in the pearl olive w/red head. Those bites were some of the most violent trout bites I have ever seen. I caught quite a few trout, and I even caught a 20 inch and a 22 inch trout right after each other. We moved towards the trees and started getting hits right away. We had a few nice reds explode on topwaters but couldn’t connect with any. Finally I had one boil on it right in front of my kayak and then it boiled again and inhaled the bait three feet in front of my kayak.
Launched in Boynton this morning anticipating to dodge storms throughout the day. To my surprise, I didn’t get a rain drop on me. I Worked a jig from 200-240 feet targeting areas that hold tuna this time of year. By the time I hit skycliff, I had 4 blackfins on ice and lost one sail to a break off. Soon after, forum member Blazing Reels comes out of the blue and decides to tag along for the rest of the day. We continued to work our jigs with good success. Blazing got on some mahi and lost a sail that hit his jig . By the end of the day I ended up with 14 blackfins…one at 18 pounds.
The plan was to head out to the 2nd color change and look for ling as we headed east. We dragged cigs hoping to pick up a smoker but no dice.
I decided to head out a little deeper and see if we could find any bottom to drop on. I drifted over some hard bottom and flipped my flounder jig and immidiately slammed. I was worried I had a jack cause it was kicking my tail. After about 7-8 minutes, I pulled a nice red up. I looked beneath him and there was the first ling of the day mixed in with this massive school of reds. I moved on trying to get back with the school when my other rod with the cig on started screaming. I first thought king but then realized it was probably another red. But with no head shakes my hopes were high it was a ling. After about 30 minutes I gaffed this guy. He weighed 27 pounds.
There was an all day feeding frenzy over the third reef stretching as far as the eye could see. Mostly bonito or little tunnys with some blue runners and mackerel mixed in. I had a goggle eye down deep that got crushed and cut off after a screaming run. The fish were keyed in on these little 1 inch baits (not sure what kind exactly) and paid no attention to my pilchards. Tried a couple top water baits with no bites til I tied on a Shimano Waxwing. I was hooking up every other cast with the waxwing. I kept looking for a blackfin tuna mixed in there somewhere but no takers. Still, it was fun to keep a tight line. Ended up with a small spanish mackerel and around a dozen of these guys.
I decided to try my luck on the grass flats just south of 195 this morning. Got on the water just as the sun was coming up with 3 dozen shrimp. Tried some topwater baits to start things off but only one small trout wanted to play. After 15 minutes I switched to the go-to popping cork and it was non stop action from then on. I literally blew through all 3 dozen shrimp in about an hour. The majority of the trout were 16-18 inches, only had two little runt trout all day. Didn’t get any needlefish or cuda’s all day, and I was really surprised by that! The grovers were in full force too, caught 8 or 9 in the 6-10 inch range. After I used all the shrimp and only got 2 that were just about 20 inches, I sabiki’d up some pinfish. Even caught a couple trout on the sabiki too. Using the palm size pinfish I caught with the sabiki I managed to get 3 trout over 20 inches, and lost one that was over 25 inches.
We met up when I got off work Sunday morning at a launch in the Placida/Gasparilla sound area. I had success here early in the week so we figured it would be worth a shot. I tried to offer as much input and knowledge as possible… stuff like “I’ve caught a redfish on this dock using this bait…” “Snook like to hang out there…” “a faster retrieve here gets more trout but if you slow it down…” It wound up paying off because within about an hour he had a decent slam including his biggest trout ever at 18 inches. My luck was almost non existent for most of the morning, as I caught a handful of trout with only one even being slot sized.
[...] I knew it was a snook right off the bat. It gave a nice headshake above the water and I realized it was a bit bigger fish. It was a perfect scenario, the fight started about 50 yards from the closest dock and about 25 yards from the closest submerged mangrove roots, so there wasn’t much chance of the fish getting in to anything and breaking me off. After a lot of drag screaming I got the fish to the side of the boat and asked my brother to come over and get a picture as I knew it would at least be competing for my biggest snook ever.
The meet-up turned out well, a lot of kayakers showed up. The weather was nasty! Wind was non-stop blowing from the SSE, and every bit of 3 to 5 feet. Hats off to everyone that stuck it out and continued to fish throughout the day. Those conditions do not make it easy to fish but some fish were caught. Congrats to kayakangler AKA Joe Kraatz with the biggest combo of the day (nice king and 31 pound AJ). We started fishing in 250 feet where the AJ was landed [...]
