Florida Sportsman Blog

Take the Scenic Route

Redfish and seatrout, solitude and scenery along the Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail.  

Big Bend sunsets make catching fish a momentary afterthought.

A 5-pound redfish towing a 45-pound kayak, burdened further by angler and gear, harnessed by a wisp of 10-pound-test thread. This surely mocks some obscure law of physics.

“Here we go again,” I happily muttered as my 13-foot craft veered left and right at the whim of the circling mass of muscle. By the time near-darkness demanded that I paddle into a fiery sunset to collect my partner a half mile to the west, I’d taken five such redfish rides in two hours of late-afternoon fishing, and a much larger fish condescendingly popped my leader rather than budge.

My friend, meanwhile, was in no hurry to be collected. As I approached, he hefted a 6-pound trout—his fourth—to silhouette it against the flaming horizon. Not a bad ending to a first day of kayaking the Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail.

Obtained from private forestry companies in 1986 by the Nature Conservancy, much of this sparsely populated, isolated coastline came under the management of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) when the state of Florida purchased the property the following year. In combination with other public lands, the Big Bend Wildlife Management Area (BBWMA) comprises one of the longest continuous coastal wetlands in the United States. Much of it is virtually unchanged since pre-European settlement.

The Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail (BBSPT) spans approximately 105 miles, from roughly the Aucilla River south to the mouth of the Suwannee. Designated by the Florida Legislature as part of the Greenways system in 1996, it moved beyond the concept stage in 2001 with the commencement of two years of intensive planning and mapping by the FWC’s Recreational Department and a group of sturdy volunteer kayakers. As camping is generally off-limits in the BBWMA, negotiations were required between the agencies to permit limited overnight stays on designated offshore islands along the route. The trail officially opened in March 2003 and was recognized as one of 37 National Recreation Trails.

“When we laid out the trail, we weren’t looking for the super-paddlers who want to kayak 105 miles in three days,” recalled FWC Director of Recreational Services Jerrie Lindsey. “Campsites were set up relatively close together to facilitate plenty of time for side trips for fishing, bird-watching, exploring the many creeks or hiking trails along the route.”

Anglers kayaking just a portion of the trail have a choice of fishing environments. Due to the number of tannic rivers pouring into the upper stretch—roughly north of Keaton Beach—the water is much darker, and limestone outcroppings and oyster bars and beds more prevalent. Areas to the south feature miles of grassbeds in crystal clear water, interspersed with occasional oysters, such as the large beds near Horseshoe Beach. Wintertime anglers paddle themselves up the creeks to pursue trout and reds that desert flats and bars in favor of deep, warmer river waters.

As we slogged our boats across bare mud flats, it would have been easy to differentiate our fleet from the 3-year Lewis and Clark expedition of 1803. Mark Nichols and I had more stuff.

Months of delay in kayaking the BBSPT gave me plenty of time to accumulate the latest in absolutely essential lightweight kayaking and camping goodies. Ultralight tent, ultralight cookware, ultralight sleeping bag, ultralight self-inflating mattress, ultralight kayak anchor, ultralight rain gear and kayak fish bag. Even ultralight lights. I single-handedly jump-started the entire U.S. economy, one ultralight item at a time.

Nichols prepares to sight-fish spartina.

All this ultralight stuff made a pretty impressive pile on top of my kayak. Throw a king-size sheet over it and bolt on some wheels, and my open panga-style fishing vessel would have blended nicely into any Conestoga wagon train headed for California a century and a half earlier.

We actually arrived with intentions of paddling and camping over several sections of the kayak trail from Spring Warrior Creek north of Keaton Beach south to Steinhatchee. We had second thoughts when we discovered the previous weekend’s storm surge and torrential rains had soaked the firewood at designated campsites to the point that anything short of nuclear incendiary devices wouldn’t light it.

A camp without a campfire creates an ambiance only the bugs can embrace. Our decision to sample the fishing at various spots along the route seemed a very sensible solution.

We fished the first morning with Jake Landreneau, son of local fishing guru Joey Landreneau. Jake was paddling his shop project, a 15-foot wooden version of my own kayak. Our first stop was a cove several miles south of Keaton Beach. We fed jigs to school trout in four feet of glass-clear water, and Nichols even traded stares with a ray-escorting cobia directly under his boat before it spooked. After cooking a midafternoon lunch at a shoreline park, we packed up and headed north, where the Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail guide and Florida Sportsman Fishing Chart No. 20 clearly indicated the presence of oyster bars.

We didn’t make it to the bars. At the mouth of a cove half a mile offshore in just over a foot of water, I put down my paddle to throw a 3-inch shad-tail on a 1⁄16-ounce jighead into a nervous herd of mullet. On the third bounce, the jig stopped cold, and my kayak was off to the first of five redfish races.

Kayaker parts low-tide sea of fiddler crabs.

Expecting Mark to be similarly entertained, I was surprised to find him unhooking an impressive trout when I caught up with him.

“When I saw the tails, I assumed they were mullet or redfish, and when I cast to the first one and got a trout, I thought it was just coincidence,” he beamed. “But then it happened a second and a third and a fourth time. I was looking at tailing trout. In all my years of fishing, I’ve never seen tailing trout.”

An exquisite sunset, tailing trout and redfish rides.

Mark and I paddled back through the same cove the next morning, hoping to re-create the magic of the night before. A southeast wind—predicted at 5 to 10 knots the night before, but already brisk in the ominous, cloudy dawn—propelled us toward our target, oyster bars near the mouths of Yates and Little Spring creeks. By the time we got there, 5 to 10 was 15 to 20, and worsening. Despite a sea anchor slowing my drift, I had time for just three casts as I rocketed past the outer bar, releasing a pair of fat 5-pound trout from the tiny oyster mound. I anchored on the main bar farther inshore, where Nichols was already wading and releasing the first of half a dozen small redfish at the far end. The gale-driven current swept his 6-inch weedless soft-plastic bait in a natural manner past the bars, where the rat reds had to grab on quickly before it rushed out of reach. I released a pair of slot trout and a red before my sense of self-preservation persuaded me to inspect the smoother waters inside the mouth of Yates Creek. But even here, the wind made fishing nearly impossible. We held a conference behind the protective spartina breakwater. Knowing that trout and redfish lay just a hundred yards offshore, it was downright painful to call it a day. An hour of exhaustingly hard labor got us back to the trucks. Lesson: Given an option, put in at a location allowing you to paddle upwind to the fishing area. That way you have the wind at your back when you come in.

While the front prematurely terminated a promising start, it could have been exponentially worse. Launching on a low tide that morning, we parked on the same ground as the night before. As we dragged the kayaks toward the distant water, Mark thankfully came up with what proved to be a slice of brilliance.

“Just in case we get a really high tide, maybe we oughta move the trucks up to higher ground.”

So much for the calm marine forecast.

When we returned, we paddled over the biggest mud minnows (killifish) I’ve ever seen, rambunctiously spawning in a foot and a half of water—right where we had initially parked. That’s another lesson to keep in mind when you fish the Big Bend.

Aside from the inexhaustible array of grassflat, oyster bar, spartina and river habitat, the real angling beauty of this region lies in the lack of wariness these fish demonstrate versus their cohorts in Florida’s more heavily fished coastal waters farther south. This being the center of the popping-cork-and-pinfish universe, they seemed delighted to snatch anything that didn’t pop and gurgle, just for a change in diet.

As we headed back to Keaton Beach, we had to laugh at a sign advertising a soon-to-open fitness and tanning facility. My paddled-out arms, abs and chest were too tired to sign up, and no further tanning was needed.

Amenities

There ain’t none. Campsites along the BBSPT are primitive—no water or toilet facilities—so bring what you need and expect to rough it. Take advantage of shoreline parks and boat ramps (no camping at these sites) along the way. If you’re tired of your own cooking about halfway through the full trail, paddle up to the waterfront Keaton Beach Hot Dog Stand with five bucks and a bag of trout or redfish fillets, and Sam will fix you up with a full-course home-cooked fish dinner. By the time you get to Steinhatchee, you’ll be ready for a real bed and hot shower at one of the many available establishments. Tackle and other supplies can be replenished at Keaton Beach Marina or in Steinhatchee.

Permits

Paddlers must possess an approved permit (no charge) from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to camp on the paddling trail. Campsites are limited to eight people and four tents each night, one-night limit, between Sept. 1 and June 30. Contact (850) 488-5520 to verify availability and reserve your traveling dates. Download an application or information at the Website listed below. At this point there are no commercial outfitters offering guide services, but you might be able to hook up with experienced paddlers. FS

By Jerry McBride

Dodging the Storms

 

Recent offshore fishing reports from the Southeast region.


Dodging the Storms

Florida Sportsman member: BigNiner19

We had a nice knock down but didn’t stay hooked and have no idea what it was. Then after a driver switch and turn back south the drag starts screaming. Brought up a real nice black fin tuna. This fish was not leader shy one bit.

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Fishing for a Cause

Florida Sportsman member: Jfenn10

We decided for Saturday’s Bigdog Fatcat we were gonna fish some other spots south. Well it turns out it was the right move, we killed it. We ended up with 9 kings from 11 to 26.7 pounds, a short cobia, 4 keeper muttons up to 4.5 pounds, bonita, and some other bottom dwellers.

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SLI Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: LET’S GO

We then headed East to deeper water and found some promising changes in the surface and we deployed our live bait, we did some chumming and quickly gathered some large sharks behind the boat with a few good size cobia.

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Stuart Sails and More

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Dave

Back out to a different edge in 135, toss one bait out, went to grab the second rod and I look back to see a sail already chasing our first bait in the water. Talk about stopping on top of one!

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First Place Phin

Florida Sportsman member: Seamanator561

I slowly bring the fish close enough for Mike to reach out and stick a perfect gaff shot right in the melon. As him and Yoan fight to bring him into the boat is when I realize how big he really is. We get him on the deck and reality sets it!

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Fish Filled Weekend

Florida Sportsman member: greenie-slayer

We moved deeper to 200-300 feet, no bites. Well we thought no bites. As we reeled in the deep rod it had a small blackfin tuna attached to it. Weird thing was he wasn’t hooked. The circle hook just around his tail. We must have been dragging in backward for a long time because he came in dead as a door nail.

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SLI Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: LastMango

Forum member LastMango got into some cobia off Stuart in 65 feet. Bull Sharks were the ticket to success for these fish.

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Treasure Coast Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: P@t

“Lots of life in 65 feet, so we lowered the riggers and started trolling. First knock down was at 7:20, small gaffer fin. Reset and continued to work a rip, south. Second knock down shortly after, spooled us before we could get control…”

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


An Adventure to Costa Rica

Florida Sportsman member: greenie-slayer

Got the chance to venture down to Costa Rica in March to get away from work and do a little fishing. Fished with Tranquilo Charters out at the FADs. Ended up getting my first marlin and roosterfish. Got a lot of bites from marlin but being the noob that I am to marlin fishing most came unglued.

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SlI Sailfish Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Sea Monkey Too

Quickly caught 3 dozen baits and headed out to 270 feet. Wasn’t long before we had a double header sailfish. We got one and mine spit the hook. Soon after that settled down we had yet another double header sailfish hookup. This time we got both to the boat.

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SlI Marlin

Florida Sportsman member: LET’S GO

They trolled around for a bit and at the end of the day were able to score a few decent dolphin, a couple of skippies and the prize of the day, a marlin.

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Dolphin for All

Florida Sportsman member: sam50

I spot a frigate and Capt. Adam puts us in the area as 2 live gogs were sent out to slow troll along, didn’t take long and big bull is jumping behind the boat. Ian was aboard today and never caught a dolphin, so the rod was passed to him and he did a sweet job leading that fish right to the gaff.

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Southeast Phins

Florida Sportsman member: SammyT

Decided we might as well pull a spread during our beer drinking adventure. Ended up with 4 dolphin. Smaller 3 in the 28-30 inch range, and the big one went 43 pounds. There wasn’t a favorite bait among the fish today.

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Great Trip to the Other Side

Florida Sportsman member: e-money

Ran about 15 miles off and I spotted a bundle of balloons and floats then Ryan spotted the right frigate!
On the third pass I look back and see 4 20 to 30 pound phins chasing the spread! All 4 rods go off, but we went 2 for 4 with a 20 plus pound cow and about a 25 pound bull!

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SLI Solo

Florida Sportsman member: Maribella

Headed out of town for a week so figured I better slip offshore this morning. Some beautiful edges with weed out there in various depths. I opted for one in 235 feet and had two sail releases on flatlined greenies within the first 90 minutes before things got quiet.

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Sushi for All

Florida Sportsman member: footankleg

The flocks were far and few but persistence paid off and we had a triple header on. Two of the fish got cutoff either by sharks or wahoo but I luckily stayed tight to my fish. The battle was outstanding and made me promise to start doing lower back exercises.

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Southeast Bull

Florida Sportsman member: Pensacola

The day started off slow only had one phin in the box by 1pm. We then found a sweet edge with some grass and it was on! We went 8 for 10 on dolphin in 2 hours then the edge dissolved.

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Big Tuna off Palm Beach

Florida Sportsman member: frigategetsfish

After practically stopping the boat and locking the drag on this fish otherwise he would have spooled my 50 wide tiagra I start cranking the fish in which took about 30 minutes of pain and agony to get to the shock cord. The fish was almost directly straight down when I noticed the wings of the yellowfin tuna.

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Hillsboro Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: jtluongo

Two for 4 on sails just south of Hillsboro inlet in about 150 feet of water. They were hitting everything, pilchards, flying gogs, weighted gogs, you name it.

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Palm Beach Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: Angler Management

The wind overpowered the current so it kept us moving south and we fished our majority of the time just south of the breakers. We seem to float between 180 and 350 feet of water, although we really weren’t paying attention because it was really nonstop action.

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Birthday Fishin’

Florida Sportsman member: Lori Jo Fishing

Today was Cayden’s birthday so were looking for a birthday phin or hoo. We cleared the inlet to nice flat seas. About an hour in the planer pops and Cayden starts reeling gets tight and bring it to the boat. That was his first fish on the wire line. It was a nice one the biggest of the day.

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Southeast Bull

Florida Sportsman member: Bow Movement

Forum member Bow movement reported a slow weekend of fishing, but the few bites they had were good ones.

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Hillsboro Bite

Florida Sportsman member: dpdash

There were several very nice triple tails but we couldn’t get a bait to them though the hundreds of jacks and triggerfish. After 30 minutes of trying I finally was able to get a bait to the biggest one. Two jumps and he threw the hook, bummer for sure. Trolled a bit more and made several drops with only some very large Rosie’s to show, no love from the tiles.

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Boynton Beach Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: First Born

Nothing on the troll, but after a few drops at the tile grounds we got a 17 pounder, headed shallow and picked up a grey tile as well. We trolled home, seeing a lot of flyers and birds and ended up with 10 footballs and 3 average phins. Good times! Phins and tuna were landed around 200 to 350 feet.

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Harbour Island Trip

Florida Sportsman member: Off The Wall

After slowing the boat and pushing the drag way up the rod was bowed way over and we all thought we were going to have a really nice wahoo. Well on the leader that wahoo turned into a 70 pound class yellowfin. The tunas around Harbour Island are known for eating only live bait, but this one wanted a blue and white islander on cable going 18mph.

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Offshore Slammin’

Florida Sportsman member: ScottR

Got to 120 foot and the right long goes off like a firecracker, but no run. As we are discussing whether we wanted to keep this ‘bonito’ for strip baits, and the angler is cranking like a banshee, we see stripes! Here comes the hoo!

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Jupiter Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: Roc N Rol

We headed out to the bait grounds and managed to get a couple dozen goggle eyes. After the sun came up we headed south to the kingfish fleet in 70 feet off of Juno pier and joined the masses. We got our limit of Kings from 30 to 36 inches and then headed out to try our luck deep dropping for golden tilefish.

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Southeast Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: snapahead

We started drifting in 110 feet off the breakers and dropped goggle eyes half way down. Hooked up these 2 slobs back to back.

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February Phins

Florida Sportsman member: Bencarr

I was able to convince the captain to go out again and we almost had to turn around at the BIG inlet. We caught another 6 phins in very sporty conditions. 5 of the 6 were in the 10 to 12 pound range.

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SLI Daytiming

Florida Sportsman member: shady business

I asked the guys if they wanted to reset or head in and drop for some tilefish and they all wanted to reset so we did and it’s good thing we did. We hooked up within minutes of dropping and then the tug of war began. The next fish finally came to the surface and we could tell it was a much larger fish. Another harpoon shot and we drug her into the boat.

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West End Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: Lazy Bones

The seas were nice and we were able to put 4 in the box by 10:30 or so before heading back to Old Bahama Bay to meet some friends and have some lunch. Trolled from OBB to Sandy, nothing doing. Pulled in and reset N of Memory. The wind has swung around and it was a little bumpier and wetter, but we managed another 2.

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Cat Cay Day Trip

Florida Sportsman member: PaulBoat

Forum member Paulboat and friends got across the the “other side” recently and put a hurting on the fish. Nice work!

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Small Boat, Big Fish

Florida Sportsman member: SkunkLife

Forum member SkunkLife didn’t need a big offshore boat to get out there and catch some sailfish recently. Drifting live baits was the technique used to catch the fish from his Carolina Skiff j16.

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Sails and Dolphin off Jupiter

Florida Sportsman member: millerlightdrinker

“I’ve been fortunate to fish the last few weekends, live baiting off of Jupiter. We have been catching sails and dolphin pretty consistently similar to other reports on this forum. I had the awesome experience of watching my daughters both catch their first sailfish…”

Want to catch dolphin & sailfish like these guys? Click here for how-to videos, feature stories, and more.


Fun in Costa Rica

Florida Sportsman member: SLW UroCane

We went 13 for 15 on sails, with a few on fly. Lots of big mahi. A few YFTs that made for some sashimi. We also bottom fished, dropping to about 405 ft and landed a nice red snapper and a few blue-line tiles, which tasted absolutely incredible whole fried that night!

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Family Weekend in West End

Florida Sportsman member: PaulBoat

She came up to me and wondered how come I’ve never taken her wahoo fishing… “It’s too hard for you to reel,” I said. “I’ve seen your videos and those big electric reels,” she replied. “It can get a bit boring if we’re just running around looking for a bite,” I said. “I’m patient, I’ll bring a book and some magazines.

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Girls Day Out

Florida Sportsman member: Jupiter Double D’s

It was kind of sloppy and grew as the day went on. We put one of the girls on her first sailfish. A big one! So we ended up taking a quickie photo and then a nice slow clean release. We grabbed a mahi and then a mutton when the girls said they weren’t feeling too good. So we went in a little early.

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Limiting Out on Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: Hooklesslure

Turns out we never ran out for dolphin because we were catching up wahoo all morning on the out going tide. The current was running south and a front was visible just to the north. We were fishing with two wire lines and a 80 wide with braid and a variety of trolling lead from 16 to 48 ounces.

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Jupiter Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: RockNReeler

Becky wanted to catch some tuna, so we headed northeast of the inlet and started trolling tuna lures and a cedar plug. I had been successful here about two weeks ago, and wasn’t disappointed today. 10 minutes into the troll in 250 feet of water one, then two, rods start screaming, fish on!

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Wahoo Proposal

Florida Sportsman member: gray

As I was setting up my next bait the customer asked me to stop and video him proposing. Caught me off guard at first but it turned out pretty cool. They were really excited. We packed up and reset off the condos and got hit by a nice wahoo in 120 feet.

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Catching on the Other Side

Florida Sportsman member: e-money

The first pass 1 minute after lines were in we had a nice little gaffer and a schoolie. We reset and bam 15 to 20 pound gaffer and another schoolie. 15 minutes in we were 5 for 7 . We left em biting to hunt for wahoo.

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A First for a New Friend

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Dave

About two minutes after I was just joking and saying to Rob “I promise we’re doing everything right”, I see a sailfish out of the corner of my eye pop up on the outrigger ballyhoo. He was on it like stink on a monkey, and after a quick drop-back it was GAME ON!

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Mission Accomplished

Florida Sportsman member: dpdash

Didn’t get the third line out in 225 feet when the sail took off with the deep line. After a spirited fight, sail came up tail wrapped, quick pic with Trevor’s first billfish then some resuscitation, colors came back quickly and away he went.

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A Summer to Remember

Florida Sportsman member: Jupiter Double D’s

Forum member Jupiter Double D’s put together an awesome video of some memorable moments from this summer. With big fish caught and some great spearfishing, it was definitely a summer to remember. Nice work!

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Summer Recap

Florida Sportsman member: AFT561

Been quite busy with work and tournaments this season so I haven’t had much time, but I was finally able to put together a few videos of what we were up to this summer. Big tuna, sails, mahi, kingfish, big wahoo, the whole summer shindig wrapped up into 2 videos.

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Mahi and More

Florida Sportsman member: ScottR

Went back on the troll and all of a sudden, it went off! Singles, doubles, triples, it was a crime scene and the Mahi were on the “hit list”. We couldn’t go 10 minutes without fish pounding the spread.

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Jupiter Offshore Action

Florida Sportsman member: Angler Management

No wahoo in the AM so we live baited and caught a bunch of different fish till about 10:30 then the bite shut off. We had some cool sailfish action and it was the customers first! We also had some kingfish around early. Took one to the scale and it stood in 2nd place.

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Stuart Sail

Florida Sportsman member: rgambotz

We started the troll at 200 feet and kept the heading until we hit 300 feet, we saw 2 huge hammerheads cruising right past the boat and then 2 minutes later we see the left long line bounce once, twice and then bam fish on. A sail hit the black and purple bubbler and gives us a few jumps and then comes boat side.

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Hoo on the Troll

Florida Sportsman member: latitudeadjustment

I put out a tuna spread in 150 feet or so and headed deeper, just wanting to nail a decent blackfin. Trolled some known spots for tuna but we did not get any hits, saw a nice jumping sail fish which was very cool but no takers on our rigs.

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Woohoo for Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: 1974Donzi

Forum member 1974Donzi has been on the wahoo. Fishing off of Palm Beach, catching multiple big “hoo’s”. High speed trolling has been the ticket for these fish.

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Big Jupiter Hoo

Florida Sportsman member: Jupiter Double D’s

In 150 feet of water off Jupiter the 80 wide starts screaming. A LONG RUN, which was good because it gave us time to clear the other 2 lines. Had to switch to low gear to get her in. After what seemed like eternity and my worry of the sharks biting her in half on the way in, I grab the leader and Derek sinks the gaff!

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Palm Beach Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: e-money

Forum member e-money has been getting out there and putting clients on the fish! Catching kingfish, cudas and other species, the rods are always bent. Tight work.

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Costa Rica Trip

Florida Sportsman member: Dominic74

As soon as we saw it jump we couldn’t believe what was happening, we were hooked up on a Pacific Blue Marlin! and it was awesome! I fought him for an hour and a half and over two miles, all stand up, except for a few times I leaned up against the chair, my back was killing me. We leadered him 4 times before we got him close enough to take a few pictures.

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The Bahamas Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Chips Ahoy Charters

Been on other side for past few weekends. Tuna and mahi fishing is still pretty good over there in the channel. Weather has been great along with the fishing. Fished over there last weekend had some nice yellowfins, big blackfins, and some pretty good deep dropping on the way home.

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Saint Lucie Sails

Florida Sportsman member: DropBack

The fish tail walked from about 100 feet behind the boat and ended up way out in front when she finally settled back into the water. My girlfriend had no idea what she was in for, she fought it for about an hour like a pro and finally got it boat side.

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Two Weeks in Paradise

Florida Sportsman member: dpdash

One day bottom fishing, one of the boys left a rod leaning against the gunnel with a bait in the water, all of a sudden Christi shouts the rod just went over! I look over the side and it is sinking out of sight, I jumped in and swam down about 10 feet and grabbed it. Despite a good rinse, it wouldn’t work the rest of the trip.

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Harassing the Hoo’s

Florida Sportsman member: Hooklesslure

Clayton says it feels like a big fish and as soon as we see the mouth we knew we had good one. Clayton brings the fish close, Dale maneuvers the boat and I sink the gaff into this huge wahoo. I finally get this wahoo over the gunnel and we all could not believe the size of the fish.

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Setting the Bar High

Florida Sportsman member: Lobsterdb12

After a few drops and one AJ we decided to continue to trolling. Nephew reeled in his first Cuda so he was very excited. Caught and released the Cuda and continued trolling. Get a big knock down and we see a nice sail on, pops sets the hook and puts Isaac on the rod. He does a great job on the sail and we get him in the boat for a smooth catch and release.

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Dolphin Fishing with Dad

Florida Sportsman member: juliem

After scooping up about three or four balloons, we finally found what we were hoping for, a wooden pallet loaded with nice sized dolphin and triple tail. We were convinced that the reason we had such luck was because of our good deed of scooping up the balloons from the ocean.

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Stud Snapper out of Fort Pierce

Florida Sportsman member: FISHHUNTR

Great time with friends Adam and Ben last night, didn’t load the boat but we figure we hit the 50 pound mark with 8 fish.

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Monster Southeast Sail

Florida Sportsman member: kershel

After breaking our back with more reef donkeys go inside to about 70 feet. I watch my light tackle cobia rod’s bait getting slashed by a sail on top. I had no clue what I was in for the next hour and half. Released my personal best sail and on light tackle.

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Monster

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Dave

I asked John what he wanted to catch and the word “sailfish” was belted out immediately as he had never caught a sail before. Hmmm, summer time… two straight days of west winds… always love a challenge. Well alright, let’s go try and find a sailfish then!

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Southeast Night Bite

Florida Sportsman member: B Lang

Bait of choice has been a live cigar minnow or sardine. Earlier trips were a slow north current but the last two have been a steady south current, last night the ribbonfish ate us up but still managed a dozen and a half fat boys.

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Big Hoo’s Bring the Money

Florida Sportsman member: campertop

Broke the inlet and set up for our Wahoo target, about 45 minutes in to it we get the bite, short battle and number 1 in the boat. We make a circle and come back across the mark from the first and number 2 starts singing, Short while later number 2 is on the deck.

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Bruiser Blackfin out of Lake Worth

Florida Sportsman member: robgfish

The east wind pushed us inshore, so at 95 feet we decided to slow troll back out deeper keeping the kite up, at about 100 feet the long kite bait gets hit. We didn’t see the fish hit but could tell it was a solid fish. Took Scott around the boat a few laps, finally as it got closer we saw a flash of gold, sushi!

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Memorial Day Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Jupiter Double D’s

In around 100 feet of Jupiter a Canyon Gear skirt bally gets nailed and goes on a pretty good run. Ends up being a nice smoker king just under 30 pounds. Ok, the skunk is off. Continued trolling deep with no luck. Scattered weeds were a pain to deal with and really didn’t produce any strikes for us. So back in to the ledge when we get another hit on a swimming mullet in 150 feet off Juno.

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Taking Home the Win

Florida Sportsman member: Angler Management

We were immediately in 4 to 7 foot seas and stayed in shallow and it was still solid 7 to 9 with 10 to 12 footers mixed in. We kept the engines moving to keep the bow into it for a power drift with 4 live baits off the stern. 30 seconds into it in 70 feet we get the first strike.

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Big Bull and More

Florida Sportsman member: e-money

Current ripping in 115 feet off lost tree, 24 pound cow eats left short and smacks the gog off hook. Wow she must be hungry because now the deep bait Is screaming! Did not know it was same fish for sure till I found 2 goggle eye in her belly at table. After a 20 minute battle and expert cooperation I Gaff her in the dome. We reset back to 200 feet and promptly jump off a 30 plus pound bull. Hold on a sec! He ate, jumped off and came back for left short! 30 minute battle and 59 inch 36.1 pound bull in the box!

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Hot Bahama Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Lazy Bones

The weather was less than favorable for radar so we fast trolled the area and picked off a 40 pound yellowfin. Found some nice weed and nabbed a 19 pound dolphin. Having caught 2 of the 3 targets, we decided to take advantage of the outgoing tide to try and pick off a wahoo. Same lure from last year came through again.

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Bahama Days and Big Fish

Florida Sportsman member: PaulBoat

Forum member PaulBoat enjoyed a great weekend in the bahamas. Catching multiple Big yellowfins and more. Great fish! Now is the time to cross the Gulf Stream and catch some on the other side!

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Tripled Up out of Boca

Florida Sportsman member: bobert421

A big ray, with an 8 foot wing span at least swam up next to the boat to investigate. Then I hear “are those sharks with it?” No! There was a bunch of Cobia with him. I grab the closest bait and toss it over. A small one investigates first and I pull the bait away. Then one of the big ones inhales it. It was a rigged ballyhoo that he ate. After a good battle around the boat a nice Cobe joins the ice in the cooler.

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Kings and Cobes, Great Tournament Win

Florida Sportsman member: sam50

Gary grabs the rod and gets tight! We need to chase this king down, so anchor ball goes overboard as me, Justin, and Kirsten bring in kites, clear flat lines, Dalton is on the wheel and backing down. Well next thing you know we got 12 inches of water in the boat and sinking, as this whole boat is a live well. King gets close and we see a shark on it, makes a run under the boat and is wrapped up in the motors now.

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Killer Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: e-money

Forum member e-money posted a solid report with a stud 58 inch, 46 pound cobia to top it off. Great fish!

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S.L.I. Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: scubadude

Forum member scubadude got into some nice dolphin out of the Saint Lucie inlet. He was trolling in 80 to 100 feet, dragging skirted ballyhoos. Nice work!

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Huge Jupiter Hoo

Florida Sportsman member: Tightlines2234

Around 10:45 the down rigger bait popped the clip and started a short run, at first we thought it was going to be a 20 pound class fish, that of course was before the fish realized it was hooked! After multiple runs and dumping hundreds of yards of 20 pound test off the Avet reel, we managed to get a glimpse of our fish, long silver and resembled that wahoo we wanted so badly. After 2 hours of an epic battle, we finally had the fish coming up, we finally had color and stripes! We sank the gaff first shot and had to use a second to hoist the wahoo over the side! What a monster!

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Smokers and Blackfins out of Palm Beach

Florida Sportsman member: e-money

About 15 minutes in the deep bait gets smacked! Get him up and it is a 35 pound class king, who was gaffed and welcomed to slush bath! The deep bait with stinger was “clutch”.

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A Good Springbreak

Florida Sportsman member: Jupiter Double D’s

Derek wanted to head to Venice Marina for Spring Break. That place is phenomenal! Always delivers quality fishing! Can’t wait to go back this summer.

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Gaffers, Smokers and Big Blackfins

Florida Sportsman member: e-money

We ran south, and I put 3 on top and stealth break away deep. Within 3 minutes of lines in the deep bait gets smoked! We fight fish to the boat and it is a 20 something pound king! High Fives!

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Jigging Palm Beach

Florida Sportsman member: angryangler

Nice Mix of muttons, porgies, yellowtail, margate and other various undesirables on small vertical and Inchiku jigs. I love the challenge of artificial bait fishing and I spend a lot of time offshore trying to bag some of our areas live bottom species. Todays catch included several muttons, 6 but only two keepers, with one weighing in at 7.5 pounds.

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Solid Southeast Offshore Bite

Florida Sportsman member: AFT561

As we work our way into spring, so far it looks pretty promising. Our past few sessions have been loaded with big resident sailfish, nice to finally slow down a bit and fight a fish rather than working for double digits, nice Mahis, kingfish, and some blackfins in the mix too.

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“LET’S GO” Get Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: LET’S GO

In about 110 feet we deploy the lines and began our trolling to the east the the further the east we go, the bigger the waves, in about 180 feet I start a short video and we are interrupted by a fish on. At first he is a real screamer peeling off perhaps 150 yards of line. He gives up quickly and is boat side the gaff is and and he’s in the box.

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Southeast Kite Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Angler Management

We ran up that way and ran out of baits both times, Had dual Boston Big game kites, each with 3 live baits and 4 flat lines. NON STOP king fish action. Kept one for the smoker and tossed the rest back, sky rocketing fish made everyone happy, we did find a few dolphin also that visited the kite baits too. Then on the way in we saw spinner sharks and hooked up the guys on 20 pound spinning tackle and had a blast with jumping sharks.

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Fort Pierce Phins

Florida Sportsman member: FISHHUNTR

I scanned to the south I saw a tern circling, so I headed over there. Once there as soon as I shut down we see a gaffer cow swim behind the boat which promptly inhaled the greenie we pitched out. Decided to just drift some livies and over the course of 35 minutes we pick up 2 more gaffers. Another 30 minutes goes by without a bite and the wind dwindled allowing seas to flatten out, feeling better about the conditions we headed back out deeper. In 150 feet we spot big mats formed up and saw a fin free jump near one, so we pitched out the baits and hook up with another gaffer and she had about a dozen (slingers) with her.

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SLI Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: Lori Jo Fishing

There was a nice edge with weeds in 200 feet but weeds made it tough working the inside. So about 9am we troll offshore. In about 800 feet the planer pops and drag starts screaming. A nice cow goes airborne 3 or 4 times. Wish the camera was rolling for that! Anyways got her to the boat and a perfect gaff shot by Chris, dolphin in the box.

