Lionfish: Destructive but Delicious

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By Willie Howard

Lionfish are here to stay, it appears. So let’s make the most of this invasive delicacy.

The diver keeps the speared lionfish at a safe distance, as the tips of some of its fins contain pain-causing venom. The fillets of lionfish are, however, good to eat.

Lionfish look like strange birds in the water, with their pronounced maroon- and-white stripes, tall dorsal fins and wing-like pectoral fins.

But what used to be a popular aquarium fish, native to the South Pacific and Indian oceans, is no joke in Florida waters, where the aggressive invader is stealing food from native fish and eating their young.

With few natural enemies in its new home, 18 venomous spines for protection and the ability to live in a wide range of water depths, the lionfish is taking over Florida’s reefs and wrecks while working its way into estuaries and rivers.

Marine scientists don’t believe lionfish can be eliminated, meaning they’re permanent residents of Florida waters that are crowding out native fish.

“Our best hope is to control populations on a local level and in high-priority areas, such as reefs,” said Meaghan Faletti, lionfish outreach coordinator for the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and an avid lionfish hunter.

NOAA Fisheries biologist Tom Jackson compares lionfish to cockroaches- creatures we’ll spend a lot of time and money trying to control but probably will never eliminate.

Jackson, who kept a lionfish in his aquarium in college, said the federal government needs to be more selective about which animals it allows into the country so we don’t wind up with another exotic critter invasion.

“We import a lot of things we know nothing about,” Jackson said. “The lionfish is the classic example.”

Although nobody knows exactly how the lionfish got into Florida waters, scientists believe they were introduced by aquarium owners who no longer wanted them as pets.

The first confirmed sighting of a lionfish in Florida waters was in 1985 off Dania Beach. Another documented release came in 1992, when Hurricane Andrew knocked over an aquarium that released six lionfish into Biscayne Bay.

By 2000, lionfish had spread north to the Atlantic waters off Georgia and the Carolinas. By 2010, they were showing up in the northern Gulf of Mexico off Pensacola and Apalachicola.

How thick are lionfish around Florida? It depends on the location, but their numbers can be staggering.

Four divers participating in the Northeast Florida Lionfish Rodeo collected 1,399 lionfish, many of them small, off St.Augustine in a single day of spearing on Aug. 9, 2015.

The total haul for the event: 2,584 lionfish.

Teams of divers participating in Florida lionfish harvesting competitions, or derbies, typically remove 400 to 600 lionfish from the reefs, wrecks and other types of structure where they take up residence.

Lionfish can be safely handled, if the stiff spines are avoided. Still, many divers and anglers clip off the spines for safety’s sake.

Lionfish are relatively easy to bag compared to other dinner-worthy residents of the reef.

“Because they don’t have any natural predators, they’re not afraid of anything, including us,” said Allie ElHage of Sarasota, an avid diver who developed the ZooKeeper lionfish containment tube.

Biologists are worried about the impacts of lionfish in part because they’re voracious predators that eat small native fish and steal their food.

Lionfish are relatively small, averaging 12 to 15 inches, but they can swallow fish half their body length. They herd prey with their large pectoral fins and blow water at other fish to get them to turn around before swallowing them.

Lionfish eat more than 70 marine fish and invertebrates, including yellowtail snapper, Nassau grouper, parrotfish, spiny lobster and banded coral shrimp.

A single lionfish can reduce the recruitment of small native fish by more than 90 percent in a few weeks, studies have shown. A study conducted at nine reef sites off New Providence, Bahamas, found that lionfish reduced biomass of 42 species of reef fish by 65 percent between 2008 and 2010.

“If it moves, they eat it,” said John Dickinson, a commercial lobster diver from Jupiter who has found small grouper, snapper, triggerfish, spiny lobster and tiny lionfish in their stomachs.

Dickinson, who adds to his lobster-diving income by harvesting lionfish and selling them to fish markets, said he noticed lionfish showing up on the reefs off northern Palm Beach County in 2005. By 2010, he said, they were well-established and eating lots of other fish.

One scrap of good news: Removing lionfish from reefs and wrecks can stabilize or reverse declines in native forage fish-even if all of the lionfish are not removed from an area, studies have shown.

“Where regular removals are taking place, lionfish populations are down,” said Lad Akins, who has participated in several lionfish studies as part of his work with the Key Largo-based Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF). “Where they aren’t, the population is still high and probably going up.”

Diver Keith Kovach said he sees relatively few lionfish near inlets when diving off Palm Beach County. His dive group searches for lionfish on wider sections of reef away from inlets to find spots that aren’t picked over.

“I suspect the lionfish population is being supported by colonies in deeper water, outside the safe recreational diving range,” Kovach said.

Lionfish live in a variety of water depths, from shallow estuaries and rivers out to depths of 1,000 feet.

The FWC encourages divers to help control lionfish numbers by taking as many of the reef invaders as possible (as long as they don’t damage reefs in the process). No fishing license is required to harvest lionfish with nets or pole spears. No size or bag limits apply. Occasionally, a lionfish is taken on hook and line, usually when bottom fishing with small hooks and live bait such as shrimp. The predatory lionfish do not seem to react to dead bait.

To promote lionfish-removal awareness, FWC commissioners tied lionfish into the 2015 mini lobster season by allowing divers to keep an extra spiny lobster each day-if they also bagged 10 lionfish and kept or photographed the lionfish as proof.

