March Surf Report

Rough conditions and ground seas have kept the inshore fish offshore. When the conditions have backed off we are enjoying a reputable pompano bite. With the water temps never really reaching the optimum 69 to 71 degrees the larger migrations didn't reach our region. Noticeably it has been and off year and yet everywhere north of Orlando its super cold.

The fish that we are catching are the participants in our best action every year! Surf fisherman for years have always declared "The Spring Run" as the best pompano bite ! I know we will be lining our buckets with the silver lining we've been waiting for all year. Currently and oddly enough we're catching the big "yellows"! Pompano with yellow underbellies , like permit, with gold and mustard brown sides. Rarely do we nail these fish because they are permanent residents of our local river ecology. The resident yellow's rarely go out into the ocean unless something drastic happens.

So thanks to heavy dredging around the Kato and A1A trestle bridge these pomps were run out of there happy habitat. And by the way I don't mean "thanks" to dredging but no thanks. I know when river pompano co-exist with sheepshead around the bridge pilings and the long dead oyster mounds and a backhoe spends about a month clearing your feeding ground you gotta go. Pomps don't enjoy compressors and noisy engines in fact that's what makes them skip when you drive your boat by them in the ocean. So here we are happy to be catchin yellow river's and the sharks are having a snack down. Poor critter out of its realm and probably almost never saw a predator before is now on the run.

As usual I am bitter about dredging our inlet and dump trucking central Florida sand on Coral Cove Park. North winds dirty the shore lines as well as south winds. Fish don't breath well if at all with sand suspended in their gills. I know there are a lot of inshore fish offshore. Once the dust settles and the South Easter's take over in the next few weeks this water will clean up and the bite is on! There are plenty of pomps around Munyon Island and sitting on the reefs off Palm Beach that are the migratory types. There are big pomps up toward Flagler bridge that are often caught as by catch while fishing for sheepshead. The commercial river pompano commanders have passed away and no one knows how to fish the ICW except for a handful of smart anglers. I would highly suggest those that own and fish out of kayaks to bait and jig the Munyon Island area. You may very well be surprised! I know this activity may upset those that are fishing these regions but I feel as limited the completion is that others should entertain the opportunity. If I upset you anglers on this one I apologize in sharing the chance to catch some nice pomps.

We have several more Northeaster's this month but the Spring patterns will kick in. As soon as the the Southeaster's take over we will be rewarded with annual March/April pompano run. The fish spawned in February and will be lean and hungry for sand fleas, clams and shrimp. As I have often said the keys to catching are to utilize the proper terminal rigs. Gulfstream waters can be very clear and the use of fluorocarbon leaders will give optimal results. Smaller 2/0 circle hooks in a light wire material will match the size of the flea. The old fashioned Kahle hooks are just too big and unattractive to these visual feeder's. Even swivels should be discarded and the rig should be tied directly onto the line. My biggest concern for totally scaring the fish is the direct tie on of braid to the pompano rig. Braid is a great line but is ultra visual under water and will diminish the bite. I suggest tying at least 10 feet of 20 to 25 l.b. test pink mono. to the braid then tie on your pompano rig. If you follow a few simple directions you can fish better and catch many more species. I offer fluro rigs at Lott's for sale and it may be a good idea to buy one and duplicate my efforts for the best chance to catch some prized dinner.

For any questions regarding rigs just email my contact form at . My biggest core value in life is to help you anglers unravel the problems and catch fish as well as I do... Thank you and Tight Lines as always!

"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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