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Cobias Out of Jupiter

Florida Sportsman member: Jupiter Double D’s

I see something of color on top of the water of some pretty decent size maybe a ray, but not sure. So I stop quickly and begin the solo Chinese fire drill and deploy 2 runners and 1 dead sardine. I wanted Mr. sardine but I couldn’t catch him quick enough. Almost immediately the Penn SpinFisher V 5500 gets nailed on a blue runner and not even that small of a runner!

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“Lets Go” Get Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: latitudeajustment

Proceed to open the bail to let him feed as it looked like he may have dropped it from his mouth, close bail and the line gets tight. I then fight the fish for several minutes trying not to horse him to the boat too quickly. He did a couple of decent runs where we saw he was a good size cobia but finally he ended up off the stern quarter and then off starboard side where Zach did a great gaff shot just as the fish began to swim away!

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Boynton Beach Bull and More

Florida Sportsman member: jokerj280

About 30 seconds later we hear the crack of the outrigger followed by that screaming drag that sends our adrenaline rushing. I look over and the rod is horizontal and dumping line fast! Grab it an give it one good hook set and the water explodes about 200 yards back. Knew it was a big dolphin but our guess was around 30 pounds. After about 25 minutes, multiple runs and aerials the fish was brought boat side. I back up to the opposite gunnel, Chris leaders the fish and hits him 1st shot right in the head. The fish that came over the rail was a lot bigger than the one in the water.

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Great Day Out of Palm Beach

Florida Sportsman member: Tori’S Toy

one of the kite baits gets nailed, sailfish! Our friend takes the rod for that one. thing is tail walking like crazy, then another kite bait gets slammed, another sail! two tail walkers. Then the ballon gog gets nailed, dolphin, triple header!

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Dolphin on the Drift

Florida Sportsman member: Salty_Cracker

Reset the drift in about 140 feet this time. Had something peel line off like crazy and break through the mono. Guessing king, but maybe a hoo seeing how fast he took the bait. Then had a dolphin double header. The cow spit the hook but we stuck this decent bull.

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Bay Boat Kings and Sails

Florida Sportsman member: Tightlines2234

The day started off slow but mid morning we found a sailfish sun bathing in 220 feet and managed to get hooked up. Worked hard all day in the sloppy conditions in my 19 key west and finally found some Kings willing to bite. First fish was a rat king caught on the downrigger and the next four were all 25 to 30 pound smokers caught on goggs. Total for the day 5 Kings and 1 Sail.

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Southeast Sheepshead and Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: bullchaser

Picked away at small snapper, seabass, and some other trash fish. Around 11 or so the flatline gets a little knock and then a nice run, captain sets the hook and its game on. Work this fish to the boat and ends his day in the kill box! First cobia of the season.

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Good Bottom Bite Out of SLI

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

Down goes a bait. It gets slammed and starts taking some good drag, I know what this is! Mr. Amberjack, I’m not complaining though. Right as the next bait his the bottom I’m on, Not pulling like an AJ either. Get him away from the rocks and up comes another gag! Bigger than the first! My biggest gag to date. Unhooked him, wiped away my tears, and let him go.

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Sails on the Troll

Florida Sportsman member: Salty_Cracker

I grabbed the big spinner and a naked ballyhoo and gave the prospecting a shot. About 10 to 15 minutes into it, the ballyhoo gets slammed. I didn’t see what hit it so I left it alone. Then the beak came back up and swatted the hoo a couple times. So I flipped the bail and let some line out. By that time he moved on to the rigger ballyhoo and popped it out of the release clip. My fiancé clicks it in free spool for a few seconds and GAME ON!

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Lake Worth Sails

Florida Sportsman member: robgfish

Drifting north in about 140 feet, I see a sail streaking across the surface, quickly to realize he has one of our flatlines! I grab that one and fight him from a dead boat on the spinner, a few circles around the boat and some good work by Scott raising the kite bait out of the water to let the fish swim under, get a quick pic and set him free.

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Putting Foreigners on the Fish

Florida Sportsman member: Angler Management

Ocean was 2-3 feet with some 4′s in there but all in all nice. We got gogs and saw 2 sails on the kite before 9AM in 90 feet and had a mess of fun fish south of the inlet from 80 to 110 feet on cut gogs and bonito. Not much pelagic action with the west wind, but the bottom bite is very good. limited out on yellowtails and had 6 mice muttons, kings, and a ton more!

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Catching Fish In The Slop

Florida Sportsman member: SnapperSlapper

Headed out this AM excited about the 5-10 knots of wind NOAA predicted. Well they were right for about 30 minutes. Made our way out quickly a little south of east and put in a spread of ballyhoo in 100 feet of water. Within minutes the wind picked up to a steady 15knots out of the Northwest. Made it a bit sloppy for the rest of the day.

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Lake Worth Bottom Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Jupiter Double D’s

Once I hit 105 feet, the bottom came alive. Remoras, the largest queen trigger I have ever seen, 5 muttons, all around 15 inches, porgies, mangroves, squirrelfish, and yellowtails. Safely returned all the undersized fish except 4 yellowtails and 1 mangrove snapper.

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Lake Worth Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: e-money

We scaled down, and quickly were in a “Bonita Fest” with football BFT’s mixed in. We hooked a nice gaffer, but he spit hook. Great people, and made the best of cards dealt. Some of the boneheads were 15 plus pounds and saved for a date with Broadbills.

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Dancing With Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Dave

We searched around for a while more and then started getting into a groove in the right area, a bit shallower to the north of there in 95 feet. Luck kept coming our way and we continued boating multiple dolphin on each shot of fish that came into our spread. Triple headers are always fun when there’s just two of us on the boat! We fished a mix of naked ballyhoo and lures and the fish ate everything we put back there.

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Boynton Beach Hoo

Florida Sportsman member: First Born

There were birds working heavy, also saw some skippies and small boneheads tearing up bait. Picked up a phin early after working the rip. Continuing north, the wire line starts to sing. While cranking it in I can feel that he had decent size too him, Chris puts the gloves on and once we got to the shock line he starts hand jacking it in. Finally we see a beak coming up to the boat and confirm our catch, I sink the gaff and we have a hoo in the box!

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Dolphin Out of Boynton

Florida Sportsman member: Dominic74

We got our first hit right out side the inlet in 120 feet, boated a nice 10 pound skipjack. We continued south of the inlet, one out rigger pops and a decent dolphin is on, Kevin brings him to the boat as I throw out a gog in hopes of a follower, within a few seconds I am hooked up. We ended up catching three more phins and a few bonita before 11am.

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S.L.I. Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: bullchaser

Around 9:30 in 140 feet we get our lone hit on the pink chug that takes a ton of line on first run so the hoping game was on. After the first run it turned to almost dead weight. Put doc on the rod and he is reeling and reeling and gets the fish 20 feet from boat still not knowing what’s on the other end. It takes 3 hard runs chaffing the leader on the boat on the last run. Get him boat side and the water lights up with stripes. I knew I only had one chance, I put the hook in his gut and and into the kill box he went!

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Southeast Offshore Action

Florida Sportsman member: rowerybo

About an hour into fishing, the short bait gets batted by a sail, but I missed it as the bait was batted off. Very quickly, a second sail is on the long bait. This one gets the hooks and takes to the air. I could see more fish around but with one angler, focused on the hooked fish while it danced around the boat. The fish was brought to the boat and released in healthy condition.

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Sometimes You Just Get Lucky

Florida Sportsman member: SammyT

So I look at this wahoo and now I know I’m dreaming. Friend calls me and makes me take his boat out without him. 5 minutes in I hook a wahoo on a snook plug, on a Penn 750, on 20lb braid with no leader. Then he almost spools me. Then my super novice gaff man makes a great first shot to seal the deal. Weighed out at 39 pounds.

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Great Palm Beach Offshore Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Ryanmc6884

then it hit and it hit like a bullet on the shotgun rigged swimming mullet. Probably the sickest run I have ever seen a fish take, it had the Trinidad 50 singing like a bird! Not to mention at the same time the wahoo hit we had a small sail hit the short rod.

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Dolphin Mania Off Palm Beach

Florida Sportsman member: dscherz

“I am scrambling to get the lines cleared as Derek and Kyle fight their fish. All good so far, so we gaff Kyle’s bull and chase down the big cow. Teamwork at its best as Derek hands the rod to Kyle while I am driving and trying to GoPro at the same time! Derek sinks the gaff in her after a few sketchy runs when she was right near the boat. HIGH FIVES! Derek’s personal best on dolphin at almost 30 pounds!”

 




Palm Beach Inlet Producing

Florida Sportsman member: Salty_Cracker

Found a few scattered weeds but they weren’t holding fish so we headed back shallower. Were getting tired of not catching so we put the tuna chain out down the middle. Picked up some black fins quickly and kept 3 for dinner.

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Stuart Offshore Action

Florida Sportsman member: snook87

Didn’t keep all we caught but end of day we caught over 14 mahi, keeping only five and two blackfin which went for sushi at the dock. We picked up a sail but it didn’t take hold long enough for the hook set but did see it jump. Saw plenty of huge triple tail on debris, logs, doors, and buckets but hard to stop a eight wide spread.

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Wonderful West End Weekend

Florida Sportsman member: CNTDR

After breezing thru customs, we started our wahoo troll out in front of Old Bahama Bay. Within 10 minutes we boated our first hoo. Next pass we got hooked up again. They both hit the shotgun mackerel lure. Trolled another hour without any more bites. We made the decision to deep drop and caught our limit of queen snapper and yelloweyes within an hour.

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Solo Jupiter Trip Pays Off

Florida Sportsman member: dscherz

I had heard the dolphin were in shallow so straight out Jupiter Inlet I deploy the spread in 75 feet of water heading east. I only get to 80 feet and my long line gets nailed. Nice phin, he is doing the dance. I have 3 other lines out but have the fish off the side so I leave them in while maintaining a slow troll. Sure enough, double header, I get another phin on.

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Boca Blue Marlin

Florida Sportsman member: BocaCentury2900

Within 15 minutes one of my TLD25′s started screaming and didn’t stop until it was almost down to the knot. Quickly pulled all lines out of the water and turned the boat to chase and gain some line back. After a few leaps he sounded to around 500 feet right under the boat, Fight ensued for about 45 minutes and we brought him to the boat side.

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Stuart Dolphin and Sailfish

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Dave

About an hour after that in 185 feet we hooked up to a sail off the port outrigger and Kim was back at it on the rod yet again. It put on a spectacular show with plenty of jumps and some good runs. We got him to boat where I unhooked it and swam it to revive it for a couple minutes. It didn’t need much and his tail was kicking good so off he went to give another angler the same thrill in the future.

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Fort Pierce Bay Boat Snapper

Florida Sportsman member: FISHHUNTR

I let the fish take some line and set up on it and I knew I had a good fish on. Too good I thought at first because despite my heavy drag setting line was leaving the reel pretty fast on the initial run. Typically what we see from small sharks, but it was soon apparent it was fighting like the right species, after several tense minutes I was able to boat a nice 21” mutton snapper.

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Boynton Beach Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: Hooklesslure

Headed out with a good friend Mike from work in hopes of catching a wahoo on his vessel, which hasn’t been done as of yet. Last month we missed a good wahoo that smoked my wire line with a 50W. Today we trolled the last little bit of out going tide. We trolled depths from 150 -400 feet. We found a good rip and weed line at 30 feet’ so we worked that for a bit with no action. Decided to head in a little and got this wahoo in 230 feet on the wire line again with a split tail mullet.

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Mutton Fest

Florida Sportsman member: e-money

Caught some nice muttons to 21-inches and porgies to 5 pounds. We vent and release everything we don’t want to eat and throw NO trash in the ocean. Short but fun day with good eats. Have a good day!

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Massive Yellowfin out of Boynton Inlet

Florida Sportsman member: Chips Ahoy Charters

Got to boynton, put the spread out, but no bites for about an hour. The next thing I hear is a splash, two other guys on the boat, Nate and Jeff are doing back flips off my hard top. Its now almost 1:30, we are in 175feet of water almost straight off of boynton inlet, and they are just getting back in the boat from their swim. I hear Matt and Nick almost at the same time yell HOLY SHI** . I turn around and saw what was left of a huge explosion.

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Sailfish & Amberjacks out of the SLI

Florida Sportsman member: Alwaysforward

Hanks goal is to load up the freezer with fish and wanted to catch an AJ so our first stop this morning is the AJ spot and put two fish in the box first thing this morning.

We broke the SLI before 6:00am at high tide and headed to the red buoy out front in hopes of locating some Blue Runners. Nothing doing there so we hit the NE spot and caught a mix bag of Grunts, one large Goggle Eye and a Blue Runner. I even caught a small grouper and mutton (both tossed back)[...]

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Boynton Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: Hooklesslure

Head out early today in hopes of the elusive wahoo. We trolled through different depths in front of inlet from 100-350 feet. We got this wahoo on the wire line using a split tail mullet as bait. Weighed the fish on Miller Time’s digital scale and the fish weighed 32lbs. Enjoyed lunch at Two George’s then headed home to clean the boat.

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Palm Beach Inlet Wahoo & Snapper

Florida Sportsman member: jaysil123

I took my son out snapper fishing today. We found a good mangrove bite in 110 feet just north of the inlet. We moved to reset the drift and set out a flat line, within 5 minutes the flat line goes off. My dad hands the rod to my son and he goes to work.

He had the fish to the boat in about 10 minutes we sink the gaff and high fives all around. Not sure who was happier him catching the fish or me watching him catch it. This was his first wahoo. We ended the day with 5 mangroves a yellowtail and 1 wahoo.

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Jupiter King, Muttons & More

Florida Sportsman member: e-money

Brett R, Jerry, and Mark were in town, and wanted to fish the Everglades. Asked if I was game and my reply was akin to “does a bear….” (last 2 trips we killed it on Wahoos, fins, sails) Grabbed a few sardines / cigars on way out and buzzed edge for an hour w no bites. Conditions looked so so w nice rips, but dirty green water, million jelly fish etc. Had reports today that Water was 2 degrees cooler than week-end, green water out to 240′+. Current was ripping at 3.6 to 4.0 to the N with a 8-10 knot E/SE breeze.

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Fort Pierce Dolphin, Kings & Snapper

Florida Sportsman member: Pensacola

Headed out of Fort pierce really early to try and buy bait from Dave, but he wasn’t there.. I personally do not like going to the buoy at all, but I needed live bait, so we headed to 10 a.m. Crew was my wife and my buddy Jeremy. We loaded up the livewell in no time at all, but all the baits were VERY small…little sardines, little cigars, and little hornbellies.

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Wahoo Weekend

Florida Sportsman member: PaulBoat

I’ve been reading all the greats wahoo reports (congrats to all) so I decided last minute to go wet some lines. The wife and kids had been north for about 10 days visiting family and I stayed behind to complete some projects around the house (honey-do list). Got my high speed gear on the boat, 2 bags of ice and cleared the inlet solo at 9 a.m. Ran a 4-line spread. Bite came at 10:30 am between Ritz and pier on the 300 line in 220 feet. A few minutes later, gangsta hoo #1 in the box.

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Palm Beach Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: Stetson Law

With all the wahoo reports and our run in with King Kong last weekend, the crew wanted to target wahoo this morning instead of swordfish. The lures were rigged, the rods were readied, and the plan was made. Hit the inlet at 6:00 a.m. and headed north. Ten minutes into the troll our long gets smoked. Three crew members cranked in the inside three rods as the angler started to winch in the fish. Ten minutes later the hoo pooped up on the surface dragging behind the boat.

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Boynton Beach Blue Marlin Solo Trip

Florida Sportsman member: CaptKeemau

I quickly packed up the boat and headed to the boat ramp. Dropped the boat in at 12:30, 10 minuets later lines in at 150ft and headed east. Scattered weeds at 250 and 480, kept going. At 890 I see a promising rip with weeds up ahead. About 150ft from making my turn to parallel the weed line the port rigger goes off. Line’s going off the TLD30 faster than I’ve ever seen before.

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Boynton Amberjack and Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: Lori Jo Fishing

Cleared the inlet at 6am with Chris, Cayden, and Billy. Lines in at 6:15 work the inlet all morning. Cayeden gets a bonita. Then when pull by the skycliff, the braid starts screaming. 15 mins later we were shocked to see a amberjack come up. Reset the spread and in about an hour the braid goes off again. This time a 22lb. wahoo comes aboard. Then about 45 mins later the braid goes off and doesn’t stop. About 900 yards off braid gone the backing is starting show.

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Monster Amberjack off Jupiter

Florida Sportsman member: beerhunter

About 5 minutes passed while we continued bottom fishing with the light spinning tackle. I then noticed that the tip of the heavy rod was slightly “twitching”. I thought that it might be some smaller bait-stealers, but wasn’t sure. I picked the rod out of the rod holder and gave it a few slow cranks. The line came tight and I set the hook. The fish didn’t make much of a run, and for 5 seconds or so, I thought I might have snagged bottom. I then handed the rod to my brother-in-law and strapped on the fighting belt.

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Team Bandit Saltwater Showdown

Florida Sportsman member: sam50

With the final leg of the Bluewater Tournaments on Saturday we needed to load the pen with bait. Headed out of Boynton early Friday and caught 8 dozen gogs in short order. I just happened to bring two rods so we could pre-fish a little before catching runners and speedos. Ran just south of the Martini in 260 feet where the water was nice and blue. I pitched out a goggle-eye on the TLD 15 with engine in gear and about 30 yards from the boat I get crushed. Fish is making a blistering run offshore and we chase it down.

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Boca Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: sailfish-007

We were launching off by 6:30AM. Catching bait was not an option today. We loaded up on goggle eyes from teh bait man and headed offshore. We setup at 380′ of water with one on the down rigger and two surface lines. Within 10 minutes, the surface line screamed and we found that the goggle eye was cut in half. We reset and 30 minutes later, as we were about to pick up and go, another surface line screamed again.

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Father Daughter Offshore Day

Florida Sportsman member:Alwaysforward

Taking my daughter Jamie out today. We arrive at the ramp a little after 5:30am to a small crowd at the ramp. We ran into the Undertaker (Chuck), my UPS man at the ramp this morning.We pick up 30 dollars worth of baits being that there is a outgoing tide this morning with Lake O water flooding all our favorite bait spots. We ran to the NE spot just to see if we can mark any baits. They were there but they were not chewing. We decided to point the bow Southeast into the rough seas and make our way as far south as we could to stay south of the inlet all day to make the ride in easier.

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2 Hour Trip Produces a Personal Record

Florida Sportsman member:Fi$h2nguyen

Windfinder was calling for 3.4 feet at 4sec on Saturday, so we decided not to go. Of course they were wrong, resulting in Paul and I missing out on a perfectly calm day offshore. We were not happy to get punk’D by Windfinder so between his daughters birthday and me having out of town visitors, we were briefly able to sneak out and fish from 11-1pm Sunday. Seas were sloppy 3-5 foot, and close together. Lots of mating turtles and flyers all over.

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Mission Accomplished : Cobia & Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Bullshark

I started off by attending a fishing seminar at White’s Tackle in Stuart which was headed by the host of Reel Time Florida Sportsman George Gozdz. It got me pumped! It was a Cobia and Tarpon seminar.

So after we got our bait we hit the beach for Tarpon. We found nothing. Cobia never crossed my mind until the class but since I had a idea now how to catch them in this area we set out. That was one of the first times in my life that on the first trip of targeting a certain fish we nailed it. We went 5 for 7 on Cobia.

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Blackfin Tuna Action & More

Florida Sportsman member: e-money

Ran all the way out to 1200 feet and there were no weedlines rips or anything to fish. This summer has proven to be TOUGH on catching bait and little to no sargassum. Started heading back to the ledge when we spotted a palm frond with 2 nice tripletail. Then we put out a trolling spread with E$ at helm and worked from 160 to 115 feet at the north end of Condos to Tiara. The current was smoking at 3.5 knots to the north and water was gin clear past 100 feet. First bite ripped some drag, pulled the hook??

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Ft. Pierce Bull and Cows

Florida Sportsman member: SmittysTeam

We headed out with waves any where from 2-4 feet. The wind blowing pretty good, which meant we were getting soaked on the way out. We finally got to the dolphin grounds and started trolling in 200 feet of water. We trolled both ballyhoo and artificials but didn’t get anything. We continued to troll for a few hours and then decided to drift with live bait in hopes of sailfish or dolphin. We started drifting in 200 feet of water for about 30 minutes. We didn’t get any hits, so we decided to go a little shallower.

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Jupiter Muttons, Yellowtail & Kings

Florida Sportsman member: nearshore1

Got a super late start after having a few adult beverages at the lighthouse sand bar. While there I caught a few grunt on bits of squid and out the inlet to calm 2 foot seas by 2:15. B lined it for the edge. Got out off the pier and it was non stop. Current was strange! Felt like no current on the bottom but there were rips going all directions out there. Any squid or sardine whole or chunk got inhaled within 30 seconds. Caught some decent yellowtails, muttons, porgies and a king (on squid). Put in 2 solid hours and kept enough for dinner. The biggest mutton was caught by a first timer! Nice way to start out huh?

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FPI Blackfin Tuna, Cobia & King

Florida Sportsman member: B.Wilmot

We left the inlet bout 6:30 after stoping to get bait from Dave. Headed northeast to bottom fish a ledge. I have several good bottom spots out of SLI but since I’ve moved north I’ve yet to find any good prouductive bottom numbers out if FPI. The seas were 3 ft but far enough apart to run the 16 miles fairly quickly. We anchor up in 80-90 feet just southeast of Bethel shoal. I was expecting a fast current but was surprised at the lack of it. We get our chum and lines set up and in no time the flat line gets hit.

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Slob Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: choppy

Went out yesterday looking for that big dolphin…I have yet to get a big boy this year! Ran out and found absolutely nothing. Made the decision to come in and fish the tide change on the edge and look for wahoo and it was a good decision! Picked up this slob mid-afternoon on the tide in 130 feet just north of the inlet. She ate a horse bally…naked ! Also picked up a couple small dolphin. Really enjoying the new contender! Gonna take the weekend off from the tournaments and enjoy a little peanut island!

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SLI Blue Marlin

Florida Sportsman member: Off the Chain

Bait was hard to catch this morning, so I was glad that I bought a few dozen pilchards and some crabs. After hitting bottom spot after spot with little to no luck, we had made our way up past the peanut. 175 line. I was headed to another spot when we past a huge black mat, and what at first I thought was a sail under it. I spun the boat around and quickly tied a new leader and hook onto our spinner. As we made our way back to the fish I knew it was to big to be a sail, but didn’t want to say marlin and be wrong.

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Boca Mutton Snapper

Florida Sportsman member: ShinySide

Went out boozin on the Ocean yesterday with some lady friends and my buddies Cpt. Nick Morris and Cpt. Ryan Stang. We snagged a few baits from a friend out on the water just to have some lines out for the hell of it. Hooked up in 250 feet of water drifting a threadfin on a weight about 100 feet down. Low and behold it was a mutton. That son of b musta been hungry. Let the ladies take turns reeling it in. Summer time must be here…bikinis and snapper.

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Boynton Sails

Florida Sportsman member: Dominic74

I decided to go out last minute, considering next week is mothers day and I usually give that weekend to the wife. I met up with my buddy Kevin and hit the inlet around 7 a.m. We picked up a half dozen live sardines from Gary Jr. just in case trolling didn’t pan out. We started trolling north all the way to the pier with only one bonita to show for it. We then went off shore to around 900 feet and not much going on out there. Heading back was a little snotty with the wind blowing out of the west.

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Swords and Phins

Florida Sportsman member: schmittyfish561

I hear the swords have been chewing so I loaded up the boat and made the run down south. The ocean was nice and the storms were staying on shore! Got 2 nice size dolphin on the weigh out around 20-25 pounds. I Made 3 drops; the first drop had a couple weak hits pulled up half a bait; the 2nd drop got tight with a nice fish pulled half way up. The 3rd drop was down 10 minutes 2 hits later, the rod started to load out my hooker on full speed and got a good hook in set. The fish didn’t fight much on the way up until I got the weight off. The fish started to surface behind the boat slashing its bill. I backed up on him and he started to come right to the boat so I stuck him with the gaff! I was running low on gas so we headed in. My buddy got a 450 pounder when we went in!

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SLI Morning Gaffers

Florida Sportsman member: itsmine

Thought I would sneak offshore today before work. Me and a couple of friends left Sandsprit around 6:45 a.m. The sea was a little rough with a 3-5 foot swell and some chop, but not too bad. We started trolling in 80 feet and had a nice gaffer bull on within twenty minutes on a green stubby bubbler with a ballyhoo. We kept trolling and had 2 knock downs with nothing to show for it. Then around 9:30 we caught a gaffer cow in 140 feet on a blue and white skirted bait. The water was really warm today, about 78 degrees. Headed in around 10:30 and the inlet was definitely a little sketchy in my 18 foot pioneer.

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Busy Day off the St. Lucie Inlet

Florida Sportsman member: bullchaser

Instead of leaving at 4 we pushed it to 6 to check the stream out and if it was a go we would continue. Shoved off at 6 and made or way out SLI. Once in the stream we were hitting 5-6 feet on the chin so made the call to do it another day. Pointed west and came back into 200 feet off the powerplant. From there it was a steady flurry of action. We picked away at schoolie dolphin, cudas, and Bonita’s. I believe we were working the 160 foot area as I don’t think I had a free minute from 8-11 to even look where we were depth wise.

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Fort Pierce Wahoo, Dolphin, Tripletail

Florida Sportsman member: Pensacola

We cleared the inlet to some absolutely beautiful conditions. Glassed over ocean, literally like a lake. Made for a beautiful ride out. We set up the spread in 100 and started to work our way out. I think the winds from the past week had pushed debris in, because there were all sorts of weedlines, buoys, buckets, and bamboo floating around. We pull up to a buoy with rope in 220. No dolphin on it, but LOADED with triple tail. We get our first ever triple tail in the boat! Had another one on but he got off the hook. At that point they all swam down so we moved on.

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Bull off Boynton Beach

Florida Sportsman member: twindude3

Headed out aboard The Jim n’ Tonic Monday about 6:45am. We set up to troll in 150 feet. About 20 minutes into it, a nice cow hits port inside rod. Into the box she went.About 730 feet we see a phin looking at the port rigger,he takes it, I grab the rod as he spits the hook. I throw it into free spool to see if he’ll hit again…he just doesn’t hit…he devours and bulldogs across top of water. From a distance we know its a big bull. Fighting him to the boat, 30 minutes later, he’s whipped as he’s gaffed and welcomed aboard the Jim n’ Tonic. High fives circulated the boat, coffee replaced by Miller Light.

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PBI Smoker and Sail

Florida Sportsman member: FromDawntoDusky

Picked up some Goggs and broke the inlet (PBI) to a confused sea around 7:45am on Sunday. Wind was nearly non-existant, but it was snottier then expected and waves were fairly tight together. Decided to break out the artificials and trolled south between 100-300 feet with a purple/orange yo-zuri, two skirted lures, and a feather way back. Saw a lot of birds working what must have been small tuna/bonies crashing tiny flyers, but no strikes.

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Morning Dolphin Action

Florida Sportsman member: Off the Chain

The wind dropped off to less than 20 so off we went. The morning started off a little rough with a bad throttle cable causing a 1 hour delay. We set our baits out at 8:30 in 130 feet of water on a color change with scattered grass and lots of flying fish being shoved around by dolphin ranging from 20 inches to 20 pounds.

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Boynton Sailfish

Florida Sportsman member: pa28r200

Put two more people on their first sails yesterday! My buddy asked me at the dock if the sails where still biting and I said, think its just about over. First fish came at 8:20am in 85 feet of water off Lake Worth Pier. Second fish was in 160 feet off the Breakers. The conditions where less than comfortable (seas where not bad, wind was HOWLING). First time I used my high wind kite and it was struggling to stay in the air[...]

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Jupiter Sail, Wahoo, and Bullshark

Florida Sportsman member: dscherz

Only got around dozen mixed gogs and runnners. Decided to high speed down to Singer Island. No luck. Set up drift in around 125 feet and drifted in to 100 feet. No action. Next we set up in 150ft with live baits on the freeline and a few down as well. Now we are drifting out. At around 200 feet off Juno we get a real mild hit on the goggle eye on the flatline. Gets hit again but really didn’t eat it, or so I thought. Decide to check the bait only to realize we have a sail on the line! He goes bananas and puts on a good show.

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Fort Pierce Wahoo & Kingfish

Florida Sportsman member: JohnnyPlant

Hit the inlet in the dark, bought bait and headed out. Five line spread in before sunrise in 120 feet of water due east of the inlet. Less the 15 minutes in the troll, we see something crash the short bait and miss. Two seconds later both long lines get hit. My buddy Dan on the starboard line fights the fish to the boat as I fight the port fish/ clear lines. He gets fish to boat and its wahoo. I gaff fish after my other buddy misses with gaff twice. My fish is now in rod holder for second time. Box his fish and mine before 8 am[...]

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Sneaking Out on the “Nice” Day

Florida Sportsman member: Off the Chain

I fished a ¾ day, and because of the big swell and the turned up bottom, live bait was not to be had. I pretty much knew that would be the case, so I already had the dredge and trolling baits ready to go. We ran out to the NE and set out in 75 feet of water. I nice down sea tack while we set out brought us to an edge in 100 feet of water about 3 miles north of the inlet. We fished it for a bit with only bonita bites to show for it. I decide to push offshore to a couple hundred feet and check it out. There was another rip in 160 feet with some grass and bait in it.

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Stuart Sails & Phins

Florida Sportsman member: DayMaker

Today was a great day of Stuart Fl charter fishing. We started our day trolling on the 110 line in 90ft on an edge and before I got the dredge in the water we had hooked 4 gaffer dolphin on the troll. We ended up catching 3 of them. We picked away at the Mahi’s all day and ended the day with over 30 bites and boxing 22 of them from 7-14lbs. We also managed to have 6 sail bites on the troll with our guys hooking and landing their own sails.

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SLI Dolphin & Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: itsmine

Left SLI at 6:30 Sunday to do some trolling with my soon to be father and brother in law. We headed south out the inlet, and caught a 15 pound wahoo on mono rigged ballyhoo at 7:30 in 90 feet. After that my father in law made me aware that he brought bananas with him, and laughing knowing how I feel about having them on my boat.We were headed for push button after that and found scattered weeds and birds in 170 feet doubled up with two schoolies at 10. Around 11:30 we saw a fish going after the short line, and we are sure its a sail behind the bait. We drop it back to him, and it ended up being a 20 pound bull.

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Jupiter Mahi & Tuna

Florida Sportsman member: 1974Donzi

We went offshore at 7:00 a.m. Caught a nice tuna at 200 feet, east of Jupiter around 8:30. Noticed a little slick and continued zig zagging north on it. At 9:15 planer pops in 240′ and 10 pound mahi is in the boat. 9:30 planer pops in 280 feet and line is screaming off and then spits the hook. Thinking maybe a wahoo. Get back to trolling my new spreader bars/daisy chains and at 10:00 4 miles south of Push Button Hill my buddy Matt sees a big fish free jumping with 2 birds circling above.

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Jupiter Porgy & More

Florida Sportsman member: RockNReeler

Wanted to get out on the water before the winds started howling again. After calling everyone on my phone, finally asked my 73 year-old neighbor if he wanted to go fishing. He said “Sure”, so we headed out this morning around 7:15AM. Trolled for about 1.5 hours, no luck. Winds started picking up from the North, so we headed in to the 70 feet reef off of Juno. Got a couple of small yellowtail, then some of nice size. So we move about 1/4 mile north and pull in a Rainbow Runner. Then Fuzzy’s rod bends over and he is tugging and pulling away. Low and behold a big Fat Porgy comes to the boat. Very nice size fish

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Jupiter Inlet Snapper

Florida Sportsman member: zzzzzzsplash

Got out for a minute Saturday and caught a snapper limit. Beautiful start to the day cruising through Jupiter, but the wind and waves picked up by noon and we had a salty ride home.

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Vero Tripletail

Florida Sportsman member: sebastianshine

Wanted to share/brag on my first triple tails. One was 18 pounds and the other was 12 pounds. The picture is of the 18 pounder. Got them pretty far offshore, and that’s about all I have to say about that.

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SLI Variety

Florida Sportsman member: DayMaker

Started our day on the 4th catching a well full of bait. After the previous days fishing we had big expectations for some dolphin and sail action. Conditions changed We started where we had good action the previous 3 days for sails and mahi’s. We caught a 12 pound king and had a few others cut us off. We pushed offshore and caught some boneheads. Back inshore and we jumped a sail off and had another scissor lip us. Decided to do a little meat fishing to break up the monotony. We caught 4 amberjacks to 25 pounds, and an 18 pound Gag Grouper.

