Florida Sportsman Blog

Reel Time Florida Sportsman – Islamorada Sailfish


Capt. George Gozdz and the Reel Time crew travel to the Florida Keys to fish with Brittney Novalsky aka SaltwaterSportswoman on the Florida Sportsman forum. They explore everything from the backcountry of the Gulf to the offshore reefs of the Atlantic.

Kayak Fishing Report: Snook Are On Fire

26" snook from this past weekend's DOA Paddler's Tournament.

The weather has been breaking it’s winter patterns and the flats are finally starting to gradually warm up; along with it, the big snook can be regularly seen by themselves or in packs. I recently saw one of the biggest snook of my life, unfortunatly spooking it with my kayak but having the opportunity of seeing it’s massive girth and length in the crystal clear incoming water, easily in the upper 40′s, if not 50′s in size. The same day I saw multiple snook in over slot size near docks, in shallow water, and chasing large mullet, not giving up until it’s appetite was relinquished. My experience is once these big girls see you, the game of catching them is far gone as they will quickly elude you with a swift kick of their tail. The key is trying to make as long cast as possible in the direction you think they’re in, and also bumping up your leader in size, using at least 40-50lb if targeting big girls; I like to use a minimum of 30 on the flats. We landed some mid 20′s on clear MirroDines and a few slots on Vudu Shrimp.



Pops getting his first slot snook out of a kayak!


Smaller snook like to find refuge around structure such as mangrove roots, drop offs and similar areas. When the sun comes up you will find them in the shadows, usually in multiple numbers in the same spot – so if you catch one, recast and most likely you’ll catch a few more. Jamie Patterson recently pulled in her biggest snook to date, a 35″ beauty on a gold spoon!

Trout bite in the area has been mediocre as we have hit up a few of our regular spots and no sizeable ones to be seen. However with the warming morning flats, the topwater bite should pick up…one of the best times of year, seeing a trout going for a Skitterwalk or Spook. A few new areas in Ft Pierce area we reconned for the DOA tournament and saw many over the 23-24″ range, sticking a few with Logic Lures scented baits in the Natural color. You should start to find them in post spawn sizes; normal sized heads but shrunken and wrinkled bodies, almost like liposuction! Sandy Sanborn had good luck trolling a spoon to pick up a few trout on a recent trip.

The redfish bite so far has been the best in quite some time. We’ve caught a few on pretty much every trip on the flats, including a first redfish on fly! One of the biggest redfish I’ve seen in this area in years was a good 32-35″, clean in color, looking like it came in fresh from the ocean. They’ve been eating Logic Lures, Vudu Shrimp, and a few on Zara Spooks!


First redfish on fly!

There has been good catches of flounder reporting around the area including the Ft Pierce inlet on live shrimp. Pictured are some great catches by Quang Tran Vo and Shawn Townsend, locals who preferred to use a jighead to get the shrimp on the bottom with some great results, also getting a variety of species including reds, snook, snapper and more.






Kayak fly action from Danny Cabo


Upcoming Tournaments:
IFA Hobie – Titusville, FL – April 27, 2014http://www.ifatours.com/kayak-tour/kayak-schedule/
SWFL Kayak Angler Festival – May 2/3, 2014http://swfkaa.com/?page_id=1906

Upcoming Events:
South River Outfitters, Kayak Fishing With The Pros, April 26/27, 2014. http://www.southriveroutfitters.com/

That’s it for this report. Post your pictures to our forum and we hope you have a great weekend!

Peacock Bass – Florida Butterfly vs. Brazilian Speckled

But how do the butterfly peacocks of South Florida stand up to speckled peacocks of the Amazon Basin?

First Published Florida Sportsman January 2013

Fly Fishing for Cobia In Florida

The perfect warmup for spring tarpon season.

Cobia are a sight-fishing specialty this time of year, along Florida’s Gulf and Atlantic Beaches.

Spring-run cobia travel inshore where even small skiffs can reach them on calm days. The fish are quick to snap up flies, and a big one will tax a 10-weight as well as any tarpon of comparable size. Where best to tackle these great fish on fly? Here are four scenarios.

Sandbars

Cobia are famous for running beaches, but in Tampa Bay, Charlotte Harbor and other big bays, migrating cobia often travel over sandbars and edges of grassflats. And their paths may be well-worn: Pay attention to where they travel at different stages of the tide, and you can zero in on a pattern to find cruising fish. Anchoring along those paths—just as you would for tarpon—is usually the best approach. Or, troll-motor the edges of these bars and flats. In Tampa Bay, we have the most success around the 6-foot sandy bottom contour. Once a fish is spotted, you can’t go wrong with a black-and-purple bunny strip fly.

Piggy-back Riders

Cobia often travel in company with big rays, stacked up beneath them like bombs on a fighter jet (or on top, in the case of bottom-hugging stingrays). When I’m scouting a flat or sandbar, if there aren’t any rays moving though, there probably aren’t going to be any cobia, either. I’ve also seen cobia follow manatees, turtles, tarpon and sharks, especially big bulls. Cobia riding shotgun on a bull shark are usually aggressive and rarely refuse the fly.

Structure

Bridge pilings and large channel markers are great places to find cobia holding or searching for a snack. The best structure has heavy current and is adjacent to deeper water. I run to my favorite markers, cut the motor and drift by to see if anyone is home. If I spot a fish, I put down the trolling motor and move back towards the spot. Structure-hugging cobia seem to prefer a baitfish pattern, such as an EP baitfish fly or Deceiver-style fly. Present the fly so it swims naturally by, sweeping it near the fish’s face, with the current. Make steady, short strips or hops, accelerating as the fish follows.

At the Sauna

If winter cold lingers, cobia seek refuge in the warm outfalls from power plant cooling systems. These spots are great on a weak tide with bright sun and light wind. You’ll likely find an abundance of rays swimming slowly just beneath the surface. Bank on the larger spotted eagle rays—they’re the ones usually carrying cobia, both sliding along, basking in the sun and warm water. Place a large bunny strip fly over the back of the ray and strip the fly so it falls naturally off the ray’s back, and into the cobia’s field of view. – FS

Written by Nick Angelo

First Published Florida Sportsman Mar. 2012

Hobie Pro Angler

Hobie introduced the pedal-powered Pro Angler at a bass tournament, which might be an indication as to where they think the market lies for this boat. It should give anglers an advantage in sneaking up on bedding bass.  Considering its outstanding stability for standup casting, it should be equally effective in sight-fishing flats redfish or pothole snook. We snuck in a quick test trip to Indian River Lagoon flats in search of snook and trout between thunderstorms.

Specifications
Length Overall: 13’ 8”
Beam: 38″
Dry Weight: 138 lbs
Weight Capacity: 600 pounds
Fuel capacity: Eat your Wheaties!
Max horsepower: Lance Armstrong

At 13 feet, 8 inches long, the silhouette of the Hobie Hippo—oops, Pro Angler—resembles, appropriately, that of a small aircraft carrier.