“Our hope is that once lobster divers realize how easy it is to remove lionfish, they will continue to do so throughout the regular lobster season and beyond,” FWC Commissioner Brian Yablonski said.

The FWC launched Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day in 2015 and plans to hold it annually on the first weekend after Mother’s Day. A two-day festival was planned for Pensacola on May 14-15, 2016, and satellite lionfish events are expected that weekend throughout the state.

The FWC’s Reef Ranger program encourages divers to adopt a section of reef and remove lionfish there at least twice a year. Its website (www.ReefRangers.com) includes an interactive map that shows which areas have been adopted so other divers don’t waste time searching the same spots for lionfish.

Lionfish containment tubes, like this one made by ZooKeeper, prevent the fish from escaping or its spines from poking out.

The call to remove lionfish from Florida’s reefs and wrecks has led many divers to learn how to spear, handle and cook a fish whose 18 venomous spines contain a neurotoxin that causes a painful sting and swelling.

Because their services are needed to defend Florida’s native fish populations from an aggressive invader, recreational divers are turning the call to action into a feel-good reason to get together, spear dinner and enjoy friendly competition at lionfish derbies.

“It amazes me how this terrible little fish that invaded our waters has brought together an amazing group of like-minded people,” said Grayson Shepard, an Apalachicola charter captain who enjoys diving for lionfish in the Gulf waters off the Panhandle. “Because of lionfish, I have made friends with folks who are going to be buddies of mine for the rest of my life. “

As more divers learn how to catch, handle, clean and cook lionfish, the “eat ’em to beat ’em” philosophy is taking root, turning an environmental disaster into an outdoor pursuit similar to diving for spiny lobster.

Lionfish aficionados compare the flaky white meat of the lionfish to hogfish and grouper. Restaurants are beginning to serve lionfish, and some fish markets are offering lionfish to customers who eat it baked, sautéed, fried whole, cut into chunks for ceviche and prepared many other ways.

Although lobster trappers become frustrated when lionfish invade their traps and reduce their lobster harvest, lionfish provide an extra source of income for commercial lobster divers.

How lionfish populations can be controlled in the future is the subject of much scientific brainstorming.

One possible tool: Lionfish- specific traps that could be used to help maintain pressure on lionfish populations, especially in water too deep for recreational divers.

Bob and Maria Hickerson of Vero Beach, who sell lionfish harvesting gear through their company, Team Frapper LLC, are developing the Frapper Trap-a “smart” trap that first attracts lionfish and then uses a pattern recognition program to decide whether to capture them.

The Hickersons’ goal is to produce a trap that will catch only lionfish, with zero bycatch of other fish.

The U.S. Geological Survey is providing scientific advice to the Hickersons for the lionfish trap, which is being tested at the Florida Institute of Technology’s Vero Beach Marine Laboratory. See www.thefrapper.com for details and sales.

FWC Lionfish Removal Incentives

In April, the FWC approved incentives designed to encourage divers to take more lionfish- including a special program for seven Panhandle counties where the FWC says dense concentrations of lionfish can be found.

For the second year, divers will be able to harvest an additional lobster each day during the two-day spiny lobster sport season (set for July 27-28) if they qualify by first documenting harvests of lionfish.

Divers can qualify for the extra mini-season lobsters by taking at least 50 lionfish between Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day (May 14) and the mini lobster season.

Lionfish harvests must be documented through an FWC approved process, such as a lionfish derby or an approved check-in station. The FWC is working to establish lionfish check-in stations. They will be listed at www.myfwc.com/lionfish.

The person who checks in the most lionfish between May 14 and Sept. 30 will be crowned Florida’s Lionfish King (or Queen), will receive a lifetime saltwater fishing license and will have their photo featured on the cover of the January 2017 saltwater regulations brochure.

A separate incentive program for the Panhandle applies to lionfish taken from the waters off Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf and Franklin counties.

For every 100 lionfish taken off the seven Panhandle counties between May 2016 and May 2017, the harvester will be eligible for a tag allowing them to take one legal-sized red grouper or a legal-sized cobia that is over the bag limit in state waters.

The FWC plans to issue 100 incentive tags for red grouper and 30 cobia tags.

The big carrot: Anyone who documents the harvest of 500 or more lionfish between May 2016 and May 2017 will be offered the opportunity to name an artificial reef.

“Innovative programs like these are a great way to generate public involvement and interest in controlling the lionfish population,” FWC Chairman Brian Yablonski said.

From Spear to Table

Most divers take lionfish with pole spears, but divers working in tandem can capture them with a pair of clear vinyl nets, puncture-resistant gloves and a thick-walled catch bag.

Shooting lionfish is relatively easy. A pole spear thrust by a short rubber cord should skewer them.

Grayson Shepard, an Apalachicola charter captain who enjoys spearing lionfish, uses a quartering shot near the back of the head to kill lionfish instantly. A swift kill keeps the lionfish from wiggling off the spear tip.

Many divers wear puncture-resistant gloves, such as those made from Dyneema fabric. But divers shouldn’t rely on gloves to protect them from a lionfish’s painful stings.

Most seasoned lionfish hunters have been hit with a venomous spine at least once, so divers should learn the locations of the lionfish’s spines and prepare for a sting. Soaking the wound in hot water for 30 minutes or longer is considered the best treatment.

When diving offshore, Shepard unscrews the flushing hose from his outboard, fills a bucket with hot engine water and uses it to treat lionfish stings.