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SLI Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: bullchaser

Went out Saturday to try and bag a few phins for Superbowl Sunday! Started out north of SLI in 130/’ and worked our way out to 250 feet. Pretty blue water out in 250 feet with scattered weed and missed on a few phins. Then finally connected on a solid cow in 150 feet. Missed on double of sails. Naked ballyhoo and pink skirt/bally combo were the ticket. Sounds like we’re going out in the am so hoping for some more dinner.

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SLI Dolphin & Sails

Florida Sportsman member: DayMaker

We had a fun day and enjoyed great conditions. Plenty of bites from Kings and other critters. We caught 1 out of 2 sails today on the troll. We missed one in the dirty green water in 80 feet this morning straight out and caught 1 in the pretty blue water in 115 ft a little NE.

The highlight of the day was the dolphin action. We ended up having plenty of bites with a couple fish around 25 pounds and a bull that tipped the scales at 49 pounds. Took us for ever to catch that sucker (ironically the fight was exactly 49 minutes on the old GPS) The bull came with a 25 pound cow the second of those for the day. All fish ate trolled circle hook ballyhoo and the best mahi fishing was in the blended water between 80-120 feet. Lots of flyers and scattered grass.

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King for the Smoker

Florida Sportsman member: dscherz

Went out Friday morning with a bunch of runners and a few gogs but got beat up as seas built quickly so headed back in around 10am. Noticed the seas seems to be laying down yesterday while I was on a booze cruise up and down the ditch so decided to go out this am early. Inlet was smooth at 6 am and seas were manageable all day long, 2-3 feet. Today we cleaned up on goggle eyes at North rocks and actually had more goggles than runners! We thought we would slay it today.

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SLI Action

Florida Sportsman member: Off the Chain

Today I fished with Capt. Jimmy (Ace), Brad, Stan, and Scott for the third day in a row targeting sails. Yesterday was way slow and we only did a ¾ day with the last hour focusing on the bottom and reefs for Amber Jacks and Cobia. We caught a few AJs but no cobia that day. Today we had sails on the mind again, but after spending pretty much all day with the kites up and only jumping one sailfish off, catching a dolphin, losing a dolphin, and having a ton of kingfish and shark bites we went back to the bottom. Even though we didn’t catch the sail, we did get a few pictures of it.

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SLI Gaffer & Tripletail

Florida Sportsman member: Pairadox

We cleared the inlet to FLAT seas, picked up a handful of blue runners just outside the inlet and headed on our way. We had read the bite south was slow for the past few days, so NE we went. Attempted to bottom bounce the sandpile on the way out and sunk a few liveys to no avail. We pointed the bow NE to find some “fishy” conditions. I Decided to double back against the stream and came across about a 30 foot tree floating with its own ecosystem. Squirt some mild and drop out some runners and gaffer on! This was my friend son’s first phin!

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Jupiter Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: 1974Donzi

Went out with some friends this morning to go catch wahoo, mahi, and tuna. With only a 2 hour trip off Jupiter inlet we landed a tuna and a wahoo, and lost a dolphin at the transom. Fishing was great. I caught the wahoo deep off a planer with a white over blue flasher series islander with a horse ballyhoo. The tuna was caught on a naked ballyhoo. All fish were caught between 120-280 feet. Good day with good friends.

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Dolphin, Kings, & Snapper Off Fort Pierce

Florida Sportsman member: Pensacola

Finally got a break in the weather and we jumped on the opportunity to dust off the old grady and fish. Cleared the inlet around 7 and the seas were absolutely beautiful. We started off the powerplant in 100 and worked our way out. There was a huge fleet of sportfish boats working this area, so we joined in the mix. We troll by a big matt of weeds and outrigger pops, dolphin on. While fighting him, i see another dolphin jumping and he had the shotgun bait in his mouth. My friend got tight on him. Dad gaffs number one, then gaffs number two, and we have dinner.

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Wahoo South of Hillsboro

Florida Sportsman member: Team Tuppens

Once again it seems when least prepared, We get a nice one!! Left Boynton inlet 8 A.M. enroute to Ft. Lauderdale for a Garmin electronics seminar and training class. Before turning to the South, we do a high speed troll for a couple circles in front of Boynton inlet, Nice fish on for about 4 seconds in 180 then gone! After a couple more passes we turned South and didn’t get anything until Boca. A quick hit and gone! 280 feet just south of Hillsboro we have nice fish on and soon after it’s in the boat!

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Rough Conditions, Tight Lines

Florida Sportsman member: Lori Jo Fishing

“Cleared the inlet the around 7am with Chris and Billy. Was greeted with 3-5 footer’s at the inlet and got though them with no problems. We set up the spread and head north. Get a bonita on a strip to start the morning off. Then the planer pops and nothing. Right after that the rigger gets hit and loose that one. Later on we get a double-header. Two phins in the box. Get up to the ritz and work that for a while and then head back south.

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Bucket List: Catch a Sailfish, Check!

Mate Chris Watkins (left) and angler Paul Duwyne (right).

Kelly Johnson sent this recent fishing success in to share with the FS community. It’s a good sign of what’s to come this season as the temperatures continue to cool. Sailfish are here!

“On his personal bucket list, Paul Duwyne wanted to enjoy a day of offshore fishing in Florida and catch his very first sailfish. Well, the conditions were not ideal, but his wish became a reality aboard Reel Candy Sportfishing Charters, out of Jupiter, Florida this past weekend. In sloppy 4 to 6 foot seas, Captain Marvin Steining and mate Chris Watkins were able to grant Paul his wish by catching not only his first sailfish, but another as well! Both of the sailfish were caught and released off a kite, using goggle eyes for bait.”


Epic Bloody Sunday

Florida Sportsman member: e-money

Had a  half-day lined up on my boat Sunday AM for trip with kids. Wind was HOWLING 20 plus at dawn and I did not feel comfortable so i called them to re-schedule. I heard MD20/20 was rolling out, and they were kind enough to pick me up for the day! Man I was stoked for “work” as the recent weather has put a hurting on guides, captains, dive boats. Total last minute, I literally RAN to the dock [...]

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Tuna, Dolphin, and Sails off Stuart

Florida Sportsman member: Capt George Gozdz

I’ve been crazy busy filming “Reel Time” and I’ve been slacking on my reports. The bite offshore has been great so no better time to report then now. After loading the wells full of mullet and pilchards we headed out. Set up both days in the same exact spot. 110′ was the magic number for me. Chummed while we fished 2 kite baits and 3 flatlines.[...]

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Picture Perfect Day off Stuart

Florida Sportsman member: Stetson Law

Florida Sportsman member Stetson Law captured some fantastic images off Stuart this past weekend. Greyhounding sailfish and frisky dolphin made for the perfect subjects. “Started off sailfish season off Stuart this morning on the Three Buoys. Non-stop action all day long. Hooked 8 sailfish, 10 dolphin, 1 cobia, and 1 big mutton on live bait.”

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Offshore with the Kids

Florida Sportsman member: Lori Jo Fishing

Went out Saturday morning with Chris and Cayden. Plan was to fish ’till noon, then go anchor up at the island to let the kids play. Set up the spread around 6:40 a.m. and start working around the inlet from 140 to 380. Around 7 a.m. the down rod goes off and half way to the boat a ‘phin goes airborne. As Chris gets it closer to the boat, I was thinking maybe a gaffer, then the line in the rigger pops out and the rod doubles-over. Grab the rod and a few minutes later a nice blackfin comes up to the boat [...]

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Crushing the Hoo’s

Florida Sportsman member: e-money

Was blessed to get the call from CNTDR about a Bahamas trip! We had an awesome crew with CNTDR (aka “Jiffy” Jeff), Clarke, Jim and E$. Cleared and put em’ in right away, 15 minutes in ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! STUD hoo’ pushing 50 pounds in the box. Set em’ back and it got quiet so we bottom fished, catching a variety of muttons, yellowtails, strawberries, porgies, and rocked up by at least 4 BIG groupers [...]

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Bull Dolphin on the Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Scott

Well, the water went to total crap everywhere inside of 400 feet today. Brown and nasty. Tried the spots the tuna had been, but there was no love there. Plenty of small false albacore, but that was it. So, after the sun cleared out enough to have decent visibility, wandered out to about 800 feet and poked around some loosly formed mats of weeds. Was at it for a while without seeing anything remarkable when this thing swam up!

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SLI Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: FISHHUNTR

Got an early start with Zach (FLDXT) and was at Bull Shark at sunrise, not much happening in the way of bait. Managed a few small dines & gogs not worth hanging around for. Shot out to the Shrimper and that was an improvement, managed some decent dines and cigar minnows. While bringing in a stringer full, Zach has a cobe come up and commence to help himself to the struggling baits on the sabiki, turns out 3 more were with em’.

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Blue Marlin off St. Lucie Inlet

Florida Sportsman member: unhooked

The coffee colored water got us pretty far offshore today. The water turned from green to blue in 370 feet. Tucker (from West Marine in Jupiter) and I were talking on the way out about blues, I have been wanting to finish the SLI Billfish Grand Slam (sword, sail, white and blue marlin) all I needed was to land a blue, long odds! [...]

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Boynton Beach Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: Lori Jo Fishing

Headed out this morning with Chris and Billy, cleared the inlet with seas about 2-to 4-feet. We headed north and put the spread out in 80 feet. Tons of turtle grass and weeds everywhere. Kept getting weeded up from 150-to 400-feet. After a couple hours of that and getting pushed way north of the Lake Worth peir, we head back south. We go into shallower water to get away from the weeds. Going straight south into the waves was a bumpy troll but worth it [...]

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Stud Wahoo of Jupiter

Florida Sportsman member: Net 30

Spent the day fishing with our buddy Charlie Stuve out of Jupiter Inlet. Loaded the well with 200 sardines just outside the inlet and headed out in search of muttons. Charlie had a 12 pound and 17 pound mutton this week, so we had high expectations. Had my 14-year old son and his buddy on board for a trip before school begins on Monday [....]

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Dolphin and Kings off Boynton

Florida Sportsman member: Dominic74

Called my buddy Chris and Alan on Saturday and made plans to fish Sunday hoping we would not get rained out. We got to the ramp at 6:40 and went for bait in front of the inlet, it was loaded with sardines and gogs, picked up about a dozen and a half and started trolling. The idea was to troll for wahoo and possibly pick up a few kings in between. Headed north and right away planer pops in 125 feet in front of the inlet and first kingfish in the boat, he hit a strip with pink skirt [...]

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Wahoo Triplets

Florida Sportsman member: FishThis1

My buddy has been trying for a few years to catch the elusive palm beach wahoo! He has been with me in the Bahamas and caught a few but they have eluded him on his boat. I went a couple of times and we scatched out one or two bites but never got one in the boat. Well this changed this weekend! We figured it would be crowded on the water so we had lines in at 530 a.m. and put out some mullets [...]

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Swordfish in the Southeast

Florida Sportsman member: Offshore9393

When I got a call on thursday that my friends gaterzone19 and flatsfisher were coming down from FSU, the first thing that came to my mind was swordfishing, and that is exactly what we did. I loaded our pen with runners the day before and we were ready to go. We decided to get out early and make a few daytime drops [...]

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Smoking Drags in the Southeast

Florida Sportsman member: e-money

Had the pleasure of hosting Mark, Aiden and Brennan for a 1/2 day. It was a celebratory trip for Aiden, who just celebrated his 9th birthday! E$ hadn’t broke out the hoo gear in a minute, but felt confident [...]

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hot Tuna Bite off Stuart

Florida Sportsman member: Alwaysforward

We decided with the higher winds yesterday that we should buy some baits this morning just to be safe. Picked 20 baits up from (2) kids running Chips boat at the ramp around 5 a.m. or so then headed out insearch of some sardines. Arrived at Bullshark and loaded up on goggle eyes and sardines. When I tossed in a large blue runner into the livewell, Alie started talking fish talk [...]

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Hot Phins

Florida Sportsman member: Ocean Motion

Ken and I decide to return to bump trolling that same weed line as we followed it N/B. We get to the east side of the weed line and set out one line which gets hit immediately by a gaffer Phin. I still have bait on a down line and Ken throws out his bait which gets hit almost immediately. There were gaffer phins swimming all around the boat. Then the down line gets hit by another gaffer [...]

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On the Yellowfins

Florida Sportsman member: o-sea-d

Made a run to the east in some pretty sporty weather to say the least. Came to a flock of birds just out of the gulf stream approx. 45 miles to the east and started our chunking. Unfortunately, we only had a couple dozen gogs with us and 3 flats of sardines, no live chumming on this venture. Went through the flock with a couple 30 tiagras to try and pick up some skippies and mark the yellowfins. Successfully we marked them and caught some extra chunking bait “skipjacks” before we made a drift [...]

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Team Sargent Winning Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: Hooklesslure

Gary, Jim , John and myself were sponsored by the Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Benevolent to fish in the Fourth Annual Team Sargent KDW out of the Rybovich Marina in West Palm Beach. Getting an early start from Boynton Beach we met up with Dynamite Live Bait picked up a dozen goggle eyes and two dozen pilchards then headed to the fishing grounds. Decided to troll first with wahoo on our minds. My usual spread consisted of Islanders ranging from white/pink(mylar), purple/black, red/black(mylar) and a split tail mullet on the wire line [...]

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Solid BFT’s

Florida Sportsman member: e-money

Within 15 minutes of setting up, we have a BOMB on long kite bait. Get him up, solid blackfin in the box. As this is going on the flatline gets SMOKED by a 30 pound class blackfin! He goes in the box as the other kite bait goes off! It was GREAT team was stoked. Head back out for a few hours Saturday [...]

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Dolphin and BFT’s

Florida Sportsman member: alwaysforward

Took a vacation day today to take 4 people out today for some offshore fun. Gary, his brother Dan and his son Derek along with Gary’s son AJ. Full boat today for sure. We picked up some bait from the bait guy at the ramp this morning just in case [...]

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Kingfish on the E$

Florida Sportsman member: e-money

Had the pleasure of hosting a repeat trip for Kasper clan Sunday. Weather was nice, bait was tough but managed some runners and hand full of gogs pre-dawn. Water was still green inshore but instead of South current, it was ripping N at 3.5 knots (does anyone have a clue on how current can do a 180 like that)? In about 200 feet we spot some “floatsam”. Pulled some almaco jacks and SOLID triple tails! [...]

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Lady Stuart Epic Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Captain David Knight of Lady Stuart Deep Sea Fishing party boat, docked at Hutchinson Island Marriott, reported a spectacular day of fishing on Wednesday. 23 anglers caught about 3 dozen sea bass, four huge triggerfish, 3 whitebone porgies, 4 banded rudderfish, 8 mahi, 6 mangrove snapper, and a 25lb amberjack. The catch of the day was a 29.4 lb mutton snapper, which was just 1 lb shy of the world record! This moster of a fish was reeled in by Tom Kulinski of Port St. Lucie, FL using 20lb test line on a light spinning rod. Tom Kulinski took the fish to the Snook Nook, where it was officially weighed in on a digital scale.

According to Captain David Knight, the mutton and mangrove snapper bite should continue strong through the summer. We also anticipate the bite to continue strong for mahi, as well as black sea bass, triggerfish, porgies, vermillion snapper, and lane snapper.


Port Saint Lucie Offshore Fishing Report

Florida Sportsman member: Alwaysforward

Headed out from 70ft in search of some weeds. Finally came across ouf first weeds in 700 ft north of the Hill. Put out the normal spread of livey’s, chunks and menhaden oil and one other special ingredient – Menhaden Milk. Read in Florida Sportsman about how the milk mixes better with the water than the oil does. I figured best of both worlds when using both. The oil makes the slick so you can see where to keep your bait in and the milk disperses in the water [...]

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Dolphin under the Weeds

Florida Sportsman member: Dominic74

Headed out of Boynton Inlet around 6:30am with my buddy Chris, looked for some bait in front of the inlet and only managed about six sardines . Headed off shore to look for dolphin, came across a weed line around 450ft, quick troll, nothing. Decided to head way off shore , passed 750ft with some really nice weed patches, but already two many boats around, so continued out further to find our own, we saw a buoy of some sort floating in about 1,400 ft or so we thought it was a buoy [...]

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Team Bandit- Francis Langford Tournament

Florida Sportsman member: sam50

With our success last tournament hopes were high to have a good showing for the first SKA Div. 8 battle. Team was the same except I had my cousin Dale down from Georgia for the weekend and he volunteered to be the picture and video guy. Weather was forcasted to be flat calm with the possibility of thunderstorms in the afternoon. We loaded the wells with bait just inside the inlet and waited patiently for the Bimini start at 7 a.m. [...]

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Buddy’s First Fish

Florida Sportsman member: ChadJ55

On Saturday, Ria and I took her brother out fishing, along with three of her brother’s friends from Ohio, one of whom had never fished in his life, let alone caught anything before. We broke the inlet around 8:45 to flat calm seas and a beautiful day. Ran out to around 550′ where we found the second nice looking weedline. (Passed the first after not seeing much life and wanting to start the day deeper.) Once we got the lines in, a few flying fish made an appearance and had the newbies in absolute awe that fish could indeed actually fly [...]

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SLI Offshore, Weeds Everywhere

Florida Sportsman member: Fi$h2nguyen

Water was beautiful and flat, so we were able to get to 75ft pretty quickly before setting the spread. GPS was set for PBH, but before we could get there, we ran into the Holy Grail of weedlines (there was no current today).

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SE Bash Kingfish

Florida Sportsman member: Cat_Sass

The Cat Sass fishing team was all excited about fishing this tournament for a great cause. We decided to skip live bait due to the forecasted sea conditions and opted to pull rigged bally’s. All seemed calm heading out of the pocket to the inlet until we found that ripping outgoing tide stacking up against that 15 knot onshore wind. Needless to say, we were all covered with sea spray before we made it through the inlet [...]

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King Krazy!

Florida Sportsman member: Sam50

With the weather forecast spot on, Derek and Carlos opted for a quick half day trip on the Reel Service. Loaded the wells up with some top secret baits and we were off to the spot, smack in the middle of all the chaos on the Juno ledge!! What a sight, boats stacked on top of each other and a tug and barge plowing thru the middle of it all…priceless!

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First ‘Phins!

Florida Sportsman member: Squiddly86

Captain Bryan picked me up at 3:45 p.m. We got to the house, met-up with TrimTab and loaded-up. Hit the inlet at around 4:15 and went south-and-out to about 135 feet. Capt. Bryan got a fish on and lost it, (then so did Trim) so we headed out a lil’ further to about 340 feet (saw some birds and rips). We threw the chum bag over and put the baits out. I rigged an extra line and let it in the water (really close to the boat, about 6 foot and under), in case we got a dolphin on. Out of nowhere, my line goes off…but I realize its the one right next to the boat! My FIRST phin was TOO easy. I seriously didnt expect THAT line to go off. Pretty cool though!

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Spearfishing Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: nutsmagoo

Got the call from Bluewaterspearo yesterday morning for an afternoon spearfishing trip to target mahi. With reports of big Mahi being taken recently we were hoping to score. Loaded up the boat with Kris, Kyle and Jeff and we were off. Ran due east 14 miles out of the inlet looking for weed lines or debris and came up empty handed. On to plan B – targeting cobia off of the bull sharks. Got to our spot and jumped in with the flashers and within a minute the sharks showed up – but no cobia in tow [...]

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Fins and Wahoo!

Florida Sportsman member: PaulBoat

Another day, another fishing adventure. Cleared the inlet shortly after 9 am and was greeted by super calm seas. There were already quite a few boats out there. Put out my spread and headed East. I had found some fins in 750’ the day before, so I figured I’d head back out there. There were scattered weeds, slicks and rips along the way.

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Day-timing!

Florida Sportsman member: Chronic Obsession

Fished Saturday with Billy, had a couple bites early but didn’t get tight. Picked up and moved a bit. We downed a REEL ADRENALINE and 20 minutes later were tight. Fish is boat side within 20 minutes, Billy AKA Top Dawg hits her with a poon’ and we’ve got an estimated 250+ on the deck. Good thing the fish didn’t drink a Reel Adrenaline or we would have had a longer fight! [...]

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Epic Trip!

Florida Sportsman member: e-money

Was blessed to get booked for an over-night trip to West End with Team Pairadox. We had Captain Mike, Kenny D, Gavin, and E$ “in the house”. We met up 2 days prior to departure to review gear & formulate a game plan. Mike has a gorgeous 31 Jupiter w 300 Suzuki’s. Rode like a champ! It was awesome to meet and fish with such a cool group of guys & we were AMPED to get them on some fish. Shoved off about 7:00 AM from SLI, got checked in and magic and comedy started happening [...]

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Slob Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: PBG POOLGUY

Fished North of the inlet in 115 feet and caught 2 cobia. One was 22 pounds and then I caught this one and it went 58! Very sloppy on the ride home but worth it. Both fish were caught on dead sardines on the bottom.

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First Report a Success

Florida Sportsman member: djjohnj

We headed out a little late on Saturday. We had to finish installing the tackle station in the boat. I am glad we did it before this trip. I knew it would clean up the tackle bags on the deck but never thought it would be that good. So we stopped off and got some live bait and broke the inlet about 10am. Beautiful day! We took off south. Ran to about 185ft and set out a spread of gogs and pilchards. We didn’t bring the helium, so no kite [...]

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SLI Report

Florida Sportsman member: Dolfan

Went out fishing this morning with my friend Art and his two sons Brian and Bill on Art’s 320 Sea Vee. We caught a Sailfish, 2 Mahi, and an AJ. Lost a third smaller Mahi at the boat. The big Mahi weighed 32lbs and the smaller one 13lbs. Another calmer than forecast day.

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Live Bait Action

Florida Sportsman member: schmittyfish561

It looked like we had a window opportunity Saturday, talked to a buddy and he had his first fishing charter and needed some help! Me looking for any opportunity to go fish i was like you bet i got about a dozen gogs penned up i had left over from a day that was cut short. we left the dock at 6:30 made a short run picked up our live bait [...]

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TUNA, DOLPHIN, and WAHOO SLAM

Florida Sportsman member: PaulBoat

I’m sure everyone still remembers the very sad news of the passing of Capt. Dan (Reel C’s). I didn’t know what was going on except I noticed that the “crew” had not posted at all for a while. Upon digging around a bit, I found the news and spoke with Eric (Plan Fish N) and invited the crew for a fishing outing on the Checked~Out [...]

 

 

 

 

 


SLI Offshore Wahoo and Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: Cat_Sass

We got a late start and cleared the inlet at 7:30 with overcast skies. Since it was just my wife and I, we decided to skip the livies and just troll some bally’s. We dropped the riggers at 80′ and started to set the spread. First out was a feather lure on the shotgun which was immediately hit by a small bonita. Then as soon as all the lines were set, the long goes off and my wife reels in a really small peanut [...]

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Valentines Day Treat

Florida Sportsman Member: Hooklesslure

Got an early start, met up with Gary Sr. with Dynamite Live Bait for some goggle eyes then headed for the inlet. Lines in by 7 a.m. we headed northward, not a half hour goes by we have two dolphin in the boat. Continuing northward in and out from 100′ – 300′ we continue to pick up more dolphin. Finally making it up towards the Sloans Curve area in the 200′ range the wire line begins clicking , could it be? Yes, hand jack the line to the boat and its a small wahoo.

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Red Hot Fishin’

Florida Sportsman member: e-money

Ended up 4 for 6 on sails, (2 were tagged) and about 10 fins. (8 gaffers and a couple flippers.) We also released several 5-10 lb fins for good karma!! We also got 2 kings in the 20-30 class.

All in all a FANTASTIC day on the water, where we went thru 4 dozen gogs+ Got a couple pics, and also a brief video [...]

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Fishing for Juvenile Tarpon

Secrets for catching small tarpon in Florida backwaters.

Find a dark, stagnant pool or stream tucked way back in a mangrove swamp and there’s a good chance you’ll spot little silver fish rolling at the surface. Odds are they are tarpon, very small ones, only 1 to 3 feet long, and they are gulping air—a survival tactic that enables these fish to survive in habitats that repel most others.

Creeks, canals, ditches, bayous—even the occasional landlocked pond can hold baby tarpon. Typically, you’ll find these fish frolicking in the arteries that link to larger saltwater bodies into which they’ll eventually depart. But while they’re tiny, tarpon enjoy the quiet, food-laden realm where limited access, dense cover and low oxygen shield them from predators of fin and feather.

“Juvenile tarpon really don’t need their water to have much oxygen in it—they can get just about all of their oxygen by gulping it at the surface, because of their modified swim bladder,” said Aaron Adams, a fisheries/environmental scientist with Bonefish & Tarpon Trust. “They can live back in sticky, mosquito-infested places where other larger fish that might eat them can’t survive. Think of a place where you probably wouldn’t want to be in a mangrove swamp and that’s probably where juvenile tarpon are going to be.”

Tighter is Better

Now ask 10 anglers for the best little tarpon hole and 10 answers you will get. Fact is, these backwater nurseries lie scattered throughout the Florida Peninusula—mostly in the lower half. Best bet is to just go looking. Start with your local charts and pick an area of dense mangroves with obvious runouts. Because mangrove basins grow in uneven form, those tidal drains often open into deeper lagoons favored by small tarpon.

This is the realm of the narrow, ultra-shallow drafting vessel. Specialized skiffs like the Pelican Ambush can squeak their way through the gauntlet of mangrove roots and uneven tidal furrows, but kayaks and canoes excel here. Some areas offer walk-up access for those willing to trudge through the mud and muck, bend and twist through shoreline vegetation and swat away the winged and biting guardians of this realm.

Sometimes wading is the best way, or towing/dragging the kayak or canoe on lower water. Just watch the day’s tide schedule because that creek or ditch you traversed on foot when the banks were bare may be chest-deep—or more—on a full tide. Those with low mangrove canopies often squeeze in tightly on high tides, so note the water lines on mangroves and make sure you’ll have sufficient head room and space when paddling or wading out.

Tarpon release for a fly fisherman who poked far up a mangrove creek, making roll casts with a streamer.

Even with sufficient space, keep your profile streamlined to prevent snagging hooks or breaking rod tips in these tight quarters. Your best bet is to carry or load rods facing backward and secure hooks or lures on your rod’s hook keeper just above the reel.

Baits and Tactics

In their first year, juvenile tarpon are a voracious and indiscriminate lot, but keep it real. They may be keen on eating whatever they can catch, but these little guys can’t choke down those sinking plugs or jumbo plastic shrimp you might sling toward their parents. Small jigs of 1/16- to 1/8-ounce with paddle
or curl tails, little swimbaits such as the DOA TerrorEyz, and light shrimp imitators commonly attract attention.

In Sarasota Bay and Charlotte Harbor, Capt. Rick Grassett often engages baby tarpon on the fly rod. He prefers a fast-sinking Orvis Depth Charge fly line (300 or 350 grain) which gets down quickly in deeper canals and basin, but he’ll go with an intermediate sink tip line for shallower spots. Grassett said he fares best with scaled down versions of beach tarpon flies, like Tarpon Bunnies or Deceivers in black or white on a 1/0 Owner AKI hooks. Grassett likes flies with rabbit or marabou, as he can strip them slowly into deeper strike zones and still maintain plenty of action.

Small tarpon are spectacular fighters but also fragile. Best to keep them in the water for de-hooking and photos.


Richard Sullivan manages the Cockroach Bay Preserve in South Tampa Bay and spends a lot of his off time fishing the area water for its mixed bag potential. Sullivan said that the obvious tarpon is seldom the willing one. Anglers instinctively fire a bait toward the vision of little tarpon surfacing to gulp air, but that can become a lesson in frustration.

Sullivan said, “I seem to catch them better when they’re not rolling. I catch them a lot while I’m mangrove snapper fishing. I catch them on shrimp, cut bait; I even caught one on a fiddler crab. They’ll eat anything at that age.”

Whatever you throw at your little silver targets, remember that even a small tarpon mouth is still a tarpon mouth and that is one hard surface, so set the hook with convincing force. Tight mangrove habitats can challenge this goal by limiting your space, but scaling down to shorter rods will help. Much of the action will occur at close range, so you won’t miss the casting distance of a long rod anyway.

Juvenile tarpon will test your patience, but the show is worth the wait. They won’t yank the rod from your hands, or make you reach for the back brace—as do adult tarpon—but the rapid fire aerial show is just a blast.

I recall a Lemon Bay trip when Capt. Morris Campbell and I peeked into a small creek and found what looked like a pot of boiling macaroni. Back after silver back broke the surface as a pack of baby tarpon did their thing within easy casting distance. Of course, “easy casting distance” offers no guaranteed hookups, as a buffet of jigs and small jerkbaits went completely ignored for nearly an hour until someone flipped the switch and we put half a dozen in the air—two of which we met at boatside.

“It’s all about finding the fish and working them until you get them to bite or give them up,” Grassett said. “I will work them for a long time, sometimes hours, before catching them or giving them up and moving on. Once hooked, juveniles are more acrobatic so they tend to jump off more, but can be landed in a matter of minutes as opposed to sometimes an hour or more for large tarpon.”

Juvenile Tarpon Habitat

Tarpon depend on their nursery environment. Coastal development has taken its toll on these vital backwaters. Adams lists the primary threats to juvenile tarpon nurseries as habitat loss (former wetlands
and swamps swapped for concrete and steel), altered freshwater inflows (former tidal creeks now partially or fully obstructed) and contaminant runoff.

In one case in the effort to help reverse this trend, Bonefish Tarpon Trust launched a juvenile tarpon
habitat restoration project with immediate and long-term objectives. The group partnered with the Lemon Bay Conservancy, which purchased an 80-acre former golf course property in Placida (north of Charlotte Harbor) for the purpose of reconnecting its creeks and waterways to Lemon Bay’s open waters.Seine net sampling began in September 2012, providing a measurement baseline for the restoration which began late in 2013.

“This project is looking at abundance in size and growth and survival of juvenile tarpon before restoration occurs and then after restoration occurs,” Adams said.

The actual restoration phase will reconnect the site’s creek system that once linked a series of wetland ponds. After that, sampled tarpon of at least 8 inches will receive surgically-implanted computer chips (similar to pet ID chips) with unique codes. BTT will install an underwater antenna at the mouth of the site’s main artery and record each tarpon as it departs the nursery habitat. A handheld reader will also detect the chips to identify previously sampled fish recaptured within the project site.

Monthly post-restoration monitoring will include fin clip DNA samples, which will be shared with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. FWRI has been logging DNA data for its Tarpon Genetic
Recapture program, which studies tarpon movement by cross-referencing DNA samples from documented catches with those in its database.

“You can go to a place and see hundreds or thousands of juvenile tarpon, and that’s great, but unless their habitat is good enough that they can actually survive and grow and then leave and become
part of the fishery, it’s not necessarily a good habitat. It’s critical that you don’t just count fish, but you determine that they’re able to survive and leave.”

Adams said BTT has looked at other potential restoration sites in Charlotte Harbor and elsewhere throughout Florida. He encouraged anglers to report juvenile tarpon sites of potential restoration need through the BTT website (www.tarbone.org.). Volunteer opportunities can also be found here. FS

Remarkable Transformations

Alien like leptocephalus stage of a juvenile tarpon.


Kids often closely resemble their parents, but hold a hatchling tarpon next to its parent and you might think you have two different species. In fact, tarpon larvae (leptocephali) look more like the ancient eels to which ancestral tarpon are actually related. The most striking difference, though, is the mouth—specifically what’s in there. Two reasons tarpon anglers grip their catch by the lower jaw for boatside resuscitation— the bony ridge makes a solid handle, and there are no teeth. Not so with young tarpon.

When tarpon spawn offshore, mainly between May and August, the larvae hatch as transparent, ribbon like creatures sporting a mouthful of fang-like teeth. This dental equipment helps them catch tiny zooplankton meals as they drift shoreward for about 30 to 60 days. Once they reach the shallow backwaters, the inch-long baby tarpon lose their teeth and actually shrink in size, before morphing into tiny versions of the fish anglers recognize.

Growth soon resumes and juvenile tarpon reach a foot in their first year. By that time, they’re big enough to grab those flies, jigs, hard baits back in those secluded, hard-to-reach creeks.

Tarpon Regulations

Gear limited to hook-and-line only.

No snagging or attempting to snag tarpon, defined as catching or attempting to catch tarpon that have not been attracted or enticed to strike an angler’s gear.

No use of a multiple hook in conjunction with live or dead natural bait to harvest or attempt to harvest
tarpon.

You are allowed to temporarily possess a tarpon for photography, measurement of length and girth and scientific sampling, with the stipulation that tarpon more than 40 inches remain in water.

No harvest of tarpon, with the exception of the harvest or possession of a single tarpon when in pursuit of an IGFA record and in conjunction with a tarpon tag ($50). Tarpon tags limited to one per person,
per year (except for charterboat captains).

Florida tarpon regs extend into adjacent federal waters.

Special Regs for Boca Grande Pass:

Fishing with gear that has a weight attached to a hook, fly or lure in such a way that the weight hangs lower than the hook when the line or leader is suspended vertically from the rod is prohibited. This applies to fishing for all species year-round within Boca Grande Pass. If this gear is on board a fishing vessel while inside the boundaries of the Pass, it cannot be attached to any rod, line or leader and must be stowed.