Got to the beach at sunrise and saw Rob there so we headed out together. He had his sail on the ocean kayak and damn does that thing haul. I dropped a gog out at 100 feet on the way out and 2 minutes later the drag starts to scream… After a 20 minute fight of drag screaming, I pull up a fat king. Rob headed out deep and landed a few small dolphin and a king. I stayed in, bouncing on the shallow wrecks in search of a cobia but just got a few almacos. Overall it was a slow day but it was nice to get out.
Beautiful flat goodness greeted me at the launch. Trolled a cig duster and a deep diver. No taps. Moved on to another spot and decided to drop down the tried and true flounder setup. Thumped the bottom once, and bam! It was on like donkey kong. Fish was running hard, so I cupped the spool to try and slow him down. I Couldn’t put too much pressure on him cause I was rocking my Stradic 5k with 30lb braid. My initial thought was shark, and as I got him within sight, it was none other than the brown bomber.
Winds and outgoing tide made it look “sporty” like my buddy and mentor Android likes To say. Close to limit of macs using all artificials.They hit everything! Biggest fish trolling 1 1/4 oz spoon. Jack hit ballyhoo on kingfish rig with sinker removed trolling east from towers. The kids said mac bite was over till I used a different jig and got four more in the boat. Did not head out as big waves came in. Knew we were done when surfers showed up.
The fishing was a bit slow this morning. We saw few reds really pushing any wakes. After about 20 minutes or so we managed to pick up a red around 17 inches. A few trout here and there climbed on in the kayak. It was around 7:45 and I hung into a 30 inch monster red. He slammed the top water and took off the opposite direction I was facing. He snapped the kayak around the started stripping drag. This fish meant business. After he pulled me at least 50 yards down the creek I was able to get him at least turned around. After getting pulled like a dog sled down the creek I managed to land this monster.
We’ve really been catching the reds up here well. They’ve been hanging out in around 3 feet of water early in the morning and later afternoon. I caught a monster 27 inch red and another 29 inch red on top water earlier in the week. I’m heading out to a new spot in the trusty yak to catch some more monsters tomorrow.
Weather was calling for 14 foot seas so me and flats broke decided what the hell lets give it a shot lol. Got a late start but weather started beautiful, 2-3 foot seas with weedlines and blue water. Flats hooked a mahi right away on jig but shook the hook. Few minutes later my live bait gets hit n I land a decent phin… Few more drifts with no luck and the wind kept increasing with seas 4-6 feet we decide to call it a day[...]
Started out on a solo Dolphin trip today, but met Paul in the surf and he asked to tag along. Being the nice guy I am, I said sure. I Hope my kind deed pays off later because Paul hooked this stud not 15 feet from me. First ever in the yak! Congrats!
Headed down to Everglades City today with the one and only Bonitabob himself. We met up with Woody Callaway of Native Watercraft and Rich Jones (RJVermont) and hit the water a little later than usual. I did a little bit of fishing but was more interested in playing with my new camera than anything else.
Drove down to Collier County today to do a little bass fishing. Day started off with a ton of small ones and then just as I was starting to discount this lakes productivity the big girls started to show up.
We left Kars park headed almost straight out for deeper water. We fished for a while, after only two 10-inch-plus trout, the frustrating puffer fish destroying my gulp, and the wind picking up, we decided to head for cover. My friend said that 1,000 Island Park in Cocoa Beach has miles of mangrove canals to fish. It was a great place. Lots of canals that protected us from the wind. We saw a few small schools of reds that had lock jaw and tons of finger mullet [...]
Headed out today despite the forecast calling for wind and rain. Hit up Pine Island with redfish on the mind. Very quickly that was satisfied and we continued to explore some back creeks out in Pine Island. We all managed quite a few fish, reds, trout, and snook. The best part of my day however was getting good fishing buddy Ken hooked up and watching him land his first ever tarpon.
Paddled out from Pompano beach on Sunday at sunrise. Beach was flat. Offshore was nasty. The wind was relentless. First 2 fish that were caught were Black fin tuna by Drichard1986 & Jvanpelt. Both fish were caught on live flat lined Pilchards. I stayed in a little shallower and was able to land a nice size King on a flat lined Goggle Eye in 135 feet. Soon after that I peddled over to KayakAngler to see he landed his first ever grouper and a nice one at that! The grouper was caught on a vertical jig in 250 feet.
So we made it to the Kismet launch (north cape coral) yesterday. It was an awesome trip. I had heard some great stories about the area and the real thing didn’t disappoint. We saw so many fish, some monster reds and snook out there. We made it all the way out to Charlotte Harbor but the wind kept us off the grass flats so we headed back into the mangrove lakes. I was able to pick up one snook and my friend caught one red and one snook. Also there was so much drift wood..I need a bigger yard for all that. I can’t wait to get back out there.