“Put your hand in hot water and it’s instantaneous relief,” he said, “until you pull your hand out.”

Shepard usually grits his teeth and keeps diving if he gets stung by a lionfish underwater, but there have been exceptions-such as the time a lionfish spine went under the nail of his thumb and caused his arm to swell.

Kyle Brown, a divemaster with the Wet Pleasures dive shop in Lantana, uses blunt-tipped trauma scissors to trim the spines off lionfish after spearing them.

Brown said he doesn’t assume that a lionfish is dead because a spear has gone through it.“They’re really resilient,” he said. “I’ve shot some in the head that wiggled right off the spear and swam away.”

Lion Trackers’ Guide

Where to look: Natural reefs, wrecks and other types of underwater structure attract lionfish in a variety of depths.

Spears: A short pole spear or Hawaiian sling will kill lionfish. Barbed tips such as the three-pronged paralyzer are popular for harvesting lionfish.

Containers: ZooKeeper containment tubes are designed with a funnel entrance that allows speared lionfish to be removed and stored without touching them.

Handling: Hold the lionfish’s lower jaw with a thumb and forefinger, being careful to avoid spines.

Gloves: Puncture-resistant gloves are recommended for collecting and

cleaning lionfish.

Treating stings: Immerse the stung body part in hot water. Seek medical treatment if needed.

Regulations: No fishing license is needed to harvest lionfish with a net, pole spear, Hawaiian sling or other spearing device designed for lionfish. No size or bag limits apply. Saltwater fishing license is required to take with speargun or hook and line.

Reporting: Report lionfish at the U.S. Geological Survey’s reporting site (https://nas.er.usgs.gov/SightingReport.aspx).

Instructional videos: Videos showing divers spearing, netting, bagging and handling lionfish can be found at: www.reef.org/lionfishtutorials.

Lionfish Derbies: The FWC maintains a list of lionfish tournaments around the state. FS

First Published Florida Sportsman Magazine June 2016

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Turnberry, LeFrak refinance SoLe Mia land with $67M loan

Rendering of SoLe Mia and Jeff Soffer, Jackie Soffer and Richard LeFrak

Rendering of SoLe Mia and Jeff Soffer, Jackie Soffer and Richard LeFrak

Turnberry Associates and Richard LeFrak just refinanced the North Miami land where they’re building SoLe Mia, a $4 billion mixed-use project, with a $66.5 million loan from HSBC.

County records show Oleta Partners, the ownership entity for SoLe Miami, took out the mortgage on its 183-acre development site at 15045 Biscayne Boulevard. The loan is a boost from Turnberry and LeFrak’s existing $37 million loan from Wells Fargo, which county records indicate was transferred to HSBC.

Jackie Soffer, CEO of Turnberry, said in a statement that the loan is “standard, low-level financing” that’s within the developers’ business plan for the sprawling project. HSBC has lent to major South Florida developments in the past, including the nearby Marina Palms Yacht Club & Residences, as well as Eduardo Costantini’s upcoming Oceana Bal Harbour.

The loan is a rare piece of financing for LeFrak and Turnberry, who told the Wall Street Journal last year that they would foot the bill for nearly all of the project’s $150 million worth of infrastructure improvements such as roads and sewers.

Construction began in June 2015, with the early work consisting of building the development’s “spine road” and filling in the property’s lakes.

The ambitious project is slated to bring 12 residential buildings totalling 4,390 units, more than 1 million square feet of commercial space, 37 acres of parks, two swimmable lagoons, and 4,171 parking spaces to North Miami when it’s completed over several phases.

Soffer said LeFrak and Turnberry are in the predevelopment stage and searching for tenants, with some retailers already expressing interest.

When asked whether there were any changes in the project’s timeline, Soffer said “We are on time, on budget, and on pace.”

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Happy Halloween Fellow Sportsmen

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Recent inshore fishing reports from the Southeast region.


Festive Snook Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: timswriter

Forum Member timswriter and some pals looked mighty festive earlier this month while they were channeling their inner werewolves by fishing on the full moon. They reeled in some massive snook and tarpon and enjoyed an action packed day at Dubois park.

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Fort Pierce Tripletail

Florida Sportsman member: Capt.AW

Forum member Capt.AW has been on some nice tripletail in the intracoastal.”Been running the markers the past few weeks. Gulp shrimp, jerk baits, and live shrimp on a jig head have been the baits of choice.”

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SLI Bite

Florida Sportsman member: greenie-slayer

For the next few hours no sardine lasted more than 10 seconds after hitting the water before getting a fish on, countless numbers of sharks and jacks. Jumped two poons on the day and saw a bunch of snook that weren’t fast enough to get to out baits before the jacks did.

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 

 


Jetty Action

Florida Sportsman member: SLW UroCane

I’ve been doing pretty good on pomps lately, limiting out three days this past two weeks at Fort Pierce jetty. Using a Doc’s Goofy jig tipped with shrimp, pink/pink, pink/white, pink/yellow.

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 

 


Catching Dinner

Florida Sportsman member: Fowlplay87

I caught some more mullet and it wasn’t long before her rod was bent over, landing her biggest to date and first slot snook followed by a second and a pile of nice jacks. We ended the trip around sunset with the last mullet getting eaten and up comes a 25 inch gator trout, her biggest to date as well.