Thirty-five inches wide, it almost crowds the conventional-size Revolution and Quest kayaks off the trailer. There’s a reason Hobie refers to the Pro Angler as a boat rather than kayak. Black covering boards on gunnel sides make it a snap to mount electronics within easy reach of angler.

The Pro Angler, weighing in at 138 pounds, provides an incredible incentive to buy a kayak trailer—or at least make some new big friends to help with moving and storing it. Carrying bars at each end facilitate the loading process.

Turbo pedal power with larger flippers, front, is standard in the Pro.

Standard Mirage drive flipper, left, compared to Turbo.

Entire bucket, or individual tackle boxes, easily lifts out of watertight hatch for lure changes or freshwater rinse at end of day.

Four tackle boxes not enough? A sealed, circular box fits under the rear 8-inch Twist and Seal hatch.

Wide hull is designed for standup stability. No need for outriggers on this beast. Drain plug at upper left. Rudder, which raises and lowers remotely from cockpit, raised into travel position.

Rudder in operating position; lots of surface area provides excellent responsiveness.

Spring-loaded rudder knob raises and lowers rudder from right side of cockpit.

Internal view of standard horizontal rod tubes extending under front hatch.

This setup allows up to three rods on each side of angler, without interfering with casting or fighting fish. Two vertical holders are placed behind seat. High-back, raised chair is ventilated for dry comfort. Mesh storage pockets keep essential items handy.

Steering is accomplished with hand-operated knob at left front of seat, leaving hands free for casting or photography.

It was a dark and stormy day. We went fishing anyway. Elementary teacher Sarah Gast, right, is escorted out by fellow educator Jenny Nichols in a much smaller Hobie Revolution.

Schoolmarm Gast reels in first fish of the day.

More accustomed to larger offshore boats, the first snook gives Sarah a chance to test the Pro’s stability.

Knowing the Pro isn’t going to tip, Sarah smoothly stands up with her catch for a quick picture before she gently lowers the fish back to the water for release.

Sarah gets a little concerned as this snook makes it momentarily to the mangroves.

The concern is only temporary, as she shows off another dark-colored snook.

Another snook headed back into the Indian River Lagoon.

First trout of the day; leaning over the side to land fish is no longer a concern, as it barely tips the Pro Angler.

No shortage of freckles here.

With a 600-pound weight capacity, we could have put five elementary teachers on board and still had room for the infamous fish-sniffing Maurice.

Anglers get ready to head in before an approaching storm rumbles up from the south. Sarah gets stuck doing the hard work for back-seat drivers Maurice and Jenny.

The Hobie Pro Angler features an immense rear deck and a giant front hatch, with removable tub for easy cleaning. Maurice makes himself at home.

June 2009 WebXtra Coverage
Photos and text by Jerry McBride

Triton 351 Express

SPECIFICATIONS

Length: 34 feet, 10 inches
Beam: 10 feet
Hull weight: 9,432 pounds
Deadrise: 24 degrees
Approx. draft: 25 inches
Recommended power range: 500 to 900
Fuel capacity: 355 gallons

The Triton 351 Express

 

It’s a 34-footer with center-console helm, lounge seating foward, and a forward cabin.

 

Triple 250-horsepower Mercury Verado 4-strokes can push this boat to the 60 mph mark, but it’s said to perform nicely with twins, topping out at respectable 40 mph. Keep in mind those are 600-plus-pound motors on a 10,000-pound hull. This is a rig most at home in a wetslip or perhaps a lift behind a waterfront home.

 

View of the helm station. . .

 

And view from the helm station. With trim tabs down, we found the boat provided good visibility for the captain while getting up on plane. A minor downside was, this station was subject to some spray when quartering a steep, 3-foot chop in 20-knot winds. Isinglass curtains are easy to install beneath the hardtop, and would be recommended in Florida’s breezy winter sailfish season.

 

Cabin view looking forward over food prep station toward vee berth and drop-down dinette table.

 

Interior electrical systems, with accessory plug, diesel level indicator for generator, DC/AC inverter, and stereo. Air-conditioning and refrigerator make this more than just a place to stow rods.

 

Standup head with shower and sink.

 

Aft berth for the kids–or for suitcases and more gear for an extended island trip.

 

Molded steps from the lounge to the bow.

 

A really sweet feature: Standup work space beneath the console, with easy access to generator, batteries, fuel tanks and wiring.

 

Detail of wiring behind helm.

 

Plenty of space for two 12-inch or greater multi-function screens. Binnacle is electronic model for Verados, and analog/digital gauges can be customized for display fuel levels, speed and vital engine performance data.

 

Battery switches right there where anyone can find them.

 

A somewhat narrow, 25-gallon transom livewell (or fishbox, as you prefer) may not hold quite enough goggle-eyes for tournament kite-fishing, but certainly more than enough for the average weekend angler. And check out what’s back there. . .

 

That’s right–built-in tuna tubes. This boat isn’t made just to stay in Florida and chum pilchards for whimpy kings and sails. . . it’s built to travel to marlin country, where slow-trolling live bonitos or skipjacks can produce big results. Those active baits are also dynamite for wahoo and super-smoker kingfish.

 

Vertical rod racks tucked behind the transom.

 

That big in-deck storage hatch aft? It’ll hold bumpers. . .

 

Or better yet, 5-gallon buckets.

 

Accessing a cavernous, gelcoat-finished bilge.

 

Lots of storage on this boat. Fish boxes alongside the console are good for groupers and school dolphin, but if you’re after a triple-digit wahoo, swordfish or yellowfin, you’ll need to bring a good fish bag on this boat. Again, the 351 looks like it has the layout of a catch-and-release marlin trolling boat, or else a day-boat for pelagics.

 

 

Lockable overhead hardtop box will likely house a VHF and CD/MP3 stereo, with room to spare for charts and other vital items.

 

The top is sweet–rod racks, space for life vests, built-in lights. Put a 4kW open-array radar up there and you’re in business.

 

Tackle storage center behind the captain’s seat.

 

With a latch that keeps it closed–a little touch that means a lot in the long run.

 

Under-gunnel storage for rods, boat hooks, brushes, you name it.

 

Triton boats (www.tritonboats.com) are composite uni-body construction, with limited lifetime hull warranty. Based on the builder’s reputation on the bass and inshore circuit, the growing fleet of offshore Tritons is worth a look.

 

Transom tuna doors on outboard rigs aren’t really practical for hauling aboard fish. But this one will come in handy for accessing the motors, or admitting snorkelers.

 

Rear bench seat is comfortable in most sea conditions, and easily folds up and away when not in use.

