Call us anytime: 844-243-5707

Pompano Fishing in Florida

Written by Capt. Noah on Wednesday, 29 May 2013. Posted in Fish Info

Marine fish of the Caringidae family, Pompano belong to the Trachinotus genus and there are twenty species falling into this category, including the permit. A prized game fish, Pompano are also an immensely popular delicacy. During the springtime, hordes of anglers congregate along the Gulf coast and anticipate the arrival of these fantastic fish. Found in the western Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida Pompano has navy ships and cities named after it.

Pompano have deep bodies and are typically silver in color. These fish have a forked tail which is extremely narrow at the base. The Florida Pompano generally weighs about 3.30lbs and measures around 18in in length. The permit is the biggest of the Pompano family and measures about 35in and exceeds 32lbs in weight.

In Florida, Pompano are highly sought-after and they are exceptionally hard fighters. These delicious game fish are immensely exciting to catch and anglers waste no time targeting them for dinner. Here are some tips to help you catch Pompano in Florida:

Tackle for Pompano

The goal is to be able to cast as far as you can when necessary. To propel baits vast distances, an 8ft graphite rod is best. A 10lb spinning reel must have a smooth drag for the first run. Pompano run hard and fast, so ensure your gear is of superior quality or they will break down the drag. A light 12lb outfit will do a great job. Use either monofilament or braid line and a fluorocarbon leader that is lighter than 15lbs. Keep your hooks small, ideally of 1/0 size.

Bait for Pompano

The best bait to use is a live Sand Flea (otherwise called a Mole Crab). Although these can be bought at most bait and tackle shops in Florida, it is always best to catch your own fresh, live baits. You can dredge them up in the surf with a sand flea rake. As the waves recede, you can see them burrowing into the sand. Avoid putting them in a bucket with sand because their urine will kill them. Rather use an oyster bag with ice and newspapers. Keep them cool and out of the sun. Otherwise, small live shrimp work well, as do fiddler crabs and specialized lures.

Techniques for Pompano

Pompano have an unusual behavior that makes catching them particularly fun. We usually use a teaser such as chum to attract them once located. These are some techniques that you can use to catch these feisty fish:

  • Finding Pompano is the hardest part of catching them. Pompano are unique because they display unusual behavior called “skipping”. They literally skip across the surface of the water when disturbed, and you can use this to your advantage. Run your boat randomly along the shore and when you see a school skipping along the waves, you have found them. Stop, drop your anchor and throw some chum to get them close to your boat. When they begin their feeding frenzy, you can drop your hooked baits in.
  • A small yellow jig with a hooked sand flea or shrimp will also catch Pompano. Jump the jig in short hops to mimic the natural movements of your bait. A sand flea will jump before burying itself in the sand and they have a bright orange egg sack. You can add a small bright orange bead to your leader to emulate this too. Pompano rely on their eyesight for locating prey, so take full advantage of this fact by adding split shot to your leader. The more commotion you cause on the bottom, the more fish you will attract.
  • Often prey can be found just offshore of the last beach trough. This is where you will find plenty of Pompano. By anchoring there and casting into the trough, you will catch many of these feisty fish.
  • Tide and current move shrimp, small crabs and crustaceans into troughs, inlets formed by granite boulders, jetties and other low-lying holes. This is important to remember because these are feeding zones and attract hungry Pompano in large numbers. Cast your lines into these places, because at some stage during the high tide these fish will be feeding there.
  • When the surface water temperature reaches 68 degrees, Pompano season has arrived. In fact, this temperature makes a myriad of fish active.
  • If you really want to have success with catching Pompano, get there early and leave late. The full moon days in April and May are considered prime times and try to plan your trips around them where possible.

Call today to book your Pompano Fishing Charter in Florida and exhilarate in these delightful fish.


Mahi-Mahi Fishing in Florida

Written by Capt. Noah on Wednesday, 29 May 2013. Posted in Fish Info

Mahi Mahi Fishing

Found offshore in temperate, subtropical and tropical waters world-wide, mahi-mahi is one of two members of the Caryphaenidae family; the other being the pompano. Otherwise known as Dorado, these ray-finned fish live near the water’s surface. In Florida, anglers catch many of these beautiful and spectacular fish. They inhabit the waters of the Caribbean Sea, the west coast of North and South America, the Pacific coast of the Gulf of Mexico and Costa Rica, the Atlantic coast of Florida, Hawaii, Southeast Asia and the entire equatorial region.

These magnificent fish are also referred to as “dolphins”. This causes people to confuse them with the widely-known marine animals of the same name. They are not related in any way; their species is the Dorado dolphinfish, while the pompano dolphinfish also falls into this category and they bear no similarities. The word mahi-mahi means very strong in Hawaiian, which is exactly what they are.

Mahi-mahi has very long dorsal fins that extend the length of their compressed bodies. Their caudal fins and anal fins are sharply concave and they are easily identified by their bright colors; which consist of stunning bright greens and blues on their back and sides, as well as gold on their sides. They have blunt-shaped heads and males have noticeably prominent foreheads that sit high and protrude well above the body. The head of the female is rounded and they are smaller than males. These fish experience fast growth and short life spans, averaging about five years of age. Generally they are caught between 15lbs and 30lbs in weight, but can weigh as much as 90lbs.

These fantastic fish are known to change color when out of the water. They will go through several hues before fading to a faint yellow-grey at death. Mahi-mahi feed on crabs, squid, mackerel and various forage fish; but their main diet consists of flying fish. They spawn throughout the year and their young inhabit seaweed. These fish find protection near reef edges in about 120ft of water; hiding among Sargassum weeds, floating wood such as palm trees and fronds, fish buoys and other floating debris - and this is where anglers will find them. Known to reach speeds nearing fifty knots, they are amazingly fast swimmers.

It is known that frigate birds act as sentinels for anglers targeting mahi-mahi. This is because these fish do not venture far from the Sargasso weed lines. Sargassum is floating seaweed that houses complete ecosystems from tiny organisms to medium-sized bait fish. Birds dive for food living in the Sargasso, alerting anglers as to their location. Experienced fishing guides can even tell which species are active there by watching the behavior of these birds.

In the sport fishing world, mahi-mahi are incredibly sought-after. Not only are they immensely delicious, they are phenomenally beautiful and will leap and jump in an incredible acrobatic display. Preferring the company of others, they are found swimming in schools. It is fairly common to have three or four mahi-mahi on your lines at one time, majestically leaping about. They can grow very large and have healthy, abundant populations. Here is some information to help you catch mahi-mahi in Florida:

Tackle for Mahi-Mahi

A conventional medium-weight setup is more than adequate. Keep your tackle light in order to feel the incredible fight these fish offer. A quality saltwater bait-casting rod and reel will work perfectly. 30lb test line with circle hooks is recommended.

Bait for Mahi-Mahi

Live ballyhoo is the most popular bait for these fish. They can be caught on squid, shrimps or any traditional bait fish such as sardines or mackerel. Cut bait works well, as do lures and flies.