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 

 

 


Spring Time Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. AW

The bite has been great lately using pinfish, croakers, and greenies. Drifting or anchored, around the inlet and bridges with very few fish in the slot.

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 

 

 

 


Fort Pierce Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. AW

The river bite is on fire. With the cooler weather the river plummeted into the high 50′s low 60′s depending on locations and tide. I prefer fishing midday low tides when it gets this cold. We have been beating down the docks, mangroves, flats, and catching a nice mixed bag.

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 

 

 


Fernandina Surf Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Amelia Paddler

Started out an hour into the falling tide, dirty & flat water so I had no high aspirations for a good day. I ended up getting slammed right off the bat with a 31-32″ red and lost another one in the wash that was a bit smaller. Managed a few keeper whitings for lunch tomorrow as well.

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 

 

 


Night Time Bite

Florida Sportsman member: FISHHUNTR

Moved around a lot more and ended up in the inlet. I was slow rolling a jig and got a vicious hit followed by line screaming off the reel and figured I was into an overslot snook, up pops a fat gag which taped out at 29.25 inches!

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 

 

 


Fort Pierce Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: Capt.AW

The redfish bite has been good for the past few weeks. We have been soaking cut bait,ladyfish and pins primarily, in the dirty water and doing well with the reds. Most fish have been in the slot with a few just barely over.

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 

 

 


Fishing with Dad

Florida Sportsman member: lunkerman

Well today’s trip showed me that you should always listen to your papa! He dropped down a berkley gulp crab on a sliding sinker rig and boom! It wasn’t 30 seconds until he was hooked up.

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Fort Pierce Night Bite

Florida Sportsman member: FISHHUNTR

Tried a few spots before finding the fish and once I did the bite was on fire! Landed several shorts on the spooltek, two of which were 27 inches and picked up one on a freelined live mullet. I put a bait on the bottom as the tide slowed and got two reds, one just under 27 the other just over 27 inches.

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 

 

 


Summer Fishing Fun

Florida Sportsman member: MattBudd

The snook fishing has been as good as it gets in the inlet and my charter customers have been taking full advantage of that. As you will see from the pictures I have attached. We caught and released a 51 inch slob in July which is still the big fish of the season but many others in the upper 40 inch range.

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 

 

 


Southeast Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: LilJim

Last week my buddy and I did a few short trips throughout the week. We had decent luck at the mosquito impoundments for snook and reds. We also picked up a nice flounder and a few black drum as well. Lots of giant croakers out right now as well, some pushing up to 20 inches.

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 

 


Indian River Reds and More

Florida Sportsman member: Telese

Indian River has been packed with snook and reds! Started fishing around 6 am between midway rd and the power lines. Went out with some buddies wading who have done well the last few days. A couple over slot snook, trout, ladies, jacks, and reds. Bass assassin sea shads on 1/8 ounce twist lock heads did the trick today.

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 

 


Southeast Snook Bite

Florida Sportsman member: bsnookn584

The last few nights that I have been able to get out have been really productive. Some spring mullet are starting to show up, so I have been using some larger artificial’s. Targeting small schools of mullet when you can find them, and fishing swimbaits low and slow around bridges and seawalls have been key.

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 

 

 


Topwater Time

Florida Sportsman member: Net 30

Went out at 6:00pm and fished for 90 minutes last evening before lightning chased us off the water. Found a nice little piece of shoreline with good bait and had a blast with my oldest son.

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 


Treasure Coast Sight Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: palmbeachpete

I went to Ft. Pierce and fished north of Little Johns Island. It was a little windy and the fish were shallow. Had a great time and will be back there again soon.

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 

 


Slammin’ in the Canoe

Florida Sportsman member: ReelLefty

We loaded up on bait with a throw of the net and drifted along the shore line with a decent south wind and incoming tide. Fish were also picked up on gulp jerkbait.

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Father and Son Fun

Florida Sportsman member: SLW Urocane

We then worked the flats for a few hours, both if us tossing Vudu shrimp. We caught about 7 trout, including a nice fatty . We moved and worked a few mangroves and went 2 for 3 on snook.

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Vero Beach Reds

Florida Sportsman member: SS Canoe

I also put my mom on her personal best trout, an excellent weekend slamming the fish. I’m still looking for those big snook to show up in numbers on the flats. They make for some interesting eats in shallow water.

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Treasure Coast Reds

Florida Sportsman member: summer daze

We did manage 4 slot redfish, one 25 inch trout and a snook. We released everything to fight another day, We were throwing vudu shrimp and sebile soft mullet.

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Beach Sharkin’

Florida Sportsman member: AlexAngler

We had a few runs and within half an hour I had landed a nice black tip shark that was 5 feet 3 inches, I was thrilled! It was awesome to come to a completely new area and with help from you guys on the forum do good and catch a nice shark!

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Treasure Coast Reds

Florida Sportsman member: SLW Urocane

Got out this afternoon with a buddy who wanted to try a few of his redfish spots in north Ft. Pierce. We worked the mangroves out of the wind and landed 7 slot and 1 over-slot fish. Kept our limit one each for some blackening. Go to bait was mullet.

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 


Epic Bass Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: inshore dave

“All fish were fat, healthy and beautiful. Once hooked, they all, even the dinks, fought with attitude. They were all released unharmed and healthy. We were off the water by 4 p.m. We didn’t see another boat all day.”

Want to catch bass like these? Click here for how-to videos, feature stories, and more.