 

 

 

Killer Cobia

Recent offshore fishing reports from the Southeast region.


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!

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


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!

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


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!

Click Here for full forum report.

 


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”.

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


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.

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


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!

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


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.

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 


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.

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


“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.

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


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.

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 

 


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.

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 


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.

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 

 


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!

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 


“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!

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 

 


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.

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 


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!

Click Here for full forum report.


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.

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


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.

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 

 


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.

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 


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.

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 

 


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!

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 


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.

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


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!

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 


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.

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 

 


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.

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


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.

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 

 


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.

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


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!

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 

 


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.

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 

 


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!

Click Here for full forum report.

 


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.

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 

 


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.

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


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.

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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.

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 

 


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.

Click Here for full forum report.

 

 


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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Bull Red and More

Recent inshore fishing reports from the Southwest region.


Bull Red and More

Florida Sportsman member: Flats Blue 96

On Sunday we went to Estero Bay. We were fishing along the edges of the mangroves catching a lot of sheepshead and a couple small snook. Then out of no where a huge red cruised by, so I tossed my greenie off the back of the boat and put out some slack line. I started to reel it in thinking he had swam by when my drag started screaming. Got my personal best red in the boat after a couple minutes and he measured 38 inches.

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Night Time Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Ross

It was a special fish for the angler, his first tarpon and largest fish to date. It’s also the smallest one landed so far this season, right around 60 pounds. It made for a short, exciting fish full of leaps and head shakes. A perfect, manageable show for our angler.

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Windy Southwest Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Ross

Hit the red school and was hooked up within 2 minutes of the first cast. Hooked about 20 fish and landed 13 in an hour or so, then headed back for the ramp. An excellent day with captain Mike catching a ton of fish in a short amount of time in bad weather.

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Southwest Reds on Artificials

Florida Sportsman member: GatorInPISound

A few days ago a buddy and I decided to work some silver and gold spoons as well as some gulps on jig heads. We focused on deep sandy drop offs from bars as well as some mangrove shorelines that were flooded with the incoming tide.

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Shallow Water Trout and Pompano

Florida Sportsman member: aaron

Hit the flats after school for a bit today, and did really good. I caught 2 keeper sized trout on fly and a keeper pompano on fly. My buddy was on fire. He caught 4 trout, going 18 to 22 inches and a whopper at 25 inches! He also got a 17 inch pompano. All of his fish were caught on a mirrodine. The fly I was using was a greenback looking streamer.

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Lady Lovin’ Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: GatorInPISound

I’ve been using cut mullet but today I was able to grab a few ladyfish on a spoon first thing in the morning. I was excited to see if they would be equally effective. I tried a few spots and with a low, low tide and it seemed like forever before the tide began to fill up some places that I like to fish.

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Pine Island Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: Capt JohnZ

Finally had a chance to take the neighbor out for a trip. Fish have been biting on cut pins and shrimp. Getting a lot of oversize ones. Spend most of my time in the Pine Island Sound.

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Sanibel Sharkin’

Florida Sportsman member: Reelinrudy

After I determined it had the bait long enough I pushed the drag up into the “strike” setting and maneuvered the rod up and rested it on my shoulder. As I felt the line begin to come tight, I ran forward away from the water to take the stretch out of the springy monofilament and pumped the rod to set the hook. After 20 feet I could feel the fish on the other end and turned around and wound tight as I made my way back to the water. I Worked the fish a bit and everyone watching did not believe there was a fish on the end. I knew it was there however, not a huge fish, but there was definitely a shark there.

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Keeping The Rod Bent In Pine Island

Florida Sportsman member: nitelite08

Using live shrimp on a jighead, outgoing tide by some old pilings and a small drop off. Sorted through the usual short sheepshead, mangrove snapper, a lot of spanish mackerel and jacks. Got a good bite about 30 minutes in a few minutes later pulled in a very nice black drum.

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December Southwest Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Ross

The number of bites has decreased, but the quality is still there if you manage to hook up. Adult Tarpon have been feeding well on Hogy 10 inch Original Series Soft Baits rigged weightless and fished very slowly across the surface. Black has been the best producing color.

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You Will Always Remember Your First Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: fishdish

My 8 year can’t quite cast far enough for flats fishing yet so she casted out as far as she could and let the line go out as we drifted. It wasn’t but a minute later when I heard “Daddy, Daddy, I got one”. I thought she may have been snagged on the bottom but her screaming drag said redfish! She tried to pass the rod to me but I told her it wasn’t happening. The only help I gave her was I tightened up her drag a little and held the boat still with the pole. 5 minutes later we had a 25 inch red on board!

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Low Tide Fishing In The Southwest

Florida Sportsman member: Tight Loops

Bottom of the full moon low tide, just as it started to flood back in. I had a couple of folks I wanted to show tailing red fish to on a flat in less than a foot of water. Saturday was the better of the two days as it stayed overcast for most of the morning. We managed to find some redfish and a few nice single trout hanging out as well.

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Beach Sharkin’

Florida Sportsman member: Shore Catch Fishing

15 minutes later the first Bull hit the beach. We stayed for 4 hours and had 10 or so runs, Caught some Bt’s and Spinners as well.

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Whitebaiting The Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: Inshoreslam

Bite was slow at first but quickly fired up and stayed pretty consistent for a few hours. As soon as the wind picked up and the bite died we headed in. Wound up with around 15 reds for the day ranging from 22 to 27 inch all looking thick and healthy.

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Captiva Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

Traveled over to Captiva Island this weekend from Stuart for the Floridians for clean water rally to stop the dumping from lake O. I Wanted to try to squeeze in some fishing while over there. Talked to some local guides and asked them what they thought about some good wading spots and a few tipped me off. Woke up sunday morning at 6:30 to hit the first light bite and it paid off. Found a beautiful Mangrove pocket and decided to give it a shot. No more than 10 casts later did this healthy 36 inch snook come up and smash my top water. In less than a foot of water which made it an awesome visual bite and a great fight on a 2000 sized reel. I ended up catching seven snook and one nice trout to end the morning.

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August Reds

Florida Sportsman member: GatorInPISound

August has been a pretty nice month so far. My boat was down for a bit but I have been able to run a few trips as of late. Ive been getting out with family, church brethren, and friends. The pot holes are holding fish at the bottom of the tide and the oyster bars and bushes have been good on the high water. The fishing looks like it will be just fine out there and the bait is looking like it is getting better. The shiners are almost full grown now. The reds are eating both of em and pinfish are nothing to sneeze at, they get it done as well.

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Another One for the Records

Florida Sportsman member: former bluefishinny

Tonight I slipped out with forum member Fatsnook. We entered the water around 4:30, only to be greeting with a good thunder boomer. We took shelter in the sticks, waited 10 minutes and the storm passed over. Bait everywhere, just a lack of predators. End result was not too bad, just not as good as I had anticipated. We caught 6 snook with 2 going over 28 inches, 1 fat bluefish, 1 flounder, and a few trout. Tonight (I try to keep records) was my 75th snook on artificial this year at this particular location (76th according to record keeping).