Next I decided to do some Fly Fishing in the Everglades Backcountry by myself.Total count for the day. 11 Snook and 6 Tarpon all on flies. Saw some huge Black Drums tailing but they refused my fly.
So after I told my buddy how I did he decided to come along. So we went in my yak towards the backcountry and I showed him what the Everglades backcountry was all about. Of course the backcountry delivered. As we were almost leaving I tossed my paddle tail to some bait jumping in 8 inches of water and my biggest Snook to date was hooked to the end of my line.
Launched off morningside after waiting for the gurds to open the gate 30 minutes late. When I finally get on the water, I see pods of mullet getting hammered by something big. I cast a sub-surface lure to see if I get hit but nothing, so after the third cast I switch to a zara spook. By this time whatever was chasing the bait splits into 3-4 groups and hit the bait hard, by this time I worry these may be dolphins. Next thing I know a wake comes towards me so I cast and walk my dog in front of it and bam! I get hit hard.
It’s that time of the year. Our “annual” weekend trip to Chokoloskee. We rented a lodge at the Chokoloskee Island Park Marina and fished all day Saturday and Sunday morning. The weather was a bit spotty with storms pushing through the area. We had our moments of flat calm throughout the day though. The local residents had a fish fry when we got back from the first day and invited us to some free chow. Can’t find a nicer bunch of folks.
Went out today with bonitabob and his brother in law for the first time in a long time and slaughtered the fish. Here’s a few pics and I’m sure he’ll be adding his as well. Another great Southwest Florida winter day.
Well it was a slow weekend for me as I only managed to land one alamaco and a couple Bonita but Mr Joe Hector, tournament director for Extreme had a great weekend and day today. He landed one nice Black fin tuna on 1/5/13, Joe Kraatz (Kayakangler) landed a small mahi (no pic) and this stud of a wahoo the morning of 1/8/13. Both fish were caught on live Pilchards in 180-200 feet of water.
Got out deep n got 4 or 5 almacos and lost a sail. Then I found a pod of toothy critters that cut off 4 of my jigs back to back. My luck they were all wahoo. Went in to a shallow wreck in 115′ n as soon as I got there my goggle eye gets eaten. It screams out 300 yards of line on first run. After about 15 minutes, I get him in. It’s a jumbo king. I Decide to call it a day and head in.
Clear water, light current, and low winds, beautiful two days on the water. Dolphin “flipper” all over the place, two big turtles, a huge manta ray, and a hammerhead all came by to say “hi.”
Florida Sportsman member: Art Vandelay
I was able to get out and do a little kayak fishing yesterday. It was pretty chilly in the morning but it was forecasted to be the calm and warm up in the afternoon. We launched into some super clear shallow water and almost immediately started spotting some slot sized reds. They were really spooky with the clear water and it made it hard to get within casting distance. The water warmed up during the day and we ended up catching most of our fish [...]
It has been quite a while since I’ve posted here, I know this report ins’t strictly kayak fishing but most of the fishing was done on the kayak. I figured I post up some of the trips of this Fall. I have been going out on the kayak, Gheenoe, and a friends boat. It has been tough some days to fish with this winter pattern as we are getting days where the wind is blowing all day but if you get those two or three days of nice weather, make them count. Some of my friends are recently getting into the fly fishing scene and I have been taking them on the Gheenoe to catch their first reds, snook, and tarpon on fly [...]
Woke up and made the long drive down to the Everglades this morning, still a little buzzed from last nights festivities. The wind forecast was calling for 2 to 3 mph winds all morning, and the tide seemed just right-making my two hours of sleep easily forgotten.
The drive down was foggy, and by the time I made it to the ramp the sun had just risen, revealing a beautiful skyline. After having my only two one knockers cracked by redfish on Tuesday, the Skitterwalk was tied on by default. Threw the pink skitter into the mangroves and picked up a nice snook to start the morning. He hit it four times before the rusty trebles stuck [...]
Headed out of Dania on the 8th. The conditions weren’t the best, with a straight east wind that made paddling out take forever. Decided I was only going to jig that day I didn’t bring any live bait. Fishing was real slow for me. Ended up catching a perfect size blue runner for live bait in 180 feet of water, tied up a stinger rig real quick and tossed him out. Not even 10 minutes later I get a hit and see it jump.
Headed out today with my Ryan Warden. Bite was a little slower than I expected it to be today but there were a few nice fish caught, we managed a few decent reds, and some trout including the smallest trout I’ve ever seen that popped a trout pattern topwater bigger than him, and I managed to find a nice hole loaded with keeper mangrove snapper [...]