During April, May and June, no more than 3 rods may be actively fished aboard a boat while in Boca Grande Pass. Also, no use of “breakaway” terminal tackle during these months.

First Published Florida Sportsman April 2014

Take Your Shiner For a Stroll

Slow-trolling shiners targets the lunkers.

By Chris Christian
Originally published in the January 2008 print edition.

Shiner trolling—low tech, effective big bass tactic.

It’s not the most glamorous bass tactic, and you’re not likely to see it on the cable TV fishing shows. But there’s a reason why slow-trolling live shiners is the bread and butter technique for bass guides from Lake Okeechobee to Talquin–it works. It gives virtually any angler their best shot to catch a true 10-pound-plus trophy. Or, at the very least, it helps to locate concentrations of bass that can be caught with other methods.

Slow-trolling a shiner is also about as simple a technique as you’ll find. It’s nothing more than tossing a live one 50 feet or so behind the boat, and then easing the boat along on the trolling motor while you let the shiner “swim.” In that respect it’s not much different than slow-trolling a live bait for kingfish.

There are a few refinements that make it more effective. First, the shiner needs to be placed far enough behind the boat that a bass can move out of the boat’s way and then slip back to where it was lurking before the shiner gets there. That’s normally at a distance of about 50 to 60 feet. That’s a lot of line out, and a bass will take more as it moves with the bait.

Therefore a long rod is an asset. Few guides use models shorter than seven feet. Seven- to 8-foot models are popular and a flipping rod is actually ideal. It has the length and the backbone required to troll the shiner and fight a good bass at these distances.

Braided line is another advantage. It has no stretch and slams a hook home even at a distance. Lines in the 40- to 60-pound-test range are the most popular, although monofilament lines in the 20- to 30-pound range will work.

This rig is best assembled around a casting reel. The reel needs to be left in free spool so it will yield line to a striking fish, yet have enough tension on the spool to prevent the shiner from taking line. There are some spinning reels with a “bait runner” type feature that will work, but a casting reel with a clicker button is a better bet. A casting reel without that feature will be effective if the spool tension knob is tightened down to the appropriate setting.

Once properly equipped, here are four pointers for best success.

1. Hook the shiner (5- to 7-inch wild shiners are the best bet) upward through the bottom of the jaw and out one nostril hole. Use a 5/0 wire weedguard hook (like the Eagle Claw) if vegetation is present. In open water use a 5/0 shortshank bait holder hook without the weedguard.

2. In depths less than 8 feet, add a small float 6 feet above the shiner. This will keep the shiner up and make it track straight. In deeper water delete the float and add a 1⁄8-ounce sinker 2 feet above the bait to get it down.

3. Set the trolling motor speed slow enough that the shiner can “swim” behind the boat and not just be “dragged.”

4. On the strike, stop the boat and let the bass swim 10 to 15 feet with the bait. Then, point the rodtip to where the line enters the water, reel down fast, and when you feel the weight of the fish, set the hook. You’ll have a lot of line out, and this will sweep the slack out quickly. Don’t be tentative. Go for it! If you get into a “feeling contest” with the bass, you’ll lose.

This technique works anywhere there are bass. But, there are three situations where it, well, shines brightest.

Try it during the spawning season on any lake that has manmade canal systems. Bass spawn in these, and the big females hold deep in the middle of the canals when they are not actually on their beds. Troll right down the middle.

Use it along the outside edge of weedlines or the edge of submerged creek channels. Fish a float bait tight to the weedline, and if it is a deep weedline, put a second bait outside of that sans float and with a weight.

The technique works like a charm over any deep weed-covered flat (like those found on Rodman and other lakes). You’ll be amazed at how many fish are out there roaming around in mid-lake, far from any bassy-looking shoreline.

It may lack some of the appeal of tossing a topwater at the bulrushes, but when obvious casting targets are lacking, slow-trolling shiners will find the bass, including some of the biggest fish you’re likely ever to hook with any tactic.

Florida Keys Offshore

Recent offshore fishing reports from the Florida Keys region.


Florida Keys Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: Gary M

We also had a pretty good bite with the yellowtail snappers. I tend to fish for them more than the heavy gear on the bottom and on this trip I got nice fish up to 23 1/2 inches. Fat ones too and on my light spinner, it was just a blast.

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Epic Trip to Pulley Ridge

Florida Sportsman member: cudaman

A lot of screaming reels all over the boat with double hook ups, up to quad hookups, the over under screaming of the mates could be heard from one end of the boat to the other as the mixed bag of fish started flooding the decks. Some bonitas (little tunny) found their way into the mix and a regular scene to happen of the days of fishing.

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Find the Birds, Find the Fish

Florida Sportsman member: seamonkey23

We then decided to run and gun. I saw 2 or 3 birds that were joined by 3 or 4 more circling something, so dropped the baits. We watched the birds circle back to our baits and as soon as I mentioned that, we hooked up on the bigger bull and cow.

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Night Time is the Right Time

Florida Sportsman member: PBG POOLGUY

The mangrove bite was red hot! Got out a couple hours before dark, had the chum flowing and picked at some smaller snappers and managed a nice rock hind, but when the sun went down it was on! All the big whitebait you wanted in the light all night long, bug a bait, drop it down and bam!

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Keys Offshore Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Got Ta Go

Dolphin have been holding mostly between 500-750′. I won’t say they have been easy, but if you keep working at it in the grass you’ll put together a nice catch. Seems they’ve been wanting meat, as most my catches have been coming on ballyhoo with or without skirts.

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Tearing Up the Tortugas

Florida Sportsman member: Gary M

It was a matter of picking off a few nice fish, move to another spot and repeat throughout the trip. But we did have a wild snapper bite that gave us a very busy hour at sundown the first night!

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Islamorada Offshore Variety

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

Dolphin fishing has really picked up for us over the past week down here in Islamorada. Every day has been a little different, and it can still be a little hit or miss, but we had a few outstanding trips over the weekend.

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The Gift of Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: kajo

We headed out to 650 feet, put out a few trolling rigs and hooked up pretty fast. We got some schoolies in the cooler and after hooking 4 we saw a mass of flying fish blast out of the water a little ways away and a second later a huge mahi mauling them.

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Keys Trip Success

Florida Sportsman member: stoutner

We went back out Thursday afternoon and found a nice solid weedline in about 650-700 feet of water. Trolled up to it and as soon as we arrived we were doubled up on Dolphin. Stopped trolling and started to chunk up that Bonito to bring the school to us.

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Day Saving Tuna

Florida Sportsman member:flbluerunner

Decided to go Southwest, there were broken weeds the whole way. Got out about 28 miles off and found birds were everywhere.

It was a big school of blackfins,and we were able to catch all we wanted. Kept 3 nice ones and let the rest go.

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Working for the Fish

Florida Sportsman member: Gulf2Back2Front

Weed formations were key with the occasional dolphin jumping to confirm our aspirations. These were caught mostly on Billy Bait and our own techniques for getting more.

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Islamorada Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

So we ditched the reef fishing plan and headed off to power drift on some deeper wrecks. In addition to the grouper there were also lots of amberjack and jack crevalle on many of the wrecks. I did notice a lot of pressure on the reef and wrecks. It was hard to find a spot not covered up with either boats hook and line fishing or divers spearfishing.

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Islamorada Day and Night

Florida Sportsman member: jcuilla

Our guests were some long time anglers in the area and Uncle Ted, the brother of Robbie, as in Robbie’s Marina. Awesome guy! Toward the end of the trip the short line gets slammed and it’s game on!

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Catching in the Marquesas

Florida Sportsman member: heavychevy15

Fished the Marquesas and got some decent fish out there this past weekend. We caught yellow tail, muttons, red snapper, some other bi-catch, and a handful of grouper (that all went back).

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Permit, Cobia and a Surprise

Florida Sportsman member: NauticalWheeler

The real surprise at this location was when I saw a small shark with interesting markings cruising around the boat. I thought it might resemble a tiger shark, but wasn’t sure. I threw out a live bait in haste and was only using 40 pound mono for a leader and was lucky to not get bitten off, but the hook was right in the corner of the mouth.

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Islamorada Wahoo and More

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

We had about a 45 minute flurry with at least one wahoo on the whole time. We wound up catching 4 out of 8 and had as many as 3 wahoo fighting over baits at once just 20 feet behind the boat including a couple the skyrocketed about 8 feet out of the water chasing the baits.

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Shallow Water Fun

Florida Sportsman member: Jciulla

Here’s a few pics from this week in patch reefs from 18-22 feet. Lots of good action from mangroves, muttons and mackerel. It seems like the fish are starting to go back to hitting the cut bait more as well as the live shrimp.

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Catching Fish on the Drift

Florida Sportsman member: youngguns2

We wanted to fill the box so decided to fish all wire on the top and mid rods and immediately had a triple on sailfish on the first set up. With only two people on board and wire leader, you can imagine the chaos that ensued but we did manage to land one out of the three.

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Fishing the Patches

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

We had a great day patch fishing today. Fishing the patches about a half mile inside the edge of the reef. The water was completely mudded over with the strong southwest wind we had last night. That and a moderate northeast current made for some great patch fishing conditions. We wound up with a few dozen nice yellowtail, some hogfish, porgies, and a half dozen muttons including some really nice ones.

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Mack Attack

Florida Sportsman member: piner_wahoo

Forum member piner_wahoo got into some nice fish offshore, fishing in his flats boat. Big kingfish and snapper should make for some excellent fillets and fish dip!

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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.

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Keys Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: TeamTeke

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!

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Duck Key Reef Report

Florida Sportsman member: TeamTeke

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.

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Summerland Key Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: Death From Above

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.

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Fun Weekend in the Keys

Florida Sportsman member: Lori Jo Fishing

Cayden’s on the reel, gets him boat side and the phin goes crazy. Then the captain sees more phins and says get some more baits out. Me and Jeff hook up and we ended up catching all three.

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Tavernier Tuna and Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

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.

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Tearin’ Up the Tortugas

Florida Sportsman member: cudaman

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.

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Mixed Bag off Islamorada

Florida Sportsman member: EarlyBird

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.

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Day Timing off Duck Key

Florida Sportsman member: out of the blue

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.

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Slayin’ Them Solo

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

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.

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Limiting Out

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

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.

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Fishing on the Edge

Florida Sportsman member: ShallowSalt

Biggest score of the week was a 19.5 pound blackfin tuna caught on 20 pound spin gear while drifting. We began to see the big boys skying about a quarter mile behind the boat and eventually they worked their way close enough and took a drifting bait behind the boat.

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Islamorada Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: INTREPID377

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.

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Catching in Key Largo

Florida Sportsman member: Joepilot

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.

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Keys Swords

Florida Sportsman member: out of the blue

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.

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Pulley Ridge Trip

Florida Sportsman member: Xaf

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.

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Dry Tortugas Trip

Florida Sportsman member: Gary M

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.

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Little Torch Key Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: punchdog

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.

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Deep Dropping and Dolphin off Key Largo

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

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.

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Dinosaur Dolphin off Key Largo

Florida Sportsman member: SeaCarrII

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.

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First Phin in the Box

Florida Sportsman member: SonarSup

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!

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Big Pine Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: AMPED

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.

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Mahi in Marathon

Florida Sportsman member: CatchDog

Forum member CatchDog has been on the dolphin off of Marathon. Catching many fish trolling naked and skirted ballyhoo between 630 and 750 feet. The big bull was taken on a blue and white islander.

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Tearing up Tavernier

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

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!

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Gettin’ Jiggy in the Keys

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

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”.

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Lower Keys Cobes

Florida Sportsman member: Bill Welder

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.

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Tavernier Slammers

Florida Sportsman member: youngguns2

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.

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Awesome Trip on the Yankee Capts

Florida Sportsman member: LitiGATOR

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.

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Lower Keys Reef Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Apnatic

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.

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Little Bit of Everything Out of Islamorada

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

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.

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Staying in the Fish on the Yankee Captain

Florida Sportsman member: cameronsleep

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!

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Deep Dropping Off Cudjoe Key

Florida Sportsman member: urbanRenewal

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.

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Big Blackfins off Big Pine

Florida Sportsman member: piner_wahoo

Forum member piner_wahoo Caught some monster blackfin tuna on live bait in the lower keys recently. Some anglers can’t decide what is better, the fight of these awesome fish, or the filets!

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Going Gulf Side

Florida Sportsman member: Got TA Go

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.

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Down South Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: Bill Welder

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.

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Sails and Tails

Florida Sportsman member: SaltwaterSportswoman

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.

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Great Way To End The Year

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

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.

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Wintertime Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

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!

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Big Pine Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: dihrd

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.

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Reef Fishing Off Key Largo

Florida Sportsman member: Gary M

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!

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“Grouper Bombs” Off Tavernier 

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

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.

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Putting A Legend On The Fish

Florida Sportsman member: CaptainGeoffrey

Today we had a real treat, Captain Tred Barta on the boat. We caught 15 tunas, handful of medium Mahi, and a sail!

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Tallying Up The Tile Fish Down South

Florida Sportsman member: urbanRenewel

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.

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Keys Offshore Producing

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

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.

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Upper Keys Flags

Florida Sportsman member: heavychevy15

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.

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Big Keys Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

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.

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Snapper Slam

Florida Sportsman member: Miamimuttonman

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

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Mutton Spawn

Florida Sportsman member: Miamimuttonman

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….

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Tavernier Mutton Mania

FLorida Sportsman member: Miamimuttonman

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 [...]

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Tavernier Bull

Florida Sportsman member: COJE PEJE

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.

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Islamorada Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: INTREPID377

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.

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Key Largo Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: Chewdog2121

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

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Mahi Off Cudjoe Key

Florida Sportsman member: urbanRenewal

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.

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Key Largo Grouper and Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: gtpvette

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.

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Lower Keys Amberjack

Florida Sportsman member: swordslayer71

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.

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Offshore & Patch Reefs/strong>

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

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.

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Lower Keys Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: swordslayer71

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.

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Staying Busy in Islamorada

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

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.

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Patch Reef Windy Day

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

Got out this morning with Capt. Troy and Capt. Jason to do a little windy day patch reef fishing. Kept 2 Nice Muttons for dinner. Bite did not let up. Lost a few mystery fish. Good day.

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Muttons in the Tortugas

Florida Sportsman member: rwood

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[...]

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Mutton Snapper off Tavernier

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

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. [...]

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Dolphin & Blackfin Off Tavernier

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

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. [...]

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A Bit of Tavernier Patch Reef Action

Florida Sportsman member: Augie3000

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.[...]

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Thanksgiving Dry Tortugas Trip

Florida Sportsman member: kilsong

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 [...]

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Patch Reef Muttons

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

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 [...]

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Fat Keys Muttons

Florida Sportsman member: flagfishing

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!

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Big Pine Reef Report

Florida Sportsman member: fyrdriver

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 [...]

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Dry Tortugas Fishing Adventure

Florida Sportsman member: cudaman

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 [...]

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Big Pine Reef Report

Florida Sportsman member: fyrdriver

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 [...]

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Daytime Swords off Islamorada

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

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 [...]

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Lower Keys Reef Trip

Florida Sportsman member: swordslayer71

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.

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Groupers and Muttons off Key West

Florida Sportsman member: snappersnatcher

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 [...]

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Keys Offshore Smorgasbord

Florida Sportsman member: INTREPID377

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 [...]

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Big Sword out of Islamorada

Florida Sportsman member: syxx

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!

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Labor Day Weekend in Marathon

Florida Sportsman member: gatormonroe

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.

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Key Colony Flag Yellowtails

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

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 [...]

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Trolling off the Islamorada Humps

Florida Sportsman member: Mako my Day

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 [...]

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Blackfin off the 409 Humps

Florida Sportsman member: expedition

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 [...]

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Tavernier Bottom Report

Florida Sportsman member: miamimutton

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 [...]

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Marathon Patch Reef Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: captdallas2

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 [...]

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Full Moon Snapper Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Trollaltdelete

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 [...]

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Lower Keys Bull Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: fyrdriver

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!

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Key Largo Blue Marlin

Florida Sportsman member: releasegear

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 [...]

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Marathon Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

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 [...]

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Family Fishing in the Keys

Florida Sportsman member: releasegear

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!

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Dry Tortugas Grouper Diggin’

Florida Sportsman member: Yellowtail 23

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! [...]

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Miami Mutton Marathon Vacation

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

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 [...]

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Dry Tortugas Fishing Bonanza

Florida Sportsman member: bassjedi

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 [...]

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Key West Offshore/Nearshore

Florida Sportsman member: Got TA Go

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 [...]

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Nice Bull off Summerland

Florida Sportsman member: Death From Above

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.

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Yankee Capt’s Fishing Fun

Florida Sportsman member: cudaman

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 [...]

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Lower Keys Offshore Report

Florida Sportsman member: swordslayer71

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.

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Dry Tortugas with Capt. Yuri

Florida Sportsman member: Fingerling

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 [...]

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Offshore of Marathon

Florida Sportsman member: chompchomp

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.

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KW Offshore Grad Gift

Florida Sportsman member: Got TA Go

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 [...]

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Offshore of Marathon

Florida Sportsman member: chompchomp

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 [...]

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Yankee Capts Trip Report

Florida Sportsman member: cudaman

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 [...]

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Lower Keys Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: swordslayer71

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.

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Little Torch Mutton

Florida Sportsman member: captdallas2

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.

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Hogs on Hooks

Florida Sportsman member: Reel Tease

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 [...]

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Yankee Capts Charter

Florida Sportsman member: bite my bait

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. [...]

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Lower Keys Offshore and Reef Report

Florida Sportsman member: swordslayer71

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 [...]

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Marathon Offshore- Sailfish and Nice Mahi

Florida Sportsman member: TeamTeke

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 [...]

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Memorial Weekend in the Tortugas

Florida Sportsman member: mtbrider85

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 [...]

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Port Largo Tails

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

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.

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Old Friends Fish the Keys

Florida Sportsman member: TeamTeke

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 [...]

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Keys Dolphin Report

Florida Sportsman member: CaptBill

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.

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Fishing the Humps

Florida Sportsman member: TeamTeke

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 [...]

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Key West Dolphin!

Florida Sportsman member: Got TA Go

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.

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Yuri Trip

Florida Sportsman member: Spoonman

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.

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Big Pine Key Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Gamekilla

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 [...]

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A Nice Surprise

Florida Sportsman member: INTREPID377

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”[...]

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Islamorada Grouper Opener

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

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 [...]

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Wind, Waves and a Few Fish

Florida Sportsman member: INTREPID377

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 [...]

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Loaded up in the Tortugas

Florida Sportsman member: duke6543

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 [...]

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Mixed Bag Reef Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: NauticalWheeler

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.

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Lots of Tuna, Mahi, and Big Amberjack

Florida Sportsman member: TeamTeke

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.

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Reef/Bar Success

Florida Sportsman member: NauticalWheeler

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 [...]

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Key West Reef Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Got TA Go

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.

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Keys Swordfish Impresses

Captain Kenny Spaulding, Angler Mike McIntyre

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 [...]

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Key West Tourney Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Got TA Go

“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.”

Full results are posted on the Key West Fishing Tournament Homepage.

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Quick Gulf Side Report

Florida Sportsman member: Got TA Go

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 [...]

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Another Slammer!

Florida Sportsman member: urbanRenewal

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 [...]

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Islamorada Slammer Dolphin and Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

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 [...]

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Marquesas Snapper

Florida Sportsman member: Deep Penetration

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.

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Dolphin and Wahoo!

Florida Sportsman member: Hooked Up Key West

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.

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Big Bend Snook

Recent inshore fishing reports from the Big Bend region.


Big Bend Snook

Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed

By now I am fishing spots where I’ve never fished before. Paid off with this massive 39 inch snook that was the toughest I’ve ever caught. 3 jumps and 3 long runs and somehow she didn’t wrap herself up in the sargasm. Missed another big one a few casts later and left early with the grandkids visiting at home.

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Big Bend Giant

Florida Sportsman member: Biggary16

I called Pete (Snookspanker) to try for some snooks with the morning high tide. He liked the tide today too so we went out for a quick trip. He stuck a giant one within the 1st half hour. The shoulders and the girth of this 40 plus incher was unreal.

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First Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Lake13

We both were looking for our first snook and just pounded till we both got one. 14 hours of fishing for one fish apiece. Couldn’t be happier though. What a beautiful area and we will both be back.

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Jumbo Drum

Florida Sportsman member: Biggary16

We had some gulps so we messed around with some big drum pulling us around for a while. The last one that I caught was a behemoth and that was enough for me. We got out of there before the storm and made it home still dry.

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Crystal River Reds and Scallops

Florida Sportsman member: T-Bonefc

After 15-20 minutes we shot further south and joined a small community between the C.R. crowd and Homosassa . The scallops were much better here in numbers. Still small for the most part but it is what it is in the beginning of the season.

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Poling to the Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Dveres95

We started the day out in Mason Creek and worked south toward Chassahowitzka, with a high morning tide we got deep into the back country to a flat that is very active and holds big redfish.

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Catching in the Creeks

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

We managed a few reds and maybe a half dozen snook that actually made it to the boat. We kept hooking up the snook but a bunch simply either cut us off or came unbuttoned before we could get them to the boat.

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Yankeetown Variety

Florida Sportsman member: Biggary16

My brother was in town so we hit Yankeetown early. Got a nice snook on topwater that started the day out great. Had a couple other snook blow ups. Then went looking for reds.

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Early Morning Snookin’

Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed

Robbie had the big fish of the day on first and after a good battle, it gill plated the line, but we saw enough to know it was a big one. Then I got a fat 32 inch fish, which was a welcome relief.

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Low Water, Big Snook

Florida Sportsman member: StandOutI2

I heard drag screaming and saw a wake that looked like a torpedo going through the water. Had to pull the powerpole up and chase it for a little bit then finally it stopped making the long run and came close enough for me to realize it wasn’t the big red I thought it was.

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On the Reds

Florida Sportsman member: bigkahuna

Forum member bigkahuna and wife got into the redfish in the big bend region, as well as a few bonus snook. Nice!

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Yankeetown Redfish Bite

Florida Sportsman member: StandOutI2

My step dad picked up a couple more shorts. Well, the school died down and we started working to another area. My mom was real quiet in the back of the boat and said she sees something. So she throws to it and sure enough, it’s a nice 27″ red! Her biggest to date.

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Calling in “Sick”

Florida Sportsman member: hausw

Not more than 5 minutes later I hooked into a much larger one and battled him for almost an hour. Hoisted him in the boat for a few pics and released him. After that I was exhausted and called it a day.

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Mason Creek Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Dveres95

We caught all our Reds on gold spoons, the fish were concentrated in the deeper mud troughs between the islands, which still held 2 to 3 feet on the dead low. It has been a great past month in the creek and it’s only looking better.

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Yankeetown Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: StandOutI2

Well, got back to our normal spots on the incoming and noticed there wasn’t a whole lot of water moving. Turned around and went back out the way we came still on the incoming and boom, started seeing reds everywhere.

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Big Bend Inshore Bite

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

Forum member and the Big Bend’s weekend 4caster ripnlips has been on the fish. Catching snook, trout, redfish and more.

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Windy Day Success

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

It was windy. Even in the creeks it was a chore to have any kind of boat control but we stuck it out for a few hours. Tide was rushing in heavy and flooded a bunch of areas we usually fish. We had to change up a bit but it all worked out.

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Working the Docks

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

Switched to the smoke/gold halo color and was slowly swimming my lure near the bottom in the front of a dock, it got blasted. Set the hook on a solid fish. Got it away from the dock. After a nice aerial display and some good runs, Pat got her in the net. She measured 28 inches.

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Crystal River Snook Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Biggary16

Hammerhead Ted and I got out there early to catch the outgoing tide. Ted is the king of topwater snookin and he hooked a giant one on his 3rd or 4th cast. He fought it for a long time but it scraped his 40 pound leader up and broke off.

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Fun with Friends

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

A great day on the water with a couple excellent fisherman and lots of laughs. Almost all fish came on top water and a Redfish Magic type lure. We’ll definitely do this again.

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Big Bend Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

Forum members ripnlips and Swampthing07 got into a nice mixed bag of fish from triple tail to black drum. Swampthing07 wife Kayla got in on the action too.

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Successful Scouting

Florida Sportsman member: CarneLoco

We saw some big tails pop up in about 3 foot of water. Have heard of big black drum in these areas, but had no live crabs. Could have swore a few were reds mixed in. After many very good casts from both of us, Libby had a monster on. 15 minutes and a few laps around the bout she had her first black drum landed.

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Big Bend, Big Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Jim311

I pushed in further into the creek. I spooked one nice red which I didn’t even see until he’d spooked. Then I hooked up again, and again it was another super hard fight. This fish was bigger though, over 32 inches. It had a head on it the size of a football, a real stud fish.

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Crystal River Snookin’

Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed

We caught fish everywhere we went including some places that haven’t produced the last couple years. Robbie got 4 lower slot and under slot reds and several jacks. I missed a big snook early, but disappointment didn’t last too long when i got a 31 inch snook at the next place.

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Sheepshead, Snook and Snapper

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

Sheepshead Snapper and Snook have been the targeted species lately. Seems like the sheeps are finally spawning out on the rocks reefs and ledges just offshore. They are willing to bite if you get good enough weather to get out there. When the weather gets bad we have been getting snapper and snook in the river. Live shrimp has been the bait of choice.

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Big Bend Bruisers

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

We hit the first spot, the water was clear and they were schooled up. Watched a school of over slots swim down the bank. Then got to watch the whole school fight over my fluke, simply awesome to watch.

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Homosassa Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: floridafan

Pulled in about 60 mostly undersized reds but managed 4 keepers between 20 to 24 inches. We each had a run 10 fish in 10 casts for me and 11 fish in 11 casts for my son, both at the same time! 21 fish in less than 10 minutes!

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Crystal River Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

Sheepshead are starting to show up in their normal wintertime spots. We’re still getting a by-catch of gag grouper too. All on 8 pound braid and live shrimp.

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Afternoon Redfish Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

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.

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Catching the Bulls

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

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.

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December Inshore Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

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.

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Nice Weather, Hungry Fish

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

As I get within casting distance I see a pack of about 5 reds milling around so I post up and tell the boys to throw up there. Jacobs cast was right in the middle of them and he hooks up instantly.

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Hiding From the Wind, Catching the Fish

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

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.

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Catching with the Kids

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

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.

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Birthday Fun

Florida Sportsman member: Bluewaterdrew

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

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Catching in the Transition

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

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

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Seeing Red

Florida Sportsman member: G8trbait

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

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Big Bend Redfish Action

Florida Sportsman member: cthurow

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

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Suwannee River Tripletail and More

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

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

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Crystal River Fishing and Fun

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

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

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Waccasassa Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz

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

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Tearing Up the Tripletails

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

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

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Big Bend Slam

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

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

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Horseshoe Beach Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: florida_dorksman

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

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Waccasassa Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz

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

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Yankeetown Black Drum

Florida Sportsman member: Biggary16

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

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Big Bend Snook Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Snook Spanker

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

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Wrecking the Reds

Florida Sportsman member: PONCE

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

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Tarpon and Scallops in the Big Bend

Florida Sportsman member: Bluewaterdrew

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

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Yankeetown Slam

Florida Sportsman member: StandOutI2

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

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Big Bend Inshore Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

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

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Crystal River Opening Day

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

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

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Scouting the Crystal River

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

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

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Big Bend Slammin’

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

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

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Father’s Day Fun

Florida Sportsman member: huntentails

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

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Getting to the Point

Florida Sportsman member: shuterkng

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

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Cedar Key Catching

Florida Sportsman member: Flash

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

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Shired Island Monster and More

Florida Sportsman member: jwroe

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

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Cedar Key Trout and Macks

Florida Sportsman member: lboverhof

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

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Reds, Over and Under

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

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

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Busting Reds on Both Coasts

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

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

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Birds to the Bay

Florida Sportsman member: huntentails

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

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Slammin’ the Big Bend Backcountry

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

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

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Light Tackle, Low Tides and Keeper Trout

Florida Sportsman member: PONCE

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

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Seein’ Red in Cedar Key

Florida Sportsman member: GatoRella

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

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Rainy Day Trout

Florida Sportsman member: huntentails

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

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MidDay Trout Bite

Florida Sportsman member: dakilmartin1

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

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Steinhatchee Bulls

Florida Sportsman member: JC_UF_ITK

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

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Catching A Little Bit of Everything

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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Big Bend, Big Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

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

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Winter Time Trout

Florida Sportsman member: kingkong954

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

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Steinhatchee Reds

Florida Sportsman member: JC_UF_ITK

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

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Homosassa Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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Creeping The Creeks

Florida Sportsman member: PONCE

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

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Homosassa Reds and Trout

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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Crystal River Trout Bite

Florida Sportsman member: OneMoreYear

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

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Windy Weather, Nice Fish

Florida Sportsman member: shuterkng

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

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Shallow Creek Reds

Florida Sportsman member: PONCE

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

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Homosassa Gator Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Troutman57

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

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Big Bend Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Bluewaterdrew

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

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Great Homosassa Inshore Bite

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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Seeing Red Solo

Florida Sportsman member: PONCE

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

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Kayaking Kings Bay

Florida Sportsman member: NoQuarterNoMercy

He heads away from the docks and is all tuckered out. I feel him give up and now it’s just a matter of hauling him in. As he nears the yak, he heads underneath it and somehow I managed to pull a ninja spin around the stern of the kayak and get him to the other side. That’s no tarpon, it’s a monster snook!

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Cedar Key Smorgasbord

Florida Sportsman member: Flash

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

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Big Bend Bulls on Top

Florida Sportsman member: jperdue

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

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Crystal River Reds and Scallops

Florida Sportsman member: tekmunki

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

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

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Holiday in Hudson

Florida Sportsman member:Jim311

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

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

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Crystal River Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member:nick

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

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


Crystal River Snook, Reds & More

Florida Sportsman member: mitziboy

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

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Chassahowitzka Trout & Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

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

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

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

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Homosassa Redfish & Trout

Florida Sportsman member: huntentails

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

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Crystal River Inshore Slam

Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed

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

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Crystal River Trout

Florida Sportsman member: anglerbros 7286

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

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Homosassa Reds and Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Dogdoc2011

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

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Crystal River Trout

Florida Sportsman member: anglerbros 7286

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

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Homosassa Reds and Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Dogdoc2011

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

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Crystal River Nearshore Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: Clay G. Shidler

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

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Homosassa Nearshore Trout

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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Waccasassa Reds

Florida Sportsman member: G8trbait

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

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Warming Weather and Hot Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Clay G. Shidler

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

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Windy Post Front Trout

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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Red Hot Crystal River

Florida Sportsman member: jbehnen

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

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Rainy and Cold with a Hot Bite

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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Short Day on the Bay

Florida Sportsman member: huntentails

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

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Waccasassa Bay Shalow Creeks

Florida Sportsman member: PONCE

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

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Homosassa Trout’n

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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Homosassa Gator Trout

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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Playing Around in the Backcountry

Florida Sportsman member: river1

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

[...]

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Crystal River Reds & Trout

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

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

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Homosassa Reds & Trout

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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Still Catching  Fish on a Rough Day

Florida Sportsman member: anglerbros 7286

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

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Great Weather, Great Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

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

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

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

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

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Homosassa; Staying Busy.

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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Homosassa Trout

Florida Sportsman member: angler18

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

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Foggy Day Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

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

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34 Inch Snook caught at Blind Pass

Florida Sportsman member: PONCE

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

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Waccasassa Bay Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz

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

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A Good Morning on the Crystal River

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

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

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Trout, Reds, and Flounder

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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Hot Homosassa Redfishing

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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CR Reds and Rain

Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed

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

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Crystal River Scalloping Day

Florida Sportsman member: wmflyfisher

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

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Spoon Fed Reds

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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Nature Coast Reds and Trout

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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Homosassa Scalloping Report

Florida Sportsman member: Catalyst

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

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

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Inshore with New Neighbors

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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Homosassa Trout Bite

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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Father’s Day Trout Driftin’

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

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

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Fishing with the Reel McCoy’s

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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Fishing the Waccasassa

Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz

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

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Nature Coast Weekend

Florida Sportsman member: jaeforceone

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

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Wacasassa Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz

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

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Spoon Fed Reds

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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Super Moon Slammin’

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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Crystal River Reds

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

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

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Inshore Red

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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Lesson One and Nice Snook

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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Homosassa Inshore with Don

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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Fish Were Hungry

Florida Sportsman member: Fishin Rod

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

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HSB

Florida Sportsman member: tekmunki

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

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Every Other Day

Florida Sportsman member: jaeforceone

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

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Reds with Joe and Billy

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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Lovin’ Spring Time

Florida Sportsman member: jimsfishingobsession

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

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FS TV Nature Coast Shoot

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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Windy River Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

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

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Big Big Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Indianoutlaw

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

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Homosassa Trout and Reds

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

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

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Sheepshead Beat Down

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

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

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Southport 29FE

If fishing is something you like to do but extreme luxury is something you demand you can have a boat with the same amenities such as bow and stern seating, a head in the center console, including plush seats behind the helm but all at a higher level of fit and finish. Suede-like cushions set the look apart from a fiberglass fishing platform. An adjustable height table with a fill in pad turns the bow into a sun bather’s lounge. Racing inspired helm seats hold you firmly in place while underway on the leaner. The back side of the unit houses cutting boards ,a fresh and saltwater sink, a baitwell along with tackle storage neatly hidden behind a smooth fiberglass finish.