December Inshore Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

Doa Terroreyz has been a major go to with the colder water, bouncing bottom in the deeper holes and ledges. The pompano bite has been pretty good, find 66 to 68 degree water and you should be in them, as well as a good tide, higher the tide, the further they push back, and a lot of people don’t realize this.

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 

 


St. Lucie Snook and More

Florida Sportsman member: snookcook

Hooked up with a sweet snook that turned out to be a slot. One more and I guess we could go home. We went out to get one slot each & only planned to fish a couple hours. We had been out not even fifteen minutes and we had two in the boat.

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 

 

 


Stuart Pompano

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Dave

This morning Brian and I decided to give the pompano a try for a few hours. The tides weren’t exactly convenient for our tight schedule, but we weren’t more than 15 minutes into fishing when Brian nabbed a fatty that was 19 inches to the fork of the tail.

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 

 

 


Pompano from the Pier

Florida Sportsman member: Compleat

Forecast said to pass on the offshore but my missus was in fishing mode. We tossed the rods in the car and hit the pier. We started off slow but picked three nice pompano.

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 

 


Tournament Win and Nice Reds

Florida Sportsman member: SS Canoe

With my direction he whipped his doa into the feeding fish, bam, hooked up. Got the fish in and pictured, a 20 inch red. About this time the were finger mullet being showered along the mangroves. A quick pole over, a hookup and a picture was all we needed and he was 2/3 done with the slam that I knew would win this tournament.

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 


Indian River Night Bite

Florida Sportsman member: snookcook

I prefer to fish at night or in the evening mainly to avoid the sun. Plus, the night time is the right time! The docks have been holding tons of trout and snook. The tarpon are here in huge numbers in the river and on the beach. We jumped a few this week, got lots of hits, and landed a few.

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 

 


The Trout are Chewin’

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

“September is here and so is the bait! The finger mullet schools throughout the South Indian River are the ticket. Fishing these schools with topwater lures and suspending twitch baits below the schools have been great…”

Want to catch tarpon like these guys? Click here for how-to videos, feature stories, and more.


From the Spillways to the Beaches

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

“Now’s the time to get out there and pull on some bruiser snook! Been catching them in the river all the way to the beach. If you can find clear water on the beach sight fishing these big breeders is a blast (really gets the adrenaline pumping watching one eat)…”

Want to catch big snook like these guys? Click here for how-to videos, feature stories, and more.


Tangling with Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: SaltyRoots

We’ve been fishing the beaches early morning and late afternoon for tarpon. Mainly from kayaks and paddleboards but some days it’s easier to catch them from the beach. The tarpon have been crushing bait pods from Vero Beach to South Patrick. Pogies, pilchards, glass minnows, and now mullet have been schooling just outside the breakers.

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 


From the Spillways to the Beaches

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

“Now’s the time to get out there and pull on some bruiser snook! Been catching them in the river all the way to the beach. If you can find clear water on the beach sight fishing these big breeders is a blast (really gets the adrenaline pumping watching one eat)…”

Want to catch big snook like these guys? Click here for how-to videos, feature stories, and more.


St. Lucie Beach Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: snookcook

“Fishing has been awesome! Tarpon are in, snook are popping, trout are munching, and snapper are snapping! Some reds are around too, just have not been targeting them. I have been getting a good mangrove bite, in the St. Lucie and Indian River on both tides.”

Want to catch tarpon like these guys? Click here for how-to videos, feature stories, and more.


Hot Snook Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

As we progress into the full swing of summer the snook bite has been on fire. Whether fishing the beach, inlets or backwater, all of it is good right now. Mostly throwing artificials and fly and sight fishing a lot of them.

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 

 


Cobia From a Bridge

Florida Sportsman member: landshark

My buddy Ryan has made some impressive catches over the years, including the Juno pier record Cobia a while back. He’s back at it but this time he did something pretty unusual and landed a keeper Cobia on a Bridge at night while snook fishing.

CLick Here to read the full forum report

 

 

 

 


Spring Snookin’

Florida Sportsman member: OverslotsOnly

Recently, the snook seem to be keying in on baitfish. Any kind of whitebait or mullet are great when available, but don’t overlook blue runners, especially closer to the inlet, ladyfish, or sand perch. If a certain type of bait isn’t around, try something else that’s more available.

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South Indian River Bite

Florida Sportsman member: capt charlie

Our best fishing has been around the mangroves this past week. We have caught redfish, snook and trout in those areas. Our redfish have been up to 32 inches. The snook have beaten us on a number of occasions where we couldn’t slow them down before being broken off under the mangroves. We have caught some nice trout in the upper 20 inch range this week as well.

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Welcome to the Neighborhood

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

Well last week the girlfriend and I scored a new place on indian river drive. With a 540 foot dock to fish and many fish to catch I’m in heaven. The fish have welcomed me to the neighborhood in a the nicest way possible, letting me catch them!

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Stuart Snookin’ with a Bonus

Florida Sportsman member: MinerCatch

After cleaning the boat i decide to pull an iron man now that i feel like an insomniac and decide to go fishing inshore with my buddy Ben. Ended up with a few stud snook all of which were in the upper 40 inch range and a decent 29 inch trout.

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Monster Snook and More

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

I knew it was a snook by the way she smacked the topwater. The fish came up and shook her head and I realized the size this fish had! I loosened up my drag and started to play this fish to make sure I had the best chance and landing it. Don’t forget this is with only 25 pound leader and a 2000 size reel. 8 or so minutes of me doing the dance with her and some pretty epic head shakes I had her!