Been doing quite a bit of exploring fishing with some of my good fishing buddies deep in the Everglades in no man’s land. The paddles are long full of creatures that would not mind having you for dinner or biting you to fill there stomachs but the fishing has been outstanding. Fly-fishing exclusively for these fish has been a challenge but the rewards have been much sweeter! [...]
Had a chance to get my wife Stephanie out on the water this morning in “Her Native Mariner”. So after a quick stop at BCFC for some of their ninja mudminnows we were on the water about 8:15 am. We come up on Dreads, spoke with him a minute then we set up to locate the trout. Stef does not get out to fish much so I wanted her to catch plenty of fish. Which she did, we must of caught 40 plus trout in the range of 13 inches to 17 inches. Did not get on any big fish but did manage a few rat reds mixed in. She had a great time and that’s all I was after [...]
Hit North Biscayne Bay about 0800 looking for whatever. Tried the trout flats for an hour and a half with nothing to show for it but some pinfish-chewed up soft baits. Since bluefish and mackerel had been showing up lately, I headed to the deep channel and tossed on a refurbished crystal minnow. Quickly hook up with a nice Spanish mack, followed a few minutes later by a nice bluefish. The bite died again, so I paddled south of the causeway and got a just keeper size trout and another bluefish [...]
Decided to do a little fishing this afternoon with the flood tide. I have not tried flood tide fishing in the middle of the day yet and figured I would give it a try. Was joined by a buddy of mine and we were off by about 1. Pulled up to my first flood flat and saw 1 tail. He then disappeared so we moved to the next flat. Pulled up to the second flat and saw nothing, looked a little more before we decided to just start working the creeks and islands. Then it was on. My buddy was throwing a rootbeer DOA shrimp and flipped up along the grass and I heard his drag start screaming and the yak took off.
After a good little fight we had our first red of the day.[...]
Launched at Pine Island this morning with a very strong breeze and some dark clouds. As we launched the kayaks I was wondering if it was going to be worth it, and it was! One my first cast i Had a nice red blow up on the topwater, which was right at the launch! Of course he missed it and we pressed on. We came out on the flats and I hook a really nice fish on the topwater, and pull in a 25-inch trout! That was definitely my personal best in Pine Island [...]
Dad and I dropped the kayaks in this evening just before 8:00pm. We Paddled over to our first dock light and before I could even get my rod out, dad was already hooked up on a small fat snook! So I skip in and get another fat snook to start things off. Next light there are some larger fish popping in and a few casts later, I’m locked into a better fish. Turns out to be my personal best fat snook. Dad then gets another fat snook that was only slightly smaller than the one I had just got! That’s four fat snook in a row. Then dad breaks the streak with a small common. We Head around to one of our last lights and we quickly pick off two nice snook. Both about 25 inches [...]
OK folks, here is a compilation of trips in the recent mouth. I will start with the best. As all epic trips start off, I get a phone call from Chris “Tex” Lewis telling me about an idea of a trip from Flamingo to Islamorada on kayaks as I was driving to work one afternoon. With out hesitation, I say I am in. Minutes later, I get a call from Dj DanDecibel all pumped up about the trip. So for the next 6 days we planned everything out and got all the gear ready. After days of gearing up tying flies and looking at the weather the day of reckoning [...]
My buddy Justin and I had the day off of work so we decided to head out on the Yaks. After finding some bait we had the yaks in the water around 10:30. Lines in the water about 105 feet and within seconds my buddy Justin spots a 6 foot Hammerhead on one of his baits…
…Total for the day One Hammerhead, 2 Big Dolphin, and Our First Yak Sailfish! Awesome day and so worth the crazy paddle back. Got an awesome gopro video that I edited and put up[...]
After talking with Alan Ryland about the day he and Steve Brand spent on the “NMZ”; the location of our next Boondoggle, I knew I needed to get out there and put hooks in fishes faces! So I met up with Alan around 7:15 a.m. or so, got all unloaded and off we went in search of reds and trout. The wind was light out of the west and the water was very cool already so we knew it would be a bit of a waiting game until the flat warmed up a bit [...]
After a little while my friend hooks up into a 25 inch snook that gets off next to the yak, so I start to work an area near him and I hook into something big! It starts screaming out drag and honestly I thought it was a big jack crevalle at first. But once it started going into the trees and thrashing on the surface I knew it had to be better. I finally get it up next to the kayak and it is a nice snook!
