October Fishing Report

September 2014. Explosive surf. Finger mullet pumelled by tarpon, snook and a variety of sharks. A smack down on the glass minnows! Jacks, ladyfish and 12 inch bluefish up and down Palm Beach, Juno Beach and Jupiter. Could any angler want more? Well the surprise is a hungry volume of pompano! More silver's than I've seen in years. A ton of fish between 8 and 10 !/2 inches and we all know the keeper size is 11 inches from the nose to the fork of the tail. The FWC heavily regulates this slot and the 6 bag limit daily. Don't play or you'll spend some money at the Palm Beach County Courthouse.
The variables in this successful equation leading to a greatly improved early migration are worth understanding. Last Oct. the northern surf migration was north of N. Carolina stuck in warm water. Pomps didn't even show up in Hatteras until Oct. 10th. At this time the macks and bluefish were around Jekyl Island, Georgia. This past August 20th all the pomps started south in search of warmer waters. Big shift in water temps. N.Carolina ocean temps were 81 degrees last Oct. first and this early Oct. its 65 Degrees! After fishing in Buxton, N. Carolina this year fora week and doing a surf seminar at Amelia Island [Fernandina Beach] Sept. 27th I have captured a real insight on the dynamics of The East Coast fisheries. Its obvious I'm nuts but this is where my passion lives!
Now for the local report. Variable number two. A vastly improved water quality! Being a political year in Florida provided some tightening of water discharges to re-elect incumbents. The payback is instant. Last year we suffered thru a 190 day discharge of Lake O , agricultural and cattle land run off. This season the lake is ready to explode to 16 ft. but the agencies have been instructed to allow this higher level UNLESS there is an impending Hurricane! I personally pray for another quiet ending to our tropical storm season. The scariest thing I want for Palm Beach County is just some happy child at my door saying "Trick Or Treat". No tricks please. Amen.
Update to yesterday October 5th. The roe mullet were at Carlin Park early this a.m. Keeper pompano in the 13 and 14 inch length were nailed at walkway markers 45 thru 50 just south of the Jupiter Reef Club. I posted 5 really nice pomps down at Celestial Way, Juno Beach. We call this "Pierless" these days because in the 60's and 70's there was a great fishing pier there. The Pier anglers caught a nice bunch of macks, blues and pomps. The beach guys used blanched fleas with fluro carbon leader pompano rigs while the pier guys used mostly Doc Goofy Jigs. If you get down to the shore and catch only short pompano make an effort to cast longer and your efforts will be rewarded. There are no special times to fish except for on this full moon the mid afternoon bite has been the best.
If you see me at the beach and would like some on the spot worthwhile tips, stop by and say hello. I will usually have a shirt with my certified website on the back. The site being www.pompanorich.com Some think that its a little corny but before my father died 2 years ago he suggested to use my talents and teach pompano tactics. At that point I guess I was knighted the name that I have and enjoy! Check out my Sat. morning surf reports at 7;10 a.m. on ESPN 106.3 FM. 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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