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Rough Weather Reds & More

Florida Sportsman member: GatorInPISound

Yes, I have been crazy enough to venture out into the weather the past few days. I started out trying to catch bait and had what has been consistently a tough time doing it. Pinfish just swarm my chum but I have not been able to get a net on them. I ended up getting a good couple of dozen over sized pins and a ton of them about the size of your thumb. I never get too caught up in bait and just use what I catch. So, with that in mind we continued on through a storm with lightening and thunder and bee sting like rain in the face to our first destination…..

The fish were ready from the get go and I think we ended up catching around 20 drum. The mullet were swarming the shorelines and it always seems like the reds are not far behind, just gotta be patient. There were bites when we had to wait em out and then there were some that hit like we threw it into their mouth[...]

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Fresh and Salt Water Success

Florida Sportsman member:RollerToaster

My buddy Ben came into town from England to do some fishing, he was an avid fisherman so we went out in search of some snook. The day started out slow, when we got to one of my favorite creeks on the Caloosahatchee but due to weak tides it was too risky to go in all the way. As we worked some new shorelines Ben managed this nice 20 inch flounder on live shrimp. After that the fishing died down again until a man with a boat wrap for Lobster Lady Seafood in Cape Coral gave us some extremely nice whitebait. After that it was game on with the snook, we managed a 31 inch, a 33 inch and a 36 inch snook in the span of about 30 minutes before it died down again. Once the snook bite died down the wind picked up, so we decided with his limited time here we should go try and catch him a nice largemouth bass, so we were off to the North Cape Canals with a bucket of live shiners. We caught at least 15 bass Ben managed quite a few small-medium sized bass and I managed to pick up this nice bucket mouth. All in all it was an awesome day, it’s not everywhere you can catch huge snook and bass all in one day. It makes me glad I’ve gotten to grow up and live down here in SWFL…

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Tarpon Beach Snook

Florida Sportsman member: cpr

Went to the Sanibel pier and netted finger mullet and mohara 2-4 inch. The pier was dead so I took the bait to the condo near Tarpon beach. Soaked the mohara (sp) from 12:30-3 pm and got nothing. Went out to eat and left the mullet in a flo-thru. Got back at the dead end of the out going. Within 10 minutes pulled in a 22 inch snook that once hooked pulled line for a short distance then headed for the beach, the little guy beached himself. It was an easy release. Hooked up anther mullet through the nose and after 15 minutes got into a fight with a big boy, he pulled line out mid way on the sandbar and was a blast to catch and release. A nice woman on the beach took a photo. Equipment used, 4000 symetry with 20# PP and 20-pound fluro leader, owner lite-wire circle hook and a small split shot.

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Sarasota Snook

Florida Sportsman member: former bluefishinny

Three members hit the flats last night in search of some picture worthy snook. The evening overall started off slow, very slow. Three of us were throwing soft plastics in dark colors, black and gold – as this is our confidence bait in this area. A few flounder here and there, some short trout, and Matt finally hooks up on a drag screamer. Nice little fight, and this healthy snook comes to grips. Overall slow night…Matt also banged out a very nice trout.

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Sanibel Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: ColeJennette

Me and my buddy took his 17 foot flats boat out this past Friday to try our luck at some tarpon action off of Sanibel. Being complete newbies, we had talked to just about everyone we knew who fished for these guys and felt like we had a rough idea of what we were doing.

Hit up blind pass for bait early, then cruised the beaches. Nothing but spanish mackerel. Went out off of Knapps next. Nothing but sharks. Ran into the causeway to grab bait and fuel up around lunch then decided we’d cruise the beach back north then head out. Tons of spanish on the way back and then suddenly we saw a hugh concentration of birds. Up closer discovered they were diving on some bait they had gotten to ball up. Ten minutes after we arrived, the tarpon showed up and were free jumping from the middle off the ball and rolling all around us[...]

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Plan B Pays Off

Florida Sportsman member: Ptsrhenry

Well last week we tried to go offshore fishing, we picked up bait easy outside Jug creek and headed west. Wind was blowing pretty good, seas easy 2 feet. Our first stop was at 42 feet over a wreck, picked up one spanish mackerel. This is were we made the decision to come back in as one of my crew started chumming. Came in through Captiva pass and went south looking for a few new spots. The area down there has some big snook under the bushes. We will be back. We managed to do well fishing inshore. We caught two reds, several snook and nine keeper trout. Plan B payed off, pics are of my son Sean. This kid can fish, he can soak a hook all day, tie his own knots, and loves to wade.

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Turning High Expectations into High Fives

Florida Sportsman member: former bluefishinny

John and I hit a flat just South of Tampa Sunday evening with high expectations. Good tide, good water temperature. The high expectations turned into many many high fives. All of our fish tonight were caught on Mirrolure Lil Johns in dark colors. We entered the water at around 3, and left around 8. Final tally: 9 snook, anywhere from 14 to 29/30 inches. 8 redfish from rats, to around 26inches, 5 decent flounder, a black drum (good eating size) and a few decent trout. Last hour of sunlights was simply spectacular! It was like watching Discovery Channel. Imagine a 30 minute segment on snook leaping all around…That is what we experienced!

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Sarasota Bay Reds and Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Flat_Top

Got out with my buddy Jeff today. He found some Reds over the weekend, but couldn’t get them to eat and wanted to see if we could find them. We hit the area and there was a ton of mullet, but no Reds. After about an hour of looking we were about to give up when they came cruising across a white sand pothole. First cast in produced a nice 26″ Red. For the next hour or so the school of Reds would cruise between a couple big potholes allowing us to preform CPR, Catch, Photo, Release, on them. We had a big 55 inch Redfish double with Jeff and a 26 inch Red and me with a nice 29 inch pig.

Eventually the Reds got tired of us and moved on so we went looking for others. Next flat we hit was also loaded with mullet and there were Reds mixed in with them. Next thing you know we are both hooked up with what we think are Reds. But no, we have a 53 inch double of Gator Trout[...]

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Sarasota Inshore Variety

Florida Sportsman member: RMD

Its been a long cold winter up north, and we’ve been looking forward to some deep offshore trips to combat the depression. We arrived Saturday and the week’s forecast looked pretty dismal. Our first “offshore” trip was scheduled for Monday, but the weather was not cooperative as there were 5-8 foot seas projected in the Gulf. Any day fishing is still better than working, so we decided to settle for an inshore trip.

We fished rock piles, docks, and any structure, hoping it would hold something for the dinner table. The high winds and rough waters were helpful in that we had no competition, as we saw less than 5 other boats all day. We had a very productive day, bringing home 10 sheepshead, 2 black drum, 3 flounder. We used live shrimp for bait.