Had plans to head into Snake Bight this morning, but never made it that far. The bite was on at the ranger dock during a strong sweeping tide letting out of the flats into the little channel there. I anchored up in a sweet spot and started off with a decent shallow water jack on a top water, but a DOA Shrimp was the champion of the day. A slow retrieve with a light lift/drop of the rod tip landed everything for the remainder of the day.
Last weekend, I had the chance to try my hand at something I’ve always wanted to do: hit the beach out of my kayak. My good buds Nick and Jon helped show me the ropes, since they had already fished the beaches before. We launched around 7 a.m., heading straight offshore and growing hairs on our chest as we pummeled through 2 foot swells. They had been telling me all week “Dude, we will just sabiki up a ton of croakers when we get out there to use for bait.” I’m thinking “Hey, croakers are awesome bait; until I see that what they thought were “croakers” were actually horn-bellies, which I thought was trash, but hey, we made lemonade [...]
Myself and AJ a.k.a EastCoastAngler decided to save a little gas money and take out the yaks. We headed out of Stuart and started catching some jacks that were feeding on the big schools of glass minnows. We moved on to some submerged trees and caught a snook that was about 20-inches. We got to our mangrove destination were we had some good bites on topwater, so we decided to net some fingers. Tried for a while before I finally hooked a 35-inch snook that nearly got me into the mangroves [...]
It looks like my love for kayak fishing has finally become an addiction. After becoming the proud new owner of a Wilderness Systems 14 Commander a few weeks back, I have been trying and trying to get on the water. Busy schedule it seems. Finally, about a week ago, I was able to put her on top of the Jeep and head out in search of some reds that had been (and still are) my mind for quite some time [...]
Went out today with my buddy Josh Harvel (YakNitUp Charters) to Matlacha around 9:30 to catch the 11 a.m. low tide. We immediately were concerned with the wind and with the approaching storm clouds, BUT, we launched anyways. We headed out and were immediately greeted with a very welcome site, TARPON, and man they were everywhere!!! We played around in the canal systems for a little while having a blast watching the tarpon bust our topwaters [...]
Kellan and I got a late start yesterday, we launched off pompano around 9:30 a.m. The waves were crashing pretty hard on the beach but we managed to get out after a good soaking. We headed out to the first wreck and on my first drop with a jig, my line started screaming. I get the fish up to the yak and realize it is a very nice mutton. This is my first mutton on a jig. I must say this was a very nice start to the day [...]
Some of the folks from the SWFKAA got together for a little fishing in Estero Bay. We arrived at 6:30am and spent the next 30 minutes waiting for the rain that would evenyually cancel the trip. At around 7am, we ran out of excuses and decided to launch. We had Troy (Yaknew), Esteban (CaptBlackbeard), Joe (jcorrigan), Josh (Jfish), Eric (my boy) and me. We launched into surprisingly calm conditions and were instantly on the fish. First up was the trout and they did not disappoint on topwater.
Finally had a day to fish inshore with no clients or tournaments to worry about. Launch with a 5 to 10 knot wind from the south which became 15 mph by 10 a.m. The south wind and a strong current incoming tide from the north made it difficult to fish. Jacks, blues and a few small trout was about it until 11 a.m. First fish was FAT! 26 inches. Someone has been enjoying all the mullet! Probably one of the largest girths I have seen on a trout that size.
With my available fishing weekends quickly narrowing down, decided to head out to Bayport today to see if we could improve upon last weeks trip. Put in around 7:30 to a low tide and steady breeze. Tide wasn’t supposed to be in until 2 p.m. so we had a few hours to kill until the water started moving again [...]
After reading the article on seawall snook, saltwater assasin and I decided to try our luck and work some seawalls in Stuart. We started the day with the last drizzle of the outgoing tide. This morning I decided that I would throw a black and gold Top Dog. While still trying to perfect my walk the dog I was able to hook up with one snook before the tide went slack. As the article stated when the water isn’t moving the fish are not biting. The big gal inhaled my lure about 10 feet in front of my kayak and then lazily let herself get dragged to the yak [...]
After years of talking about going “lobstering” by kayak, weeks of practicing and the 3rd day trying to catch one. I finally caught my first lobster.
Kellan, Chris and I went to Dania Beach today with our Hookah setups to go lobstering. The storm must have pushed them shallow since we were getting them in ~15 feet. The visibility was pretty poor and I had to surface several times when I lost the reef [...]
We fished the IFA kayak tour regional event which was held in Titusville on August 26. We arrived Friday afternoon and fished on the south end of the Banana River with some great results. It was our first time fishing anywhere in this area and I caught my first red there within 20 minutes of hitting the water, I was able to easily see him along the mangroves when I was standing on my Hobie pro angler 12 [...]