Techniques for Mahi-Mahi

We mainly troll for mahi-mahi using live bait. Teasing them is highly recommended and there are a number of ways to do this; from dredges, kites, chum, hookless lures and a net full of live sardines. Bait-and-switch methods are popular too. The goal is to get these hungry fish excited and into a feeding frenzy. Here are some tips on how to catch mahi-mahi in Florida:

  • If you are fly fishing, then making use of teasers is essential. Bait-and-switch techniques are ideal. Find the birds mentioned above to locate big fish and toss live chum into the water. You can also use a hookless lure for the same effect. When the fish are feeding, you can cast a fly into the frenzy.
  • You can troll lures with rubber skirts or plugs such Rapalas. In fact, a wide variety of lures will work in an area concentrated with many mahi-mahis. Poppers are a great deal of fun to use as well. Remember, if you take the time to use teasers and work them into a hungry ball of fish; they will eat whatever you cast to them. Be aware when using heavier lures and avoid them if you can. These fish jump wildly when hooked and you may find heavy lures flying back at you with incredible speed.
  • Troll live baits using a kite. This is a great teaser because the kite keeps the bait near the surface of the water. This makes it appear as if the fish is panicking which is simply irresistible to a mahi-mahi.
  • You can troll cut or live bait behind the boat. If you use a good chum then these fish will eat practically anything, whether it is alive or dead.

Call now to book your Mahi-Mahi Fishing Charter in Florida and delight in the spectacular display of beauty.

Golden Tilefish Fishing in Florida

Written by Capt. Noah on Wednesday, 29 May 2013. Posted in Fish Info

From the family Malacanthidae comes the bottom-dwelling, deep water fish known as the Golden Tilefish. The entire eastern coastline of the United States, including the Gulf of Mexico and south to Venezuela, is home to these truly phenomenal fish.  We find that our fishing charters in Miami tend to be the most succesful at catching these fish, but we certainly see them elsewhere throughout the State. They can be found occupying the soft, sandy, muddy sections of the ocean floor. Anglers travel to Florida for the opportunity to catch some Golden Tilefish. They are incredibly beautiful and unique fish that grow into real monsters of the deep. Their size, color and taste make them very popular among recreational anglers and reeling them in from the depths of the ocean is an enormous challenge indeed.

Golden Tilefish have a noticeable large crest (or adipose flap) on the head that makes them easy to distinguish from other tilefish species. They are an iridescent blue-green on their back with multiple spots of gold and bright yellow. The head is a rosy color while the belly is white and blue features prominently under the eyes. The margin of the anal fin is purple tinged with blue and the pectoral fins are a gorgeous sepia color. These fish grow slowly and live for around forty-five years, reaching lengths of 43in.

Golden Tilefish are very attached to their cone-shaped burrows that range in depth from three to seven feet. They are found in waters between 250ft and 1 500ft deep. They literally bury their heads into their mud homes and only come out to feed. Their common diet consists of other animals living on the ocean floor; crustaceans, snails, clams, worms, sea anemones, sea cucumbers, shrimps, smaller finfish and even small tilefish. They stay within ten feet of the bottom and only feed during daylight hours, usually between 10am and 3pm.

Males are larger than females and these fish prefer to swim in schools. Reproductive maturity occurs when they weigh about 9lbs and measure around 27in in length. From March to September, Golden Tilefish will spawn. Females lay anywhere between two million and eight million eggs, which are left to freely roam the ocean currents. As Golden Tilefish grow, they move into deeper burrows. Schools can be found at various depths depending on their size. The big adults inhabit waters that are 500ft or deeper.

Basically, wherever you find soft mud bottoms in waters from 500ft to 1 500ft, you are going to find Golden Tilefish. The great aspect about these fish is that they do not migrate, move with the currents or disappear with the seasons. They live in the deep canyons and are unaffected by anything occurring near the surface. This means that they are always offshore near the continental shelf. These fish are so delicious and exhilarating to catch that they are becoming an increasingly popular fish to target in Florida. Here is some information to help you catch a Golden Tilefish:

Tackle for Golden Tilefish

Numerous 4/0 to 8/0 circle hooks are necessary. Small plastic glows need to be rigged at or very near the hook to help attract these fish. You will require multiple weights ranging from 3lbs to 5lbs depending on your drift speed. Many lead sinkers or pre-made concrete blocks (molded from coffee cans with eyehooks embedded in the tops of them). Miles of 80lb test braid line or modern super-line (do not use monofilament as it stretches too much and you will not be able to feel if a fish bites, or find the correct soil composition). 30lb or larger high ratio offshore reels of exceptional quality are a pre-requisite. Rods must also be quality and be able to handle at least 30lbs, preferably more. If you are not a pro, the standard is to set everything for 80lbs. If you are jigging, use 12oz to 24oz Butterfly or Williamsons jigs. Remember they must be painted with a glow finish.

Bait for Golden Tilefish

Live bait is the preferred bait to use, although fresh cut bait also works well. Whole squid, sea clams or fish chunks are the most popular. Remember to soak sea clams and squid in salt overnight if they are not alive. This makes them tougher and more durable when the fish nibbles on it. Your bait sinks deep and it can be a real mission to reel them in constantly because it has been eaten off the hook.

Techniques for Golden Tilefish

Catching these awesome creatures means getting your baits into extremely deep waters and keeping them there. This is called deep-dropping and can be tricky if there is a great deal of wind or the current is very strong – among other conditional factors. You also need to be able to feel the surface of the ocean floor to find the ideal mud conditions for these fish. Here are some tips you can use to catch some Golden Tilefish in Florida:

  • It is not difficult to locate Golden Tilefish. Travel to the continental shelf or any deep canyon ledge. Drop your bait and drag it along the ocean floor until you find muddy bottom. You can start dragging your bait when you get to a depth of 300ft. You may catch this fish there but it is likely to be smaller than those found deeper and you will probably catch Gray Tilefish instead. At around 600ft, you will find them slightly bigger and be prone to catching more Ling and Flounder. We much prefer to start dragging at a depth of 700ft. This makes it easier to specifically target the Golden Tilefish and catch them in numbers.
  • It is important to use a braid line when deep-dropping baits. The reason for this is because the line does not stretch, making it easier to feel what is happening with your baits so far below the ocean surface. In order to find Golden Tilefish, you need to feel for soft muddy bottoms by understanding the bottom composition. These awesome fish prefer green mud which is stickier and more like sludge than loose sand. When the floor is sandy or hard, your bait will just drag along. If you feel like your weights are getting stuck and then popping free a few seconds later; the mud conditions are perfect for Golden Tilefish.
  • Be very aware of lobster pots on the ocean floor. Even if you can see the orange buoy warning of them in the distance, with over 1 000ft of line underneath the surface, it is easy to get entangled in them.
  • You should have at least four or five baited hooks rigged to your line. This increases your chances of catching these fish because missed strikes will not mean reeling in every time and re-baiting (which is a mammoth, time-consuming task at such depths).
  • The stronger the current, the heavier your weights need to be to get down to the bottom as straight as possible. We advise using a lead sinker and rigging it to break away if you do not want to crank all that weight. Using either a 6lb or 8lb line or a rubber band, tie your weight to the bottom of your rig. The light line will usually break early in the struggle once the fish has been hooked, and the weight will fall off. A sharp jerk of the rod will free the weight if you need to reel in and there is no fish on your line.
  • Golden Tilefish will never swim upwards to take your bait. This means that once your bait hits the bottom, you need to make sure that it stays there constantly. As you drift into deeper water, be prepared to slack out additional line accordingly. Low winds and low tides make a helpful difference - and manoeuvring your boat will keep it from drifting too quickly and causing your baits to rise from the bottom.
  • If using jigs, it will certainly help if you add a strip of squid to the hooks – even though they will bite without it.
  • Using modern big-water jigging gear to deep-drop your jigs will make retrieving much easier.

Call us to book your Golden Tilefish Fishing Charter in Florida and catch an exceptionally unique fish.

