Offshore Fishing Features


Mike Harris, far left, hoists a 46-pound kingfish caught this week by anglers aboard the Miami charterboat Free Spool Too.

Big Kings Showing off Miami

Quick update on the light tackle kingfish bite off Miami, from Capt. Dennis Forgione of the Free Spool Too. Forgione is interviewed in the January 2014 issue of Florida Sportsman, in the how-to article “Returning to the Light.”

Slick calm days are fewer than in summer, but the average fish is bigger. This one's 130 pounds, taken by the Three Buoys crew off Palm Beach County.

Warming Up to Winter Swordfish

Many of the largest swordfish of the year are caught as they migrate through our waters in winter. Each year as the weather turns cold, Florida east coast anglers begin targeting sailfish as they migrate south with each passing cold front. When chasing sailfish, the best fishing usually occurs on the leading edge of the cold front when the wind is blowing the hardest and the seas are rough.

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Sailfish Alley North

High-leaping Atlantic sails gather at the northern end of Sailfish Alley in early winter. Ft. Pierce, at the north end of Sailfish Alley, heats up when temperatures drop. A walk down Fort Pierce docks reads like a Who’s Who list of sailfish chasers.

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Fishing in Islamorada

That slim stretch of land halfway down the Keys is a stroke of geological genius for anglers. Only three miles to Islamorada’s south stands the reef, home of snapper and grouper. From there, the sea floor quickly drops off to the continental shelf.

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Florida Sailfish Fishing Basics

Get ready…Get set…Go for Florida’s state saltwater fish! It’s finally here: November, start of sailfish season in South Florida. You wake up one morning and there’s a cool wind out of the north. Out on the reef, packs of spindlebeaks are heading south, black etchings in vivid sapphire seas.

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Forget the Turkey, Serve Wahoo in the Bahamas this Thanksgiving

What’s better than turkey, football and relatives you haven’t seen all year? Easy answer: wahoo, high-speed trolling and a boat only big enough for six of your best friends or family.

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Florida Shark Fishing

A battle worthy for any angler, sharks are worthy of protection. Though some anglers talk contemptuously about sharks, they sure can be tough to catch. A mix of muscle and sharp-edged teeth, coupled with a demeanor similar to a pitbull.

Father  Son, John & Patrick Murphy from Tucson Arizona. The Wahoo & dolphin were caught as a double hookup 14 miles off of Grassy key (Marathon). John And Patrick caught 27 dolphin up to 16 lbs ,most were released but a few did join them for dinner. If photo is good enough to publish I'll send them a gift subscription. Father and son team, John and Patrick Murphy, landed this wahoo and dolphin 14 miles off of Grassy Key (Marathon) near an offshore current edge.

Finding Offshore Currents and Eddies

Easy ways to find currents and eddies offshore. Tracking weather fronts has long been a big part of offshore fishing. Pretty easy, too. Just turn on the TV or check the Internet. No excuse for getting caught in a norther on your way to the marlin grounds.

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The Permit Zone

The sport. The new regs. The future of the fishery. Only minutes after I met Capt. Greg Poland for the first time in Key West last fall, he told me the story of some angling friends in Miami, who it turned out I knew as well, who had—ten years back—invited him to dinner. And, he said, they served permit.

Cindy O'Connell and Dan McCarthy with their first sailfish, caught aboard Dos Amigos IV out of St. Augustine with Capt. Rick Ryals.

Fishing for Warriors Contest

Florida Sportsman, Yamaha Marine, Costa Del Mar, and the Guy Harvey Foundation together announced the “Yamaha Fishing for Warriors” contest on June 13, 2013, an ongoing Florida-based initiative that welcomes home returning U.S. warriors by hosting them on recreational fishing trips on Florida waters.

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A Flash of Inspiration

Check Out This Florida Drift-Fisherman’s Daisy Chain. Every now and then, something comes around that makes you ask yourself, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Vertical flashers make so much sense, I’m ashamed I didn’t arrive at the idea on my own. Years from now, we may look back at this system in the same way see outriggers and fishing kites.

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Florida Sportsman “Outta Control” Fishing Trips

Well, thats a wrap for the FS Outta Control Trips, both yielding a lot of fun with some top notch fishing. These two trips, sponsored by Florida Sportsman, served as a great way to get out and meet other forum members.

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Destin Billfish Slam

Fish the northern Gulf this summer for blue marlin, white marlin and sailfish. It’s different than what you might find in South Florida or The Bahamas. Way different from global hotspots like Kona or Panama. We have a mix of billfish species, sure—blue marlin, white marlin, sailfish. But we have longer runs to contend with, and a harder time finding actual blue water.

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Mangrove Snapper Topside

An often fast-paced and highly visual pursuit, snaring mangroves within a rod length of the transom defines “cool,” but it’s also practically advantageous. Normally, when a guy tells me my fishing day will involve glass minnows and pompano jigs, I assume we’re talking flats and beaches.

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Rigging a Florida Swordfish Boat

What makes the ideal platform for “driftin’ the fifty?” Let’s have a look. To chase swords on a regular basis, you need a vessel capable of hauling sufficient tackle, and more importantly, safely hauling anglers there and back.

Gearing up for a generational rivalry at left is Counter Culture, run by Matthew Neber. At right is Contender One, run by Matthew’s father, Joe Neber. On the second day of competition, the guys split the daily prizes, with Contender One taking the morning bite, and Counter Culture taking the afternoon. Matthew’s crew also released a blue marlin.

2013 Yamaha Contender Miami Billfish Tournament

Florida Sportsman executive editor Jeff Weakley joined up with the crews down at the 2013 Yamaha Contender Miami Billfish Tournament to capture some of the action. Check out the photos and captions below for a rundown of the event.