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Fort Pierce Snook Bite

Florida Sportsman member: dukhuntr1991

I loaded up on bait this week so we went out to drown a few tonight. The bite was on when we got there and we had a 34 inch fish in the boat 2 minutes after pulling up. Caught a big jack and also caught a 32 inch keeper before heading in.

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Stuart Snookin’

Florida Sportsman member: Bullshark

We hit it hard the last few days. All in all we caught about 50 Snook and 1 Red. 3 of the Snook being slot fish.

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Snook Fishing In The Cold

Florida Sportsman member: Marker954

These cold fronts have been great for loading up the deep channels with big snook. We fished during the recent polar vortex (aka a cold front), and landed six of these nice snook and got hit by 8 others. Here is Tom Lewis with a nice 39 inch oversized Fort Pierce schoolie from Tuesday night using a First Light Tackle snook jig.

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South Indian River Bite

Florida Sportsman member: capt Charlie

We spent some time in the turning basin of Fort Pierce with the jacks, runners and ladyfish to finish off the morning. Cheryl, Frank and Steven were out on the two windiest days of the week. We caught lots of fish, but had to hide from the worst of the weather. Frank finished off the trip with a nice Spanish mackerel. It was a fun time on the water this week in spite of the conditions.

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South Indian River Bite

Florida Sportsman member: capt Charlie

Redfish have been hanging around docks and mangroves lately for us. Try a CAL paddle tail around the mangroves and docks. The trout bite was slower this week mainly due to the windy days keeping us off most of the grass flats. We did catch a few short snook around the mangroves while searching for redfish. The black drum and sheepshead are moving into the river and you should see good catches of them in the next several months. Try bridges, docks and channel edges for these species.

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Backwater Reds Are Chewing

Florida Sportsman member: evergladeskid243

Worked my way into some mangrove cuts and started jigging the current rips and points and found a nice lit up 27 and a half inch redfish! He inhaled my DOA jig and gave me a fun tug o war up in the tight mangrove canal, trying to catch the line on down branches and roots!

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Seeing Red In The Southeast

Florida Sportsman member: SS Canoe

Not 10 minutes go by and I get slammed by a big fish big, it boils and I knew It was red. Got him to the boat and he stretched the 30 inch mark. Biggest red I’d pulled off that flat in years. Boom Cole’s on, We Boat the redfish, 25 inches. Great 2 days before the front. Like clockwork!

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Winter Time Wading In The Southeast

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

Throwing Mirrolure lil jons on 1/8th ounce jig head just hopping them through the grass, and that was the ticket! second cast with mine, boom, a trout. After that it was every other cast catching them. No gators but kept the rod bent. Did hook one and realized he got really heavy half way through the fight, brought him to my feet and he was sawed right in half by something, and I didn’t want to find out what it was.

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Great Fishing With Mom In Vero

Florida Sportsman member: SS Canoe

I have fished the lagoon since I was a young child, but after all these years I have never taken my mom fishing. well, recently I bought a little Carolina skiff that is much more stable than my old jon boat, so I decided it was time. Excellent introduction to fishing the lagoon! Ended up with 4 reds up to 27 inches, and she caught 3 of them.

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Dinner On The Flats

Florida Sportsman member: SLW UroCane

Got out and fished solo today. Had to deal with rain and wind all day. Fished mostly the Round Island and Moorings area. At least the bite was ok. DOA Cal and MirroLure suspending twitch baits were the key. Caught trout, pompano, ladyfish, jacks and a small red. Kept the pomp for dinner. Water color was terrible, as expected, but the bite was fairly steady.

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Night Time Stuart Action

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

Was getting ready to leave till I saw this bruiser cruising the shadow line, pitched a live bait in her face and watched it get destroyed. From the bridge she only looked 33 inches or so but realized she was a lot bigger when hooked. Measured out to 40 inches.

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Light Tackle Mayhem

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

The sun started to go down and the finger mullet started to pack up in tight schools and were getting busted. I threw my topwater in a school of mullet and no more than 2 twitches later BOOM! I thought it was a slot fish till I saw it jump and realized it was way over slot.

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Fort Pierce Variety

Florida Sportsman member: FISHHUNTR

Pitch out a 6 inch mullet and immediately it is crushed, I thought it was a jack initially but noted it was really digging for the bottom and that got me hoping. Sure enough I see color and it’s a keeper gag that ended up taping out at 27 inches!

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Sebastian Inlet Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: Final Point

We Landed one more nice red before we called it a night. Fishing is starting to pick up in the inlet. Saw several tarpon role to the south of the inlet but they didn’t want to chew. All in all it was a great day of fun fishing with some tasty treats for the cast iron skillet.

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Boca Midnight Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Dolphin_Hunter

The fish fought hard and I knew it was big. Never saw her. Luckily she went in the middle of the intercoastal away from pilings. I backed off on the drag since I was only fishing 15 pound braid with 25 pound leader. 10 minutes later, fish in the boat! 40 inch total length and a solid 18-20 pounds. Biggest snook I’ve caught in a long time. Super stoked! Awesome fight on a 4000 reel. Revived the fish and she swam away strong.