Bonito Fishing in Florida

Written by Capt. Noah on Wednesday, 29 May 2013. Posted in Fish Info

Members of the Sardini tribe in the Scrombridae family, there are seven species of Bonito found in the warm oceanic waters of the world. Also called Bonita, these predatory fish are medium in size and highly sought-after by anglers for either dinner or bait. In Florida, we catch the Atlantic Bonito and they give anglers a sturdy fight indeed, considering their size.

Smaller Bonito prefer to keep close to shore where they can be found hiding in structures such as bridges, piers, rocks, debris and pilings. As they get larger, they will move into offshore islands, coral reefs, wrecks and banks. These fish are not game fish and are usually caught when targeting another species entirely. However, they are exciting to catch and are an essential ingredient for catching larger game fish.

A perfect beginner fish for aspiring anglers and youngsters, Bonito have an extremely oily flesh. This makes them fantastic bait fish for larger predators such as sharks, barracudas, billfish and others. They are usually caught from the shores of Florida, making them a good target for any angler. People rarely travel offshore to catch them. Here is some information to help you catch Bonito in Florida:

Tackle for Bonito

Your tackle will depend on where you are fishing for these fish and their size. 10lb line will be sufficient for keeping smaller ones out of near-shore structures, while up to 15lbs or 20lbs will be wiser offshore where they are bigger. A 7lb quality rod is light enough and will work well.

Bait for Bonito

Live, silvery fish such as sardines and anchovies are readily devoured by Bonitos. Cut bait produces good results, as do lures.

Techniques for Bonito

These feisty fish are pretty easy to catch. Small hooks with bait on them do the trick really nicely, as do shiny and flashy lures. Here are the most common methods to use when catching Bonito in Florida:

  • Lures such as silver Rapala plugs are highly effective. Rig them with shiny spoons and cast into or near them. Not easily scared away, Bonito will happily chase a steady running lure such as a Crystal Minnow. Using an erratic lure such as the Krocadile while retrieving steadily is just as successful.
  • Live and frozen baits produce the best results. You can use a teaser such as chum to entice them to you. They will come close to your boat because they are not shy, then you can drop hooked baits into their midst and enjoy the feeding frenzy.

Call today to book your Bonito Fishing Charter in Florida and prepare to catch many of them.

Bonefish Fishing in Florida

Written by Capt. Noah on Wednesday, 29 May 2013. Posted in Fish Info

Albula Vulpes, or Bonefish, live in tropical and subtropical inshore waters across the globe. They move with the incoming tide to feed on shallow mudflats. As the tide ebbs, they retreat back inshore. Primarily caught for sport, Bonefish are extremely popular and highly sought-after by fly anglers and are among the world’s top game fish on the fly. Florida is known as one of the best places to catch Bonefish world-wide.

Medium in size, these powerful fish typically weigh up to 19lbs and grow into lengths measuring around 35in. The base of their pectoral fins is yellow where their other fins are dusky. Equipped with an airbladder, these awesome fish can improve their tolerance for water that is poor in oxygen and can survive in brackish water. Silver in color, these fish prefer to swim in schools. Only the largest individuals will travel alone. Juveniles are observed swimming in large schools of similar sized fish, while mature fish congregate in pairs or smaller groups. In Hawaii, Bonefish are caught for dinner. However, these fish are generally not eaten anywhere else.

Their common diet consists of small fry, crustaceans, molluscs, shrimp, crabs and worms. Bonefish will follow stingrays in the hope of catching small prey that the rooting rays disturb. They can also be found in ledges where there are currents, in drop-offs and in healthy seagrass beds. These places provide small prey with shelter against strong currents.

Otherwise known as “phantom” or “gray ghost”, it is the opinion of many professional anglers that Bonefish are pound for pound the strongest and fastest saltwater fish on earth. These animals are phenomenally powerful for their relatively small size and will put up an enormous fight. Anglers fish for Bonefish in shallow waters, in depths ranging from 8in to several feet. Here are some tips to use when catching Bonefish in Florida:

Tackle for Bonefish

These fish can be caught comfortably on a light spinning setup with a 6lb test. A quality spinning reel of a small size works extremely well. These fish can run for a long time and quickly peel your line off, particularly with a lighter drag. Ensure you have enough line for even the large ones. If you are fly fishing for them, a 7lb or 8lb fly rod is perfect.

Bait for Bonefish

The most effective baits are live crabs and shrimps. Even flies are designed to resemble them. Small jigs with spinning gear also work for Bonefish.

Techniques for Bonefish

Generally, Bonefish are caught sight fishing; which is hugely exciting. We like to pole our way around shallow mudflats and look for them. When you see one, cast the bait or lure ahead of the direction they are swimming and they may bite. Here are some ways to catch Bonefish:

  • Fly fishing is immensely popular with anglers, particularly when fishing for Bonefish. Use flies that resemble shrimp or small crabs and weight them so that they will sink to the bottom. These fish are bottom feeders, so gently swim your fly along the ocean floor. You can use a small jig with spinning gear. This works better when you tip your jig with shrimp.
  • Live bait is simply the most effective method to use for Bonefish. Casting live crabs or shrimps in front of the fish is extremely tempting to them. They almost always bite, much to the chagrin of fly fishermen standing by.

Call today to book your Bonefish Fishing Charter in Florida and experience serious excitement.


Bluefish Fishing in Florida

Written by Capt. Noah on Wednesday, 29 May 2013. Posted in Fish Info

Bluefish belong to the Saltatrix genus of the Pomatomidae family and are the only extant species in this group. Except for the Northern Pacific Ocean, these fish are found inhabiting all the temperate and subtropical oceans of the world. They occupy most of the continental shelves along the eastern American coastline and can be found in the Gulf Stream and the Gulf of Mexico. However, they do not thrive from the Gulf of Mexico through to northern South America. They prefer to keep relatively close to shore and can be caught above the continental shelf, near rock headlands and in energetic waters near the surf. They will even enter canals, rivers and inlets into brackish water. Occasionally, they will migrate in schools through open water.

The Bluefish has a broad, forked tail and they are fairly proportioned. The first dorsal fin is spiny and is usually folded back into a groove. This is true of the pectoral fins as well. They have a greyish blue-green dorsal section that fades to white on the belly and lower sides. Their teeth are knife-edged and extremely sharp, being of similar size and housed in a single row within each jaw. These fish range greatly in size, from small individuals measuring 7ins to larger ones weighing as much as 40lbs in weight.

With a lifespan of up to nine years, Bluefish are highly migratory fish that reproduce during spring and summer. Fry are zooplanktons that move around with the currents. Adults are powerful and viciously aggressive. They are fast swimmers that congregate in small, loose groups. These fish have voracious appetites and are easily excited into a feeding frenzy - where they will continue to attack long after they have eaten their fill. Their main diet consists of schooling forage fish such as menhaden, jacks, weakfish, grunts, striped anchovies and other sardine-like fish. They will eat their own young and are notoriously cannibalistic. Bluefish can often be seen chasing schools of fish through the surf and into shallow water, where they attack and churn the water heartily. This behavior is known as a “bluefish blitz”. Throughout their life cycle, Bluefish are prey for larger predators. Juveniles are devoured by most ocean predators; including their parents, striped bass, fluke, weakfish, tuna, sharks, rays and dolphins. Mature Bluefish fall victim to sharks, tuna, seals, dolphins, porpoises, billfish and a host of others.

Caution should be taken when handling Bluefish. They have a reputation for biting hands and fingers and can inflict serious injuries. We strongly advise wearing thick gloves and avoid swimming among them when they are feeding. Of course, this notoriety makes them popular among anglers. Off the coast of Florida, we catch Bluefish during the winter months. They have usually disappeared by April and return to our warm waters during October.