Southport Boats
681 Riverside Drive
Augusta, ME 04330
(207) 620-7998
www.southportboats.com

Southport 29FE Specifications
LOA: 28 feet, 6 inches
Beam: 10 feet, 6 inches
Fuel capacity: 232 gallons
Draft: 21 inches
Hull weight: 5800 pounds
Max horsepower: 600 hp
MSRP w/ twin 300 Yamaha: $211,650

Catching Mullet on Fly

Solving the jumping enigma with flies.

Perhaps the lowly mullet deserves similar consideration. Once these shiny critters lose their bait shop image, what’s left is a scrapper that’s certainly more fun to catch on ultralight fly gear than it is to stack in a Cedar Key smokehouse. Anyway, before anyone contemplates such leaps in consciousness, they’ll want to stock up on a few groceries. But this time, it won’t be for dinner.

Okay, skeptics, let’s look at mullet a little more sympathetically. Certainly these mid-sized dynamos don’t have a reputation for destroying tackle but I suppose if you tallied all the soft-tissue injuries attributable to say, catching bonefish or seatrout on fly gear, you wouldn’t have much of a list either. So if you intend to go after mullet with a drag-equipped reel, go easy. There’s plenty of pinpoint casting involved and more than a few broken tippets, but what goes on beyond that transcends pure technology.

What’s it like to catch mullet on flies? You won’t hear that question asked very often but who among us hasn’t watched these fish jump and wondered?

For your information, catching mullet happens to be a hoot. Supposedly, fly fishermen in other countries pursue various mullets that strike flies aggressively but local anglers consider our domestic species lock-jawed due to some curious eating habits. Nonetheless, it’s time to strip away the scales of ignorance since nowadays, thanks to the introduction of ummm…”vegetable nymphs,” even beginning fly casters can catch mullet until they’re sick and tired of it. Incidentally, I don’t have to remind anyone that this is break-through stuff.

You’ll find two mullet species in Florida. Both hit flies. The black variety grows slightly larger than its streamlined silver cousin and if you ask any Florida cracker, you’ll learn that black mullet are for eating while silvers are bait. Personally, I like catching the bigger, hard-hitting blacks. That doesn’t shed much light on the mystery, though.

In a word, mullet are weird. Their unique behavior discourages anglers from the get-go. If I’d had something fancier to fly fish for early on, I’d probably be doing it instead. Mullet are considered prey rather than predators. Something you catch in a net to catch something bigger and better. Let’s face it-we think mullet jump because they’re being chased, though at times, they seem to be having fun. Whatever the reason, nobody ever considers getting one to jump at the end of a fly line.

I’ve tried to learn more about the habits of these enigmatic fish. In the end, it hasn’t amounted to much. Give it a chance. If you’re still with me, let me set the scene. It’s sunset in suburban Fort Lauderdale. The daytime horn honking and hustle are finally beginning to melt onto a morass that teeters visually between condominium stucco and the ersatz rainforest landscaping. The breeze puffs, sending leaves to the surface of my backyard canal, which happens to be one of the few natural drainages left behind by the developers. The ocean’s a dozen miles away, but the water here is slightly salty. In spite of its tidal influence, my canal conjures visions of paddlewheels rather than counter-rotating props. Before I surrender to the daydream, a fish plucks a blossom from the film.

The Mulleting Hour has finally arrived.

Quietly, K.C. Smith tosses a handful of oatmeal in the canal after spitting in his palm so some will stick together and sink. Meanwhile, I tear bread slices into quarters. Swirls erupt as fish attack floating crusts. Then, a mullet free-jumps near the opposite seawall. Perhaps he’s reconnoitering. No one knows exactly why mullet do this; perhaps it’s pure whimsy or maybe just fun. We pick up our rods. Within minutes, mullet schools race around between crusts. We cast ahead of the splashes in an attempt to lead the school without success. Even in such syrupy settings, it seems frustration has its place. At first, the fish are too engrossed to pay heed to small flies, so we quit casting and wait. The bread will be gone soon and hopefully, the mullet will become more amenable to our offerings. The swirls finally subside, and we cast.

Tense seconds pass before K.C.’s strike indicator plunges beneath the surface. It’s a powerful hit, by something legitimate. K.C.’s little rod bends, line slips through his fingers, his reel screeches and the mullet jumps. It’s only then, while he remains oblivious to several dumbfounded gawkers, that K.C. finally laughs.

Mullet fishing with flies, at least with any hope of success, is a fairly recent preoccupation. According to rumor, several of fly fishing’s early legends may have caught one here and there but since these catches were supposedly made with wet flies, I’d wager most were accidental. As a point of interest, I once nailed a monster black mullet squarely in the mouth with a 4-inch Phillips Multi-wing. No kidding, he completely swallowed the streamer. Yet if you managed to count the mullet that saw my flies over the years, that catch equates to a single confirmed strike out of ten million presentations. And tales of mullet banging big Deceivers meant for snook under bridges have bounced around, too. Accident or opportunism? Whatever, the secret to catching mullet is cutting to the chase by finding out what they eat then matching it.

Mullet feed like any other fish, via the front end. If you had the inclination to follow a mullet around, you’d eventually see him sifting through the bottom ooze for organic matter and maybe when the light was low, grabbing a few leaves off the surface. He feeds, certainly, but his choice of diet makes him a vegetarian. This in turn means that if you want to catch him, you’ll need a different sort of fly. Plant life isn’t exactly flashy. If you sit around waiting to attract mullet to some sort of inert green thing, you’ll end up with a good case of fanny fatigue. Mullet nip rather than tear at vegetable matter, so you’ll need a small fly. If you carry this argument to its conclusion, you can see that locating a No. 14 Plantmaster in a cloudy ditch is like finding a cracker crumb in a shag carpet. In other words, you’ll need a little help. Like you’ll get via the miracle of chum.

Once you understand the mullet’s basic diet, plan the menu. However, before heading to your lawn mower or your grocery’s vegetable counter, consider what canepolers have known for years: Oatmeal, bread, and batter mix were all plants at one time. They also happen to be a lot easier to store, and to imitate, than St. Augustine grass clippings. Evidently, the mullet agree and that’s why our canal “professionals” turn to ordinary bread, oatmeal, or even good ol’ Bisquick whenever they want a few mullet for the skillet.

Ah, Dixie! There’s something to be said for sleepy rivers and lazy days. And since nothing fits the canepole scenario better than floats and doughballs, it follows that similar logic works for fly fishermen, providing that the most effective fly patterns imitate milled vegetable prod ucts. From a design standpoint, my favorite mullet flies imitate dissolving bread. I fish them beneath strike indicators but unlike conventional bobber-lobbing, I make pinpoint casts.

Long ago, I learned that mullet schools migrated south along our beaches, or in the Intracoastal Waterway at certain times of year. I also recognized that these were nervous fish, far too agitated to feed. What I didn’t understand was that once mullet get wherever they are going, serious feeding commences. Every winter after their migration, schools of 1- to 6-pound mullet invade the canals and creeks near Everglades National Park, parading up and down the banks in plain view. Take a look at the Tamiami Trail canal from Ochopee to the Port of the Islands; if you watch the individual fish, you’ll get the impression they’re basically chewing away at nothing. If you ask me, these white-lipped sippers are actually vacuuming microscopic plant matter from the water. That’s feeding in a sense, which means they can be caught.

Local fishermen definitely have their number. Whenever I’m poking around after snook and tarpon, I watch the canepole fishermen fill their buckets as oatmeal boxes empty. In defense of this type of sport, fishing over chum isn’t any different than working a hatch except that here, you control the “bugs.” Yep, if they’ll rise to grain, they’ll strike flies. That’s providing, of course, that the flies are properly tied. Whenever you toss bread upon the water, it breaks down. Avid trout fly tyers know that synthetic fibre antron has a refractive index similar to that of water. In the drink, antron looks like dissolving bread. Or a milled oat. Using antron for mullet flies is a natural, considering that in addition to its more esoteric properties, the fibre sinks. I tie my Yeastie Beasties (like the name?) by simply wrapping antron yarn around a No. 14 Sproat hook. In order to present my flies at the proper depth, I suspend them approximately a foot beneath a typical strike indicator. Just for the record, I tie two other carbohydrate patterns-one with a tail and “thorax” I call the Bisquick Nymph (brand-name infringement?) and an-other, whose name for the sake of delicacy, I’ll omit. Both are similar to the Beastie, except one is tied from polypropylene in order to float (for use just before dark).

I arrived late one day for an hour’s fishing. The sky was overcast so the fish came up immediately. Within a few minutes, I was into my first black mullet, a fat 3-pounder. Afterwards, several others like it followed in quick succession. After an hour, I decided to take a breather. It was during this break that I noticed several unusually large boils that I originally discounted as the work of turtles. Eventually I decided to return to fishing. The mullet began swirling again in response to more bread and once again, I cast. I didn’t have long to wait. I raised my rod to set the hook, and the fly line literally shot through my fingers. To my surprise, whatever I’d hooked proceeded to run off all the fly line and an appreciable amount of backing. Since I was using a 4X tippet testing at six pounds, I wasn’t worried. But a few minutes later, after being forced to shimmy around a chain-link fence and stumble over a picnic table in order to keep up, I started having my doubts. It became a carnival of errors. My fly line caught on an overhanging tree branch but I managed to work it free after some fancy footwork and continued chasing after a mullet that by now, I was convinced I’d snagged. But unlike most foul-hooked fish, the mullet didn’t slow down. By now I’d run a hundred yards from the fence to the guest parking lot, only to discover that this baitfish still had plenty of moves left, at times refusing to budge. In the end, I got him close enough for a look. There beneath me lay a fish coal-black and as big around as a child’s football. A true leviathan of his species. I popped the leader in order to set him free, not knowing exactly how much he weighed, except that it was a great deal more than the 6-pound tippet could hoist.

I don’t hook monster mullet like that every time out. However, enough infiltrate the bread line to keep me on my toes. Sometimes other fish come too, which reminds me of the time I lost an entire fly line to a monster sheepshead we’d named Bis-marck. That’s another story of course but for now, let’s get to the specifics of this one, which includes the wherefore of catching mullet on flies. My best advice would be to find a location where mullet gather unmolested and try chumming. Incidentally, wherever you see them foraging with sand grains spilling from their gills is a sure bet. Give it a shot at twilight. You’ll find out soon enough whether you’ve picked a winner.

Would-be mulleteers don’t need fancy tackle. Just about any light rod matched with click-drag reel will do. However, long leaders tapering to 6-pound test or less are a required item, as are fine-diameter floating fly lines. Mullet evoke freshwater fly fishing’s folksy side but casting accuracy is just as critical here as it is while bonefishing. So is the ability to get off a quick cast. Keep in mind that there’s nothing easy about catching mullet on flies. It’s just a lot of fun.

Admittedly, fly fishing for mullet is a personal addiction. I don’t suspect anyone will open a mullet camp, or if you’ll pardon the pun, a mullet school in the suburbs. Or that “Mulletwear” will show up on the canal banks. I feel, however, that the thousands of fly fishermen who either reside in or visit Florida might consider mullet as a viable alternative when all else fails, or when you only have an hour or two to kill. I think you’ll agree that with a little imagination, one man’s baitfish can easily resurface in another’s sportfishing bacchanal.

Tying the Bisquick Nymph

Ready to give this craziness a try? This is a top fly and a cinch to tie. And it doesn’t need refrigeration! First, lay a strand of white antron yarn (ask your local fly shop to order it) along the shank of a No. 14 Mustad 3906 Sproat hook. Allow a short length to extend beyond the bend. Tie the rest down by wrapping white 8/0 tying thread forward to a point directly behind the hook eye. Wind the antron around the hook shank in order to form a football-shaped body. Bring the antron forward and pull down in order to form “legs” before tying off behind the eye. Trim the tail and legs to 1/16-inch length. That’s it.

Originally Published Florida Sportsman Feb. 2002

Banana River Mixed Bag

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


Banana River Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: AceDawg

After messing with them for a bit started heading back south scouting the shoreline and started spotting fins cruising the shore. Reds were scattered throughout along the shore and buried in grass. Caught 7 on my way back down before getting stuck in a storm. Hunkered down in the mangroves and sat it out for an hour.

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Vilano from the Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: kayakling

For about an hour large schools of spanish mackerel were about destroying bait. After tearing through some of those and some bluefish I slowly started to drift back to the bridge. Hit up my favorite spots on the way and only managed smaller jacks.

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A Drift with Friends

Florida Sportsman member: kayakfrank

We planned a drift a few days back, and some nice fish were caught. Steve killed it out there with a sailfish, tuna and a kingfish.

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Good Day in the Bay

Florida Sportsman member: rkotinsky

After a few casts my lure gets inhaled and I have a nice fish on. She goes airborne and a nice battle ensues with a good size snook. She heads for the mangroves and I stop her, she jumps again and again then goes under my kayak. I slowly work her and she tires and I measure her out to 34 inches.

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Pompano Blackfins

Florida Sportsman member: John McKoid

Weather was flat calm, but unfortunately the weeds were still a problem, causing fouled baits. Current was not too strong, but found a distinct current break in about 120 feet of water, fished it for awhile with no luck. Saw a few small blackfins jumping and jigged up one in about 175 feet of water.

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Tarpon at the Bridge

Florida Sportsman member: harrisa2006

I was able to fish the last of the outgoing, and the beginning of the incoming and the bite was on today! Was able to stick 4 fish, 2 of which absolutely school me around pilings, and 2 that I was able to put the boots to in tight quarters and get them to the boat!

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Fort Pierce Kayaking

Florida Sportsman member: inshore dave

I was casting a DOA Cal under the mangrove overhangs when I had a big explosion as soon as it hit the water. Well, after a 20 minute fight I landed by biggest snook to date.

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Sunset Reds

Florida Sportsman member: rkotinsky

Put on my favorite sardine lure for a few more last casts into some mangrove edges in the hopes of saving the day with at least one keeper sized fish. My fish was granted when I cast into one of the few weedless edges on the backside of a mangrove island. Finally a good hard hit and the sound of drag with the end result being a nice 24 inch fatty red fish.

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Sebastian Offshore Via Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: fyshfynder

Next trip was solo about a mile South of the inlet. Wasn’t much going on. Saw some birds way out, so I started paddling. Fish were busting under the birds. Tossed a live mojarra into the frenzy and got a big bonito that snapped my rod at the boat.

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First Sailfish

Florida Sportsman member: Tuffstang

After my second drop the drag clicker on my live bait started screaming. Dropped lever into strike and started cranking. It was just a dead weight no pull or flutter on the line. We went from depths of 200 feet to 400 feet in minutes when the sail leaped out and danced across the water. A couple more leaps and literally jumping over Devodud’s bow, the sail tired out.

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Silver Kings from the Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: mjrudd1

During my latest visit to Florida, I went after tarpon mostly. Caught a few and had a great time. I prefer chasing them in shallow water but got to go where they are, not where they aren’t. It gets really crowded out there, over 50 boats fishing the same area and usually I’m the only kayak.

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Vilano Kayaking

Florida Sportsman member: kayakling

On my last cast after about three hours there I did stick an old nasty redfish. I helped him out and cleared some old rigs out from his mouth, medium effort measure in the Hobie was close to 42 inches. Left with a couple of decent flounder, also caught whiting, pigfish, ladyfish.

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Tuna on the Drift

Florida Sportsman member: John McKroid

Made 2 drifts for 2 bonita and hooked and lost something bigger. It was too exhaustive to try to make another wreck drift ( current was around 2.5 knots). Put out the live flying fish and it did not take long to get eaten.

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Banana River Variety

Florida Sportsman member: AceDawg

Got a wide variety of bites in the Banana River today. In total 6 reds, a small snook, 2 juvenile tarpon, my buddy got a nice black drum on a mirrolure (of all things for them to hit, haven’t seen that before) and a handful of trout.

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Shallow Water Reds

Florida Sportsman member: SnookStack

During the lowlight morning hours artificial baits have been producing fish on the flats of Tampa. With the grass grown in it’s been a weightless, weedless setup for my choice artificial setup. Later in the day, I’ve been working the late evening incoming through high tide with cut mullet.

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Tampa Bay Kayak Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: rkotinsky

I leave the oyster flat and work some other channels and choke points and land another nice 23 inchred fish. With the day coming to an end I try my snook hole and work it from every angle. My lure gets absolutely annihilated and it feels like what I hope to be my first 40 plus inch snook.

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Canoeing with the Wife

Florida Sportsman member: Bush Whacker

Thankfully the rain stayed over towards the barrier islands the whole time we were out. We paddled south and tried the deeper flats for a bit with nothing but a few small trout. We then decided to whack the bushes. And that’s where things lit up.

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Boca to Boynton Drift

Florida Sportsman member: John McKroid

There was some steady action including a big reef donkey that got away. Catches included 2 bonita, 2 small amicos, a small blackfin, a king and mutton. All caught on jigs except for the mutton.

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NMZ Fun

Florida Sportsman member: AceDawg

I hit the Banana River today out of Kars Park. Caught 6 reds and 3 snook for the day. First time I’ve caught a snook, great fight. Pretty good day even though the wind just hasn’t given up.

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Good Bite on the Drift

Florida Sportsman member: kitesfr

As we passed the inlet, I hooked into something that made my reel scream pretty good. I felt a bit of a head shake, so I thought I had a big big bonito. He kept taking line and giving me a little back. I finally got a glimpse of it and thought I saw stripes!

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Coot Bay Kayaking

Florida Sportsman member: Tnolaninc

I was able to land a decent micro-poon in the morning on a hand tied fly, jumped maybe 5 more on artificial Zman baits rigged weedless and on a DOA 1/8 jig, Landed 4 snook one of decent size.

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Jacksonville Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: unincom

Eventually the tarpon figured out which direction it wanted to go and pulled my anchor free from the bank and started taking me south. It pulled me back into a side creek above a submerged sandbar, which was a blessing as it allowed to to hop out of the kayak and fight it standing up.

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Backwater Action

Florida Sportsman member: cbmdk86

Been getting the snook and reds on the 4 inch MrWiffelure Shad in the white/fire tail and straight pink colors. This is a killer lure and the snook hit it like it owes em money. Since I have started throwing it, it has definitely helped me put more snook on deck.

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Fort Pierce Backcountry

Florida Sportsman member: evergladeskid243

Picked up a redfish as I began to make my exit out of my spot, blind casting every mangrove shoreline with a topwater, hoping to hook a snook as grand as the one who had left me in despair earlier.

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After Work Red

Florida Sportsman member: jacqueo

I threw just past where all the commotion was and worked it back over all the bait ruckus, when slam! It took off under my kayak, to the left, to the right, around in a circle, all the while I’m cursing like a sailor at the fish.

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Clapboard Creek Kayaking

Florida Sportsman member: jacqueo

That’s when I remembered that I had a pedal drive and could easily troll instead of sitting in one place fighting the skunk. Threw a mud minnow onto a jig, cast it behind me and started working the grassline. Within one minute I had a great bite and pulled in my personal best flounder.

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African Pompano from the Yak

Florida Sportsman member: lmp1978

Forum member lmp1978 caught a stud african pompano via kayak, off of the beaches of Dania Beach. Not only do african pompano pull hard, they are great table fare.

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New Personal Best

Florida Sportsman member: rkotinsky

I loosened the drag a bit so as not to have the hooks bend or the fish pull free. After 3 minutes of getting no where with the fish it finally came into view and knew it was a new personal best red. Now the pressure was on me to land the fish for some pictures and entry into the 30 inch club.

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Bahamas Fun

Florida Sportsman member: John McKroid

The weather was nice, little bit of offshore wind on day one of the tournament, but overall very manageable compared to Florida.

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Dinner and a Show

Florida Sportsman member: sake138

We met the bait guy on the water around 730. The current was pretty strong and so was the wind. We ended up drifting north about 7 miles! I got two mahi mahi, one being a 50 inch bull, and my first sail on a yak!

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West Central Kingfish on a Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: harrisa2006

Getting a kingfish on the west coast, from a kayak, not the easiest task. When you consider relative quick migration, dirty Gulf water, days off from work, combined with hoping for good conditions, and getting your bait to stick once one decides to eat, the odds can be stacked against us!

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Indian River Kayaking

Florida Sportsman member: Rulesman69

The bait was everywhere in the cove. Started throwing chrome Twitchin’ Raps, 10:15, bam! Watched a 3 pound trout come up and slam the Rap right by the boat. 10:35, wham, big fish on, fought it to the boat and landed and released another trout about 7 pounds.

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Snook Filled Weekend

Florida Sportsman member: Silent snooker

Went back up to the Loxahatchee River hoping to play with some of the small snook we were catching two weeks ago and was lucky enough to find more upper and over slot snook than small ones.

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West Palm Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: Pottymouth

Forum member PottyMouth and friend, Flip got out and caught some nice fish off of Palm Beach, also losing a few to the tax man.

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Good Luck in the Bluewater

Florida Sportsman member: Temensisyakfishing

I put the jigging rod in the flush mount rod holder, and I grab the rod when I see this beast jumping out of the water!. let me say that I can count the times I have gone out offshore with my fingers and this is my second sailfish ever, so it is amazing to catch one.

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Catching in the Kayak Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: Nick561

Forum member Nick561 got into some fish offshore recently on his kayak.

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Brother’s First

Florida Sportsman member: frankthetank

Forum member frankthetank got out with his brother recently and caught some fish. Fishing off of Boynton, not only did his brother catch his first sailfish, they caught 6 blackfin tunas as well. Nice!

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Snook Island

Florida Sportsman member: Produkt

I had fished there many times before without much luck but it had been a while and decided to give it a shot. We only fished for about an hour and a half but I managed to get 2 for 2 on the under-slot snook. First one was about 23 inches and second one was about 25.

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Wintertime Bruiser

Florida Sportsman member: harrisa2006

I moved on, moving further up the canal and noticed I was sitting in 10+ feet of water, but I could see the bottom, up near the mangroves not far from me, so I knew there was a drop off, and with the water by the mangroves not moving nearly as fast as the channel, I figured it was a good ambush spot.

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Ozello Reds

Florida Sportsman member: TideUp

I fished around most of the morning without any bites fishing deeper cuts and drops around the area with no luck. Spooked a few reds after lunch in shallow flats so I changed my strategy and started sight fishing.

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Loxahatchee Snookin’

Florida Sportsman member: palmbeachpete

Forum member palmbeachpete put together a video of him wrestling with some nice snook on his paddleboard in the Loxahatchee River.

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First Slam

Florida Sportsman member: MSW_SatelliteBeach

Coffee now cold and I’m wondering why, after years of catching trout with no problem, I can’t find any. Wind starts blowing me off the bank I’m following just as I toss out a cast. Adjust kayak, reel line in to tighten slack on the rod and just as the mirrodine hits the top of the water, BAM!

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Sebastian Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: palmbeachpete

Forum member palmbeachpete shows what Sebastian has to offer for the paddling angler. Launching at Riverview park, he gets into some fish and gives some helpful tips and directions.

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Fishing the Backwater

Florida Sportsman member: rkotinsky

One particular area had a lot of mullet activity and the best water flow in the immediate area. We both continued to land more small snook and worked the area hard given all of the activity. Well it finally paid off when mama snook showed up for the party with her 32 inches of glory!

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Chokoloskee Via Paddleboard

Florida Sportsman member: Lurchy

I fished the whole incoming and part of the outgoing in the maze of creeks and bars to the WSW of Choko. Saw some reds throughout the day, and got a decent one close to the end of the day. I saw him move off a oyster bar and under some groves, pitched a gulp and he ate.

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Sanibel Kayaking

Florida Sportsman member: rkotinsky

Fan casted the area with my paddle tail jig and had a hit and miss from a good sized trout. Convinced that there had to be some big fish in the area I gave one last cast with my Rapala and it paid off with a solid hit and a big run towards the mangroves.

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Backcountry Camping and Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Native21

We went back to the spot we originally worked and the poons were thick. We caught several more and jumped many more, the snook were mixed in as well so we were also pulling them out. We fished till about 4pm and made our way to our camp area.

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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.

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Negative Tides and Chewing Fish

Florida Sportsman member: SnookStack

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.

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Pine Island Trout and Reds

Florida Sportsman member: JoeyHotFizzle

Forum member JoeyHotFizzle shared his recent kayak trip, fishing in Pine Island. Throwing a mix of artificials, he was able to fool some nice trout and redfish. Nice work!

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Avoiding the Wind and Catching Fish

Florida Sportsman member: C Dog

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!

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Glades Slam

Florida Sportsman member: Native21

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.

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Kayak Bassin’

Florida Sportsman member: inshore dave

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.

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Night Time Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: frankthetank

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.

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Trying a New Spot

Florida Sportsman member: YaknYeti

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.

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Crystal River Kayaking

Florida Sportsman member: rkotinsky

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.

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Last Trip of the Year

Florida Sportsman member: lmp1978

Forum member lmp1978 got out one last time before the year ends and he went out with a bang. Beautiful fish and great work.

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Bradenton Trout Bite

Florida Sportsman member: rkotinsky

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.

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Day Saver

Florida Sportsman member: Pottymouth

Forum member Pottymouth and a few buddies got out recently to chase some fish offshore. The bite was slow although they had live mullet and greenies, but this nice sailfish saved the day. Tight work!

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Bringing Home Dinner

Florida Sportsman member: John McKroid

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.

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First Time Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: peacockbass921

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.

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Drum on Artificial

Florida Sportsman member: cbmdk86

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.

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Bulls from the Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: cbmdk86

My buddy Geoff and I got out not too long ago and played with some decent sized ocean Reds. They were thick and we got a nice day of sleigh rides in exchange for our sizable paddle to the spot.

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Catching Them in the Rain

Florida Sportsman member: meckert

Went offshore this past Sunday, it was rainy and overcast all morning but the seas were flat. Managed to get a sail, small tuna and this nice mahi.

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Kayak Blackfins

Florida Sportsman member: BOGEY

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.

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Late Season Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Ross

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.

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Busting Them off Boynton

Florida Sportsman member: Pottymouth

Set up our drift and nothing. Hours went by and not a nibble. So I decided to try an old school trick and 5 minutes, later a fish was on!

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Epic SouthShore Redfishing

Florida Sportsman member: rkotinsky

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.

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Foolin’ with Artificial

Florida Sportsman member: nwxnw

Forum member nwxnw explained that he has been fishing live bait primarily for the past year, but recently has resorted to artificials, with great success! Nice work.

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Sails for All

Florida Sportsman member: Pottymouth

Two clients, one from Colorado the other from Canada flew down for one thing, a South Florida sailfish lap dance. They gave me 4 days to put em on sailfish, we got it done the first day out and went 3 for 3.

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Kayak Fishing Yankeetown

Florida Sportsman member: TideUp

I ended up finding a beautiful shell flat that produced big time. There were small schools of black drum and sheepshead everywhere just waving their tails at me asking for a precise cast! I ended up catching more black drum than I wanted but managed to dodge a few to find some nice sheepies.

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Sailin’ off Boynton

Florida Sportsman member: Nick561

Within 10 minutes one of Robs clients hooks up on a sail and it was off to the races. while they played with that I managed to lose 3 jigs to to cutoffs. I finally started jigging up some small blackfins.

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Amberjack From the Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: Janos

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

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South Beach Snook and Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: Poseidon10/31

Fished this am with Mapache Mike in Government Cut. No bait pods, luckily I brought some mullet for us. We landed a couple snook in quick order at the mouth of the inlet. He had to take off so I decided to escape the sharks and slow troll a hog leg mullet down the beach.

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Runners off Boynton

Florida Sportsman member: John McKroid

I was drifting 2 live goggle eyes near the skycliff when the rainbow runners hit both my baits simultaneously. I was lucky to land the smaller one, then grab the other rod out of the holder and land the bigger one that had hooked itself.

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Offshore Action in the Yaks

Florida Sportsman member: Ericjames22

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

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South Florida Snakehead Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: peacockbass921

I love the small Ribbit frogs, black or green in color and using 6/0 Owner hooks for them. Small frog, big hook, this allows the Snakehead to take the whole frog and increases the chances of hooking them to about 75 percent.

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Dania ICW Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: peacockbass921

After 30 minutes, right before slack tide was there my line went tight and I started fighting a big fish. My target was tarpon so I was thinking TARPON! But since it didn’t jump I knew it was a big snook.

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Yankeetown Yakin’

Florida Sportsman member: TideUp

We paddled out to our first spot around 9:30 to simply catch a couple rats and get equipment tuned in for later spots. My first cast with the spoon landed a little red so I knew it was going to be a productive day.

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South Florida Sail

Florida Sportsman member: bluewateryak13

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

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Chasing Tarpon, Catching Snook

Florida Sportsman member: lmp1978

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

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Indian River Bruiser

Florida Sportsman member: davederb

We took a break out near Pelican Island, when on the way back to our launch point, my live bait rod starts screaming. He immediately starts yelling shark, we were pleasantly surprised as this is my biggest snook yet from a kayak which measured 37 inches.

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Snook Saves the Day

Florida Sportsman member: Nick561

The weatherman was wrong. Wind was blowing and the waves were pounding. About to call it a day till rob says “I got a plan B”. So off to his spot and sure enough it paid off. I got a nice 40″ snook that was a fatty and rob hooked up but the hook pulled on what I think was a tarpon.

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Making it Happen off of Pompano

Florida Sportsman member: John McKroid

At deep color, I could see it was a long slender bluish silver fish, and since I was out beyond normal kingfish territory, anticipation of a wahoo was high. About 10 minutes later she was on the gaff, 53 inches and 32 pounds! It was a total rush!

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Boca Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: AC_Yak

Weeds were a huge issue today with live baiting so i decided to set up shop and spool the baits out so they wouldn’t get weeded as bad. I’ve found this tactic to be extremely effect in the morning hours when the fish are aggressively feeding.

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Reds in the Grass

Florida Sportsman member: Maverick

I use the yak to get close, very quietly, then slip out and wade to the fish. Makes it a lot easier to make a good presentation to the fish with a fly, especially in this wind. The fish were hungry and aggressive. I only spooked 1 or 2 with the line.

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Treasure Coast Snook and Reds

Florida Sportsman member: evergladeskid243

I made a couple more passes through the area having many strikes, wakes, and blow ups but no connections. Finally connected with a solid fish around that pulled me around and gave my stradic 3000 and 10 pound braid a good workout.

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Summer Slammin’

Florida Sportsman member: Devodud

We set out in a southeasterly direction at sunrise and stopped in 150 feet of water. As soon as we stopped my live bait rod gets slammed. It ends up being my biggest kingfish of the day. Within 5 minutes Suede lands a kingfish that could be the twin to mine.

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Summertime Kayak Bite

Florida Sportsman member: evergladeskid243

Found no shortage of baby tarpon feeding up in the shadows of the mangrove overhangs and culvert outflows. I caught lots of these little guys on both spin and on the 8wt on these small minnow patterns I have been tying, and on my new favorite lure I decided to try randomly, the Vudu shrimp.

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Matlacha Kayak Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: jocofi

We made a trip to Matlacha with big hopes of tarpon. They laughed around all around us most of the day. We even got a close up look at one that was sniffing around shallow waters. He seemed so intensely focused on the grass bed he didn’t notice that he came within a few feet of our kayaks.

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Wahoo from the Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Yak

I was losing line fast, so I started pedaling to chase him down. The fish came to the surface and circled about 15 feet away. I saw the unmistakably tiger stripes and my adrenaline skyrocketed! The wahoo made a deep run and I slowly worked him up tail wrapped. After about 40 minutes, I gaffed him and brought him up.

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Night Time Snook Bite

Florida Sportsman member: AC_YaK

So far I have got over 10 snook over the 38 inch mark. All fish were caught in Boynton Spillway after sun down. All this rain has got the water moving pretty fast through the flood gates and it really heats up the bite.

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Tampa Kayak Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: rkotinsky

My yak buddy made his way over to a deeper spot and hooked into multiple redfish and gave me a call to move on in. After landing his 4th fish, I failed to get a single hit with any of my lures; he continued to catch and release over the next hour.

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Sashimi and Sail

Florida Sportsman member: timmcollins

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

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Big King off Boynton

Florida Sportsman member: 1OzLead

Early on we trolled to 180 feet and found some scattered weeds and stuff was going on here and there. After some drops we decided to move to 220 feet and Gio calls out fish on! Some time later Gio calls a king and we get together to gaff it and bring the catch in my bag.

