November Surf Report

Thunderous N.E. swells put surf anglers into a wait and see posture. Acknowledging a huge change in the local fishery for October produced the desire and need to continue. We should be thankful for the best natural weather cycle that we've not enjoyed since the 1990's! Dry weather and the blessing of a non existent hurricane season allowed the govt. to not open the Hoover Locks and destroy our water quality. Year after year the discharges load the St. Lucie Estuary to the brim with Lake "O' toxic waters. These huge Northern fronts would vacuum the Stuart and Jupiter Inlets and make our shorelines turbid and unfisheable. Our ocean went back to historic conditions and a much cooler Autumn returned and the fishing exploded!
The last weekend of October and the Juno Beach Pier fisherman were shoulder to shoulder catching pompano . Over 500 anglers were on the pier last Sunday and everyone went home with keeper pompano. Not many bothered with targetting the schools of bluefish and spanish mackeral that were also piled up under the pier. The pier hasn't enjoyed this phenomenal turmoil of all the species in too long a time. There was no lapse in action, they simply chewed all freaking day! Most anglers caught the silvers on Doc Goofy jigs and small pompano feathers with a bit of shrimp tipped on the hook. The biggest 2 pound plus fish were taken on pompano rigs with large blanched sand fleas.
Its Nov. 6 th and after 5 days of 4 to 8 ft. swells the seas have diminished to 2 to 3 ft. The ocean already is blueing up and I just got the call that I live for. My friend Meir is on the pier and has just landed three pompano all in the 3 l.b. range. He's hoping to get me out of work mode and race to the beach but I can't. Normally I would scream out the door with my tackle and scorch to the beach. Casting seminars, rod demos, charters have been lined up for a month and must stay true to the ethics of making a living. Sorry, I needed to share my despair. So Rich what the hell are they chewing on at the pier today? Sand Fleas, just big blanched sand fleas! Several of anglers are using my flurocarbon pomp rigs with the big white floats. Best bite is on the white with the the next prosperous color being a pink/white float pill. When the water is this blue the most successful colors to use are these colors. When the ocean is heavily diffused with Aqua hazy dusty conditions then put on the chartreuse.
The surf will be fisheable this weekend. Early morning bites will be a frenzy of mackeral and bluefish. Gotcha's, spoons, top water plugs will easily fill coolers! Areas of Juno thru Carlen Park that don't exhibit an early a.m. exhibition of top water craziness will be prime for pompano. After a week of super rough conditions and this full moon its a can't miss proposition. Get your piece of the beach early and come armed for everything. Whiting and croakers are arriving in size and numbers. A retail whiting rig tipped with dead live shrimp will entice these delicious fish and some surf break pomps.
Get the surf gear out NOW! Get into Lott's , fix the guides, re-spool the reels, how about treating yourself to an early Christmas present? Perhaps a 10 to 13 ft. spinning and or casting rods! Custom built and ready to go. Unlike a retail factory built these rods will last forever and are balance to cast further and maximize your efforts to catch fish. Penn's, Shimano's and Abu's are ready to tag up with a great rod! Don't forget sand flea rakes, sand spikes and spider sinkers for rough conditions. Be PROPERLY PREPARED this year! Don't wait....
Tight Lines, Pompano Rich Vidulich

"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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