Read more: http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?130701-9-29-SLOB-Snook-40-quot-amp-a-Slot-Boca-Pompano-Midnight-Mullet-Run-Bite#ixzz2gP8wvFa4

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Ft. Pierce Trout, Reds and Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Pensacola

Put together a little friendly inshore tourney against some fellow forum members. I was on my Gheenoe going against Ricky (seein red) on his Ranger and one other forum member who I wont mention…because he slept in! No showed the tourney, so it was just us against Seein red. Format was total length biggest red, trout, and snook, picture only.

We get out early in hopes to get a early morning trout. Plan comes together with a small 15 inch trout on a doa shrimp. As the sun comes up, we chum a little and castnet some nice pinfish for livies. We set up and I get tight on a nice 25 inch red. So we have a 40 inch slam so far. Around 9 a.m., I get tight on a really sluggish fish, felt like a catfish, no headshakes or anything. Get it to the boat and ends up being a big 27 inch gator trout. I think the warm water had him fighting weak. Quick pic, strong revival, and off he swam. So we have a 52 inch slam and im feeling good.

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3 Nights, 60 Snook + More

Florida Sportsman member: Joupdog1

The snook bite has been great to say the least! Before we got on the snook, Sunday I met up with my buddy Shane and we got on the redfish up in Ft.Pierce! Sight fishing schools of up to 100 fish. All beautiful 26 to 28 inch fish. Dad also took the boat out and got a stud 28″ trout at midday. At night we’ve been bridge fishing the shadow lines in the St.Lucie and found plenty of snook willing to eat. We totaled 33 on our first night out with the biggest being right in slot. I went wading down in Jupiter with my buddy the next evening and wasn’t disappointed. Only 2 snook were caught, but both were slobs. My first one being a fat, 38 incher that about made it to the channel on my little 2500 Stradic.

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Gator Trout and Monster Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Joupdog1

Decided to head out to a flat that had been good for trout and within the first 5 minutes hooked up on a nice 26 inch trout! Snapped a few pictures and released. We worked the flat for almost the rest of the evening, but it only produced 5 or 6 slot trout. I mention that maybe we should work a little closer to the docks on the way in. We move in and I land a cast about 30 yards from the nearest dock and hook up! My little 2500 Stradic is screaming! The fish pushes a huge wake as it beelines for the dock. Somehow I turn it before it gets to the dock. After about 5 minutes, I finally get a half jump from it and see it is a huge snook. Once I’ve got it close, it decides it wasn’t done and takes back off on another 15 second run. 3 jumps later, it’s landed! My 12 pound braid/30 pound leader held up and I could tell immediately that it was my new personal best.

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Trials & Tribulations of Fishing a New Spot

Florida Sportsman member: Joupdog1

Left the house bright and early with Dad, ready to go explore somewhere new. Knowing the wind was going to kick up out of the south, we headed up to Ft.Pierce. We launch the Gheenoe in calm conditions and made a run to a dock line that looked good. We dropped the trolling motor and reached for the rods, except we left them in the truck at the ramp. Fifteen minutes later, we’re back in position. We catch some baby tarpon sized ladyfish and big drag screaming jacks to start things off. We move more onto the flat and catch 6 or 7 trout up to 18 inches, but nothing too good. We cut over to the other side of the river and hide from the now strong south wind behind some of the islands. Dads 1st cast, nice flounder! Next thing you know, we had 2 small mutton snapper and a nice mangrove in the boat. About 9:30, the action slows down so we go to the channel and make a run.

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Flats Snook on Topwater

Florida Sportsman member: SS Canoe

This monster snook busted my rapala skitterwalk in 2 feet of water.The fight was on, and what a fight it was. After 10 minutes of screaming runs and ticking line, I got him in with no frayage on my 25 pound flourocarbon leader.It made a great addition to a slew of topwater snook this summer. You have to trust the topwater in order for it to work for you. Don’t switch lures or move around. Make long casts and walk the dog to the best of your ability.

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July Fishing report

Florida Sportsman member:capt. charlie

July brings hot weather, chances of afternoon rains and Fourth of July parties. Oh….and lots of great fishing out there, too! Watch out for afternoon thunderstorms this month. Mornings on the river will bring action at first light on top water lures for snook or trout along the flats. They will seek deeper water as the sun rises. It’s a hot, but very productive month around the Treasure Coast.

I will be fishing along the mangroves for snook and redfish with DOA shrimp, CAL jerk baits and top water lures, like the new DOA Airhead, where the water will be 2-3 feet deep. Trout will move to deeper flats in 2-6 feet of water and will most likely hit pigfish, DOA shrimp or Deadly Combos. Look for the trout to move to the deeper edges of the flats as the sun warms up the water. Fish the sand holes on the flats! You will find the bigger fish sitting in these holes waiting on the tides to bring the food to them. It has been another banner year for big trout around the area. Redfish will continue to hold up on the flats. Read the water as you move across the flats and look for any activity that might be a school of reds. Gold spoons, soft baits, like DOA shrimp or CAL jerk baits will work best for them. Search along the docks during the day for snook or redfish hanging around there as well. It’s a fantastic month to be fishing…

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Fort Pierce Mixed bag

Florida Sportsman member:Capt.AW

Thursday the 13th we had plans to look for permit or tarpon on the beach. It took a while, but we finally found the permit and managed to pull 3 mid teen size fish from the school.