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Slammin’ in the Yak

Florida Sportsman member: summer daze

My top water plug was getting crushed just about every throw. Best fish of the day was a 39 inch snook. Caught lots of snook and trout and one redfish to complete the inshore slam. The biggest trout was 25 inches. Released everything except the big trout.

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Big Fish off of Boynton

Florida Sportsman member: Nick561

So I send the bait out while thinking how pissed I’m going to be when I lose another fish, I was in that mood. Well before I know it, a sail is cat walking right at me and I see my line slack, Fish on!

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Dania Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: kayakfrank

Anyways, found a nice north stream between 250 to 300 feet, and began jigging between those depths only. I couldn’t capture on film the first couple minutes of the long run. I was busy just trying to keep my focus on having a good hookset. I thought I lost the fish, as he began to swim toward me. That’s where the short video clip begins

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Destin Kayak Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: jmj75

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

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A Recap

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

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

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South Beach Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: Poseidon10/31

I decided to start taking length and girth measurements of my tarpon so I could better calibrate my eye when judging weights of fish. I haven’t measured a fish in so long, I wasn’t sure if I was accurately judging weights.

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Flamingo Kayak Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: BigGuyinaLittleBoat

My lure gets inhaled, I set the hook, and a 50 pound tarpon erupts. It’s not even light out yet, welcome to Flamingo! After the initial jump it stays in the water and ends up just dragging me along the shoreline towing me like I’m not even there. After getting drug back a half mile the way I came I put too much pressure on my 20 pound braid and broke him off.

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Everglades Adventure

Florida Sportsman member: jvanpelt

Next it was my turn. As I sat and watched I noticed a small pod of tarpon feeding on some bait up against the mangrove shoreline. I through my Riptide Flats Chub past the pod and started to quickly retrieve it. I was immediately rewarded with an aerial display of another juvenile tarpon.

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Paddling off of Pompano

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Yak

I quickly threw the goggle eye back in the bucket and began fighting. After about 10 minutes with several gaff misses, I quickly realized that it’s time for a longer gaff. I finally got it which ended up being a nice 42 inch king, my personal best.

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A Week in the Glades

Florida Sportsman member: jvanpelt

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

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Boynton Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: Produkt

We head to deeper water and continue jigging and drifting. I hook up to something big until it breaks my 30 pound test line. Seconds later my gog gets smoked in 180 feet. Nice blackfin in the boat after a short fight.

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N.M.Z. Monster

Florida Sportsman member: RiverRat321

I casted my line out and let it sit for a second while I took a sip of my beverage and BOOM not even 5 minutes I was hooked up to the biggest fish I’ve caught to date unknowingly. The drag was screaming like no other. I set it as tight and possible without there being too much tension for my line to break.

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Vilano Kayaking

Florida Sportsman member: kayakling

A large shark (likely) did wind up eating a ladyfish half Drew was drifting, he started getting towed but as he added some pressure it broke off. At around 10:30 we decided to head over to the bridge. I caught a nice 6 pound flounder (my biggest) right away but then besides ladyfish and jacks that was really it for a long while.

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Kayak Kings

Florida Sportsman member: meckert

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

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Wahoo from the Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: Pottymouth

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

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Siesta Key Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: strangeBrue

Finally got my new Predator wet off the beach for a little tarpon fishing. I’ve been watching guys get dragged around for years and finally got my chance. I had a bunch of shots throughout the morning and finally got one to eat a whitebait around 9:30. It was quite a ride.

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Slammin’ before the Storm

Florida Sportsman member: SlamPiece

then got into a few schools that were interested, caught 6 reds up to 32 inches on Gulp!, jerk baits, and live mullet. Also saw several tarpon and hooked up to at least 8 or 9 times with no success but then i finally landed one! Also caught a few trout to complete a not so common slam for me.

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Boynton Sail

Florida Sportsman member: Produkt

We head out straight east and deploy our gogs at 80 feet. We make it to 250-ish and I hear my drag pull a little. I look at it again and it pulls a little more. Just as I’m about to pick it up I see a monster sailfish leap 30 yards away and my drag goes off. 30 to40 minutes later I have a huge sail in my lap.

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Emerald Coast Kayaking

Florida Sportsman member: brunyan

Had a great time with a getaway to the Emerald Coast for opening of Snapper Season. First day went 4 for 4 on snapper (kept 2) and 1 for 1 on kings. Really surprised we didn’t get into more kings that day. Second day caught a short gag, 2 short red snapper, 1 vermilion snapper, and a king.

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Kayak Trout

Florida Sportsman member: inshore dave

I spent the night at my buddy Stan’s place Sunday night. Woke up early to fish the Indian River at Hutchinson Island with Stan and his girlfriend Tammy. Conditions were good with winds out of the East from 5 to 15 knots and a wind ripple in the water. Caught my biggest trout to date-27 3/4 inches long and a fat 6 pounds.

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Dania Jumbos

Florida Sportsman member: frankthetank

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

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Tangling with Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: Skunklife

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

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N.M.Z. Bull

Florida Sportsman member: LilTucci

I pull up my park n pole and prepare for the sleigh ride! 5 minutes go by with this fish tearing off 20 pound braid and dragging my loaded down pro angler no problem, I gain a little bit of line and finally get a glimpse of the fish as it breaks the surface in the distance. Those red scales shimmering in the sun gave it away and I immediately knew this was a solid bull red! Needless to say at this point I am grinning ear to ear as this is why we came here.

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Slaying the Southshore

Florida Sportsman member: rkotinsky

Managed to land a small snook and a 24 inch keeper red before having to take cover from the lightning for a couple of hours. After the storms faded, high tide approached and I began working the mangroves with the live target scaled sardine.

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Bluewater Kayaking

Florida Sportsman member: LilTucci

Trolled for a little over an hour and had the pleasant surprise of having a 10 foot hammerhead circle my kayak a couple times before he decided to destroy my flat line and take me for a sleigh ride for a few minutes. Thankfully the line snapped before he spooled me. Peddled out to 150 feet where I saw some weeds, was there no longer than 2 minutes and my last blue runner gets inhaled by a big dolly.

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Redfish Sleigh Ride

Florida Sportsman member: cbmdk86

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

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Battle in the Bahamas

Florida Sportsman member: palmbeachpete

Forum member and contributing writer palmbeachpete shared his recent trip to the Bahamas while fishing in the extreme kayak and paddle board tournament. A lot of nice fish caught and looked to be a great time had by all!

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Fort Lauderdale Wreck Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: kayakfrank

As soon as we reached our first spot, we both hooked up to bonitos right away. Not what we wanted, but still an ice breaker on the jigs. After getting in our workout on those bonitos, Jason landed a small AJ for the smoker and an African Pompano. No BFT’s in these shallower waters. We averaged 225 feet or less depth throughout the day.

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Boynton Phins

Florida Sportsman member: drichard1986

Headed north for the first time ever in the yak. Did a Boynton to WPB drift with Eric and the bite was good all day. I got 3 dolphin, he got 2 and they were decent size! Eric also snagged an AJ and jumped a sail a few times. Awesome day on the water and glad to get back out on the yak and get some fish.

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Hallandale Offshore Kayaking

Florida Sportsman member: bugdoc

Got another runner, then a few drops later I felt something a little larger. Got it about 60 feet off the bottom and it suddenly realized it was hooked, and drag started peeling out straight down. Finally pulled up a 28 pound amberjack after about 15 minutes. I went back to the rest of the group and took them back to the Tenneco, and I got a 22 inch mutton and what looks like a charcoal variant of a blue runner.

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Coral Springs Snakin’

Florida Sportsman member: USNAVY_Angler

While Rob spent most of the day trying to effectively deploy a fly for a Snakehead to eat, I had many opportunities to seal the deal and uncharacteristically missed more hook sets than I’m proud to admit, not sure what it was today. All in all, managed to land a solid 28 inch 5 to 6 pound Snake, another medium one around 2.5 pound and a baby which was released.

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Catching Fish and Bringing Home the Cash

Florida Sportsman member: cbmdk86

Assumed that this was my tournament hopes down the drain, and made my way back to the truck, but after a 17 mile round trip and 6 hours of fishing time, my little dink trout proved enough to secure the victory! Brought it home despite the stiff competition of 175 other competitors, with a good number of them in skiffs. Proof positive you can go out and be successful with just the bare minimum!

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Football Season

Florida Sportsman member:AC_YaK

After getting beat up on the wreck I headed out to see if the tuna bite would be on as it got later in the day and as soon as I got to 240 feet they were jumping everywhere. landed 5 out of 6 in 20 minutes CASTING the same 60 glow jig and ripping it on the surface. The last tuna I jigged up in 300 feet. A fun and action filled afternoon!

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Weedon Island Gator Trout

Florida Sportsman member: rkotinsky

High tide peaked at 6:00PM so I placed my yak into one of the passes and waited for the big drain to start. At 6:01PM one of my trolling rods with a clear gold speckled DOA shrimp gets hit hard and after a decent fight I pull in a 24 inch gator trout.

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ENP Kayaking

Florida Sportsman member: USNAVY_Angler

There were no tails to be seen anywhere but we pushed through and eventually found the Reds munching but fully submerged. I was able to hook up to this beautiful spotless Red that finally allowed me to try my Abu Garcia Revo Inshore bait caster. What a fight it gave me. We each hooked Sharks and lost them. Oh well.

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Mosquito Lagoon Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Pescatoral Pursuit

As fortune would have it, there was a small school pushing right towards me that I would’ve never seen except that the sun was at just the right angle, and though they weren’t making a wake, there was just enough of a disturbance to “bend” the reflection on the water a slight bit. At first I thought it was a slight breeze kicking up, but it soon became apparent what it was.

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Second Place Dolphin Via Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: Ericjames22

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

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Weedon Island Kayak Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Slamaholic

Our plan was to go to Googe Island and work all the back mangrove Islands on the way. We watched bait being attacked by pelicans and a lot of mullet action in deeper holes. We set up on the outside of the holes and would cast in Jig heads with live shrimp and bump the bottom. It didn’t take long to hook up on the Reds. Great day out with the family.

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Southeast Yak Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: LilTucci

Inshore the trout bite has been picking up along with a few decent snook recently, haven’t been able to get into any reds except for a couple rats though. Last offshore trip I hooked into my first sailfish, went for a sleigh ride for 5 minutes but unfortunately the Sail wore through my line after a couple water walking jumps.

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Steinhatchee Yakin’

Florida Sportsman member: rkotinsky

We started our final run back to the creek mouth and continued to work the grass edges, sand holes and oyster bars which resulted in a lot of small reds and trout. As we made it back to the channel I cast into a deep cut and thought I had snagged a rock with my LT greenie. The rock started moving and I knew it would be the biggest fish of the day. After a nice fight, this beauty made my day at 26 inches and 7 pounds.

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Coral Springs Kayaking

Florida Sportsman member: USNAVY_Angler

Total tally was 6 Largemouths, one was 19 inches, two others were 17 inches, I estimate the 19 incher to be around 4-5 pounds. All caught on 6/0 Gamakatsu worm hooks and a variation of Gambler Cane and Zoom toads. Nothing better than topwater action.

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Dania Beach Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: lmp1978

Another beautiful day on the water, lost my gaff in the morning to two big waves that hit me bad and after that it wasn’t there any more. Did end up catching a nice spanish mackerel and a nice dolphin though.

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Monster Vilano Beach Red

Florida Sportsman member: kayakling

Was about to call it and then a big beast latched on to my lure in around 25 feet. This is one of the two biggest fish I have ever caught from my kayak. I tail grabbed it into the yak and then had to paddle (couldn’t peddle with the tail up around my neck and the head blocking the peddles) over to shore to measure and photograph. I measured as best I could with it in the Hobie and wound up with somewhere around 43 inches.

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Big Tarpon on the Yak

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Ross

We went 2 for 7 on tarpon from 80 pounds to the one pictured. It ate a Hogy 10 inch Original Series fished on a 6/0 Soft Circle Hook. 50 pound Power Pro Slick, 80 pound Mono leader, Sustain FG 10,000 on a Sewell Custom 8 foot Tarpon Rod. The fight lasted about 35 minutes and spanned close to a mile from start to finish.

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Sailing in the Kayaks

Florida Sportsman member: Cvstrat

After not getting any more bites and the wind starting to pick up and make it hard to jig in place, I switched back to trolling a live gog. About 10 minutes into paddling the rip, way out I saw my first sail come leaping out the water. Rob made it there in time to snap a photo of the landing which went off pretty well for my first time.

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Striking Chokoloskee Gold

Florida Sportsman member: pjstevko

About 6 minutes into the hunt I spot a big fish gingerly patrolling the outer edges of shallow mud bank and I fire off a cast about ten feet in front of her. She’s slowly moving right towards my DOA shrimp and I leave it lie motionless on the bottom until she’s about 2 feet away and then I just slowly raise the rod tip causing the shrimp to “pop” off the bottom and she bulldogs it, fish on!

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Skinny Water Snook

Florida Sportsman member:Snookslayer772

Before the sun was up high enough to sight fish, I was firing topwater and had a fish clobber a skitterwalk up shallow. he choked it and pulled some drag for me, came out to 27 inches. Once the sun came up it was game on, ended up picking one fish off on fly that was laid up on a mangrove shoreline and one on spin off of a flat. both fish being sub slot but were fun watching the eat and the fight when they’re shallow.

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Double Sailfish and More Via Yak

Florida Sportsman member: AC_YaK

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

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Dolphin, Tuna, Tile, From the Yak

Florida Sportsman member: AC_YAK

First Dolphin of the day was around 8:15am on a live runner in 225 feet on a weed line using my Avet LX and 20 pound mono. Notice the scars all over its tail. The tax collector tried to swoop in and steal my catch, however it was not your usual man in the grey suit but a monster barracuda.

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Kayak Lobstering

Florida Sportsman member: frankthetank

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

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Kayak Kings

Florida Sportsman member: AC_YaK

Needless to say their was a good bite out there today before the front moved in. Bait was thick in 190 to 220 feet. Weedline running NNE in the same depth. Salvaged the day with this king that skied on a dead tunny with the tail cut off on a stinger rig trolling it in, 39 inches to the fork.

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First Football From the Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: PESCAHOLIC

The seas were building and I made the decision to set my lines in a trolling spread and set an east course to do a large loop back to shore under sail. After my course changed back to west, I got a knock down on my starboard plug. It made a few good runs on my Penn 5500 and then in the kayak came my first blackfin tuna ever!

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Dania Beach Kayak Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: lmp1978

Boom! Again, but this time it felt deferent, it felt like a big fish! There it goes! My first Wahoo. I was impressed how fast this fish runs! I’ve never seen my drag going so fast. Definitely a unforgettable adventure!

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Winter Kayak Fishing

Florida Sportsman member:Pmoconnor89

Location: Brackish water area of Myakka River

Time: 0845-1445

Tides: Outgoing

Weather: Overcast, pre-frontal conditions, Hi/Lo 68/57, Winds 10-15, gusting to 30.

Vessel: Native Watercraft Ultimate 14.5

Fish: 9 Snook to 26″, 1 Jack Crevalle @ 5 Lbs, 1 tarpon jumped @8-10 lbs, 1 Mangrove Snapper @ 11″

Tactics: Spinning tackle. Light jigheads with soft plastic jerk baits were most successful.

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Flamingo Fishing Adventure

Florida Sportsman member: USNavy_Angler

Between Dave and I we spotted over 15 Reds, some we casted with both soft baits and topwater plugs and had no luck, we were able to land 2 solid slot Reds, and a couple missed my topwater plug. We safely released all, I didn’t feel like cleaning fish today.

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Yak Trout

Florida Sportsman member: ranckgarman

Fun time out with my girlfriend on a windy day. Caught a nice trout on my D.O.A. shrimp within 10 minutes of throwing the anchor, this guy made for some amazing trout tacos! Caught another 4 trout that day with 3 out of 5 being over 18 inches.

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Drumming The NMZ

Florida Sportsman member: evergladeskid243

Began the day throwing DOA CALs in the copper crush color and ended up changing to the dark green Bream color after blowing out a few cruising fish and that did the trick! First fish of the day ended up being a bit over 27 inches.

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I.R.L. Yakin’

Florida Sportsman member: evergladeskid243

Started the day poling and sight casting in the lee of spoil islands only finding 1 slot red, casting to him with the fly rod, and have him follow it right to the yak before deciding not to eat it! Moved on and threw DOA jigs around some culverts and pulled what I thought was a decent snook, ended up being a solid trout!

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Dania Beach Hoo

Florida Sportsman member: Pottymouth

Hit up Dania a little late this morning, no bait and peddled out into some face slapping slop. After a few drops landed a decent sized almaco then the biggest blue runner I ever caught. Moved out a little deeper, dropped the jig and fish on! After my sleigh ride up comes some stripes, wahoo baby!

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Intercoastal Reds

Florida Sportsman member: abm5926

I haven’t posted on here in awhile so thought I’d contribute. The past 2 days, I’ve hit up barrier islands in the Intracoastal Water Way in my kayak looking for reds and gator trout. Didn’t catch any real gators but got lots and lots of redfish all on topwater, z man paddlerz, and manic shrimp.

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Hand Lining Tarpon From A Yak

Florida Sportsman member: Poseidon10/31

Lost a couple big ones due to leader fray. 80 pound was always plenty on a rod and reel but for some reason it’s not enough with the hand line. Anyways, live mullet were the ticket, trolled and free lined pretty much anywhere near the beach.

Click link to watch the video of this mayhem unfold

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Estero Bay NMZ

Florida Sportsman member: jocofi

Aside from getting out and surprisingly sinking into muck above my knees my morning was rather uneventful. As we finished our trek from the no motor zone to open water I casted my DOA CAL, red and gold jerk bait into a deep channel. After a few twitches I got trucked. it didn’t feel like any inshore species I’ve fought before. When it broke the surface I was surprised to see the crusty camo of my first inshore Goliath.

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Nice Pine Island Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Bobbkkat

I was throwing a topwater and when it came up next to my Pro Angler a big trout came out of the water on it, but threw it. I dropped it right back and he nailed it again. I had him this time! After a nice little fight I brought it up and lipped him. It measured out at 25 inches which is definitely me biggest trout in Matlacha to date.

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Great Way To Spend Your Birthday

Florida Sportsman member: summer daze

I was working a lure in about 4 feet of water when it gets crushed and line starts screaming toward the mangroves. Managed to keep her out of the roots and forced her back to deep water. Maybe it was karma for letting the other one go but this one was 34 inches and a fatty!

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Kayaking Kings Bay

Florida Sportsman member: NoQuarterNoMercy

He heads away from the docks and is all tuckered out. I feel him give up and now it’s just a matter of hauling him in. As he nears the yak, he heads underneath it and somehow I managed to pull a ninja spin around the stern of the kayak and get him to the other side. That’s no tarpon, it’s a monster snook!

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Awesome Offshore Kayak Bite Out of Pompano

Florida Sportsman member: LilTucci

We ended up hitting the water at 6:45 and paddled out to 280 feet initially. My plan was to learn how to vertical jig since I never had tried it before but I also rigged up a goggle eye and threw it overboard. Started jigging in 280 feet and my buddy immediately hooks up with a decent Bonita. We decided to go into 260ft and I finally had my first hook up, after a couple minute fight on my 5000 series reel I’m surprised to see a nice 24 inch snapper.

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Fishing the IFA Kayak Tour Ruskin Event

Florida Sportsman member: Bobbkkat

Me and my friend Conrad Fiocca fished the IFA Kayak Tour event in Ruskin this past weekend. Prior to the captains meeting we had very poor prefishing results and on tournament day I decided to fish close to the hotel area. On tournament day we launched by the hotel and paddled out to immediately get into redfish and trout. We caught quite a few trout with the biggest being 18 inches. We paddled over to the redfish spot and we both caught a red within 10 minutes of getting there. We decided to continue to try and upgrade our reds. We both caught 4 or 5 more reds until we each had a 24-25 inch red. We looked around but then came back to our original spot, and Conrad decided to throw a rattle trap and ended up catching a 27-inch red!

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NMZ Trout and Reds

Florida Sportsman member: shallow water assassin

Loaded the slayer up yesterday and took it on its first trip to the NMZ. Lunched at sunrise and the trout bite was good on top waters. Switched up to Z Mann swimmers and ended up landing two slot reds. Poled the while day standing on the seat in the high position with no problems. This yak in by far the best yak if been in for fishing the flats.

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Sneaking Up on Reds & Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Hobie Angler

Fishing was good once again. Started the day with a nice trout. Later in the morning found some Reds in very shallow water and they were tailing. I managed to sneak up on a school and luckily the camera was on when one of them attacked. Had the wind pushing from behind with a small island of dead grass in front of me. One of the fish was facing the opposite way and allowed me to get real close without spooking him…. The other Redfish hit a Topwater lure. I ended the day with two Reds, a beefy Trout and a psycho Ladyfish

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Port Everglades Sail

Florida Sportsman member: Pottymouth

Port everglades wanted to show a little love to skunk and a boat almost ran his *** over . Bonita city out there, I managed a med almaco and a sail, I lost another sail about 30 min later hooked up on a jig that sail went crazy popped my leader then Threw the jig. Slow day but at least the bonita kept us busy.

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Big Jumbo & Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: frankthetank

Had a late start guys getting bait at 15th st. We didn’t make it offshore until about 8am, where I followed andy to about 250 feet. We scored a little pre-work out on some bonita and a small amberjack that Andy got. Being in the middle of the group, Andy wanted to go to 340 feet to look for any bit of current so I followed. We almost left but then I finally got a small football in. First Tuna Since November! Andy gets one a little bigger. A few minutes later I got slammed and went on a speedy sleigh ride. After a couple minutes, I’m thrilled to see black and gold rising from the deep and it wasn’t small either.

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Surprise Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Poseidon10/31

I have a nemesis living in bear cut that has made a fool of me quite a few times now. It’s a giant barracuda whose size I didn’t fully know until today. Over the past 7 months he has cut me off and wrapped me on pilings about 6 times. It’s always in the EXACT SAME spot, making me think it’s the same fish. Last time by the bridge I put 18″ of #5 wire on to avoid getting cut off. That wasn’t enough and he PWND me again!!! Today I was using a float with a good 3′ of wire and a live 12″ blue runner. I put the bait in the water momentarily to spin the yak around (25′ up current of his home) and immediately the beast swirled at the bait, missing on the first pass but bit my line above the cork and wire. He spun around, grabbed the bait and took off.

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Round Island Snapper Bite

Florida Sportsman member: evergladeskid243

Being over in Europe, cruising the Med and crossing the Atlantic was cool and all but the whole time my mind was on the Indian River! Loaded the Slayer and hit the river to check continue where i left off before my departure. Hit up my Vero Beach backcountry spot twice last week with nuthing to show but a few small snook and one baby tarpon…

Decided to hit Round Island this afternoon and see if she would produce for me. Couldn’t find a trout anywhere, first fish was a mangrove on a topwater. Checked some spots in the mangroves for some baby tarpon and snook, but there were none to be found. Ended up getting on a good lane snapper bite out off some of the spoil islands by the ICW. Not the bite I was hoping for, but when everything else is slow you just roll with it.

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Boynton Beach Wahoo, Sails and Kings

Florida Sportsman member: bbarton13

Yesterday Marty Mood ( PA hillbilly) and I decided to get a quick last minute trip in. We ran into some big bulls in the shallows and they were hungry for some top waters! There is nothing like catching big reds in 2 feet of water. When they exploded on the topwaters it sounded like a whale breaching. The biggest red was my 41 incher that ate a one knocker spook.

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Boynton Beach Wahoo, Sails and Kings

Florida Sportsman member: NELBAG

Been trying to get an upgrade on my weehoo from early this summer and finally did. Had to weed though the sailfish and kings to get one. I lost a few fish over the last few weeks and went through changing different bait presentations and hook set-ups. The fish weighed 25 pounds, caught in 200 feet on a live gog off Boynton Beach.

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Playa Linda Tarpon Madness

Florida Sportsman member: Devodud

We paddled towards the area where we saw the tarpon roll and my depth sounder screen lit up with large objects. A look over the side of the kayak revealed a couple dozen tarpon in the 70 pound to120 pound class lazily swimming 15 feet directly below me. I opted to bait my light 20 pound class kingfish rod knowing full well I would never land a fish; I just wanted to fight one on the light rod for a while. Suede was using an 8000 Battle spooled with 80 pound Power-Pro and an 80 pound fluorocarbon leader, fully intent on landing a tarpon.

I took my croaker out of the live-well and dropped it straight down over the pod of tarpon. The croaker made a futile attempt to swim away from the pod but a large tarpon rose from the school and inhaled the bite size fish. I set the hook and line started coming off of my reel. The fish didn’t make the usual instant jump; it just took off straight east. Within a few seconds I hear Suede’s drag screaming and one of the giants energetically leaped from the water just feet from my kayak. We had just doubled up on tarpon and complete chaos was enveloping the scene.

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Dania Beach Gags and Kings

Florida Sportsman member: kayakangler

We made our way to one of drichards secret grouper spots(which I of course marked on my FF) and started dropping the jigs. after a couple drops I pull up an decent 10-pound gag. Shortly after, drichard hooks a small almaco that gets engulfed and then let go by a large grouper that rips all the scales off the little almaco. Later the same thing happens to me but this time the larger fish was hooked good. I tried my hardest to stop this thing from running down into the rocks but it was impossible, I almost got pulled over board. Doug was screaming that I had a monster grouper on and I was praying that my line didn’t snap.

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Ft. Lauderdale King

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Yak

Launched at 7am off of Ft. Lauderdale beach. The ocean looked like a sheet of ice. I tried multiple depths not getting anything on my go-to jigs. I also tried multiple depths trolling a few different lures. Turned out to be productive. Got a bonito, trigger, squirrel fish, remora… All trash. Decided to call it a day. Trolled an x-rap on the way in when I hooked up on this king around 130 feet.

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Delray to Boynton Drift

Florida Sportsman member: 1OzLead

Keeping an eye peeled out for storms, Damon, John, Sebastian, and I headed out of Delray to calm seas and clear skies. The current was low, somewhere between 1.5-2 knots so we started jigging on 180 feet. Everyone was getting on fish today and the AJ bite was intense. Later we hit 300 feet and then we got into the Tunas across from the Martini glass. We approached Boynton inlet as soon as a small twister touched down.

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Dania Beach Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: Pottymouth

I Hit up Dania Beach and it was beautiful out. Flat sea’s, light wind & current, and tons of people going on the hunt for bugs. It was pretty fishy out, so I tossed the cast net from the Pa and loaded up on chum(small pilchards). On the way out I got slammed by a nice king, once we made our way to the desired depth I tossed out my gog and it got slammed, so of course I thought it was another king just bigger. Nope once I saw stripes I knew it was Mr hoo and he was coming to dinner.

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Tilefish Off Delray Beach

Florida Sportsman member: Hooked

Blazing Reels and I hit the sands of Delray Beach this morning before the crack of dawn. We were welcomed with the sight of calm winds and sea. We rush to get out on the water to enjoy the morning bite, so we headed south towards Boca to provide us a little drifting distance. We heard reports of the current picking up strong, but we found out there was none at all. We picked up some good sized Bonitas on the way out which helped us with a good warm up. Our first stop was in about 200 feet of water, we both dropped our jigs a few times and kept an eye on which way the current was flowing. I guess the fish were pretty hungry this morning because on one of my drops I got a double header. I first felt one big slam on my jig and then a few seconds later another big slam, but it was weird because it was going the opposite way.

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North Biscayne Trout Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Poseidon10/31

I decided to try my luck on the grass flats just south of 195 this morning. Got on the water just as the sun was coming up with 3 dozen shrimp. I tried some topwater baits to start things off but only one small trout wanted to play. After 15 minutes, I switched to the go-to popping cork and it was non stop action from then on. I literally blew through all 3 dozen shrimp in about an hour. The majority of the trout were 16-18 inches, only had two little runt trout all day. Didn’t get any needlefish or cuda’s all day, and I was really surprised by that! The grovers were in full force too, caught 8 or 9 in the 6-10″ range. After I used all the shrimp and only got 2 that were just about 20″, I sabiki’d up some pinfish.

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

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North Mosquito Lagoon

Florida Sportsman member:Hobie Angler

What a beautiful morning…. With a picture perfect sunrise, went out and found that I was the only kayak out there all morning. I just can’t get over how perfect the conditions were and yet there was nobody around. Fish were very active and the opportunities were numerous. Was somewhat disappointed that I ended up losing what would have been the biggest fish of the day. A beefy Red comes to the surface and aggressively snags the lure. Had the fish on for a good run and yet a minute later I am standing there wondering in complete disbelieve.

Heres a video taken throughout the day

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Offshore Mothership Trip

Florida Sportsman member:Heywood

This past Wednesday, July 10th six of us chartered the “Fish Taxi” captained by Ryan Wagner out of the Salt Rock Grill for some off shore action. The targets would be grouper, AJ’s, snapper or just whatever was biting. Joining me would be my good friend Mark Watanabe, Rusty Driver, Rob Devore, Edward Ratanun and Tyler Peterson. Arriving before our schedule launch time of 7am, we quickly loaded the 32 foot Sabalos and made a short trip down the ICW, stopping just short of Johns Pass for fuel. Once done with that we headed out the pass for our 20 mile trip out into the Gulf.

So once in position we dropped our baits, which consisted of either cut or whole sardines and live pinfish and the fight, was on. One Red Grouper after another. You had to go through 20 or 30 short ones to get one that was legal to keep, that being larger than 20 inches.

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Beach Tarpon Madness (Video)

Florida Sportsman member:Devodud

We headed to A1A and began checking beach launches for acceptable surf, bait, and fish activity. We only had to hit a couple of cross-overs before we found an acceptable launch area. We launched to find widely scattered pogies and a few rolling tarpon ranging from just outside the surf to a quarter mile from shore. The water close to the surf was really muddy so we paddled until we found some clearer water and began drifting our baits. Almost immediately we began hooking up. I jumped a couple tarpon and caught some sharks on pigfish and mullet. Suede put out a jumbo mullet and had a tarpon chase it to the surface and leap completely out of the water trying to eat it, all this just feet from his kayak. Neither of us landed a tarpon first thing in the morning, but we had fun trying. Once the morning bite slowed we tried trolling some stingers and diving plugs out farther offshore. The only fish yielded was a huge bonito and a tiny barracuda.

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Snookin’ in the Rain

Florida Sportsman member: jocofi

Over the 4th of July holiday 3 friends got together to enjoy a day of fishing. Almost everyday has been a down pour but the early part of thursday was blue skies.

We headed out from one of our favorite spots. The over abundance of rain run off has turned much of our saltwater spot into fresh water so we needed to head further out to find fish. All 3 of us found snook as well as double digits of trout (not pictured). The snook were hungry all day feasting on DOA Shrimp, zara spook jrs, and skitter walk’s. The rain was held back for most of the day but we did finally get hammered by multiple storms. Though the storms did not break our spirit to continue to fish. We found a few snook on our way back. It was an amazing day in our back country

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Dania Drift

Florida Sportsman member:drichard1986

First time getting out since the big wahoo and fishing has slowed way down in the last few weeks. Went out after work Friday for an hour or so and managed a nice king and lost a big mutton right under the yak Saturday did a drift from port Everglades inlet to Pompano with a couple other guys Doug P, Rob and Andy. First time out of the inlet and it was fun to say the least. With the outgoing tide there was 4-6 foot rollers all the way out to 100 feet of water. Awesome scenery to start the morning though. Fishing was slow with a bunch of huge bonita caught as well as a handful of football bfts. I managed to pull up a small snowy grouper deep droppin in the 300 foot range which was a first for me. Also hooked up to a nice mahi maybe 15 pounds that shook the hook first jump. Also had a fun visit and a couple circles from mr hammerhead. Slow day but nice to get out on the water again

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Vilano Reds

Florida Sportsman member:Flats Broke

After monitoring extraordinary fluctuations in the evening’s weather forecast for St. Augustine, myself and Josh/WDE414 decided to load the Hobie’s and just go. We arrived at the Vilano ramp at around 17:30 and the conditions were excellent. Winds were light from the west and the current was slow and steady outgoing. The plan was to fish the Usina until at least nightfall and mainly drop Got-Cha’s and other heavier lead-heads around the deep spots. When we got to the bridge we quickly racked up multiple trashcan slams but both of us still had high hopes. When the tide was just about bottoming out I hooked-up and boated a 31.5 inch redfish. Shortly after that I was hooked up again to another redfish right around 31 inches. Josh caught some bluefish at around that time and kept one for the grill. I managed a keeper trout somewhere in there too that I threw on the ice. Right after dark fell and the tide switched, I managed a perfect 27 inch redfish that joined the trout on the menu tonight.