Among the world’s premiere saltwater light tackle fish, Bluefish are extremely sought-after game fish. They are tasty, will leap out of the water once hooked, turn their powerful body against you while bearing down and running. Make no mistake; these small to medium-sized fish are fantastically powerful. They are aggressive and will fight you every step of the way - and then some more. Here is some information to help you catch a Bluefish in Florida:

Tackle for Bluefish

Light fishing tackle in the 8lb to 12lb range, pliers, and a wire leader hook combo to avoid your line being bitten off by their sharp teeth.

Bait for Bluefish

Live bait works best, as always. If using artificial bait then a spoon type lure will work. Otherwise we recommend live bait first and then cut bait. A feeding Bluefish is not fussy and will eat almost anything.

Techniques for Bluefish

  • Find them first. They can usually be found feeding near the shore in places where there is a jetty, pier or other structure. Any underwater structure farther offshore should also have some Bluefish hunting around.
  • After you have attached the wire leader hook combo, bait the hook with live bait. Sink the hook under the fish’s backbone and bring it through about halfway down the body.
  • Cast your line and allow the bait to sink only slightly. Reel in your line slowly while stopping to jig it before letting it sink again.
  • Release the bail on your reel and watch that it unravels smoothly through the eyelets of your rod, as it does not have the normal tension that a closed bail does. Doing this will give the Bluefish an opportunity to run easily once it bites.
  • After about ten seconds of allowing the Bluefish a good run, snap the bail shut. This should hook the fish and you should then keep solid pressure on the line. You can do this by keeping your rod tip high and reeling the line in slowly. Maintain line tension until the fish is caught.
  • If you are using a lure, then the procedure is the same. The only difference is that you must not jig. Simply cast, let the lure sink to two or three feet, reel in slowly. Repeat until you catch a fish.
  • Whether using live bait, cut bait or lures; it is always helpful to use a teaser once you have located a school of Bluefish. An irresistible chum is the perfect ingredient. These fish will quickly form a feeding frenzy and then you can catch many of them very successfully. An excited Bluefish will bite anything in its way.

Call today to book your Bluefish Fishing Charter in Florida and fight their exhilarating bad attitude.


Blue Marlin Fishing in Florida

Written by Capt. Noah on Wednesday, 29 May 2013. Posted in Fish Info

Makaira Nigricans, or the Atlantic Blue Marlin, are extremely migratory fish inhabiting the Atlantic Ocean. This is the most tropical of all the billfish and they frequently travel between the Caribbean Islands and Venezuela; as well as from Saint Thomas to the U.S. Virgin Islands and through to West Africa. During summer months, Blue Marlin expands northward and returns to equatorial regions during wintertime. These are pelagic fish that live in deep blue waters very far from land.

Blue Marlin will eat almost anything near the surface. An exceptionally long bill is attached to their upper jaw and it is used efficiently to knife their way through a school of fish. After stunning, injuring or killing their prey in this way, they will return to eat. These fish are the most highly-prized game fish of all because they are enormous and are known to leap and jump vigorously in their attempt to fight you. Stories abound of fishing boats being pulled across vast distances of the ocean by a Blue Marlin. We stress again that these fish are massive. The biggest recorded weight is a female of 1 800lbs, measuring 16.40ft in length. That is gigantic. Females are up to four times larger than males, who rarely exceed 350lbs in weight; whereas females usually weigh over 1 200lbs.

The top of the Blue Marlin is blue-black while the belly is silvery white in color. On either side are around fifteen rows of pale black stripes that have round dots, even thin bars. The membrane of the first dorsal fin is dark blue with no markings or dots. The other fins are usually brownish-black with an occasional hint of dark blue. The first and second anal fins are silvery white at the base. When excited, a Blue Marlin can quickly change color to a bright blue. Usually this occurs when hunting. Thick, bony and elongated scales can have one, two or three posterior points; but having one is most common. Twenty-four vertebrae can be found in both sexes. Eleven are pre-caudal while thirteen are caudal.

Two dorsal fins and two anal fins are present in the Blue Marlin. These are supported by rays, which are bony spines. Between thirty-nine and forty-three rays support the first dorsal fin from front to back, while the second dorsal fin has only six or seven rays. Their first anal fin has anywhere from thirteen to sixteen rays and the in the second anal fin six or seven are present. Both pectoral fins house between nineteen and twenty-two rays, and these fins are exceptionally long and narrow (with the ability to be drawn into the sides of the body). Shorter than the pectoral fins, the pelvic fins have a poorly developed membrane and can be retracted into ventral grooves; as can the first anal fin, the pectoral fins and caudal fins. The reason for these grooves is to create a streamlined body that reduces drag. This is necessary when you consider that a Blue Marlin can swim underwater at speeds nearing 70mph.

Blue Marlins have a long bill that is very stout. The roof of the mouth and both the jaws are covered with small, file-like teeth. A group of canals in the lateral line system can detect water motion and pressure changes. This resembles a net in juveniles, but becomes deeply embedded in the skin of adults. Blue Marlins do not have many predators besides great white sharks, shortfin mako sharks and man. These incredible fish are near the top of the ocean’s food chain. They are exceptional predators that feed on a wide range of pelagic fish. These include mackerel, tuna, and squid. Extremely large prey such as white marlin, bigeye tuna and yellowfin tuna weighing in excess of 100lbs has been devoured by the Blue Marlin.

Around the world, Blue Marlins are an iconic fish. Catching one is considered the pinnacle of any sport angler’s career. These fish are so powerful that the thrill is indescribable and they are giants of the deep. Magnificent jumps and leaps out of the water are an exhilarating sight. Anglers travel to Florida for the opportunity to catch these thrilling fish. They are rare to find and catch, but they can be caught. Here are some tips to help you catch a Blue Marlin in Florida:

Tackle for Blue Marlin

A heavy tackle outfit, fluorocarbon leaders, 80lbs test, a range of circle hooks between 6/0 and 12/0, a skirt and extremely high quality saltwater rods and reels.

Bait for Blue Marlin

Small tuna, skipjacks, ballyhoo, squid, blue runners and mackerel work beautifully for live and cut bait. A number of specifically made marlin lures ranging from small to large that are outfitted with a skirt can also be used.

Techniques for Blue Marlin

There are a variety of ways to catch these elusive fish. Often they depend on weather and sea conditions, the size of those caught in the area, the size of the fish you wish to catch and even the local tradition. We prefer to rig live bait, but natural baits and artificial lures work too. This is how it is done:

  • Artificial lure fishing works for Blue Marlin because they are attracted by the action, splash and bubble trail of a good quality lure. They are aggressive and will respond well to them if presented properly. Keep your trolling speed between seven and nine knots. This rule will allow you to search a wide area during the day, as well as be consistent with a Blue Marlin’s natural prey. Troll four or more lures behind the boat but keep them at varying distances. You can either fish from outriggers or straight from the rod tip.
  • Natural bait fishing has been used by anglers for Blue Marlin since the turn of the decade. Keep it simple and present your bait as natural as possible. If you over-rig the bait then you run the risk of components preventing the fish from swallowing it. Cut fresh bait and put a circle hook inside it. Remember to leave the point of the hook outside of the bait. Rigged ballyhoo and Spanish mackerel are the most popular for Blue Marlin in Florida. We prefer to protect cut bait with a skirt, and occasionally we combine it with a lure.
  • Live bait fishing definitely produces the best Blue Marlin fishing results. This is our method of choice for very good reason. Small tuna, such as skipjacks, work extremely well. You do need to keep an eye on your trolling speed and slow down in order to keep your bait alive. Live bait is even more successful if you can fish along the edge of steep underwater ledges. Once again, keep your bait simple. A circle hook through the mouth and a treble hook through the tail are adequate.