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Estero Bay Reds & More

Florida Sportsman member: dtobias

Fished with an old friend and his girl in Estero bay on Wednesday and Thursday. It was tough with the dip in temp and the wind howling. You really had to fish the lee of islands and such. Caught some jacks, ladys and cats….trashcan slam. Only trout were underslot. Finally, my buddy got this slot redfish at 19 1/2″. His girlfriend had never had redfish, so they came over after the charter and I cooked it up on my grill for them. Next day, more of the same. Only put one sheepie in the cooler[...]

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Bulls, Pompano, & Gator Trout

Florida Sportsman member: GatorInPISound

Had an outstanding day with Redfish57 yesterday. We used handpicked shrimp and were into some really good fish.We came across some reds early on the incoming. All but one were over the slot with the only keeper at 26 3/4 inches.We were able to score some real nice upper and overslot trout as well.

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Pine Island Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Gregg McKee

I had a very good weekend with snook on artificials in the northern part of PI Sound. Bokeelia angler Mike Craig and his buddy Dr. Russell from NC did all the catching using topwaters, Gulp Shrimp, and white paddletails.This was the best snook fishing I’ve had all year. We caught them in a lot of surprising places when I wasn’t really looking for snook. We also pulled in a handful of upper-slot trout.

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Sheeps at the Wall

Florida Sportsman member: larrywitt

Every year i have the privilege of running a fishing tournament for the Waters Edge Motel and Apartments out of their marina in St James city on Pine Island..It is a fun event to be sure. It is a team event for the sheepshead ,5 largest fish from each boat are weighed..There are two places for sheepshead. Two boats had the same weight 17 pounds 15 ounces the tie is broken by the the longest fish from the five that were weighed.. More important where were they fishing The wall at redfish pass. Fresh and frozen shrimp were both being used. Both boats had (4) fishermen that were on a constant hook up. The fish were stacked at the wall.

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Hog Island Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: Real V

My wife and I went out to try for trout, sheephead. Stopped at the El Jobean bridge tried for sheephead but no one home so we ran to the south end of Hog Island for some trout. Fishing in 3 feet of water we caught a few small trout and ladyfish. I was throwing a twitch bait black/silver about 10 feet from the boat was a big flash on my bait. At first I said damn shark, but after about 15 minutes I got it near the boat an saw it was a cobia. Another 1/2 hour we landed it. 47 inches.

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Estero Bay Morning Bite

Florida Sportsman member: JSTickum

Went out Wednesday morning with fellow member Dave O. We knew the forecast was horrible , but we needed to wet some lines. The plan was to fish the morning out-going tide while the winds were light and find some clean water. Well that was actually very easy. The winds were somewhat light at 6:45 am and we took advantage of it. We ran to our first spot , which was our only spot tucked in close to the mangroves.The tide was heading out and we had great water clarity.We set up facing the current with the wind on our back and started pulling in Trout and Jacks one after the other. The trout were feeding ,eating every color plastic we threw at them. The trout were between 15 to 18 inches and fat.

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Matlacha Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Ross

I was lucky enough to have the day free last Friday. Weather was perfect with some light winds and clear skys. My intentions were to sight fish some mud flats on the -.8 tide around 10am. A buddy and I put in at the Matlacha ramp with our kayaks and made a 2 mile trek to a spot, I hoped would have some tailing redfish. Trying to approach the spot, we actually had to drag the kayaks across the mud for about 30 yards. We sure didn’t have to worry about somebody in a boat blowing by us, at least for awhile. Made it to the top of the hole and found fish pushing bait all over the place. Made 3 or 4 casts and it was game on with a nice over slot redfish. We ended up picking up 6 more nice redfish, a pair of decent snook and a few trout to give us a slam.

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Sarasota Bay Slam

Florida Sportsman member: ANDROS18

Took my dad out again on saturday. He proceeded to catch a slam! I could only manage reds but that’s ok with me! All reds where upper slot or over slot. Kept one smaller one for dinner. The trout and snook where caught on a mirrodine and one red on a gold spoon. We cheated on the rest using cut ladyfish! Also one of the redfish had no spots!

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Sarasota Bay Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: Makomenuts

It was my dads bday yesterday and I wanted to get him out on the water. I met up with forum member flatzbroke and we decided to do a little inshore trip to target redfish and trout. We arrived at 10th street boat ramp around 9 a.m. and headed to our first spot. We fished potholes for about an hour catching a lot of trout (most trout were 13-18 inches) but one was 4-5 pounds. and a couple reds here and there. We drifted off the flat and made a move across the bay and it was on. Oversize redfish were everywhere[...]

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Placida Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Makomenuts

We fished the incoming tide started off sight fishing in shallow and as the tide creeped in we started fan casting in the mullet schools in 1-2 feet of water with salt and pepper bottom. We caught 30 reds a dozen trout and 1 small snook in about 4 hours. Most reds were between 24-27 inches with a few rats and oversized fish mixed in.[...]

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Redfish Bite is On!

Florida Sportsman member: InshoreSlam

Headed out this morning around 9 with one of my best friends and longtime fishing buddy Captain Russ. With the skys grey and cloudy and thunderstorms in the distance, what we thought was going to be a horrible day turned out to be the best I have had this month! We fished a strong incoming tide untill about 1330, catching red after red, after red. The bite would not stop and was consistant the whole day. Wound up catching around 20 or so reds ranging from 20 to 27 inches with most being around the 24 inch slot.[...]

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Nearshore Triple Tail and Gags

Florida Sportsman member: Shore Catch Fishing

Ran out of Fort Myers on Sunday with Michael on a 6 hr Near shore trip. Picked up a few dozen shrimp and netted spent a half hour netting a few pilchards to bolster our success chances. Anchored on some rubble 4 miles out and starting hammering the gags in various sizes. Nothing special. Used large gulp and pilchards. Once the sun came up we set out on our target species. Ran to about 11 miles in search of the oddball. Caught 15 or so and probably saw over 50 fish. Caught them on both pilchards and live shrimps [...]

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Sanibel Night Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Ross

Hit the lights last night looking for snook and left over tarpon. Not many to be found in the first couple spots. Did find a new technique for grouper though, bouncing a 10-inch Hogy on a 1-ounce jighead. The technique out fished live bait all night. Too bad they are not in season. We did manage one good snook [...]

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Windy, Snook Biting

Florida Sportsman member: Joupdog1

Went out after school to test out some new lures that Treasure Coast Tackle is now carrying. They are “Unfair Lures”. My first 2 casts resulted in 2 baby snook! The wind was blowing 15 out of the north, but I was hiding in the mangroves. One snook after another on the Unfair Lures Mullet. All around 20 inches until my buddy shows up and hooks up to a much better one. Pulls some drag then I go down and land it.[...]

