January Surf Report

An overview of this past December was only fair. The first two weeks of Dec. were rewarding with pompano, mackeral and bluefish in the surf. At that point water temps were declining and achieved a cool 74 degrees. Mid month, flat seas, west winds combined, pulled the stops on shoreline fishing. We finalize Dec. with a week of 15 to 20 knot freaking S.Southeast winds and now we're entertaining bonefish.

Lake Worth pier has yet to have any migratory action in the past 4 months. Under size mutton's and sheephead were the only catches this past week at the L. W. Pier. Before we get complacent reading this lackluster script, major improvements are in route!

January 4 there will be a mild Northeaster followed by a major North blow on Jan. 8 th. Rip currents will turn south bound and by this weekend fishing will dramatically improve. Our ocean will colorize with the help of the Jupiter Inlet beach re-nourishment project. This project will be completed January 6th. This morning 6 tractors were pushing taxpayer sand towards the ocean in the midst of 20 knots of gusting South wind! This particular parcel of beach has received five beach extensions in 10 years at the tune of 1.8 million dollars a pop! Palm Beach County beaches have received approximately 110 million bucks of low quality fine grit blow away sand in the past years. Totally destroys the sand flea populations, makes our troughs shallow, and covers our coastal reefs. The Florida constitution protects our coastline berms to save coastal residents from having their condos and homes from crashing into the surf! My opinion doesn't count but I say let them individually pay for their own beaches! The excuse of maintaining a beach to accommodate sea turtles during nesting seasons is only a media thing. Sorry if I rock the boat but I wish I was in the "Sand Cartel" business!

What about the colorization of our ocean? The benefit of losing dusty sand on northern blows is the cloudy water that traverses south and provides an environment for the pomps to escape numerous spinner sharks. This is why Jupiter Island holds lots of shoreline fish all winter. Is this milky water! Jupiter Island residents have purchased beach sand as needed for many years. Factually up to 2008 the bill is around 100 million! The waves are always bigger on the island and dust creates the chalky water these fish seek to hide in.

Tactics? About time I stopped chanting to the choir and orchestrate the fishing report! I'm not going to bore you all with the successful northern regions and their catches. 95 % percent of all reports are the silver nuggets are eating bait. Goofy jigs haven't accounted for virtually any catches, but I would stock some if the Juno Pier starts catching. Blanched sandfleas are number one! Clams are currently a very distant second. Fresh shrimp is a wonderful fool proof bait. Colder water will start producing good whiting bites. By the way a big whiting is an excellent fish to eat. Sweet flesh, no bones, easy to scale and fillet, terrific in a deep fry batter! The artificial "Fish Bite" strips are very worthy of keeping in stock. I like the pink color clam and shrimp flavors and secondly the orange color in the same scents. Full moon phases constitute and early a.m. bite followed by a late afternoon chomp!

Happy New Year! Tight Lines, Pompano Rich Vidulich

"The Rise of Kingfish"
By George Lott

In late summer when the bait is just starting to go north, we have a kingfish run here in south Florida. My father told me that in the past years this run hasn't been as good as it was 15 to 25 years ago do to the netting that went on in the 80's and early 90's. Since then netting has been banned in Florida and the kingfish population is on the rise.

This year and last year I haven't noticed many big kingfish in the 50lb range, but what I have noticed is that there are tons of king mackerel in the 5 to 20lb.range. Although I have heard about the occasional "Smoker" this past August I heard of probably a thousand or more "snakes" caught. Almost anyone that I talked to that went fishing out in the ocean this pat summer, was catching kingfish on anything from jigs, live and dead bait, and event trolled lures. This summer I caught about a half dozen on trolled ballyhoo and live bait like greenies, goggle-eyes, sardines, and menhaden
The kingfish tend to congregate around drop offs and wrecks in any where from about 20 to 125ft. of water. They tend to live in schools, although the 40 to 55lb. smokers have been said to swim in pairs. They feed on anything from squid to large baitfish such as goggle-eyes and blue runners.

There is an arsenal of angling methods used to catch these fish. The way I like to use most is live chumming, because it is more hands on and sometimes is known to catch more fish. Another method that I have used while fishing with my dad is slow trolling a big bait like a blue runner out of and outrigger. This sometimes results in a bigger fish. This is how I caught my biggest fish. You can also fish off of a pier. Nice sized kingfish are known to come right in by the pier and feed on the baits that are at the pier for safety.

You can use lots of different kinds of tackle when fishing for kingfish. You can use light tackle in the 12 to 20lb. range. I prefer to use a 20 to 30lb. rod Lott Bros custom rod with a shimano TLD 15, spooled with 475 yds of 20lb. test line. I also use a G-Loomis 15 to 25lb. rod with the same reel. Kingfish can also be caught on standup gear. I suggest using anything in the 15 to 40lb. range, just in case you hook into a "Smoker."

This is one of the most fun fish to fish for in my area during the summer. I would recommend this to anyone young or old. HAPPY FISHING. <*)))><

Summertime Speedsters
By Mike Beebe

As the heat of September continues to cook, so does the South Florida Wahoo season. Although Wahoo are caught year-round, the most numbers and the largest fish are targeted from June through September. Wahoo are a member of the pelagic family of fish. They are super fast swinmmers, strong fighters, and great to eat no matter how you cook them. With the exception of some billfish, Wahoo are one of the only fish to have a single species tournament, such as The Bahamas Wahoo Championship.

Key factors such as bait supply along our coast (i.e large schools of bonito and flying fish), and water temperatures in the 80+ degree mark attract fish. Another key factor is a good north current, which is usually present in the summer, along with a full moon.

As the dolphin bite slows down, offshore fisherman look for an alternate plan. Surface rigs give way to sub surface fishing with downriggers, planers, and the ever-popular wire-line. Techniques change, such as trolling speed, depth, and time, which all vary from angler to angler. Highspeed artificial lures do well when trolled at 10 knots or above, and large well-rigged natural baits such as split-tail mullet, bonito strips, or horse ballyhoo trolled between 5 and 9 knots seem to be the most productive. Wahoo will hit a variety of bait at various speeds, but the most important factor is well-presented or good swimming bait. If it doesn't look good to you, Wahoo probably won't like it either.

A Wahoo's mouth is a cutting machine. The hinge of the mouth passes its serrated teeth and depending on the size, the scissor like action can sever a full size bonito in half in one quick bit. Wire leader is a must for Wahoo fishing, with number 9 being the preferred size, or 175 lb cable when using lures.

Since Wahoo are known for long, lightning fast runs, line capacity and smooth drags are most important when choosing your tackle. 4/0 sized reels with 40lb monofilament will handle most situations just fine, however most serious Wahoo fisherman choose 6/0 or 50lb class outfits for either surface or subsurface baits.

Wahoo are pack feeders, and on any day, with good conditions, more than one bite can occur in single area. A GPS waypoint or certain depth and landmarks allow one to work a productive area. Telltale signs of fish such as active baitfish (i.e. bonito or flying fish) and good clean water make for a good place to start.

A good amout of Wahoo seem and caught have cut a hooked bonito in half and then returned for the other piece. Most of the fish that do this are over 50 lbs. Last summer, I I weighed a Wahoo for another angler with a similar story tipping the scale at 72 lbs.

Working at Lott Brothers tackle shop in North Palm Beach, I can definitely tell you the Wahoo holds the most burnt drag, burned thumb, lure crushing, line breaking, reel spooling, one that got away stories than any other fish.




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