January Surf Report

I surely did not enjoy the El Nino December. Shoreline fishing was terribly slow. Offshore fishing was more like Autumn fishing in South Florida. The reefs have supplied a wonderful vermilion , yellow tail and mutton snapper bite. Good catches of dolphin and plenty of bonito's in December! The local TV weather people were expressing the joy of Florida becoming this wonderful lets go to the beach everyday weather!
Well folks thats over.. I'm ecstatic this morning. 59 degrees!! Nothing but North winds and dropping surf temps. Remember the small blues that weaved the October mullet migration. Well they have been replaced with the vintage 3 to 5 pounders. Never have I been so happy to see bluefish again. They were sooo hungry they were snagging sand fleas off of my pompano rigs! Bluefish can sure fill a void when I'm on a pompano charter thats a bit slow. Throw a top water, maybe a Zara Spook, and watch that Heddon lure leave the ocean with a northern blue head shaking as if he was a tarpon! For great bluefish action start early. Arrive at the beach on the first dim light. That first hour the blues, the jacks and the lady fish own the ocean. The four best beaches to fish for them are: Hobe Sound Public Beach, the Jupiter Inlet jetty and beach, the Juno Beach Pier and what we call The Pier Less Beach. Pier Less Beach is on Celestial Way due east of the Juno Beach Police Dept. Back in the day the original Juno Beach Pier was blown down by a hurricane. So our local anglers and surfers call it Pier Less!

January 16th, 2016 and we're experiencing a pre-frontal trough with heavy southwest winds [30 mph plus!] Nothing like a dipping pressure prior to a northern blast to spike the bite! Early on the bluefish are chewing at Hobe Sound and the spinner sharks are busting up the shoreline at Blow Rocks Preserve! The serene autumn like winter has not only got colder but the sharks are here. Historically if the sharks are here than so are the pompano, and they were! By 11 a.m. both Hobe Sound Beaches and The Blowing Rocks parking lot were filled up and everyone put the silver nuggets in their buckets. After 4 months of no migratories the head ache of getting skunked with nothing but bone fish was over. Thank God or Neptune! Your choice... I caught my share including 2 pomps in the four pound range. There were many really healthy fat fish caught. The principle bait was blanched sand fleas. For some reason this batch didn't turn on to clams.
The bigger question is when will pompano start the invasion on our beaches? Its January 19 th and we experiencing a week of hard, cold North Easter's. This will be the pay it forward push our region needs! With ground seas up its next to impossible to hold bottom even with spider sinkers. This coming weekend should be very good depending on the water quality this front leaves us with. The fronts are stacking up and besides the pompano's the spanish mackeral are on the move. We are on the brink of the start of "JANUARY MADNESS". Grab this choice time and fish it hard! You will reap the harvest. I know I intend to!

Hey by the way, I apologize for not knowing which hurricane knocked over the original Juno Pier. I am sure if anyone knows, it will be John Lott! Nows the time to inspect, fix and upgrade your surf gear at Lott Bro's. Don't have misfires at the beach..
Tight Lines, Pompano Rich

"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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