Call now to book your Blue Marlin Fishing Charter in Florida and uncover their mysterious secrets.


Barracuda Fishing in Florida

Written by Capt. Noah on Wednesday, 29 May 2013. Posted in Fish Info

Sphyraena, or Barracuda, is the only genus in the family of Sphyraenidae; and there are many Barracuda species found in tropical and subtropical oceans world-wide. These ray-finned fish are incredibly thrilling to catch because of their strength, size and fearsome appearance. In Florida, these fish are targeted by huge numbers of anglers and they are notoriously ill-tempered – which makes them more sought-after. This saltwater fish has the reputation of stealing bite sized chunks of flesh and even fingers.

Barracudas are mostly dark blue, gray or dark green along their upper bodies. Their bellies are chalky-white and their sides are silver. Some species have irregular black spots or a row of darker cross bars along their sides, so coloration varies between them. It is possible for their fins to be dusky or mildly yellow. Large swim bladders can be found in these massive fish. Some varieties grow into lengths of seven feet and measure an easy 12in in width; such as the Great Barracuda and the European Barracuda.

Small, smooth scales entirely cover extremely elongated bodies that are fairly compressed. Pike-like in appearance, Barracuda have very prominent fang-like teeth that are razor sharp. These teeth are ragged, are of different sizes and they are set into sockets within their massive jaws. Many species have a noticeable under-bite and they all have large, pointed heads. Their gills are covered with small scales and not with spines. Two widely separated dorsal fins consist of an anterior fin with five spines, and a posterior fin that has one spine and nine soft rays (which is similar in size to the anal fin and is situated above it). Extending directly from the head to the base of the tail, the lateral line is very prominent. The dorsal fin is usually retracted in a groove and can be found above the pelvic fins. The caudal fin is slightly forked and the pectoral fins sit low on each side.

Primarily inhabiting oceans, there are some species - such as the Great Barracuda - that live in brackish water. We see them throughout the State of Florida, but Miami, Islamorada and Key West are all popular places to find them. All of them are aggressive opportunistic predators. They rely on short bursts of speeds nearing 43mph to give them the element of surprise over their prey and overtake them. Barracudas are known to tear chunks of flesh from fish as big as themselves, devouring them piece by piece. Their common diet consists of fish of varying sizes and adults are usually solitary. Juveniles and youngsters prefer safety in numbers and can be found in congregations.

Some species of Barracuda are considered dangerous to humans. This is because they are scavengers and are not afraid to attack large predators or follow them for scraps. They sometimes mistake snorkelers and swimmers for this, possibly due to poor visibility. Another problem is that large Barracuda are occasionally surprised in muddy shallows, reacting aggressively as is their nature. Objects that glint or shine entice these fish to go into prey drive. This causes conflict because people love wearing jewellery. It is advised that you cover or remove such items for safety, particularly when swimming near mangrove coastlines. It is definitely not recommended to touch or hand feed these predators. They will bite the hand that feeds them without remorse. Spearfishing should also be avoided around them. Blood attracts them and they may either mistake you for prey or tear chunks off the fish thrashing on the spear.

As mentioned above, some species grow into enormous giants. The Great Barracuda is among them and can be found off the coast of Florida, ranging from North Carolina to Brazil and Bermuda. The smaller ones inhabit near-shore areas and shallow bays, but as they grow they move into offshore wrecks and reefs. These fabulous fish often look like logs in the water when they are lying near the surface. Here are some tips that will help you catch a Barracuda in Florida:

Tackle for Barracuda

A wire leader is supremely important because Barracuda have extremely sharp teeth that often bite through line cleanly. Other than that you do not need specialized gear to catch them. 20lbs to 30lbs test with a medium weight conventional saltwater outfit will work well, as will saltwater spinning gear. A longer rod around 7lbs can be used when fishing with lures. If using bait then a slightly shorter rod is effective. These fish are vicious, so ensure that whatever gear you use is of good quality.

Bait for Barracuda

A variety of plugs, jerkbaits and skirts are ideal if using artificial lures. Live bait always works best however; such as silver fish like mackerel, bonito, pompano, sardines and similar others. Barracuda are attracted by shiny objects that shimmer erratically, so try to emulate that with your baits.

Techniques for Barracuda

Barracuda are curious, territorial fish. This is great news for anglers because they will explore anything new in their area and they usually do so aggressively. If they do not bite your lure the first time though, they are unlikely to try again and you need to either try something different or move to another place. The large ones are solitary fish so it is doubtful there will be another one nearby. Here are some techniques to use when fishing for Barracuda in Florida:

  • Artificial lures are readily bitten, especially if they are moving fast and erratically. Trolling plugs or rubber skirts and casting and retrieving jerkbaits are all effective. Lures must be extremely durable though because they must be able to survive a battering by the fish’s teeth. A 5in to 7in Crystal Minnow or Rapala are shiny, which always attracts Barracuda. Cast, twitch and retrieve along the edges of reefs and wrecks for the best results. You can troll lures, but remember to twitch them regularly instead of straight trolling. Barracuda are known to bite the tail ends of bait, so try to use a lure that has hooks in the rear.
  • Live bait can be used in two ways. They can be trolled behind the boat or cast into potential spots. Barracuda attack prey by repeatedly biting pieces off and coming back for more. If they bite off the tail, do not pull the bait away because they are likely to return. You can rig the bait with a hook through the nose and treble hook in the tail to prevent your bait being decimated. Keep your hooks small though because these fish have fantastic eyesight.

Call today to book your Barracuda Fishing Charter in Florida and meet these fearsome creatures.


Great White Shark Freediver

Written by Capt. Noah on Thursday, 02 May 2013. Posted in Fishing Photos & Videos

Freediver comes face to face with a great white shark

"Variables" from Justin Turkowski on Vimeo.

This is a beautifully done video from Kimi Werner documenting her passion for the ocean and her respect for nature. Even though some people criticize fishing and hunting, I think Kimi really articulates the view that a lot of anglers and hunters share.

The video has amazing shots of Kimi freediving with a great white shark and even riding along with it. Gosh do we love GoPros!


Yellowfin Tuna Fishing in Florida

Written by Capt. Noah on Tuesday, 23 April 2013. Posted in Fish Info

Yellowfin Tuna is found in tropical and subtropical oceans around the world and they are members of the Albacares genus of the Thunnus family, and are otherwise known as “ahi”. Yellowfin tuna is particularly prevalent in the western Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern Pacific Ocean. Among the larger tuna species, reaching weights of over 400lbs, Yellowfin Tuna are noticeably smaller than both the Atlantic and Pacific Bluefin Tuna and they are slightly smaller than the Southern Bluefin Tuna and the Bigeye Tuna.

A very dark metallic blue fades to silver on the belly, which has around twenty vertical lines. The second dorsal fin, the anal fin and the various finlets between them and the tail are all a bright yellow. In mature adults, the second dorsal fin and anal fin resemble scythes because they are long and reach almost as far back as the tail. The pectoral fins are longer than those found in the Bluefin Tuna, yet not as long as those of the Albacore Tuna. Yellowfin Tuna are simply gigantic and the biggest recorded fish ever caught weighed an astonishing 427lbs.