With the last few months of summer looming upon us, Mother Nature has not given up her relentless grasp just yet. With mornings feeling more like an ascent at the summit of Mt. Everest leaving one gasping for air, mid day has brought punishing temperatures that could only be compared to the most hostile places in our solar system. Combined the weather with grueling paddles, endless miles of poling and lighting storms that could only be compared to science fiction movie “War of the worlds” and you begin to wonder what draws fisherman to this inhospitable world [...]
Hit the water with my good friend Chris in search of some ML Redfish. At the launch I noticed the water looked alot like coffee with a lot of creamer, well it is that time of the year so off we go. Once we got to the flat we saw pushes near the bank and tails in the thick grass, so we fan out to cover more water.
Met up with Andriod this morning for first trip off Dania Pier. He was kind enough to lend me a jigging rod, jig and point me in the right direction. After sunrise broke the ice with small bonito. Followed his lead and kept drifting and jigging. Lost a trigger fish but was good sign. Lost a jig to a mystery break off [..]
I recently purchased a new Hobie AI. Wow, what a blast. I’ve been fishing offshore three times now and I guess the third times a charm. A little background, I grew up fishing in the Keys and other South Florida spots and have come to love offshore fishing. I recently came across the sport of kayak fishing and dove in head first. What a difference [...]
I ate a banana today which everyone was saying was bad luck for fishing. Even though my luck was doomed, I still decided to go out this morning out of Dania with Redneck Rocket and NewYorker. A couple of new guys also tagged along for their first offshore trip. Grabbed some bait from the beach and headed out [...]
THE WEATHER HAS BEEN HOT WITH COUPLE OF STORMS AROUND BUT DEFINITELY WORTH IT SOMETIMES GOING WITH THE BAD WEATHER I HAVENT BEEN TAKING MANY PICTURES BUT I HAVE BEEN DOING TONS OF RECORDING. I WILL PUT THE LINK WHERE YOU CAN WATCH A VIDEO I PUT TOGETHER OF SOME OF THE FLY FISHING IVE BEEN DOING. ENJOY THE REPORT!
Let’s start with the fact that the water temperature was spring cold, 72 degrees at 11am. Caught lots of big Bluefish and plenty of Trout as well. While paddling around I passed over some deep water and a freaking Sailfish (approx. 4ft?) passed under my kayak!!! I just started laughing, that’s a new one for me! Then I caught these two Grouper on the same DOA Shrimp. What a day!
Got out early and started catching slot reds and small snook and then in caught 2 big snook and 2 bull reds in the afternoon. Caught bulls on cut bait under a cork and big snook on 1/8 oz jighead with z man scented paddlerz. The biggest of the snook is the biggest fish I’ve ever caught on artificials. Caught flounder, snook, redfish, blk drum, and trout. One of the best days I’ve ever had fishing!
Summertime fishing can be the most rewarding and most frustrating time to fish south Florida waters. With temperatures soaring well over the hundreds and afternoon thunderstorms just about every day it has been a challenge. Being able to predict the weather and fighting the heat has paid off in my quest for the next thrill seeking adventure [...]
Just got in from a great day on the lake and figured I would give a report. Got on the water at 6 a.m. and first cast, boom, 2 pound bass on a Big Easy topwater. Got a few more on topwater then swiched to fliping docks with a trick worm as I was zoned out with that my Buddy Ryan gets a 6 pounder on a KVD frog 15 feet away from me.
Went out this morning with livingthedream and Larry the lobsterman. Hit some nice weeds, couldn’t tell you how deep (no fishfinder) and no lives today so everything was caught on jigs and plugs. Picked up 3 blackfin tuna, caught 3 throw back mahi-mahi, 4 almaco’s, and a bunch of BIG bonito, and called it after landing a 5 foot wahoo [...]
Went out of pompano today with a floatilla of other yakers. From what I’ve heard so far it was pretty much a bonita bonanza for most of the people that went. Flats Broke got a blackfin tuna, I ended up dropping a chicken rig down on one of the deep wrecks and hit the vermillion snappers pretty good. Past them around to a few yaks so nobody was over the limit [...]
I got in between my friend Dale’s little kayak and big tarpon with my video camera yesterday just off the Port Charlotte Beach Complex. We were fishing for snook with 12 pound test and a chrome spook jr. I posted a short under 5 minute video on youtube of some of the highlights called “Dale’s Big Tarpon, Little Kayak”. Dale guessed 80 pounds.