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Big Kayak Bull

Florida Sportsman member:Flats Broke

Joe Hector landed this fish, off Pompano on June 27. This bull dolphin was caught on a dead sardine, in 180 feet. Having no gaff did not cause to much of a problem until the fish got wrapped around the mirage drive. The angler Joe was with, Fred York, had to jump in and untangle the line. Joe then reached down, grabbed the fish and bear hugged it into the kayak. The fish weighed an estimated 30 plus pounds


Ultralight Bull

Florida Sportsman member:Chuck D

Fished the Indian River today, and the water is DARK. Super brown, but the fish are there, and they still have to eat. Launched the kayaks at 5:30 to an overcast sunrise. Decided to give my ultralight a workout today, 4 to 10 pound Seagis with a 1000 Saros, 8 pound braid. We started throwing topwater plugs, and they started getting hit. Caught a lot of trout early, and hooked up with a nice red that came unglued on the zara spook jr. Looked for tails, saw none. Kept plugging away with topwater until it stopped working around 10 or 11 am. Started throwing a DOA CAL shad tail and caught a few more nice trout, and hooked up with the first red of the day trolling it behind me (and working it a little) while moving across the flat.The artificial bite slowed a bit after that, so we decided to deploy a few fresh mullet chunks out. Was throwing two lines out on the deeper section of the flat and the action started to heat up. First I nailed a 30 incher as a storm was passing and then we had a double hook up of slightly over 30 inch reds. I had to play these fish and chase them down to not get spooled on the light tackle, they all seemed to hit the bait on the light rod. Maybe because of the lighter leader I was using on it (20 pound floro). I finally get a screaming hit quickly after re-deploying baits, and the line is dumping off the little Saros 1000. In about 4 seconds I was starting to see the spool through the braid, as I was unhooking from my makeshift anchor (my paddle). I got free just in time and started to chase down this fish. I was trying to play it as best I could, and it was dragging me all over the place. My rod was doubled over, my drag was locked but still screaming, and I was very afraid something in the setup would break, possibly the rod. I see the huge tail, and know I’m in for a long fight.Finally the beast rolls over, and gives up. I applied boga grips and it was a caught fish.Revived very quickly, and off to spawn or whatever those big fish do.Thanks to user EasternGlow for help taking the pics! I’d post yours but I know some people may be wary of posting their photos online for the masses…

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Boynton Bonita’s

Florida Sportsman member: Hooked

The Boynton Boys are definitely feeling the summer time, its when you have to catch 20 bonita’s before you catch anything worth wild. We had more pics for you all but one of are camera’s fell of the kayak while in transit probably due to us rushing to get into the cold a/c of vehicle and not checking the traps on the gear. Last Saturday Oarknot and I launched out of Delray Beach and drifted to Boynton and ended catching this little guy in about 300 feet deep with a Tormenter Jig. We have also been having some success with mutton snapper and some nice size reef donkeys. Since they dredged Delray Beach we haven’t seen any nice grouper…

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Dania Offshore Success

Florida Sportsman member: Bugdoc

Finally got a chance to head offshore again. The surf was a little sporty in the morning. A newbie in the parking lot asked if it was a good day to try his new kayak off the beach. It didn’t sound like he had much experience and just a 12 foot kayak, but I figured with an experienced hand like myself I could get him past the waves. I was wrong, he flipped twice in little waves that weren’t even breaking, so I advised him to practice in Whiskey Creek and launched myself out. Once the clouds moved on the seas died down to summer normal. Got a small bonito trolling around 110 feet, lost something on the jig at 120 and got a 2nd bigger bonito jigging. I then foul-hooked a juvenile african pompano and a tiny blowfish. Met forum member jcan and family on the paddle back, they at least got a couple of black-fin tunas for dinner. It’s still nice to get a bend in the rod, especially when you set the drag light so they pull some line.


Ft. Lauderdale Blackfin Tuna

Florida Sportsman Member: Captain Yak

Peddled out with no live bait. Just trolled a plug out to the deep waters and almost snagged a huge sea turtle. Was able to luckily get my line off the turtle without hooking him or putting him under any pressure. Got out to 140 feet and hooked up on a decent bonnie. Threw him back and went to 160 feet.

Immediately hooked up and this fish was a monster. Checking the time on my video, it took my drag for over a minute straight. As it got closer, I realized that I had a monster bonnie. Got him in, but he was so worn he didn’t make it back in the drink.

Switched up Jigs to get away from the bonito. On my second drop and I feel a light hit. I Set the hook and the fish is not really fighting. I get him to the surface and realize I have a jumbo blackfin tuna. I worked him real slow just before bringing him on the yak. He saved his fight for when I had him on board.

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Dania Beach King and Wahoo

Florida Sportsman Member: drichard1986

Launched at sunrise and headed out solo with some gogs swimmin happy in the livewell. Got out to 185 feet, not much current. I caught a few almacos on the jig and then my gog gets whacked. A few good runs and i land a nice 25 pound smoker king. Went out deeper in search of some dolphin and tuna where i found some nice weeds in 380 feet or so. Pulling up to the weeds a school of small dolphin start going crazy and at the same time my gog goes off. At first I though i had a schoolie but after it ran 400 yds off my reel i knew it was something serious! About an hour battle of tug-a-war I get a glimpse of the stripes! A few minutes later I sink the gaff in its head and struggle to pull her in the yak! weighed in at a little over 61 pounds

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Backcountry Grand Slam

Florida Sportsman Member: evergladeskid243

Loaded the Slayer 14.5 up around 11:30 and decided the day wasnt over just yet and that I would go check out a new backcountry spot up in north Ft Pierce. Got some lunch and killed some time while the hottest part of the day passed. Got to the launch spot and set off towards the spot. Got there and started exploring every inch of it with the super spook jr. Landed a baracuda and then my lure gets hit by something that instantly breaks the line, bummer my favorate lure is gone only 5 min in! I tie on a mirroLure topwater prop bait and continue on. I hook into what I thought was a snook, but turned out to be a nice Redfish! Gave a hell of a fight in a foot of water, trying to catch me in the mangroves the entire time.

Throw off a mangrove point and something big hits the lure but dosnt stick which sends the lure flying back at me and tangling my line on itself forcing me to retie. Retie the lure with 25 pound florocarbon this time instead of 20 and cast back to the same spot and it gets inhaled! I set the hook good, anticipating a big jump, but it doesnt jump. It heads straight for the Mangroves so i pull harder and then it jumps… a giant snook again!

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Mosquito Lagoon Trout

Florida Sportsman Member: Stalker1211

Went out Saturday with friends Austin (fish4reds) and Tammy for a little recon during this “Brown Tide” craze everyone is talking about. Indeed, the water clarity is poor, and the water quality is suffering as well. But Mother Nature will always find a way to adapt.

The wind kept switching directions: South to South East to South West. Then all of a sudden, the wind stopped. Tons of mullet appeared, and more tails started popping up. Then I noticed these tails had spots all over them. These aren’t Reds, they are giant Trout! With slick glass calm conditions and within 40 feet from these tails, I grabbed my Slayer Lure SSB with a little Pro Cure Ladyfish Scent and pitched it past a few tails. Of course, the minute I stop paying attention I get thumped. Set the hook into what felt like a solid brick wall.

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South Florida Mahi & Blackfin

Florida Sportsman Member: NELBAG

Switched it up a little bit today and launched further north than usual. Making our way out to blackfin country, I picked up a small one on my deep plug. Put him on ice and continued out. Two minutes later my shallow plug gets hit, I look back and see a cow in the air. My first thought is “cool, but she’s gonna pop off the trebles.” To my surprise she held on and I got her into the Hobie. I ended up with 5 blacks, mahi and few bonita.

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Ft. Pierce Inshore Slam

Florida Sportsman Member: Ginzu

I rolled out this morning to get a little time on the water, since I have to work an evening shift today. I had visions of landing another Cobia after seeing my boy’s slob from yesterday. Well, it didn’t take long. I had a 25 pound Cobia decide to hit my Yozuri deep diver after I got out past the second bar. Fought a short fight and had him yak side. Hit him with the gaff and he flips out doing the gator roll. In the process he slips off the gaff and bent out the treble on the lure and off he swam. I was livid. Cussing at no one for hours. Pulled up one trophy snapper on a spot, then moved to another pulling the only live bait I had, a big hardtail. Well somehow he wiggles off, so now I am stuck pulling nasty cigsicles I had. On the way to our famed Trigger hole I see some birds working the water pretty hard. I start heading that way when I notice an odd thump on the King rig

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Ft. Pierce Inshore Slam

Florida Sportsman Member: evergladeskid243

Met up today with Nick (ShallowWaterAssassin on the FS forum), launched and headed towards one of my favorite flats that has been producing lately. Found the mullet and we began working the schools with topwaters. No more than five minutes in, Nick gets a huge explosion on his topwater but it didn’t stick unfortunately. I finally get a nice hit but it didn’t stick, so I slowed the bait down and sure enough here comes a huge wake behind the bait. The bait gets nailed, fish on! The fish takes me on a nice little ride before I landed a slob redfish, measuring right at 29 inches. It probably would have measured at 30 inches if its tail wasn’t so chewed up.

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Exploring Kismet

Florida Sportsman Member: jocofi

I came up empty for the day but the wife got a few nice sized trout. Probably because I was paddling while she fished and napped. My buddy had no problem killing it with a few large reds(26″,28″), one 21 inch snook and a hand full of trout. Most of the fish were picked up along a newly explored path. Can’t wait to get out and explore more spots.

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Maiden Voyage Snook

Florida Sportsman Member: evergladeskid243

I located and purchased a Slayer 14.5. Picked the boat up yesterday and took it out this morning to hit up some of my favorite flats in Fort Fierce. Got on the water around 6:30 and paddled out to some mullet schools that were getting busted on by snook. Hooked and lost a fish on a super spook jr. but then I got one to stick. Landed the barely slot snook got some quick picture with it and the new yak. I was super pumped. Good way to break the Slayer in!

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“Smoker” Kings off Pompano Beach

Florida Sportsman Member: meckert

Another great morning. Sunny, wind was down, no Surf…Perfect! As soon as I got to 150 feet my gog gets slammed! I knew it was a “smoker” by the run it took. 20 minutes later when I got him to the yak I was in 300 feet! Heck of a fight. Decided to release him (hopefully someone catches him this weekend!) I estimated him to be about 30 to 35 pounds. Around 10:30 decided to call it a day ( never caught anything after 10:30 anyways ) When I got to 85 feet and my rod goes off again. This time I hear a big splash, so I’m thinking Sail…but knew quickly it was another “Smoker” when it ripped off 200 yards in a matter of a few seconds.

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Pompano Beach Amberjack

Florida Sportsman Member: Pottymouth

Hit up Pompano scouting for the tourney, meet up with Bobby and his old man and decided to head out together, it was a nice launch but I knew it was gonna get ugly fast. Meet up with Larrythelobsterman ( I think JetskiLarry is a better name) out in deeper water. As we made our way to my fav wreck, I noted a nice little rock pile and marked it. We made it to the wreck and first drop fish on Bobby hooks up as well. It was good fight and then my leader popped right at the knot . I switched rods and by the second drop I had fish on, tearing line off my reel had to palm it a few times[...]

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Pompano Beach King & Grouper

Florida Sportsman Member: Poseidon10/31

Took the yak off Pompano since I’ve had good luck up there. Seas were less than 2 feet with a north breeze. Just past the third reef there was nice rip and I put a gog out. Saw a couple kings launch out of the water probably 5-10 feet in the air. Pretty awesome to see. I paddled that way and got bit. There was a sharp tug and then nothing… I opened the bail thinking it was a short strike and the fish would come back for the rest. After 10-15 seconds of nothing I reeled up the slack to find dead weight on the other end. There was no tug, no run, just dead weight. I didn’t even think it was a fish until I dragged it in 50 yards to the yak. Then the king took off and decided to fight.

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Pine Island Topwater Bite

Florida Sportsman Member: Bobbkkat

Launched out of Pineland marina this morning and was in the rain right away. We started to get into trout just out of the marina using topwaters. The fish were nailing the unfair lures dawgwalker 110 in the pearl olive w/red head. Those bites were some of the most violent trout bites I have ever seen. I caught quite a few trout, and I even caught a 20 inch and a 22 inch trout right after each other. We moved towards the trees and started getting hits right away. We had a few nice reds explode on topwaters but couldn’t connect with any. Finally I had one boil on it right in front of my kayak and then it boiled again and inhaled the bait three feet in front of my kayak.

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Tuna Time

Florida Sportsman Member: NELBAG

Launched in Boynton this morning anticipating to dodge storms throughout the day. To my surprise, I didn’t get a rain drop on me. I Worked a jig from 200-240 feet targeting areas that hold tuna this time of year. By the time I hit skycliff, I had 4 blackfins on ice and lost one sail to a break off. Soon after, forum member Blazing Reels comes out of the blue and decides to tag along for the rest of the day. We continued to work our jigs with good success. Blazing got on some mahi and lost a sail that hit his jig . By the end of the day I ended up with 14 blackfins…one at 18 pounds.

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Plenty of Action Out of Kismet

Florida Sportsman Member: jocofi

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

The tally for the day was:

Reece, 1snook (22 inches), 2reds (21 & 22 inches, infinite trout( largest was 21 inches) and 4 flounder.

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

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Double Ling Up

Florida Sportsman Member: Red Fish

The plan was to head out to the 2nd color change and look for ling as we headed east. We dragged cigs hoping to pick up a smoker but no dice.

I decided to head out a little deeper and see if we could find any bottom to drop on. I drifted over some hard bottom and flipped my flounder jig and immidiately slammed. I was worried I had a jack cause it was kicking my tail. After about 7-8 minutes, I pulled a nice red up. I looked beneath him and there was the first ling of the day mixed in with this massive school of reds. I moved on trying to get back with the school when my other rod with the cig on started screaming. I first thought king but then realized it was probably another red. But with no head shakes my hopes were high it was a ling. After about 30 minutes I gaffed this guy. He weighed 27 pounds.

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Bonito Bonanza

Florida Sportsman Member: Poseidon10/31

There was an all day feeding frenzy over the third reef stretching as far as the eye could see. Mostly bonito or little tunnys with some blue runners and mackerel mixed in. I had a goggle eye down deep that got crushed and cut off after a screaming run. The fish were keyed in on these little 1 inch baits (not sure what kind exactly) and paid no attention to my pilchards. Tried a couple top water baits with no bites til I tied on a Shimano Waxwing. I was hooking up every other cast with the waxwing. I kept looking for a blackfin tuna mixed in there somewhere but no takers. Still, it was fun to keep a tight line. Ended up with a small spanish mackerel and around a dozen of these guys.

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North Biscayne Trout Bite

Florida Sportsman Member: Pmoconnor89

I decided to try my luck on the grass flats just south of 195 this morning. Got on the water just as the sun was coming up with 3 dozen shrimp. Tried some topwater baits to start things off but only one small trout wanted to play. After 15 minutes I switched to the go-to popping cork and it was non stop action from then on. I literally blew through all 3 dozen shrimp in about an hour. The majority of the trout were 16-18 inches, only had two little runt trout all day. Didn’t get any needlefish or cuda’s all day, and I was really surprised by that! The grovers were in full force too, caught 8 or 9 in the 6-10 inch range. After I used all the shrimp and only got 2 that were just about 20 inches, I sabiki’d up some pinfish. Even caught a couple trout on the sabiki too. Using the palm size pinfish I caught with the sabiki I managed to get 3 trout over 20 inches, and lost one that was over 25 inches.

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Placida Snook and Trout

We met up when I got off work Sunday morning at a launch in the Placida/Gasparilla sound area. I had success here early in the week so we figured it would be worth a shot. I tried to offer as much input and knowledge as possible… stuff like “I’ve caught a redfish on this dock using this bait…” “Snook like to hang out there…” “a faster retrieve here gets more trout but if you slow it down…” It wound up paying off because within about an hour he had a decent slam including his biggest trout ever at 18 inches. My luck was almost non existent for most of the morning, as I caught a handful of trout with only one even being slot sized.

[...] I knew it was a snook right off the bat. It gave a nice headshake above the water and I realized it was a bit bigger fish. It was a perfect scenario, the fight started about 50 yards from the closest dock and about 25 yards from the closest submerged mangrove roots, so there wasn’t much chance of the fish getting in to anything and breaking me off. After a lot of drag screaming I got the fish to the side of the boat and asked my brother to come over and get a picture as I knew it would at least be competing for my biggest snook ever.

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Pompano Beach Offshore Meet-Up

The meet-up turned out well, a lot of kayakers showed up. The weather was nasty! Wind was non-stop blowing from the SSE, and every bit of 3 to 5 feet. Hats off to everyone that stuck it out and continued to fish throughout the day. Those conditions do not make it easy to fish but some fish were caught. Congrats to kayakangler AKA Joe Kraatz with the biggest combo of the day (nice king and 31 pound AJ). We started fishing in 250 feet where the AJ was landed [...]

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Dania Beach King

Florida Sportsman member: drichard1986

Got to the beach at sunrise and saw Rob there so we headed out together. He had his sail on the ocean kayak and damn does that thing haul. I dropped a gog out at 100 feet on the way out and 2 minutes later the drag starts to scream… After a 20 minute fight of drag screaming, I pull up a fat king. Rob headed out deep and landed a few small dolphin and a king. I stayed in, bouncing on the shallow wrecks in search of a cobia but just got a few almacos. Overall it was a slow day but it was nice to get out.

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Navarre Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: Ginzu

Beautiful flat goodness greeted me at the launch. Trolled a cig duster and a deep diver. No taps. Moved on to another spot and decided to drop down the tried and true flounder setup. Thumped the bottom once, and bam! It was on like donkey kong. Fish was running hard, so I cupped the spool to try and slow him down. I Couldn’t put too much pressure on him cause I was rocking my Stradic 5k with 30lb braid. My initial thought was shark, and as I got him within sight, it was none other than the brown bomber.

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Dania Beach Macs and Jack

Florida Sportsman member: Baxter22

Winds and outgoing tide made it look “sporty” like my buddy and mentor Android likes To say. Close to limit of macs using all artificials.They hit everything! Biggest fish trolling 1 1/4 oz spoon. Jack hit ballyhoo on kingfish rig with sinker removed trolling east from towers. The kids said mac bite was over till I used a different jig and got four more in the boat. Did not head out as big waves came in. Knew we were done when surfers showed up.

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St. Augustine Top Water Reds

Florida Sportsman member: cbuckholts

The fishing was a bit slow this morning. We saw few reds really pushing any wakes. After about 20 minutes or so we managed to pick up a red around 17 inches. A few trout here and there climbed on in the kayak. It was around 7:45 and I hung into a 30 inch monster red. He slammed the top water and took off the opposite direction I was facing. He snapped the kayak around the started stripping drag. This fish meant business. After he pulled me at least 50 yards down the creek I was able to get him at least turned around. After getting pulled like a dog sled down the creek I managed to land this monster.

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Reds to Spare

Florida Sportsman member: cbuckholts

We’ve really been catching the reds up here well. They’ve been hanging out in around 3 feet of water early in the morning and later afternoon. I caught a monster 27 inch red and another 29 inch red on top water earlier in the week. I’m heading out to a new spot in the trusty yak to catch some more monsters tomorrow.

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Pompano Beach Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: drichard1986

Weather was calling for 14 foot seas so me and flats broke decided what the hell lets give it a shot lol. Got a late start but weather started beautiful, 2-3 foot seas with weedlines and blue water. Flats hooked a mahi right away on jig but shook the hook. Few minutes later my live bait gets hit n I land a decent phin… Few more drifts with no luck and the wind kept increasing with seas 4-6 feet we decide to call it a day[...]

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Boynton Beach Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: NELBAG

Started out on a solo Dolphin trip today, but met Paul in the surf and he asked to tag along. Being the nice guy I am, I said sure. I Hope my kind deed pays off later because Paul hooked this stud not 15 feet from me. First ever in the yak! Congrats!

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Everglades City Jack & Reds

Florida Sportsman member: jvanpelt

Headed down to Everglades City today with the one and only Bonitabob himself. We met up with Woody Callaway of Native Watercraft and Rich Jones (RJVermont) and hit the water a little later than usual. I did a little bit of fishing but was more interested in playing with my new camera than anything else.

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Everglades Paddle Bassin’

Florida Sportsman member: jvanpelt

Drove down to Collier County today to do a little bass fishing. Day started off with a ton of small ones and then just as I was starting to discount this lakes productivity the big girls started to show up.

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Kites and Kayaks

Florida Sportsman member: FLATS BROKE

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

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1,000 Island Park

Florida Sportsman member: jocofi

We left Kars park headed almost straight out for deeper water. We fished for a while, after only two 10-inch-plus trout, the frustrating puffer fish destroying my gulp, and the wind picking up, we decided to head for cover. My friend said that 1,000 Island Park in Cocoa Beach has miles of mangrove canals to fish. It was a great place. Lots of canals that protected us from the wind. We saw a few small schools of reds that had lock jaw and tons of finger mullet [...]

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Pine Island Catches

Florida Sportsman member: jvanpelt

Headed out today despite the forecast calling for wind and rain. Hit up Pine Island with redfish on the mind. Very quickly that was satisfied and we continued to explore some back creeks out in Pine Island. We all managed quite a few fish, reds, trout, and snook. The best part of my day however was getting good fishing buddy Ken hooked up and watching him land his first ever tarpon.

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Pompano Beach Offshore

Florida Sportsman member:FLATS BROKE

Paddled out from Pompano beach on Sunday at sunrise. Beach was flat. Offshore was nasty. The wind was relentless. First 2 fish that were caught were Black fin tuna by Drichard1986 & Jvanpelt. Both fish were caught on live flat lined Pilchards. I stayed in a little shallower and was able to land a nice size King on a flat lined Goggle Eye in 135 feet. Soon after that I peddled over to KayakAngler to see he landed his first ever grouper and a nice one at that! The grouper was caught on a vertical jig in 250 feet.

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Kismet Snook

Florida Sportsman member: jocofi

So we made it to the Kismet launch (north cape coral) yesterday. It was an awesome trip. I had heard some great stories about the area and the real thing didn’t disappoint. We saw so many fish, some monster reds and snook out there. We made it all the way out to Charlotte Harbor but the wind kept us off the grass flats so we headed back into the mangrove lakes. I was able to pick up one snook and my friend caught one red and one snook. Also there was so much drift wood..I need a bigger yard for all that. I can’t wait to get back out there.

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Everglades Backcountry

Florida Sportsman member: miket1515

Next I decided to do some Fly Fishing in the Everglades Backcountry by myself.Total count for the day. 11 Snook and 6 Tarpon all on flies. Saw some huge Black Drums tailing but they refused my fly.

So after I told my buddy how I did he decided to come along. So we went in my yak towards the backcountry and I showed him what the Everglades backcountry was all about. Of course the backcountry delivered. As we were almost leaving I tossed my paddle tail to some bait jumping in 8 inches of water and my biggest Snook to date was hooked to the end of my line.

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Inshore Miami 20 Pound Jack

Florida Sportsman member: levosgien

Launched off morningside after waiting for the gurds to open the gate 30 minutes late. When I finally get on the water, I see pods of mullet getting hammered by something big. I cast a sub-surface lure to see if I get hit but nothing, so after the third cast I switch to a zara spook. By this time whatever was chasing the bait splits into 3-4 groups and hit the bait hard, by this time I worry these may be dolphins. Next thing I know a wake comes towards me so I cast and walk my dog in front of it and bam! I get hit hard.

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First Red in Chokoloskee

Florida Sportsman member: quatin

It’s that time of the year. Our “annual” weekend trip to Chokoloskee. We rented a lodge at the Chokoloskee Island Park Marina and fished all day Saturday and Sunday morning. The weather was a bit spotty with storms pushing through the area. We had our moments of flat calm throughout the day though. The local residents had a fish fry when we got back from the first day and invited us to some free chow. Can’t find a nicer bunch of folks.

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Pineland Reds & Pompano

Florida Sportsman member: jvanpelt

Went out today with bonitabob and his brother in law for the first time in a long time and slaughtered the fish. Here’s a few pics and I’m sure he’ll be adding his as well. Another great Southwest Florida winter day.

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Offshore Variety

Florida Sportsman member: FLATS BROKE

Well it was a slow weekend for me as I only managed to land one alamaco and a couple Bonita but Mr Joe Hector, tournament director for Extreme had a great weekend and day today. He landed one nice Black fin tuna on 1/5/13, Joe Kraatz (Kayakangler) landed a small mahi (no pic) and this stud of a wahoo the morning of 1/8/13. Both fish were caught on live Pilchards in 180-200 feet of water.

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Dania Beach King

Florida Sportsman member: drichard1986

Got out deep n got 4 or 5 almacos and lost a sail. Then I found a pod of toothy critters that cut off 4 of my jigs back to back. My luck they were all wahoo. Went in to a shallow wreck in 115′ n as soon as I got there my goggle eye gets eaten. It screams out 300 yards of line on first run. After about 15 minutes, I get him in. It’s a jumbo king. I Decide to call it a day and head in.

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Dania Beach Offshore Video Recap

Florida Sportsman member: Pottymouth

Clear water, light current, and low winds, beautiful two days on the water. Dolphin “flipper” all over the place, two big turtles, a huge manta ray, and a hammerhead all came by to say “hi.”


IRL Redfishin’

Florida Sportsman member: Art Vandelay

I was able to get out and do a little kayak fishing yesterday. It was pretty chilly in the morning but it was forecasted to be the calm and warm up in the afternoon. We launched into some super clear shallow water and almost immediately started spotting some slot sized reds. They were really spooky with the clear water and it made it hard to get within casting distance. The water warmed up during the day and we ended up catching most of our fish [...]

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Fall in Flamingo

Florida Sportsman member: Dj Dan Decibel

It has been quite a while since I’ve posted here, I know this report ins’t strictly kayak fishing but most of the fishing was done on the kayak. I figured I post up some of the trips of this Fall. I have been going out on the kayak, Gheenoe, and a friends boat. It has been tough some days to fish with this winter pattern as we are getting days where the wind is blowing all day but if you get those two or three days of nice weather, make them count. Some of my friends are recently getting into the fly fishing scene and I have been taking them on the Gheenoe to catch their first reds, snook, and tarpon on fly [...]

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Topwater Galore

Florida Sportsman member: YakerLG

Woke up and made the long drive down to the Everglades this morning, still a little buzzed from last nights festivities. The wind forecast was calling for 2 to 3 mph winds all morning, and the tide seemed just right-making my two hours of sleep easily forgotten.

The drive down was foggy, and by the time I made it to the ramp the sun had just risen, revealing a beautiful skyline. After having my only two one knockers cracked by redfish on Tuesday, the Skitterwalk was tied on by default. Threw the pink skitter into the mangroves and picked up a nice snook to start the morning. He hit it four times before the rusty trebles stuck [...]

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Dania Beach Sailfish

Florida Sportsman member: FLATS BROKE

Headed out of Dania on the 8th. The conditions weren’t the best, with a straight east wind that made paddling out take forever. Decided I was only going to jig that day I didn’t bring any live bait. Fishing was real slow for me. Ended up catching a perfect size blue runner for live bait in 180 feet of water, tied up a stinger rig real quick and tossed him out. Not even 10 minutes later I get a hit and see it jump.

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Pineland Kayak Catches

Florida Sportsman member: jvanpelt

Headed out today with my Ryan Warden. Bite was a little slower than I expected it to be today but there were a few nice fish caught, we managed a few decent reds, and some trout including the smallest trout I’ve ever seen that popped a trout pattern topwater bigger than him, and I managed to find a nice hole loaded with keeper mangrove snapper [...]

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Flyfishing in the Everglades

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

Been doing quite a bit of exploring fishing with some of my good fishing buddies deep in the Everglades in no man’s land. The paddles are long full of creatures that would not mind having you for dinner or biting you to fill there stomachs but the fishing has been outstanding. Fly-fishing exclusively for these fish has been a challenge but the rewards have been much sweeter! [...]

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Trout North of Heckscher

Florida Sportsman member: mrtopwater

Had a chance to get my wife Stephanie out on the water this morning in “Her Native Mariner”. So after a quick stop at BCFC for some of their ninja mudminnows we were on the water about 8:15 am. We come up on Dreads, spoke with him a minute then we set up to locate the trout. Stef does not get out to fish much so I wanted her to catch plenty of fish. Which she did, we must of caught 40 plus trout in the range of 13 inches to 17 inches. Did not get on any big fish but did manage a few rat reds mixed in. She had a great time and that’s all I was after [...]

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Biscayne Bay Smörgåsbord

Florida Sportsman member: bugdoc

Hit North Biscayne Bay about 0800 looking for whatever. Tried the trout flats for an hour and a half with nothing to show for it but some pinfish-chewed up soft baits. Since bluefish and mackerel had been showing up lately, I headed to the deep channel and tossed on a refurbished crystal minnow. Quickly hook up with a nice Spanish mack, followed a few minutes later by a nice bluefish. The bite died again, so I paddled south of the causeway and got a just keeper size trout and another bluefish [...]

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Flood Tide Catches

Florida Sportsman member: Maverick

Decided to do a little fishing this afternoon with the flood tide. I have not tried flood tide fishing in the middle of the day yet and figured I would give it a try. Was joined by a buddy of mine and we were off by about 1. Pulled up to my first flood flat and saw 1 tail. He then disappeared so we moved to the next flat. Pulled up to the second flat and saw nothing, looked a little more before we decided to just start working the creeks and islands. Then it was on. My buddy was throwing a rootbeer DOA shrimp and flipped up along the grass and I heard his drag start screaming and the yak took off.

After a good little fight we had our first red of the day.[...]

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Paddling Pine Island

Florida Sportsman member: Bobbkkat

Launched at Pine Island this morning with a very strong breeze and some dark clouds. As we launched the kayaks I was wondering if it was going to be worth it, and it was! One my first cast i Had a nice red blow up on the topwater, which was right at the launch! Of course he missed it and we pressed on. We came out on the flats and I hook a really nice fish on the topwater, and pull in a 25-inch trout! That was definitely my personal best in Pine Island [...]

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Who Needs a Flats Boat? A night on the Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: JoupDog1

Dad and I dropped the kayaks in this evening just before 8:00pm. We Paddled over to our first dock light and before I could even get my rod out, dad was already hooked up on a small fat snook! So I skip in and get another fat snook to start things off. Next light there are some larger fish popping in and a few casts later, I’m locked into a better fish. Turns out to be my personal best fat snook. Dad then gets another fat snook that was only slightly smaller than the one I had just got! That’s four fat snook in a row. Then dad breaks the streak with a small common. We Head around to one of our last lights and we quickly pick off two nice snook. Both about 25 inches [...]

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Mingo to Keys Chronicles

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

OK folks, here is a compilation of trips in the recent mouth. I will start with the best. As all epic trips start off, I get a phone call from Chris “Tex” Lewis telling me about an idea of a trip from Flamingo to Islamorada on kayaks as I was driving to work one afternoon. With out hesitation, I say I am in. Minutes later, I get a call from Dj DanDecibel all pumped up about the trip. So for the next 6 days we planned everything out and got all the gear ready. After days of gearing up tying flies and looking at the weather the day of reckoning [...]

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Action-Packed Day off Delray

Florida Sportsman member: Mmusser0

My buddy Justin and I had the day off of work so we decided to head out on the Yaks. After finding some bait we had the yaks in the water around 10:30. Lines in the water about 105 feet and within seconds my buddy Justin spots a 6 foot Hammerhead on one of his baits…

…Total for the day One Hammerhead, 2 Big Dolphin, and Our First Yak Sailfish! Awesome day and so worth the crazy paddle back. Got an awesome gopro video that I edited and put up[...]

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NMZ on Fire, Redfish for Dinner

Florida Sportsman member: Redfish Chuck

After talking with Alan Ryland about the day he and Steve Brand spent on the “NMZ”; the location of our next Boondoggle, I knew I needed to get out there and put hooks in fishes faces! So I met up with Alan around 7:15 a.m. or so, got all unloaded and off we went in search of reds and trout. The wind was light out of the west and the water was very cool already so we knew it would be a bit of a waiting game until the flat warmed up a bit [...]

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Windy Day Snookin’ at Pine Island

Florida Sportsman member: bobbkkat

After a little while my friend hooks up into a 25 inch snook that gets off next to the yak, so I start to work an area near him and I hook into something big! It starts screaming out drag and honestly I thought it was a big jack crevalle at first. But once it started going into the trees and thrashing on the surface I knew it had to be better. I finally get it up next to the kayak and it is a nice snook!

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Slammin’ in Flamingo

Florida Sportsman member: Yak Hard

Had plans to head into Snake Bight this morning, but never made it that far. The bite was on at the ranger dock during a strong sweeping tide letting out of the flats into the little channel there. I anchored up in a sweet spot and started off with a decent shallow water jack on a top water, but a DOA Shrimp was the champion of the day. A slow retrieve with a light lift/drop of the rod tip landed everything for the remainder of the day.

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Cobia Surprise off Canaveral

Florida Sportsman member: Stalker1211

Last weekend, I had the chance to try my hand at something I’ve always wanted to do: hit the beach out of my kayak. My good buds Nick and Jon helped show me the ropes, since they had already fished the beaches before. We launched around 7 a.m., heading straight offshore and growing hairs on our chest as we pummeled through 2 foot swells. They had been telling me all week “Dude, we will just sabiki up a ton of croakers when we get out there to use for bait.” I’m thinking “Hey, croakers are awesome bait; until I see that what they thought were “croakers” were actually horn-bellies, which I thought was trash, but hey, we made lemonade [...]