Yellowfin Tuna are found offshore, usually swimming between the surface and 330ft of water depth. This keeps them above the thermocline but they are capable of diving deeper, and do infrequently. A tagged individual in the Indian Ocean dove to a depth of 3 810ft, which is considerable. When conditions are suitable, Yellowfin Tuna may approach shore. Many mid-ocean islands such as those in the Caribbean often have concentrations of these fish feeding near the shoreline. When food is abundant and water temperature and clarity are ideal, they may venture inshore of the continental shelf. Known to traverse vast distances during their lifetime, Yellowfin Tuna have no problem crossing oceans.

Similarly sized individuals often travel together in schools, and they even school with other tuna species. Mixed schools of small Yellowfin Tuna and Skipjack Tuna are common. These awesome fish frequently associate themselves with certain species of dolphins, as well as larger marine animals such as whales and whale sharks. They also love drifting debris such as logs and pallets and they can even be found following moving vessels.

Aerodynamic bodies make Yellowfin Tuna incredibly fast underwater, reaching speeds nearing 50mph. Their prey includes other fish such as mackerel, flying fish, anchovies, sardines, lanternfish and smaller tuna such as skipjacks. They will also eat crustaceans and squid with heartiness. Other hunters will prey on young Yellowfin Tuna such as larger tuna, wahoo, shark, billfish and even seabirds. Once fully grown, they are threatened only by the largest and fasters predators in the oceans such as toothed whales, shortfin mako sharks, great white sharks and marlin. Warm-blooded, Yellowfin Tuna are fortunately able to escape most predators. Their warm muscles are an incredible advantage for their phenomenal speed.

Sports fishing enthusiasts consider Yellowfin Tuna among the most prized fish to catch. They are possibly the most frequently caught offshore game fish on earth. There are several reasons to explain their astounding popularity. These fish are often caught weighing anywhere from 100lbs to 300lbs and they are phenomenal fighters. Super fast fish, an angler with a tuna on their line is guaranteed an adrenalin-filled challenge. They catch their prey at alarming speed, and your bait is no exception. Yellowfin Tuna are also undeniably among the tastiest fish in existence, enjoyed in a variety of ways. Lightly seared or in sushi, they are eaten by millions around the world. Here is some information to remember when Yellowfin Tuna fishing in Florida:

Tackle for Yellowfin Tuna

It is a long and challenging process getting your catch into the boat, regardless of what tackle you use. Yellowfin Tuna will turn sideways and swim in large circles when they get near your boat. Scale your tackle to the size of the fish you are targeting. If you are after those in the 15lbs range then light tackle is extremely fun. The larger ones will require heavy tackle and at least 100lbs of braided line. Their eyesight is great, so a fluorocarbon leader will reduce visibility and be more resistant to abrasion. An Accurate Platinum ATD 50 or similar quality is recommended.

Bait for Yellowfin Tuna

Lures, frozen bait and live bait can be used to catch Yellowfin Tuna in Florida. If using lures, then cedar plugs, plastic skirted trolling lures, poppers and tuna feathers are ideal. For live and frozen bait, ballyhoo, skipjacks, mackerel, anchovies, squid and sardines work exceptionally well.

Techniques for Yellowfin Tuna

These fantastic predatory fish frequently feed near the surface, which means that topwater trolling techniques produce the best results. Here are some tips you can employ to catch a Yellowfin Tuna in Florida:

  • Lures can be used effectively. Replacing treble hooks with single or double hooks is a good idea. These fish are less likely to bend or shake them if you do. When you find a school of feeding fish, cast lures into them. Poppers are particularly thrilling to use. Chugger type lures can be retrieved in a pop-pop-pause rhythm. If you skip ranger type lures over the surface during a steady retrieve, you have a good chance of success. A good chum can work to entice any schools in the area.
  • Live bait can be used in a variety of ways. Kite fishing is particularly productive for very large individuals. The kite is flown behind the bite after live bait is attached to a long line that is temporarily suspended from the kite. This line must be rigged to break free from the kite when your Yellowfin Tuna takes the bait, or you will have trouble reeling it in. The flying kite keeps the bait near the surface of the water, making it appear as if the fish is panicking. The sound and sight of your bait fish splashing on the surface usually works when nothing else is. By rigging a three-way swivel and fishing two at once, tuna will get extremely excited. For true giants, slow trolling live skipjacks is the best method to use. Ensure you have tuna tubes on your boat to keep the skipjack alive. If you do not wish to use live bait or if it is unavailable, then “chunking” is a good option. Large chunks of big bait fish can be cut and thrown overboard. Hide a circle hook in one of these chunks and allow it to drift down naturally with the rest of them. A lot of line will need to be let out so that the chunk will drift without any drag. When your Yellowfin Tuna takes it you will feel, hear and know it immediately.

Call today to book your Tuna Fishing Charter in Florida and battle these strong fish.

Tarpon Fishing in Florida

Written by Capt. Noah on Tuesday, 23 April 2013. Posted in Fish Info

The only members of the family Megalopidae, there are two species of Tarpon in the genus Megalops – the Atlantic Tarpon and the Indo-Pacific Tarpon. The Atlantic Tarpon is native to the Atlantic Ocean and can be found along the western Atlantic coast from Virginia to Brazil, including the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. These are the fantastic Tarpon that we catch in Florida. They can also be found along the African coast from Senegal to South Angola. The Indo-Pacific species inhabits the eastern African coast, Southeast Asia, Tahiti, Japan and even Australia.

Adapted to survive in both saltwater and freshwater, Tarpon will swim inshore to access freshwater marshes via rivers, canals and ocean inlets. These fish are hardy and can survive in brackish water, varying pH levels and areas with low dissolved oxygen content. This is because they primarily use their swim bladders to breathe. Their habitat varies greatly depending on their stage of development. Their first life stage finds them close to the surface in warm, clear, oceanic water. The next two stages of development sees them seeking out salt marshes, creeks, rivers and tidal pools that are warm, shallow and dark with sandy mud bottoms. This is usually when they will travel inshore and as they reach adulthood, they often travel back into the open ocean even though there are many that prefer to remain in freshwater habitats.

Tarpons are majestic and well-respected game fish in Florida. These beautiful creatures can grow into giants measuring anything from 5ft to 8ft and weighing between 80lbs and 280lbs. Both dorsal and anal soft rays are present and they have stunning blue or green hued backs. Except for their heads, shiny, silver scales cover their entire bodies and they have very distinct lateral lines. Their mouths are broad and their lower jaw juts out noticeably further than the rest of their face and they have big eyes equipped with adipose eyelids.

Juvenile Tarpon absorb their nutrients from seawater and do not forage for food. As they grow, they progress into zooplankton feeders and begin feeding on insects and small fish. They will start consuming insects, fish, grass shrimps and crabs as they mature further. By the time they reach adulthood they are strictly carnivorous nocturnal predators and swallow their food whole.

Also called “The Silver King”, tarpon in Florida have become iconic fish. These predators are exceptionally powerful and are known to break cheap equipment with ease. Their fighting spirit is legendary and makes fishing enthusiasts seek them out excitedly. They will trash wildly and jump repeatedly in an attempt to break free of your line, often leaping ten feet into the air only a few feet from your boat. These massive fish are among the largest fish that you can catch without the need of a big boat because they are found so close to shore. This is how you can have success when tarpon fishing in Florida:

Bait for Tarpon

Tarpon can be caught on live bait, frozen bait and artificial baits such as lures. Our experience has taught us that live bait works best. Fish, shrimps and crabs form part of their common diet and regularly tempt these fish into biting hard. Tarpon have bone-hard mouths that are difficult to hook. Their incredible fight often dislodges hooks that have been partially snagged and they often throw them. This is why live bait works so well. When using lures, you will lose more than you land.