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Trying to Avoid the Wind

Florida Sportsman member: InshoreSlam

Headed out this morning around 0930 with a good friend of mine and fellow capt. looking for the allusive tripletail. After venturing off the beaches we figured out it was too windy and the water that was hitting us over the sides was just too damn cold!! Long story short, the tripletail trip was cut short, and we fell back on what we do best…catch redfish in the shallows. After running around some of the local keys, dodging the wind and the low tide that was even too shallow at times for my ranger flats boat..we found some very large mullet schools that we figured would be holding some reds.[...]

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Pine Island Trout

Florida Sportsman member: jvanpelt

Today I decided to hit the water as the wind finally decided to die down. Today was a perfect day on the water. No wind, cool weather, crystal clear water and BIG trout[...]

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Redfish Fury

Florida Sportsman member: GatorInPISound

We’ve had some pretty good trips the last few times out. Yesterday, amid tournament boats zooming all over, we were able to catch 24 redfish out of some pot holes. We used light tackle to land the fish from 20 to 27 inches [...]

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Sunday Slam in the Harbor

Florida Sportsman member: GitchaPull

Took the girlfriend out Sunday. We slept in and got a late start, on the water at 11 a.m. to catch the last bit of the outgoing tide. This was her second time on a boat in saltwater. She wanted to catch a “big fish” and I said “hmm, o.k.” She got her wish. This was her first fish she’s ever caught [...]

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An Evening Spent Wading

Florida Sportsman member: former bluefishinny

This beauty was the first of 5 snook caught this evening. All fish came on Zoom Flukes rigged with modified EWG weighted hooks (lead was painted gold/gold flake, its the OCD in me).

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Beach Shark Fishing Recap

Florida Sportsman member: J_WaRd_29

We obviously have kind of fallen off the face of the earth for a while. Nothing to do with the site, but instead just because we had such a horrible start to the season that the frustration took over until we got things going again. What a weird year for sharking so far . . . well, at least that we’ve seen here in SWFL.

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Pine Island Sound Redfishing

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Brent

Had a great day with the redfish on friday fishing with my brother (Capt. Dave), finally breaking the 24 inch mark. Had 2 perfect tournament fish weighing in just under 14 pounds, 1 is pictured below. Also caught tons of mid-slot size reds and about 50 big trout. Action was non stop all day even with the late afternoon high tide and the boiling water.

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Pine Island Tarpon Action

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Gregg McKee

We’re right in the middle of our second tarpon season here in SW FL. The really big fish have migrated north but the resident juveniles are coming out of the woodwork right now. Here’s some shots of the fish my anglers have landed over the last few days.

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Reds on Fire!

Florida Sportsman member: backwater boy

Headed out today with one of my good fishing buddies around 9 a.m. We headed out to my favorite white bait spot and absolutely blacked out the livewell. We ran about 30 minutes north into PI in search of some bronze warriors in a few old spots of mine, oh boy we found them alright. Within the first hour we already had nine [...]

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Back in the Sunny Southwest

Florida Sportsman member: SWFLFisher

After calling my good friend and forum member Trey (swsnookred) the day before, I decided redfish would be the target for the morning since they’d been chewing close to home recently and the tides were right. We loaded up on the usual bait for this time of year (small threads and white bait), and started our search for the bronzed beauties who always change colors as the river water begins to mix with the surrounding waters [...]

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Reds on Fire

Florida Sportsman member: swsnookred

Summertime can be some of the best fishing if you get out there early and beat the heat. I hit the water with a couple buddies at 3:30 and was back on the trailer at 10. Redfish were on fire, as were some nice trout. Final tally for the day: 7 reds boated with probably 6 lost, and 6 nice trout boated (smallest going 17 in). Was a great day on the water! [...]

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Old Friend and a True Warrior

Florida Sportsman member: SWFLFisher

We began our day with the normal hour long cruise or so out of the river and into San Carlos Bay. Two casts of the net at the causeway and we were loaded down with bait and ready to wreck some fish! Our first thought was it would be awesome if we could bring some fish home for lunch or dinner, so redfish was obviously our first targeted species of the day [...]

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Snook You Want to Hook

Florida Sportsman member: Doodidle

Yesterday I was at work when by the hand of God Almighty, my power went out! Awesome for me cause I work on a computer. So I decided to make a mini fishing trip with a couple of buddies. Stopped at Lehrs to pick up a couple reels I had getting serviced and bought a New St.Croix fly reel. We headed out the river around 1:30 p.m. Chased big threadies for a while out by picnic island and caught about a hundred hand size threads [...]

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A Trip Down Memory Lane

Florida Sportsman member: cubs83

Came down with my girlfriend memorial day weekend and fished with some friends. Netted some mullet and chummed an Estero Bay grass flat with chunk mullet. We caught 4 or 5 lower slot redfish in about an hour. Went offshore for tarpon and only saw one off Knapps. My buddy caught a 3′ blacktip shark on the new Shimano Tranx on a Terez rod…sweet combo. The blacktip came up and smacked a 10″ mullet so that was fun to watch. Sure beats bass fishing. Hope everyone is doing okay in my hometown!

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Beach Sharkin’ Double Header

Florida Sportsman member: Shore Catch Fishing

The night was fading slowly when I decided to call two friends, Drew and Mark. Plan was to rendevouz at the beach at 10 p.m. and catch the last few hours of the incoming tide. I loaded my SUV with my Penn 133LH (4/0 wide) and 50TW international. Both loaded with PowerPro. Upon set-up, a blue-streaked meteor flew by and knew it was time to paddle out the spread. I paddled the 50TW and 4/0 out while Drew paddled his Senator 6/0 out. We had a few smaller runs and landed a 7 foot nurse shark and were debating on whether to stay [...]

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Estero Bay Trout Action

Florida Sportsman member: JSTickum

Fished with buddies Dave O and Derrick on Tuesday in overcast conditons and wind on Tuesday in Estero Bay. We started out the morning with the incoming tide in the back of the bay stalking Reds and Snook, we caught 2 Reds, 4 Snook and a bunch of mangos. We changed gears and went after trout and did real well on the trout, lots of trout, 20 or more using soft plastics and shrimp under corks [...]

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Matlacha/Pine Island Snook Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Gregg McKee

Thought I’d make a quick post to confirm what a few other folks here are reporting. There is definitely some excellent snook action going on in the Pass and PI Sound right now. I’m spending most mornings chasing tarpon right now but they have a habit of calling it quits around 10AM and that’s when I go after the linesiders. The miles of shoreline around Burnt Store has been really productive this last week. The best catch was my neighbor’s son Sam who was in town from Montana and landed this slob on a white Zoom.