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Kayak Session Before Work

Florida Sportsman member: HotDragKnep

Myself and AJ a.k.a EastCoastAngler decided to save a little gas money and take out the yaks. We headed out of Stuart and started catching some jacks that were feeding on the big schools of glass minnows. We moved on to some submerged trees and caught a snook that was about 20-inches. We got to our mangrove destination were we had some good bites on topwater, so we decided to net some fingers. Tried for a while before I finally hooked a 35-inch snook that nearly got me into the mangroves [...]

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Hooked on Kayak Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: FSChris

It looks like my love for kayak fishing has finally become an addiction. After becoming the proud new owner of a Wilderness Systems 14 Commander a few weeks back, I have been trying and trying to get on the water. Busy schedule it seems. Finally, about a week ago, I was able to put her on top of the Jeep and head out in search of some reds that had been (and still are) my mind for quite some time [...]

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Hooking Up in Matlacha

Florida Sportsman member: jvanpelt

Went out today with my buddy Josh Harvel (YakNitUp Charters) to Matlacha around 9:30 to catch the 11 a.m. low tide. We immediately were concerned with the wind and with the approaching storm clouds, BUT, we launched anyways. We headed out and were immediately greeted with a very welcome site, TARPON, and man they were everywhere!!! We played around in the canal systems for a little while having a blast watching the tarpon bust our topwaters [...]

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Jumbo BFT’s off Pompano

Florida Sportsman member: kayakangler

Kellan and I got a late start yesterday, we launched off pompano around 9:30 a.m. The waves were crashing pretty hard on the beach but we managed to get out after a good soaking. We headed out to the first wreck and on my first drop with a jig, my line started screaming. I get the fish up to the yak and realize it is a very nice mutton. This is my first mutton on a jig. I must say this was a very nice start to the day [...]

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Estero Bay Get Together

Florida Sportsman member: bonitabob

Some of the folks from the SWFKAA got together for a little fishing in Estero Bay. We arrived at 6:30am and spent the next 30 minutes waiting for the rain that would evenyually cancel the trip. At around 7am, we ran out of excuses and decided to launch. We had Troy (Yaknew), Esteban (CaptBlackbeard), Joe (jcorrigan), Josh (Jfish), Eric (my boy) and me. We launched into surprisingly calm conditions and were instantly on the fish. First up was the trout and they did not disappoint on topwater.

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Paddling for Ft. Pierce Gators

Florida Sportsman member: NELBAG

Finally had a day to fish inshore with no clients or tournaments to worry about. Launch with a 5 to 10 knot wind from the south which became 15 mph by 10 a.m. The south wind and a strong current incoming tide from the north made it difficult to fish. Jacks, blues and a few small trout was about it until 11 a.m. First fish was FAT! 26 inches. Someone has been enjoying all the mullet! Probably one of the largest girths I have seen on a trout that size.

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Mixed Bag at Bayport

Florida Sportsman member: mleach82

With my available fishing weekends quickly narrowing down, decided to head out to Bayport today to see if we could improve upon last weeks trip. Put in around 7:30 to a low tide and steady breeze. Tide wasn’t supposed to be in until 2 p.m. so we had a few hours to kill until the water started moving again [...]

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Big Snook on the Yak

Florida Sportsman member: Chobeeboys

After reading the article on seawall snook, saltwater assasin and I decided to try our luck and work some seawalls in Stuart. We started the day with the last drizzle of the outgoing tide. This morning I decided that I would throw a black and gold Top Dog. While still trying to perfect my walk the dog I was able to hook up with one snook before the tide went slack. As the article stated when the water isn’t moving the fish are not biting. The big gal inhaled my lure about 10 feet in front of my kayak and then lazily let herself get dragged to the yak [...]

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Kayak Lobstering

Florida Sportsman member: quatin

After years of talking about going “lobstering” by kayak, weeks of practicing and the 3rd day trying to catch one. I finally caught my first lobster.

Kellan, Chris and I went to Dania Beach today with our Hookah setups to go lobstering. The storm must have pushed them shallow since we were getting them in ~15 feet. The visibility was pretty poor and I had to surface several times when I lost the reef [...]

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Fishing the IFA Kayak Tour

Florida Sportsman member: Bobbkkat

We fished the IFA kayak tour regional event which was held in Titusville on August 26. We arrived Friday afternoon and fished on the south end of the Banana River with some great results. It was our first time fishing anywhere in this area and I caught my first red there within 20 minutes of hitting the water, I was able to easily see him along the mangroves when I was standing on my Hobie pro angler 12 [...]

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Skinny Water Tails

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

With the last few months of summer looming upon us, Mother Nature has not given up her relentless grasp just yet. With mornings feeling more like an ascent at the summit of Mt. Everest leaving one gasping for air, mid day has brought punishing temperatures that could only be compared to the most hostile places in our solar system. Combined the weather with grueling paddles, endless miles of poling and lighting storms that could only be compared to science fiction movie “War of the worlds” and you begin to wonder what draws fisherman to this inhospitable world [...]

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Dirty Water Days

Florida Sportsman member: Redfish Chuck

Hit the water with my good friend Chris in search of some ML Redfish. At the launch I noticed the water looked alot like coffee with a lot of creamer, well it is that time of the year so off we go. Once we got to the flat we saw pushes near the bank and tails in the thick grass, so we fan out to cover more water.

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Kayak Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: Baxter22

Met up with Andriod this morning for first trip off Dania Pier. He was kind enough to lend me a jigging rod, jig and point me in the right direction. After sunrise broke the ice with small bonito. Followed his lead and kept drifting and jigging. Lost a trigger fish but was good sign. Lost a jig to a mystery break off [..]

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First Kayak, First Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: stanandsnow

I recently purchased a new Hobie AI. Wow, what a blast. I’ve been fishing offshore three times now and I guess the third times a charm. A little background, I grew up fishing in the Keys and other South Florida spots and have come to love offshore fishing. I recently came across the sport of kayak fishing and dove in head first. What a difference [...]

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Kayak Sailfishing with Bananas

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Yak

I ate a banana today which everyone was saying was bad luck for fishing. Even though my luck was doomed, I still decided to go out this morning out of Dania with Redneck Rocket and NewYorker. A couple of new guys also tagged along for their first offshore trip. Grabbed some bait from the beach and headed out [...]

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Hot Water Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Dj Dan Decibel

THE WEATHER HAS BEEN HOT WITH COUPLE OF STORMS AROUND BUT DEFINITELY WORTH IT SOMETIMES GOING WITH THE BAD WEATHER I HAVENT BEEN TAKING MANY PICTURES BUT I HAVE BEEN DOING TONS OF RECORDING. I WILL PUT THE LINK WHERE YOU CAN WATCH A VIDEO I PUT TOGETHER OF SOME OF THE FLY FISHING IVE BEEN DOING. ENJOY THE REPORT!

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Paddle Craft Happenings

Florida Sportsman member: irishjean

Let’s start with the fact that the water temperature was spring cold, 72 degrees at 11am. Caught lots of big Bluefish and plenty of Trout as well. While paddling around I passed over some deep water and a freaking Sailfish (approx. 4ft?) passed under my kayak!!! I just started laughing, that’s a new one for me! Then I caught these two Grouper on the same DOA Shrimp. What a day!

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Clearwater Bull Reds

Florida Sportsman member: abm5926

Got out early and started catching slot reds and small snook and then in caught 2 big snook and 2 bull reds in the afternoon. Caught bulls on cut bait under a cork and big snook on 1/8 oz jighead with z man scented paddlerz. The biggest of the snook is the biggest fish I’ve ever caught on artificials. Caught flounder, snook, redfish, blk drum, and trout. One of the best days I’ve ever had fishing!

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Summertime Tails

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

Summertime fishing can be the most rewarding and most frustrating time to fish south Florida waters. With temperatures soaring well over the hundreds and afternoon thunderstorms just about every day it has been a challenge. Being able to predict the weather and fighting the heat has paid off in my quest for the next thrill seeking adventure [...]

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After Work Blackfin

Florida Sportsman member: FLATS BROKE

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

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Lake O Kayak Bassin’

Florida Sportsman member: shallow water assassin

Just got in from a great day on the lake and figured I would give a report. Got on the water at 6 a.m. and first cast, boom, 2 pound bass on a Big Easy topwater. Got a few more on topwater then swiched to fliping docks with a trick worm as I was zoned out with that my Buddy Ryan gets a 6 pounder on a KVD frog 15 feet away from me.

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Dania Drift, Wahoo!

Florida Sportsman member: pottymouth

Went out this morning with livingthedream and Larry the lobsterman. Hit some nice weeds, couldn’t tell you how deep (no fishfinder) and no lives today so everything was caught on jigs and plugs. Picked up 3 blackfin tuna, caught 3 throw back mahi-mahi, 4 almaco’s, and a bunch of BIG bonito, and called it after landing a 5 foot wahoo [...]

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Tuna Slaying, Kayak Style

Florida Sportsman member: NELBAG

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

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Check out the the video here.

 

 

 

 


Kayak Bottom Bouncin’

Florida Sportsman member: drichard1986

Went out of pompano today with a floatilla of other yakers. From what I’ve heard so far it was pretty much a bonita bonanza for most of the people that went. Flats Broke got a blackfin tuna, I ended up dropping a chicken rig down on one of the deep wrecks and hit the vermillion snappers pretty good. Past them around to a few yaks so nobody was over the limit [...]

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Big Tarpon, Little Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: highstrung

I got in between my friend Dale’s little kayak and big tarpon with my video camera yesterday just off the Port Charlotte Beach Complex. We were fishing for snook with 12 pound test and a chrome spook jr. I posted a short under 5 minute video on youtube of some of the highlights called “Dale’s Big Tarpon, Little Kayak”. Dale guessed 80 pounds.

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Check out the video on YouTube. 

 


Palm Beach Sail

Florida Sportsman member: NELBAG

The one day I forget my Gopro Camera pole I catch this sail that had to jump 20 times with her whole body coming out of the water each time. Thanks to the Spanish speaking Americans for the pic that thought I wanted thier gaff when I was asking for a picture. After 10 minutes revival she swam off strong.

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Kayak Sailfish off Pompano

Florida Sportsman member: Livinthedream

Started the morning early and launched with Chris (frankthetank) around 6 a.m. from Pompano Beach. We were greeted by decent size waves breaking right on the beach. So we timed our launch and got a little wet as we passed through them, luckily without rolling.

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Kayak Fishing Estero Bay

Florida Sportsman member: golflaxfish

We got in last Saturday to breezy, rainy conditions that didn’t seem to let up the whole week. Crazy things happened on Saturday and Sunday, so let’s fast-forward to Monday, and our first fishing day. I guess you could say that it was a learning day, as all I could find was mud bottom and no current…sweet :( . I did end up accidentally catching a short sheepshead in the cast net, so I won’t count it as a skunk. Anyway, on to Tuesday, and where the fun begins. My uncle Roger and his family were in town, so I was determined to put him on some nice fish, so after an hour or so we moved in search of oysters, current, clean water, and grass…we found it! [...]

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Summertime Beach Snookin’

Florida Sportsman member: FLATS BROKE

Well the beach fishing is phenomenal right now. Decided not to take the kayaks out because of the strong NE wind and current. Tarpon and snook are everywhere on the beaches right now. No matter where you go. We jumped off several tarpon before we landed this nice snook. Using live pilchard with a 3oz pyramid weight to hold the bait in place. After a few pics the snook was released unharmed.

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Saint Augustine Springtime Recap

Florida Sportsman member: Action Kayak Adventures

Has been a fun spring. My clients have been doing great getting back to the fish and able to close the deal on some really nice redfish, flounder and trout. Even some dirty ginclear water days for some close up sight fishing. The weather has been awesome for kayaking with the exception of the occasional south 20 mph afternoon winds [...]

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Sailfish on a Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: FLATS BROKE

Paddled out with Capt.Yak. Headed straight to the wrecks in 250 feet to try and jig up an AJ but not much action going on. Reeled the jigs up and tossed out some live bait on the down rigger set at 60 feet. As I start to head shallow in about 215 feet I get my first hit, 41 inch King. Skinny guy but had the length. As I get into 115 feet my down rigger pops and my reel starts screaming, up comes the sail. 5 minutes later I land this beautiful sailfish.

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After Work Kayak Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: SWCracker

After work yesterday fellow forum member Nolez12 and I headed out to get some fishing time in. Both of us were forum members before all the changes and recently decided to get back on the forum. Anyways, we launched around 6 p.m with a nice incoming tide. I had a nice snook that didnt completely commit along the first wall we fished.

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Fishing the Everglades

Florida Sportsman member: Dj Dan Decibel

Fishing has been pretty good. I have broken a couple of my personal records. Recently I caught my biggest snook at 35 inches, my biggest redfish on fly, and also caught a big black drum. I never got to measure the black drum because he did not fit inside my kayak [...]

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Paddling the Indian River Lagoon

Florida Sportsman member: Redfish Chuck

It’s been a while since I have been able to spend some time on the water, but this past weekend I took advantage of the good weather and set out on a solo trip looking for Redfish and Trout. I hit the launch at day break and worked my way south along the west side of the river [...]

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Stand Up Paddleboard Amberjack

Florida Sportsman member: FLATS BROKE

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

Watch the video!

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Memorial Weekend BFT

Florida Sportsman member: Pottymouth

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

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Kayak Fishing Biscayne Bay

Florida Sportsman member: frankthetank

Me and my bro headed to Biscayne to meet Dave, who was kind enough to show us a hot trout spot. As we paddled out through snapper creek, I trolled a soft plastic and got slammed by a monster snook, which broke off immediately. We kept going and as we rounded the corner Dave spots tailing bones. My bro makes a cast and hooks up [...]

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Kayaking for Miami Exotics

Florida Sportsman member: bonitabob

I asked noted Photographer Doug Stamm to join me on a day trip over to Miami for some Peacock Bass fishing. We left the West coast at 0600 and began the drive. It was tempting to stop at all the canals along the way, but we were on a mission. We arrived after a few short stops at around 0830 and met up with Mike Teixidor. Mike is a good friend and fellow Blue Line Fishing Team member, and he knows Miami Peacock bass.

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Lake Worth Kayak Snookin’

Florida Sportsman member: frankthetank

Woke up early to haul but to Lake Worth. We launched at the snook Island Kayak launch me and my older brother and began our journey. We fished in an out of every nook and cranny of the snook island area nothing but a stingray and bait everywhere. Paddled north seen some sheepies but no connections, we found this nice little sandbar exposed with rock piles next to it so we worked the only lure I ever caught snook on, a Bass Assassin silver chartreuse, hooked up [...]

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Boynton Boys Offshore Report

Florida Sportsman member: CamDawg

Better weather is finally approaching, and the fishing is hot hot hot offshore. Saturday winds and surf were a little choppier than predicted but we got into some nice fish. Winds were great for the kayak and currents did not start ripping until after 1pm. On saturday, hooked, oarknot, and myself ventured out. caught alot of bonita, nice kings, runners, jacks of all sorts and sizes and one tuna. Water was murkier than normal which is not a bad thing, plankton and silt brings bait and bait brings predators. I will also make note that, absolutely zero bait, live or dead, are used on any of our trips, so whatever we catch is on artificials.

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Offshore Kayak Success

Florida Sportsman member: FLATS BROKE

Everyone I spoke to slayed fished yesterday. Here are a couple of the bigs boys Joe & I brought in. I was happy about my 35″ BFT until I spoke to Rob(PottyMouth) and he told me he landed a 40″! What a beast!

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Super Moon Kayaking

Florida Sportsman member: bbarton13

We decided to hit some bottom spots off destin on this super full moon. well we didnt launch till about 3 a.m. or so and it was calm and the sky was lit up! got to the first spot and josh pulls up this beast red snapper. not much going on after that till’ the sun started to rise. We heard a loud splash and everyone looked over there then we saw a sailfish jump and we all freak out and started going over towards it [...]

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Delray Beach Kayak Sailfish

Florida Sportsman member: blazing_reels

I was free lining a whole squid on the Penn Torque and had not checked the bait in quite a bit. I had let out quite a bit of line and was trying to speed reel the line in. As the line got close I slowed down to a stop to see if anything might of been following it. Sure enough I see a rather large shadow behind the squid. I let it sit but the lack of action made him lose interest. I pulled it in a threw it out in front of my yak, sure enough I saw him dart right for it.

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Paddling the Florida Keys

Florida Sportsman member: bugdoc

Took the wife down to Conch Key Cottages, MM 61, for a few days of paddling and exploring. She let me fish a little. The hotel is right on the water adjacent to what should have been good bonefish flats, but I did not see one the whole trip. There were some respectable barracudas to be had. It’s nice to be able to roll out of bed and be fishing within 5 minutes.

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The Delray Yak’ Drift

Florida Sportsman member: lckirk

Planned on a Delray to Boynton inlet drift, even staged a car at Boynton inlet. We put in at the beach in Delray water was perfect, flat and a light wind. We never got that far off only about 80ft we let the wind take us. It ended up taking us south east not the way we planned on going. The ocean had a good April fools joke by taking us the wrong way. But it ended up working out. Birds were diving all around us and bait was getting slammed on the top of the water. My bro-in law ended up with 2 AJ’s and I was skunked. Still a great day on the water.

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A Month of Action

Florida Sportsman member: Dj Dan Decibel

I haven’t posted anything in about two months or so, I just got back from Djing out of the country in late February. I’ve been doing some fishing here and there but this month has been really windy and it seems like the only time to have some fishing opportunity has been in the mornings when the winds are kind of calm. Even though the high winds we have, I have had some luck here and there [...]

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Palm Beach Offshore Yakin’

Florida Sportsman member: NELBAG

Well the plan was to get on the Cobia bite today as I have been hearing scattered reports. We hit the beach at Phipps Park in Lake Worth and are greated by 2-4′ seas and a erroded beach. We disscussed for awhile and decided to charge the surf at 7am. We hit 100′ and throw out flat lines and start jigging with DOA swimming mullets. Hour into the trip..nada..so we decide to paddle back out and north as the east wind has blown us in. My buddy Hoke trolls a DOA Terror Eyz in golden bream and is slammed by this gal in 65′ [...]

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Little Hickory Pass

Florida Sportsman member: bonitabob

The plan was to launch from the North end of Lover’s Key and visit the islands in the middle of the bay and look for reds and snook. When I arrived at the launch, I found my plans thwarted as one million mph winds were coming across the bay. Not to be outdone by weather, I opted to launch at Hickory Pass and maybe find some shelter from the wind. I met up with my buddy Mike, and we took off at sunrise [...]

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Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: Yaksquatch

Decided to try somewhere brackish I haven’t spent much time, just to try something new this afternoon. Fished a few hours of daylight plus about 30min after dark with the moon so bright.

Was push-poling around in a foot of water when I came across a big, dark, gnarly tail sticking out of the water. Thought it was a big black drum and threw on him. After a 20minute sleigh ride I found out I was mistaken [...]

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Estero Bay Double Slam

Florida Sportsman member: bonitabob

I wanted to get over my dismal 12th place finish in the IFA tournament so I called Allen Reddick for some Estero Bay fishing. We launched at Week’s into a little wind, but not as bad as it was yesterday. Week’s is such a great place to lauch as it’s never too busy! We started fishing the flats right outside of the channel on the falling tide. I was using my usual, Gulp shrimp on a DOA cal jighead and it didn’t take long to snatch up a slot redfish [...]

 

 

 

 


Downrigger Plus Gog Equals Smoker Kayak King

Florida Sportsman member: FLATS BROKE

Went out yesterday with a half dozen gogs paddled out to 90ft and put my baits out, 1 flat line 1 on the downrigger. Slow troll out to 165ft and drop my jig and pull up a small king 28 inch. Headed in to 140ft where there was a nice color change and my rigger goes off zzzz’. 15 mins later I land this nice king. The downrigger was set at 50 feet.

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Florida Sportsman Member: FLATS BROKE

Fishing was slow for us this weekend, Current was ripping North 3+mph. Managed to catch this kingfish (70ft) on the way out on a deep diving Yozuri plug. We did a lot more kayaking than fishing. I sold the fish on the beach for a whopping $13.00 to a Canadian couple that really wanted it. They offerd to buy it so I said “$20 its great deal”, Then he said he had no cash .I loaded up my kayak and was ready to leave when I noticed the guy running down the street towards me with cash in his hand. He told me he managed to borrow $13 and thats all he had. So I gave in and took the $13.00 and used it for bait the next day [...]

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Find the Birds, Find the Fish

Recent offshore fishing reports from the South region.


Find the Birds, Find the Fish

Florida Sportsman member: SmittysTeam

Cleared the inlet around 8 and Sabiki’d about 2-3 dozen pilchards in the morning. Ran out to about 13 to 15 miles and found two frigates working hard. We slow trolled live pilchards into them and got into a huge school.

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Getting Revenge

Florida Sportsman member: on deck

Turned north into it and immediately got a 15 pound bull on a blue and white islander over a ‘hoo. Switched out to the live ‘hoo spread and it was game on. Couple schools of 18 to 25 inch fish. Put two in the box and followed the line north.

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Family Fun in Marathon

Florida Sportsman member: ReelObsession

The rest of the school comes up and we can see 4 or 5 other fish and 1 big bull. My dad pitches a whole ballyhoo to him and he takes it. The fight is on my dad works him closer and closer to the boat. After about 20 minutes we get him next to the boat and he is still pretty green. I sink a gaff into him and flip him over the rail.

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Hot Reef Bite

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

It’s been non stop action on the reef, I’ve been fishing lately out of Miami, but here are some trips out of the upper keys also. The current has been decent moving north, which is my favorite.

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Making it Happen

Florida Sportsman member: snookyj

My oldest daughter told me the other night she wanted to catch her first mahi and then cook it and eat it. So me and grandpa loaded up the boat on Wednesday night and we were off at the crack of 8am on Thursday morning. The trip started out slow, but we found a floating chair about an hour into the trip and pulled some really nice fish off of it.

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South Florida Swords

Florida Sportsman member: farinco

We made it to the swordfish grounds and within 2 minutes of being down we get a tap. It was so subtle that I was second guessing it to be a fish or the lead bouncing but as always I reeled anyways. Second Tap, definitely a fish.

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Down South Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: followotherboats

Not long after we found them, the first dolphin was coming over the side. Nice little lifter for my buddy’s wife. She was happy as the last time we took her out, she only caught a barracuda. No followers once again so back on troll we went.

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Saved by the Storm

Florida Sportsman member: flybycrb21

All of that changed on the way in when we noticed a single storm formation hovering right over port Everglades and decided to put out a trolling spread to pass time and let the storm pass. First hit came 5 minutes later, barely legal peanut in the boat. 5 minutes later we have a 10 pounds cow and get her in the boat too. Turn around and reset the spread to retrace our path and 10 minutes later we get crushed by a big bull.

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Day Trip Success

Florida Sportsman member: OneFastt997

On Friday I got a call with an opportunity to cross to the Bahamas to target yellowfins with a friend of a friend. After my trip two weeks ago where we saw them but didn’t hook up I knew I had to go back over and redeem myself.

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Miami Bottom Bite

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

As for yellowtail, they have been really hungry we have caught plenty on all trips and the kids and women have had a blast catching them one after another. The reef fishing will get better each day as summer is setting in and the day time mangrove bite will be coming soon.

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First Sail for the Boat

Florida Sportsman member: jtnole02

My buddy and I went out on Sunday afternoon to fly the kite for a few hours on my 18 seacraft. Picked up this sail which was my first on my boat and a few kings for the grill. We had 12 pilchards and landed 5 fish and were only out from 12 to 4pm.

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Down South Deep Dropping

Florida Sportsman member: copout@castaways

I fished with Angelo who holds the world record golden tile (65lbs), he manually dropped at most of the spots from 800 to 1000 feet, while I ran the T1000. We managed 2 tiles, one barrelfish, 8 rosies, 4 green eyed sharks and two throwback fins all off of Port Everglades.

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Sails Down South

Florida Sportsman member: andy5757

We headed north to the Steeple area and set lines out for a drift. Super calm with just a slight west wind and soft north current. Not 15 minutes into drift at 8:00am we hooked up to a sail. Erin fought the sail, admirably, and in short order the first sail was released.

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Haulover Swords

Florida Sportsman member: farinco

We made it to the grounds and within 1 hour we had our first bite. Fought the fish for about 15 minutes and got the harpoon in her. We dropped again and pulled a fish off down deep. Dropped again and hooked into a monster shark, probably a thresher, for about 25 minutes before he ate the hook.

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Leaving Them Biting

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

I started chumming in 65 feet and slowly brought the fish to visual distance and after a few test I did, to determine the best way to catch them, we started slowly picking at these nice size yellowtails. The current got better, after the wind dropped and the fish, turned on real good, letting us reach our limit and we left the big ball hungry for next time.

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Deep Dropping Out of Haulover

Florida Sportsman member: farinco

Got to the first spot and after a nice tangle on the first drop, we reset and BOOM, nice golden tilefish in the box. We got another golden, and then moved on to try to get other species. We managed 2 golden tilefish, 1 gray tilefish, 1 snowy grouper, and 1 yellowedge grouper before calling it a day.

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Wahoo on the Other Side

Florida Sportsman member: snookyj

We started trolling right out front of bimini, we decided to head south. Made it down around Cat and only had one sniff at our baits but it came unglued. Just south of Cat we had a good bite and new it was good fish. It was ripping line and after about a 20 minute tug of war we had him behind the boat. We leadered him in and I stuck him with the gaff.

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Barrel Bonanza

Florida Sportsman member: flybycrb21

We dropped the rig over some proven territory and pulled up 6 barrelfish and 2 rosies on 5 drifts. At this point I had more than my fair share of barrels and plenty of slime in the fish box so we decided to try dropping over a new spot a little bit shallower for some new species. Sent the rig down two more times and pulled up 4 more barrels.

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Limits out of Miami

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

We have been getting limits of yellow tails each day and today we did get grouper and a nice cobia to ad to the 4 man snapper limit. The current is stronger to the North as of today. bottom bite picked up or should I say, we didn’t miss the bottom fish, because yesterday we lost 8 bottom fish.

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Day Timing Before the Front

Florida Sportsman member: farinco

I went out with my friend Jesse to try and get a sword before this cold front pushed through. We got to the spot and within 7 minutes of our bait being down we got a bite and we were on!

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Swords out of Haulover

Florida Sportsman member: farinco

Went out with forum member johnnywizman to try and get tight on a few swordfish. He guaranteed me a fish on this trip. We had an epic bite, landing 4 out of 5 fish, with 2 rat’s released, and two 52″ lower jaw to fork swords in the box.

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Bringing Home Dinner

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

I got the chum going and we got the tails to come real close and started the kill. While catching the tails, we saw mahi show up and I quickly grabbed the toss rod, put a ballyhoo chunk and tossed it out, as I passed the rod to Carlos which had the fish on instantly.

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Dolphin off of Miami

Florida Sportsman member: ReelObsession

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

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Tearing up the Tortugas

Florida Sportsman member: Reef Bandit

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

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Down South Yellowtails

Florida Sportsman member: wahito

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

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Miami Jig Bite

Florida Sportsman member: angryangler

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

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Big Fish on the Bottom

Florida Sportsman member: The BEAST

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

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Mangroves and More Off of Miami

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

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

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South Florida Spearfish

Florida Sportsman member: Poseidon10/31

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

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Key Biscayne Bull

Florida Sportsman member: GameTimeFT

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

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Port Everglades Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: flybycrb21

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

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Summer Sails

Florida Sportsman member: snookyj

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

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Miami Mutton Madness

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

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

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Down South Bottom Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Lucky Hook II

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

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Filling the Coolers Down South

Florida Sportsman member: GIT-R-DUnn

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

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A Little Bit of Everything

Florida Sportsman member: cudaman

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

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Deep Dropping Down South

Florida Sportsman member: copout@castaways

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

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Terrific Tortugas Trip

Florida Sportsman member: Reef Bandit

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

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Port Everglades Sail

Florida Sportsman member: 23T

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

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Fishing on the Edge

Florida Sportsman member: Double Threat

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

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Miami Muttons

Florida Sportsman member: Miami mutton

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

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King Cuda and Friends

Florida Sportsman member: The BEAST

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

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South Florida Sails and More

Florida Sportsman member: The BEAST

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

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Making It Happen in the Rough

Florida Sportsman member: danmanswag

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

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Swordfish on Soft Plastics

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Ross

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

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Hot Bottom Bite Down South

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

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

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Droppin’ Deep for Big Fish

Florida Sportsman member: copout@castaways

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

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A Full Day of Fun

Florida Sportsman member: The BEAST

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

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Rough and Tough Sailfish in the South

Florida Sportsman member: The BEAST

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

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Florida Bay Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: Miami mutton

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

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On The Fish, Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: e-money

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

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Deep Dropping Daylight Swords

Florida Sportsman member: ultraplayer26

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

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Solid Reef Fishing Down South

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

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

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Offshore Kayak Action

Florida Sportsman member: gdholbrook

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

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The Fish Are Chewing Down South

Florida Sportsman member: The Beast

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

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Florida Bay Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: Miami Mutton

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

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Government Cut Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: snookyj

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

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Party On The Patch Reefs

Florida Sportsman member: Gettin’ Jiggy

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

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Dolphin Bite Down South

Florida Sportsman member: The BEAST

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

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Miami Bottom Fishing Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

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

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Miami Muttons

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

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

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Big Bull out of Haulover

Florida Sportsman member: sflskier

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

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Mutton Snapper out of Elliott Key

Florida Sportsman member: farinco

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

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Marlin Double Header

Florida Sportsman member: Team Mayhem

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

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Tuna Time out of Gov’t Cut

Florida Sportsman member: JustinZ

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

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Haulover Mutton & Yellowtail

Florida Sportsman member: farinco

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

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Port Everglades Blackfin Tuna

Florida Sportsman member: SmittysTeam

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

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Dolphin are Plentiful

Florida Sportsman member: cnunez3024

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

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Port Everglades Sail, Blackfin & More

Florida Sportsman member: SmittysTeam

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

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Miami Muttons and Yellowtail

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

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

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Big Mahi Out of Haulover

Florida Sportsman member: Big_Boy

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

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Out of the Cut : Grouper, Pompano, Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: JustinZ

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

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Port Everglades Bull

Florida Sportsman member: Blue Chip

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

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Push it to the Limit

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

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

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Easter Weekend Bull and Cow

Florida Sportsman member: Mahigator

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

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Haulover Mahi & Mutton

Florida Sportsman member: Reef-Chief

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

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

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Hillsboro Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: JVL

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

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Miami Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member:ReelDeep

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

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Kings on Fire

Florida Sportsman member: farinco

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

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Port Everglades Blue Marlin

Florida Sportsman member: JVL

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

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Hillsboro Inlet Tripletail

Florida Sportsman member: Gary M

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

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Wahoo out of Port Everglades

Florida Sportsman member: TRalph

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

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Christmas Gags & Muttons

Florida Sportsman member: farinco

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

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Patch Reef Mutton

Florida Sportsman member: FlagMaster

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

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Great Day Off Haulover

Florida Sportsman member: No_Bananas

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

 


Gag Grouper in the Bay

Florida Sportsman member: UrbanAnglerMiami

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

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Muttons on the Move

Florida Sportsman member: Gettin’ Jiggy!

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

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Bulls in the South

Florida Sportsman member: tonyfern

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

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Mack Attack off Miami

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

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

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Three Hours of Catching!

Florida Sportsman member: The BEAST

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

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Paying it Forward!

Florida Sportsman member: The BEAST

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

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Epic Day off Port Everglades

Florida Sportsman member:

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

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Cubera Snapper Finale

Florida Sportsman member: The BEAST

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

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Key Biscayne Muttons

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

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

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Spectacular Mutton’s out of Haulover

Florida Sportsman member: Reporte de Pesca

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

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Rod and Reel Yellow Eyes

Florida Sportsman member: Ufhalbert

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

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Gaffer Saves the Day

Florida Sportsman member: danmanswag

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

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Big Groupers and Muttons

Florida Sportsman member: Lone Drifter

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

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Miami Dolphin Report

Florida Sportsman member: ReelObsession

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

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Spectacular Muttons

Florida Sportsman member: Reporte de Pesca

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

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Wahoo Time

Florida Sportsman member: Saltydawg

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

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A Quick Afternoon Trip

Florida Sportsman member: farinco

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

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Trophy Yellowtail

Florida Sportsman member: NVMata

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

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Impressive Tails off Miami

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

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

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Afternoon on the Wrecks

Florida Sportsman member: Double Threat

We headed out with the intention on jigging up a few fish. It was flat calm and it was a beautiful afternoon to sneak offshore. We got to the spot where conditions looked favorable. We had manageable current and overcast weather. We then proceeded to catc