Tackle for Tarpon

Both light tackle and heavy tackle can be used to catch Tarpon. If you are an expert and in need of a bigger challenge, then you can catch individuals over 100lbs on an 8lbs test line – but we really do not recommend this for anyone else. 30lbs test line is light enough for a hearty battle yet heavy enough not to overtire the fish. Although braided line works, monofilament is better as it absorbs the shock of their powerful thrashing. We advise a medium-weight outfit with a very high quality spinning reel and sturdy circle hooks.

Techniques for Tarpon

Tarpon will happily chase lures but they are tricky to catch with them and will likely throw them back at you. Using live bait with quality circle hooks will give you the best chance of hooking them and landing them. Here are some ways to use these baits when tarpon fishing in Florida:

  • Lures can be successful. It is not too difficult to hook Tarpon on jerkbaits but the treble hooks get dislodged with alarming regularity and very few are actually landed this way. They will bite almost any lure including poppers, jigs and soft plastic lures. Try using lures with a single hook as they are harder to dislodge and there is less leverage for the Tarpon to shake it loose. Remember that the heavier the jig, the more likely it is that they will throw it back at you. Lures that slide away from the hook can also work.
  • Baits are the way to go. Live or dead sardines are perfect when rigged with a circle hook. Simply wait until the Tarpon is swimming off with your bait before putting the reel in gear. Then you can begin reeling to snag your hook in the corner to top of the mouth. These are two of the places where your hook might actually snag properly.

Tarpon will immediately leap into the air and start fighting once it has been hooked. We advise dropping the rod tip to slacken the line as soon as the fish is in the air. Otherwise known as “bowing to the king”, this is a one of the rare times when you want to have a slack line when fighting a fish. If your line is tight then the Tarpon will probably snap your line with its violent thrashing. These leaps are fast and sudden, particularly the first one, and this is not always easy to do. As soon as the fish re-enters the water then raise your rod and reel your line tight. Eventually the Tarpon will stop jumping. This is when you need to put as much pressure as possible while frequently changing angles. This method confuses the fish and will help you land it quicker. Simply applying continual pressure from a single direction is not enough. Tarpon will quickly figure out just how much resistance it needs to give you to avoid being reeled in. Try not to let them rest because they will come up, gulp air and start fighting all over again. Make sure that your line is constantly moving. If it is not peeling off your reel then you need to be reeling it in.

These almighty fish are incredibly bony and therefore do not make good dinner dishes. There are too many tiny bones and this is why these fish are released.

Call now to book your Tarpon Fishing Charter in Florida and battle their sheer power.

Spotted Bass Fishing in Florida

Written by Capt. Noah on Tuesday, 23 April 2013. Posted in Fish Info

Spotted Bass belong to the order Perciformes in the sunfish family of the Centrarchidae. It is a freshwater fish popular in sports fishing communities and is also called “Spotty”, “Leeman” or “Spots”. Among the black basses, Spotted Bass are natives of the Mississippi River and across the Gulf States – from the Florida panhandle through to Texas and into the western Mid-Atlantic States of North Carolina and Virginia. It has been introduced into South Africa and has established good populations in some isolated waters there.

Spotted Bass are frequently mistaken for Largemouth Bass but there is an easy way to distinguish the difference. Although they have similar coloration, Spotted Bass have smaller mouths. An adult individual can measure nearly 64cm and weigh up to 10lbs. There are rows of dark spots below the lateral line which are responsible for their name, and they live for around seven years. Preferring rocky bottoms of rivers, lakes and streams, Spotted Bass feed on various insects, crustaceans, frogs, worms and smaller fish.

Although Spotted Bass are members of the bass family and have similar physical characteristics, they are very different in their behavior. It is not uncommon for regular lake anglers to claim they have never seen these fish, even though they are found in every major conservation lake. This is simply because these fish prefer to feed at the bottom of the deepest parts, in waters ranging from 50ft to 90ft in depth. Very few black bass anglers ever venture into their territory and therefore never see them. If you want to be successful with Spotted Bass fishing in Florida, then here is some useful information to help you catch them:

Bait for Spotted Bass

Lures such as crankbaits, spinnerbaits, topbaits and jigs work extremely well. Insects, worms, crustaceans and smaller fish work extremely well when they venture out of the deepest parts of the lake.

Tackle for Spotted Bass

A light tackle outfit works wonderfully. A high quality spinning reel and rod with 8lbs monofilament line for reduced visibility is ideal.

Techniques for Spotted Bass

  • In order to fish deep, you will need large lipped crankbaits that can reach the extreme depths where Spotted Bass live. A conservation map of the lake will help you to locate the deepest parts. Throw your crankbaits into the middle of the deep areas and let them settle down low before reeling them back in.
  • When the weather is cold, it is perfect for Spotted Bass. They live in the cold waters of the deep throughout the year and outside temperature does not affect them. They are active when it is cold, where other bass tend to slow down. On days such as these, head to the middle of the lake and throw for Spotted Bass.
  • Weather conditions do not bother Spotted Bass at all. They make excellent sport on the nastiest days when it is raining, sleeting, the wind is rough or there are cold fronts on their way. They will simply continue to feed deep down where their conditions remain the same. If you can brave this type of weather, then Spotted Bass are a fantastic option.
  • The most popular way to catch Spotted Bass is to use large bass jigs. Ideally one with a large oval-shaped head and a colorful skirt is best. Once you have reached the deepest waters of the lake, drop the lure straight down off the side of your boat. When the line stops peeling out then you will know you have hit the bottom and you can crank the jig up a few feet. Drag the jig along the bottom with your trolling motor and do not hesitate to explore up and down deep channels.
  • Occasionally, Spotted Bass will become hungry enough to venture into shallower waters and you can use a topbait to catch them there. Any large trees or other forms of cover are great places to search for them. Cast into the limbs of the tree and drag the lure along the line of the tree trunk and back towards shore.
  • Other places to find Spotted Bass are where running water such as creeks, springs or streams empty into the lake. These fish will rise from the extreme depths occasionally to hunt in these places. Spinnerbaits with neon-colored skirts are fantastic for these places. Cast into these creek mouths and retrieve repetitively.

Call to book your Spotted Bass Fishing Charter in Florida and uncover their mystery.

Spanish Mackerel Fishing in Florida

Written by Capt. Noah on Tuesday, 23 April 2013. Posted in Fish Info

The Scomberomorus maculatus is a mackerel species that swims to the Northern Gulf of Mexico in springtime and returns in fall to south Florida in the Eastern Gulf and Mexico in the Western Gulf. There are a variety of Spanish mackerel groups that inhabit Florida waters, including the Atlantic group and one or more Gulf groups. As water temperature rises, the Atlantic group migrate along the western Atlantic coast from Miami in Florida to as far as Cape Cod in Massachusetts, before returning in fall. The Eastern group migrates from the Florida Keys during late winter and spring and slowly continues westward until they reach the northern Texas coast. During fall, this group will migrate back to its wintering grounds in the Florida Keys.

Spanish mackerel have green backs and silver sides that are marked with roughly three rows of round yellow spots. Their lateral line makes a gradual curve downwards from the upper end of the gill cover toward the caudal peduncle. The first dorsal fin is spiny and black at the front. White posterior membranes have black edges. There is a single row of cutting edged teeth in each jaw and they are large, closely-spaced, uniform and flattened. These teeth appear similar to those of the bluefish, as is the case with King mackerel and Cero mackerel as well.