The one day I forget my Gopro Camera pole I catch this sail that had to jump 20 times with her whole body coming out of the water each time. Thanks to the Spanish speaking Americans for the pic that thought I wanted thier gaff when I was asking for a picture. After 10 minutes revival she swam off strong.
Started the morning early and launched with Chris (frankthetank) around 6 a.m. from Pompano Beach. We were greeted by decent size waves breaking right on the beach. So we timed our launch and got a little wet as we passed through them, luckily without rolling.
We got in last Saturday to breezy, rainy conditions that didn’t seem to let up the whole week. Crazy things happened on Saturday and Sunday, so let’s fast-forward to Monday, and our first fishing day. I guess you could say that it was a learning day, as all I could find was mud bottom and no current…sweet . I did end up accidentally catching a short sheepshead in the cast net, so I won’t count it as a skunk. Anyway, on to Tuesday, and where the fun begins. My uncle Roger and his family were in town, so I was determined to put him on some nice fish, so after an hour or so we moved in search of oysters, current, clean water, and grass…we found it! [...]
Well the beach fishing is phenomenal right now. Decided not to take the kayaks out because of the strong NE wind and current. Tarpon and snook are everywhere on the beaches right now. No matter where you go. We jumped off several tarpon before we landed this nice snook. Using live pilchard with a 3oz pyramid weight to hold the bait in place. After a few pics the snook was released unharmed.
Has been a fun spring. My clients have been doing great getting back to the fish and able to close the deal on some really nice redfish, flounder and trout. Even some dirty ginclear water days for some close up sight fishing. The weather has been awesome for kayaking with the exception of the occasional south 20 mph afternoon winds [...]
Paddled out with Capt.Yak. Headed straight to the wrecks in 250 feet to try and jig up an AJ but not much action going on. Reeled the jigs up and tossed out some live bait on the down rigger set at 60 feet. As I start to head shallow in about 215 feet I get my first hit, 41 inch King. Skinny guy but had the length. As I get into 115 feet my down rigger pops and my reel starts screaming, up comes the sail. 5 minutes later I land this beautiful sailfish.
After work yesterday fellow forum member Nolez12 and I headed out to get some fishing time in. Both of us were forum members before all the changes and recently decided to get back on the forum. Anyways, we launched around 6 p.m with a nice incoming tide. I had a nice snook that didnt completely commit along the first wall we fished.
Fishing has been pretty good. I have broken a couple of my personal records. Recently I caught my biggest snook at 35 inches, my biggest redfish on fly, and also caught a big black drum. I never got to measure the black drum because he did not fit inside my kayak [...]
It’s been a while since I have been able to spend some time on the water, but this past weekend I took advantage of the good weather and set out on a solo trip looking for Redfish and Trout. I hit the launch at day break and worked my way south along the west side of the river [...]
Me and my bro headed to Biscayne to meet Dave, who was kind enough to show us a hot trout spot. As we paddled out through snapper creek, I trolled a soft plastic and got slammed by a monster snook, which broke off immediately. We kept going and as we rounded the corner Dave spots tailing bones. My bro makes a cast and hooks up [...]
I asked noted Photographer Doug Stamm to join me on a day trip over to Miami for some Peacock Bass fishing. We left the West coast at 0600 and began the drive. It was tempting to stop at all the canals along the way, but we were on a mission. We arrived after a few short stops at around 0830 and met up with Mike Teixidor. Mike is a good friend and fellow Blue Line Fishing Team member, and he knows Miami Peacock bass.
Woke up early to haul but to Lake Worth. We launched at the snook Island Kayak launch me and my older brother and began our journey. We fished in an out of every nook and cranny of the snook island area nothing but a stingray and bait everywhere. Paddled north seen some sheepies but no connections, we found this nice little sandbar exposed with rock piles next to it so we worked the only lure I ever caught snook on, a Bass Assassin silver chartreuse, hooked up [...]
Better weather is finally approaching, and the fishing is hot hot hot offshore. Saturday winds and surf were a little choppier than predicted but we got into some nice fish. Winds were great for the kayak and currents did not start ripping until after 1pm. On saturday, hooked, oarknot, and myself ventured out. caught alot of bonita, nice kings, runners, jacks of all sorts and sizes and one tuna. Water was murkier than normal which is not a bad thing, plankton and silt brings bait and bait brings predators. I will also make note that, absolutely zero bait, live or dead, are used on any of our trips, so whatever we catch is on artificials.
