April Fishing Report

April left with a sweet bite. May is still roaring with the momentum of April. Pompano are gratuitously still here! The fish are in the 12 to 14 inch size but plentiful. If you didn't get out in April you have one last shot and that is NOW!
As we approach this next full moon the all day bite will slow down. So why such a downer in such an upbeat start to this report... Well its very historically true that most fish will feed at the midnight moon and eat less the next day. Pompano legends categorically say "The best bite is 3 days before the full and 3 to 5 days after the full. I find that 5 days after the full on the wane is the best. The best approach to conquer this challenge is to get up early and start fishing 30 minutes before daybreak. Regardless of tide and wind there is usually a one hour solid bite wherever you go. The second bite will be an hour before sunset regardless again of tide and wind. The Spring Run is the easiest time of the entire year to catch pomps.
The early cast, even in the dimmest light imagineable is only 50 to 100 feet off the shorebreak. Personally I prefer blanched fleas in lieu of the fact that in these conditions smell is the turn on. Wanna really knock them quick and leave with your bag limits. Buy some blanched sand fleas and some clams. Defrost them the night before and put them on ice. The clams should be taken out of the bag, cleaned, and stripped to about one inch long and a half inch wide. Put the strips in a zip lock with a couple of tablespoons of salt. Close the bag and swish the salt around the clam strips and throw into the freezer. Many anglers have been brining for years and know the positives. Naturally the slimy bait toughens and stays on the hook when you cast. It doesn't reduce the odor and therefore performs cleanly and is ready for the early bite. No clam smell in the early a.m. on your equipment and your clothes. Early preparation the night before is the key to an early successful bite. Besides pompano, the big whiting will bite very early, well before the sun is up!
There is an approach on catching these silver nuggets in the early evening. As daylight conditions become evening darkness and the bite just started at sundown you can fish on and catch them in the dark. They are tremendous visual feeders so that won't be the issue. The only problem to overcome is your night vision. This means head lamps. Be careful we are in turtle season and the lights have to be off at night. There are little cyalume light attachments you can put on the underside of your rods that will zip up and down when you get a strike. I've been doing this for years and its just super fun in the cooler part of the day... I'm done with my personal advice so now I suggest you follow my advice and enjoy a splendid pompano dinner soon! Tight Lines!

"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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