Spanish Mackerel prefer shallow waters. Sand bottoms are ideal in depths ranging from 10ft to 40ft and occasionally they can be found as deep as 80ft. Opportunistic hunters, these fish are voracious and their diet consists mainly of small fish and even shrimp and squid. Striped anchovies, menhaden, alewives and thread herring are devoured greedily, although anchovies are eaten more by juveniles than adults.

Fast, exciting fish to catch that are generally found in abundance, Spanish mackerel play an extremely important role in sports fishing. Anglers target them for a variety of reasons. Some enjoy their taste although their flesh is too oily for most people, some delight in their speed, others thrill in their numbers and serious fishing enthusiasts catch them for bait fish. They are preyed on by almost all the big game fish in these waters. Here are some tips for Spanish mackerel fishing in Florida:

Bait for Spanish Mackerel

Live bait such as striped anchovies, fusilier and other small fish works wonders. These fish can also be caught on lures and artificial baits, as well as frozen bait.

Techniques for Spanish Mackerel

There are several ways that Spanish mackerel can be caught and they all work with varying degrees of success. Most of these methods will also work for fish such as tuna, giant trevally, queenfish and other smaller mackerel species. Another advantage to the variety of techniques is that there is always something else you can try when one is not working. The screaming first run of a big Spanish mackerel is exhilarating. They will take your lure or bait and swim away fast, while your rod bends over double. Here are some ways to catch them:

  • Trolling lures and rigged bait is one of the best methods to use for working an area to find the fish. It will not be long before you locate them.
  • Livebaiting for Spanish mackerel is highly effective. Always have live bait in the water when fishing around structure such as reefs or shallow wrecks. These fish love live bait and will take it readily, particularly if dangling from a bobbing balloon.
  • Casting and jigging requires more effort but can make all the different when other techniques are not working. Retrieving a metal chrome jig at high speed is very tempting for Spanish mackerel to bite.
  • Floating baits is another easy method. Bait that is floating or drifting in the water is responsible for a high number of nice Spanish mackerels.

Call now to book your Spanish Mackerel Fishing Charter in Florida and thrill in speed.

Sea Bass Fishing in Florida

Written by Capt. Noah on Tuesday, 23 April 2013. Posted in Fish Info

Sea Bass belong to the Serranidae family and there are a huge variety of them in all the oceans of the world. In the United States, they inhabit the coasts from Florida to Maine and are prevalent in the Gulf of Mexico. There are three main populations of black sea bass. The Mid-Atlantic group occupy the waters from Massachusetts to North Carolina. The South Atlantic group are found from North Carolina to the southern tip of the Florida peninsula, and the Gulf of Mexico group dominate from Florida to Texas. All of them can be found both inshore and offshore, some in waters as deep as 425ft. They prefer the ocean floor and congregate around structures such as rocks, coral reefs, artificial reefs, jetties, wrecks, piers and bridge pilings.

Sea Bass consist of a massive variety of species. In fact, no other saltwater fish in the world has so many species in their group. Some of the more well-known include black sea bass, white sea bass, baguetta and grouper and they are famous for their firm, white flesh that is exceptionally delicious. This is not the only reason why sports anglers target Sea Bass. These fish are staggeringly popular for several reasons.

Powerful fish, all Sea Bass provide anglers with a serious fighting challenge. It is simply exhilarating to do battle with any of these fish. They are also abundant and will gather in large schools when feeding, making it possible to catch large numbers of them at a time. There are many tournaments held for specific Sea Bass species in Florida every year. These attract masses of anglers all wishing to win vast sums of money and other sought-after prizes. Here are some tips to help you succeed with Sea Bass fishing in Florida:

Bait for Sea Bass

The lures and bait that you use for Sea Bass make all the difference. Live bait such as sardines, mackerel, menhaden, eels, croakers and mullet work extremely well but live pinfish is our bait of choice. Keep live bait cool and fresh for the best results. If you do not wish to use live bait or if it is unavailable, then lures such as spoons, jigs, plugs and crankbaits will work as well.

Techniques for Sea Bass

  • Dark, murky waters have poor visibility. This is why lures such as crankbaits are the best choice when using artificial baits. These types of lures are noisy and will attract the Sea Bass to them. If they cannot see their prey, they will chase the sound their prey makes.
  • In grassy areas, lily pads, piers, docks and other structures, spinnerbaits work well. They make a very tempting noise underwater.
  • Live bait is by far the best method to use. Hook the bait through the nose and backbone and set them in the water. They flutter and panic, attracting every Sea Bass in the area. They are also far tastier than any lure can offer. Rig a long fluorocarbon leader to allow the fish to swim more naturally and avoid unnecessary drag.

Call today to book your Sea Bass Fishing Charter and revel in fighting them.

Permit Fishing in Florida

Written by Capt. Noah on Tuesday, 23 April 2013. Posted in Fish Info

Permit inhabits the western Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Brazil, including the Caribbean, and they are members of the genus Trachinotus of the Carangidae family. They are found in tropical mud flats, grass flats, channels and muddy bottoms. They congregate in either small schools or prefer to be solitary. They are nervous of people when alone but will readily attack if they are in a group and deliver some nasty bites. Although they are found close to shore, even in brackish areas, they spawn offshore and find comfort in structures such as coral reefs and wrecks. The Florida Keys are known for its beautiful underwater habitats where Permit thrives in large numbers.

Permits are easy to distinguish. They have elongated dorsal fins that are shaped like a scythe and their long anal fins are distinctively forked. When viewed from the front, the fish appears tall and thin because their bodies are compressed laterally. There are six or seven dorsal fins with between eighteen and twenty one soft rays. Two or three spines can be found on the anal fin with sixteen or eighteen soft rays. Dark, anterior lobes are prominent on both dorsal and anal fins. A large orange-yellow patch is evident on their bellies in front of their anal fins. Their pectoral fins are dark and these magnificent fish can grow into large beasts, weighing as much as 79lbs and measuring up to 48in in length.

Not many people are aware of just how thrilling it is to catch a Permit. In fact, few even know what it is. These fish are one of the greatest game fish found anywhere in the world. Exceptionally powerful fighters with a ferocious personality, Permits will attack viciously and eat anything smaller than they are. However, they are extremely challenging to catch. When on the flats or in shallow water, they are very difficult to approach and they are immensely wary of artificial lures – especially flies, making them the hardest fish to catch by fly fishermen anywhere in the world. If you catch one on fly fishing gear, then consider it the pinnacle of your fishing career. This is the reason for their mysterious reputation and this appeal attracts enthusiasts from all over the planet.

The Florida Keys, Islamorada and Key West have nice populations of Permit. The Upper Keys have great fish but the Middle and Lower Keys are home to the best Permit fishing in the world. Due to the fact that they frequent the flats and can be found offshore over structure, this provides them with the best habitat for large numbers. Although difficult to catch, these fish can be caught. Here is some information to help you when Permit fishing in Florida:

Techniques for Permit Fishing

  • Flats fishing is definitely the most popular method for catching Permit, because they are incredibly challenging and they fight extremely hard. Anglers use trolling motors or push poles to quietly and stealthily approach them in clear, shallow waters. Once a Permit is seen, anglers will throw them a live crab or a fly. Flies are far less productive and live crabs produce the best results.
  • Wreck fishing for Permit can be done two ways. If the fish can be seen clearly in shallow waters then a live crab is tossed to them. Flies can also be used but are not nearly as successful. If they are in deeper wrecks and cannot be seen, anglers simply drop crab on a jig. This often results in a trophy Permit.

Call us now to book your Permit Fishing Charter in Florida and learn true stealth.


<<  1 2 [34 5 6 7  >>