Everyone I spoke to slayed fished yesterday. Here are a couple of the bigs boys Joe & I brought in. I was happy about my 35″ BFT until I spoke to Rob(PottyMouth) and he told me he landed a 40″! What a beast!
We decided to hit some bottom spots off destin on this super full moon. well we didnt launch till about 3 a.m. or so and it was calm and the sky was lit up! got to the first spot and josh pulls up this beast red snapper. not much going on after that till’ the sun started to rise. We heard a loud splash and everyone looked over there then we saw a sailfish jump and we all freak out and started going over towards it [...]
I was free lining a whole squid on the Penn Torque and had not checked the bait in quite a bit. I had let out quite a bit of line and was trying to speed reel the line in. As the line got close I slowed down to a stop to see if anything might of been following it. Sure enough I see a rather large shadow behind the squid. I let it sit but the lack of action made him lose interest. I pulled it in a threw it out in front of my yak, sure enough I saw him dart right for it.
Took the wife down to Conch Key Cottages, MM 61, for a few days of paddling and exploring. She let me fish a little. The hotel is right on the water adjacent to what should have been good bonefish flats, but I did not see one the whole trip. There were some respectable barracudas to be had. It’s nice to be able to roll out of bed and be fishing within 5 minutes.
Planned on a Delray to Boynton inlet drift, even staged a car at Boynton inlet. We put in at the beach in Delray water was perfect, flat and a light wind. We never got that far off only about 80ft we let the wind take us. It ended up taking us south east not the way we planned on going. The ocean had a good April fools joke by taking us the wrong way. But it ended up working out. Birds were diving all around us and bait was getting slammed on the top of the water. My bro-in law ended up with 2 AJ’s and I was skunked. Still a great day on the water.
I haven’t posted anything in about two months or so, I just got back from Djing out of the country in late February. I’ve been doing some fishing here and there but this month has been really windy and it seems like the only time to have some fishing opportunity has been in the mornings when the winds are kind of calm. Even though the high winds we have, I have had some luck here and there [...]
Well the plan was to get on the Cobia bite today as I have been hearing scattered reports. We hit the beach at Phipps Park in Lake Worth and are greated by 2-4′ seas and a erroded beach. We disscussed for awhile and decided to charge the surf at 7am. We hit 100′ and throw out flat lines and start jigging with DOA swimming mullets. Hour into the trip..nada..so we decide to paddle back out and north as the east wind has blown us in. My buddy Hoke trolls a DOA Terror Eyz in golden bream and is slammed by this gal in 65′ [...]
The plan was to launch from the North end of Lover’s Key and visit the islands in the middle of the bay and look for reds and snook. When I arrived at the launch, I found my plans thwarted as one million mph winds were coming across the bay. Not to be outdone by weather, I opted to launch at Hickory Pass and maybe find some shelter from the wind. I met up with my buddy Mike, and we took off at sunrise [...]
Decided to try somewhere brackish I haven’t spent much time, just to try something new this afternoon. Fished a few hours of daylight plus about 30min after dark with the moon so bright.
Was push-poling around in a foot of water when I came across a big, dark, gnarly tail sticking out of the water. Thought it was a big black drum and threw on him. After a 20minute sleigh ride I found out I was mistaken [...]
I wanted to get over my dismal 12th place finish in the IFA tournament so I called Allen Reddick for some Estero Bay fishing. We launched at Week’s into a little wind, but not as bad as it was yesterday. Week’s is such a great place to lauch as it’s never too busy! We started fishing the flats right outside of the channel on the falling tide. I was using my usual, Gulp shrimp on a DOA cal jighead and it didn’t take long to snatch up a slot redfish [...]
Downrigger Plus Gog Equals Smoker Kayak King
Florida Sportsman member: FLATS BROKE
Went out yesterday with a half dozen gogs paddled out to 90ft and put my baits out, 1 flat line 1 on the downrigger. Slow troll out to 165ft and drop my jig and pull up a small king 28 inch. Headed in to 140ft where there was a nice color change and my rigger goes off zzzz’. 15 mins later I land this nice king. The downrigger was set at 50 feet.
Fishing was slow for us this weekend, Current was ripping North 3+mph. Managed to catch this kingfish (70ft) on the way out on a deep diving Yozuri plug. We did a lot more kayaking than fishing. I sold the fish on the beach for a whopping $13.00 to a Canadian couple that really wanted it. They offerd to buy it so I said “$20 its great deal”, Then he said he had no cash .I loaded up my kayak and was ready to leave when I noticed the guy running down the street towards me with cash in his hand. He told me he managed to borrow $13 and thats all he had. So I gave in and took the $13.00 and used it for bait the next day [...]