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The Tarpon Report

Florida Sportsman member: Tarponator

We took our first trip down south last week to Boca Grande. It’s always nice to get away, and this trip was no different. We arrived at Palm Island on Wednesday night, and got prepared to fish with my long time friend and guide Phil Dugger the next morning. Woke up before dawn, met Phil at the dock, and we were off to Boca Grande Pass. The west wind would have made fishing on the beach impossible, and the reports were the fish hadn’t been on the beach in any event [...]

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Estero Bay Report

Florida Sportsman member: binder077

Got out on the water and got bait at the bridge about 10 a.m. Headed over to the shoreline with downed tree stumps at Big Carlos Pass expecting to catch some snook. We found no snook but plenty of average sized trout [...]

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Shoot for Goliaths

Florida Sportsman member: Shore Catch Fishing

Bait was thick. Threads and pilchards were getting mauled by 18 inch spanish macs. Dropped a few live Spanish down and you know the rest. Also, messing around with a white jig produced a 30 pound cobia to follow. No commitment on that fish. After we caught a few goliaths I played around with the cudas on my 4000 size reel which never gets old.

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Estero Bay Action

Florida Sportsman member: binder077

The plan was to get bait and head to Knapps point for tarpon but we got a later start than I wanted and had a hard time getting bait so we decided to fish around Mound Key. The bait that we got at the bridge was fairly big (8 inches) so we knew the smaller reds and snook wouldn’t be interested. We lost 2 big snook and a bruiser red 5 feet from the boat. For the day we caught reds and snook at mound key and heres the 2 that were worth taking pics of. My bubby Billy caught the snook and it was 34 1/2″ inches and I caught the red.

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Estero Area Island Report

Florida Sportsman member: Shore Catch Fishing

While in the market for a new vessel I decided to return to my roots for a few days and do some land based fishing. Dispite the wind and dodging sporadic rain I went out on two evenings back to back. The 30th and 1st.

Pilchards are around but not thick. The ones ive netted are nice (4 inches) The lady’s, macks, and mullet are a different story.(All over) Snook are patrolling the beaches and pass and becoming very active at dusk. Didn’t see any tarpon but there food source is definetly around. Both these fish were caught on mid outgoing tide around sunset. Snook on lady. Lemon on bft. Also got a 22inch trout but didnt care to photograph him.

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Redfish and Gator Trout Months

Florida Sportsman member: GatorInPISound

The last few times out we netted some pretty decent fish. Over the past 2 weeks the bait has really just exploded on the flats and it is nothing to see big trout busting while you are netting it up. I’ve been spending most of my time near oyster bars on the flood tides and shorelines with good tidal flows. The gator trout are still around and will eat a shiner and now the snook are wandering into the keys [...]

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Sanibel/Ding Darling Report

Florida Sportsman member: pjstevko

I spent all of last week doing some work on Sanibel at the Ding Darling Refuge and spent my evenings fishing the wildlife drive and several other spots around the island and did really well. My weeks total was 6 trout and 2 nice snook and my friend Wes caught 4 trout, 1 redfish, and a couple snook. ALL the fish were caught using DOA shrimp of varying colors.

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Pine Island

Florida Sportsman member: simeoncoleman

Fished with the kids this weekend while they were on spring break and had a real good time. We probably caught 50-60 trout through a day and a half and 3 under slot reds. I caught 2 big trout 21 and a 24 incher. My son had a ladyfish magnet and caught a mess of them but he didn’t mind as long as he was catching(so he said). The kids had an awesome time as did the adults, thanks to my friend who invited me to come along [...]

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Screamin’ Reds and Trout

Florida Sportsman member: GatorInPISound

I got the chance to get out with two friends from church this weekend. Friday my bud JH came out with me to see if we could locate the Gator Trout. JH is a veteran of WW II having fought at Iwo Jima and Okinawa so you can imagine how interesting the day became outside of fishing. He also won some Commendation Medals. We were able to catch bait in the Sound and tried many different places [...]

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Sunset Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Flat_Top

It’s the time of the year when I like to do a sunset trip. Topwater is preferred, but not always the way to go. As was the case the last couple of nights. We fished the afternoon high tide on a protected shoreline and the water was mirror smooth and clean. Mullet everywhere with the occasional Redfish tail. The bite would turn on about 30 minutes before the top of the tide and last until sunset. Stick Shadd, spoon, and soft plastics were the ticket. Can wait for the time change so I can fish longer [...]

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Mixed Bag Inshore

Florida Sportsman Member: Feeding Frenzy

Spent a lazy day drowning shrimp in 30 ft of water just the other day and found the fishing to be fantastic. Nothing exotic, but a bunch of fresh flounder that made for an excellent dinner on very light tackle.

We found what seemed to be an endless supply of flounder situated just on the perimeter of the articicial reefs, with the occasional sheepshead mixed in. The flounder were eating both live shrimp and small strips of cut bait, and were in the sand, not the actual rubble itself. One of the flounder actually had color on what would normally be the white, under side [...]

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Estero Bay on Fire

Florida Sportsman member: JSTickum

Been a great couple of weeks in Estero Bay going back for 4 weeks it has just been on fire . The Reds have been feeding on the mud and sand , on the flats and by the groves , its been odd , their every where latly feeding slow , real slow (like you feel like your hooked up on grass and then the line starts to move on you) eating cut bait , shrimp , and mostly on soft plastics , here are a couple of pics starting 4 weeks ago to yesterday.

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Ret Hot January Snook Bite

Florida Sportsman member: flyinhawaiian

The snook have been going crazy seems like they have been eating everything that swims past their face.

Everywhere I have been fishing has been loaded with snook and a lot of them are BIG fish. During the day the snook have been feeding on the Sebile Stick shad and Sebile Flat shad in the hollow mullet color. Also been getting alot of fish on the mirrolure little john in just about any color with a 1/4oz jig head when the fish arent that active. But once that sun sets they have been feeding in full force [...]

 

 

 


Inshore and Windy

Florida Sportsman member: GatorInPISound

I braved the wind yesterday afternoon not realizing just how much it would blow. I figured we might get a pretty good incoming but the N wind had another idea. Anyways, I took a bro from church along and we fished 2-3 spots on in the afternoon looking for trout or redfish and we ended up catching both along with a nice shark….we were using handpicked shrimp [...]

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Drift Boats in Florida

Where teamwork and paddle craft meet.

A Western river-style drift boat on a Florida bass lake? What’s wrong with this picture, or, what’s right? Two fly anglers and a stealthy, minimalist approach works.

Fly fishers see a picture of a drift boat and think Rocky Mountain river trout fishing. But lately there has been some talk among fly-fishing folk that the drift boat might be just right for Florida bass fishing, too.

