March Surf Report

Late February the pompano smacked everything for two days! The biggest stream of silver nuggets lined the beaches from Juno Beach through The Jupiter Reef Club. All that participated were rewarded with bag limits of pompano [six per day, 11 inches from the nose to the fork of the tail]. One and a half to three pounder's. Anglers on the Juno Beach Beach Pier crafted good numbers on 3/8 ounce pompano jigs. The spot on colors were pink/white, pink, yellow/white and orange! The rewarded surf fisherman hooked fish on every color rig known and Fish Bites worked well with a shrimp and or blanched sand flea tipped on the hook.
March waters are clearing nicely after a battering of N.East ground seas. The water quality is turbid but rapidly cleaning with the predominant South East winds this week [3/11/15]. I'm looking and expect an intense bite in the next few days. The full moon phase is out of the way and the migratory's will tour their way towards the sand bars and local troughs. The most exciting addition to the catching equation has been the appearance of nice size sand fleas on our beaches! With ground sea erosion the natural beaches are exposed and the mole crabs come off the sand bars and feed on the back wash. Once the sand is good the bait stays and thrives. To hold bait in the area is imperative to feeding the arriving schools of pompano. Instead of a one day bite they will feast for a few days and we can hold fish. Man oh man this is really an asset for beach and pier anglers.
Lets look at the options for March. Pompano, lady fish, blue fish and spanish mackeral are here and with future improved conditions, all will chewing! Many anglers wait all year for the upcoming "Spring Run" . Well heck, we sprung forward in time and now is the time for this team of fish to cooperate. Important angling ideas to consider. One if you use braid don't tie it directly to a pompano bait rig. These fish are highly visual and when so many anglers are fishing they will seek the least visibility when it comes to connective lines. I suggest tying a 5 foot section of 20 to 30 lb. test fluorocarbon leader to the rig and then tying a uni-knot and or surgeons knot to make a least visible transition. If your jigging on the pier, lengthen those light fluorocarbon leaders [preferably 20 l.b. test] to 36 to 48 inches to best increase your catch ratio. Especially if your tying to braid. Fluorocarbon leaders will double your catch on most species.
Light diffusion in variable ocean colors, whether clear or hazy will dictate which colored floats and or pompano jigs to use. In blue water conditions the white and white/pink colored floats will out perform the yellow or chartreuse. In hazy aqua light diffused water the chartreuse and yellow/green floats will work very good. Clearer water derives bare hooks, pink blanched sand fleas and a "Fish bite" scent strip. Experiment with shrimp, clam and sand flea flavors. Pompano will pick up on the scent and the color of the scented strip. Dirtier tea brown sea water will catch fish with the most evident color which is orange! Floats in orange [ foam floats, not beads] and strips in orange white are important to complete your tackle box. With the pompano jigs the same rules work as the foam teasers.
Blanched fleas work as well as live fleas if not better! I commercial fish 98 % of the time with blanched sand fleas. If the water is turbid I will change over to frozen clams. To totally complete the experiment an angler could fish one rod with blanched fleas and the other with clams and or shrimp. Squid is usually the worst bait you could use for whiting and pompano. Don't be afraid to stock up.. It makes all the difference in the world!
Tight Lines
Keep on Casting and Cranking
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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