It may have started with Capt. Craig Crumbliss. Crumbliss brought his Colorado drift boat to Florida to guide fly fishers for bass on Central Florida’s celebrated lunker waters. He’d put one fly angler in the front and one in the back. “I’d be in the middle and ready to tie flies, dispense advice and maneuver us into a good position,” he said. His boat—a Native Driftboat— so impressed one of his clients that the client pulled out his checkbook and bought it from the guide.

The drift boat brings some advantages to Florida. You don’t need a high-powered SUV to trailer a drift boat. A four-cylinder SUV has plenty of hustle for this off-road work.

The boat launches and trailers by hand, with ease.

You don’t need a boat ramp. You can launch anywhere you can get the trailer wheels to the water. This makes the drift boat especially suitable for small lakes that don’t get a lot of fishing pressure. Crumbliss was always on the lookout for lakes and ponds of less than 200 acres and portions of rivers that others overlook.

The drift boat can fish two fly anglers at a time with the guide or a third person in the middle on the oars. The drift boat is stable. An angler can even stand up.

Drift boats don’t draw much water, maybe 6 to 8 inches, and that lets the person on the oars maneuver it into some skinny and fishy areas that a bass boat will never see.

The price is right, too. There are quite a few drift boat manufacturers using a variety of techniques and materials. New boat prices start at about $6,000. Do some online research. Drift boat companies are mostly located in western states but they do ship to Florida. Look up Hyde, Clackacraft, Don Hill, Willie Boats, RO, Koffler, Greg Tatman, Wood Watercraft, Koffler, Adipose Boat Works, Pavati, Stream Tech, Montana Boat Builders and Montana River Boat Co. That last company also sells plans for build-it-yourself boats.

Captain Craig Crumbliss' three-seat drift boat sits ashore in the shallows.

Used boats are a heck of a deal with asking prices from $3,000 to $5,000, typically. The downside for the Florida angler is that most of the used boats are in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, California and Oregon. It is said that the drift boat got its start on Oregon’s Rogue River back in the 1930s. Author Zane Grey owned one.

Most drift boats are made of fiberglass. Some are aluminum. Some are wood. In fact, more than a few fly anglers have built their own drift boats to suit their own needs.

There are some disadvantages. Someone has to row. Wind will blow the drift boat around a bit. But sometimes the wind is your friend. If the wind blows in the right direction a drift boat moves slowly enough so that the fly anglers can work a productive shoreline quickly. The guide in the middle will pivot the boat this way or that so that both fly casters get off a few good shots.

Will we start seeing more drift boats in Florida? Crumbliss thinks so. Now that he’s paid his dues on Florida waters he has some ideas about what the ideal Florida drift boat would look like. It would have lower sides. It would look a little like a drift boat and a little like a skiff.

Little River Marine, a Gainesville company, is clearly on that wavelength with its 12-, 15- and 18-foot Heritage model guide boats. It differs from the Colorado-style drift boat in a few major ways. Gunwales are lower so the boats are more wind resistant. It has a long-length to short-beam ratio so the rowing speed is fast. But, it also has a squared-off stern so you could put a little outboard or electric trolling motor on the back if you want to shave off a little time getting to your honey holes.

So is this the start of a building-wave of drift boats made in Florida, for Florida? Who knows? Lets talk it up. Meanwhile, it’s good to know there are plenty of drift boats, new and used, for sale out west. FS

By Bill AuCoin

First Published Florida Sportsman Dec.2012

Conservation Organizations Team Up for Quail

Press Release – FWC


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at its meeting today near Tallahassee announced a partnership with three other conservation organizations to help the northern bobwhite (quail) and youth shooting programs in Florida and Georgia.
The four partners are the FWC, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources – Wildlife Resources Division (GADNR), Quail Forever and Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy.
All four organizations have signed a memorandum of agreement pledging that they will each provide mutually beneficial support to a project called the Florida/Georgia Quail Coalition, whose goal is to enhance, promote and conserve quality habitat for northern bobwhite and to promote and support youth shooting sports programs and education.
The term of the agreement is for three years, and the four organizations each will appoint one authorized representative to serve on the Coalition’s steering committee.
Quail Forever will provide one shared, full-time-position employee and one part-time-position staff member. The organization also is charged with providing funding to establish, manage and monitor quail populations and habitat on public and private lands in Florida and Georgia and to work with the Coalition to increase youth hunting opportunities on some of these lands once adequate bird populations and habitat have been restored. Also, Quail Forever is to provide funding from its local chapters to help pay the cost of youth shooting sports programs and scholastic shooting teams.
“Being a Georgia native and having been raised in a family that respects our upland hunting tradition, I am eager to see the positive effects that will be generated by this landmark partnership,” said Talbott Parten, Quail Forever’s regional representative for Georgia and Florida. “Knowing the commitment of the partners involved, it is my, and Quail Forever’s, firm belief that in the years to come, future generations of Georgia and Florida outdoorspeople will be able to look back at this partnership as a pivotal moment for the conservation of the bobwhite quail in the Southeast.”
The responsibility of Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy is to serve as the fiscal agent to receive and disburse money provided by local Quail Forever chapters to pay for approved Coalition quail habitat projects. The Coalition enhances efforts of the Upland Ecosystem Restoration Project (UERP), which is housed at Tall Timbers. For more information on UERP, visit http://TallTimbers.org/gb-UERP.html. Tall Timbers also agrees to house both Coalition employees by providing them office space and administrative support at its facility, north of Tallahassee.
“Coalition activities will energize restoration efforts by our agency partners in Florida and Georgia and hold great promise to recover quail populations and other grassland birds on public lands,” Tall Timbers President/CEO Bill Palmer said.
Both states’ wildlife and conservation agencies have similar duties and responsibilities as outlined in the agreement. The FWC and GADNR are charged with providing leadership for youth shooting sports and quail habitat projects, and for the planning, implementation, monitoring and auditing of such projects and events.
“Only through collaborative efforts like the Florida/Georgia Quail Coalition will we be able to reach our conservation goals of more substantial habitat restoration for bobwhite quail and all species that depend on early successional habitat,” said GADNR’s Wildlife Resources Division Director Dan Forster. “Conservation and hunting go hand in hand, so through supporting youth shooting sports programs and education we will complete the cycle that leads to success.”
“I feel really good about the partnership we have created here and the level of leadership,” said FWC Executive Director Nick Wiley. “I am confident that we have the ability and commitment to make some positive changes to help quail restoration in both our states.”
To increase and enhance quality quail habitat, money for projects will be spent on frequent small-scale prescribed burning, removing oak trees, roller-chopping dense palmettos and hardwood thickets and thinning rows of planted pine trees. The result of such management practices will create a forest and canopy that is more open, allowing sunlight to reach the forest floor, so that native grasses and weeds can grow, which provide quail food and cover from predators.
For more information, contact Talbott Parten with Quail Forever at tparten@quailforever.org.