Friday the 14th we went out looking for the permit again, but the water temps dropped almost 9 degrees overnight. Knowing that our odds of finding them at that point were slim to none we made a long run up the beach to look for some tarpon. Once arriving we found big pods of bait being worked by some bigger mackerel and snook. So we decided to stay with the bait and pull on some snook. We ended up landing a few in the upper slot to over slot range then called it a day.

Thursday the 20th Joe, Dj, and I headed out hoping to find those beach snook again. Upon arriving at the location things looked bleak the conditions or more importantly the bait wasn’t there. From there we bounced around to a few spots but ended up coming back in catching a couple decent snook and reds.

Friday the 21st I got an early start to meet up with a buddy who’s been telling me I need to come down and get on these monster snook he’s been catching. While we didn’t get any true monsters, I did get one in the high 30’s that probably went 20lbs or so. My buddy was gracious enough to hop in the water to make the release but wanted me to crop his head out of the photo


Stuart Causeway Redfish

Florida Sportsman member Jermos

I had Friday off so I decided to wake up at 5:30 and take a mini excursion from Stuart to a spot I usually kayak fish near Ft. Pierce. No signs of any activity which was unusual, spent almost an hour there and called it quits. Went back south for some breakfast then tried one of the beaches in search for a surfin snook, no luck. Left the beach around 10am headed back home to Stuart, on my way over the causeway I noticed the glassy conditions on the north side of the river and couldnt resist. I normally overlook this spot a lot, but when I pulled up there was all kinds of surface activity. I was able to castnet a school of nice sized pilchards, and quickly waded out with one on my light rod. I had him tail hooked free-lining for maybe 10 minutes when I got bumped and rod almost ripped from my hands with the drag screaming. Definitely thought it was a good sized jack

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Paddleboard Fishing at Riomar Beach

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Recent fishing reports from “No Motor Zone” anglers from all regions around the state.


Paddleboard Fishing at Riomar Beach

Florida Sportsman member: palmbeachpete

You don’t have to paddle out for miles off the beach to catch fish, forum member palmbeachpete shows us in his informative and interesting video on his experiences while fishing at Riomar in Vero Beach.

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Hillsboro Offshore Variety

Florida Sportsman member: John McKroid

Total count was one Mahi, three Almacos, five Rainbow Runners, one yellowjack, one for two on Amberjack and King Mackerel, 0/1 on sailfish, and half a dozen big blue runners and small Little Tunnys.

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Fort Pierce Canoe Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Captain_Snook

On a late night canoe fishing excursion, forum member Captain_Snook had a great fight with 2 beautiful slot snook. Looks like he won the battle!

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Pompano Beach Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: John Mckroid

By 6:45 am, I put out my first 2 baits. About 30 minutes later my first strike occurred on the downrigger bait. At color I could see it was a medium sized kingfish, and at that time a sailfish struck my surface bait. After landing the king, I took the other rod out of the rod holder and landed the sailfish.

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Wahoo from the Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: John Mckroid

I caught this fish on the first live goggle eye bait in the water, drifting in 200 feet of water off Boynton Beach.

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South Florida Jig Bite

Florida Sportsman member: John Mckroid

Just north of Commercial pier, the current died out, and I found another area to vertical jig. The action was good for mixed almacos and blackfin with an occasional little tunny.

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Sebastian Flats Surprise

Florida Sportsman member: RWood Outdoors

I hit the flats near Sebastian Inlet over the weekend, and was pleased to hook up with an acrobatic juvenile tarpon in a spot I usually get snook and reds. I also caught a nice bonnethead shark.

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Hillsboro Variety

Florida Sportsman member: John McKroid

After getting over the shock and disappointment of losing the outfit with a nice fish on the other end, I tied a stinger rig on my sabiki rod and put another bait out. Twenty minutes later, boom! another kingfish and this time the outcome was favorable.

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Mosquito Lagoon Reds

Florida Sportsman member: FL_Native61

Last Saturday was a nice calm day when I fished Mosquito Lagoon. The brown algae isn’t getting any better with visibility around 6″, and water levels the lowest I’ve ever seen. It turned out to be a great day though with 5 redfish landed and I was back at the ramp by 11:00 AM.

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Predators of the Flats

Florida Sportsman member: RWood Outdoors

I had some fun action on the inshore flats near Sebastian Inlet. Storms were threatening, but was able to get a few fish before the heavens opened up.

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Wahoo from the Yak

Florida Sportsman member: Produkt

Went out of Boynton and drifted all the way to Palm Beach with nothing to show except a big yellow jack on the jig early in the day. Was about to call it a day and land at the Breakers when I did a little bit of jigging in 60 feet for snapper and seeing if I can get a king on the reef before calling it quits. My live bait gets hit and you can see the rest.

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Boynton Beach Sail

Florida Sportsman member: John McKroid

Hooked a sailfish in 200 feet along a weedline, The sailfish sleigh ride ended in 470 feet of water where the current was ripping 3 knots. There were some birds diving nearby, a few small Blackfin jumping and fish on the meter 120 feet down.

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Beachside Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: RWood Outdoors

Lightning strikes twice for me this 2016 ocean kayaking season. Got my second giant tarpon of the year over the weekend fishing just north of Sebastian Inlet. Trolling Live atlantic bumpers (horn bellies) for bait.

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New Personal Best

Florida Sportsman member: Charlotte

Forum member Charlotte sight fished her new personal best trout from her kayak, while fishing in Mosquito Lagoon. This fish weighed eight pounds on the fish grip. Nice!

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Kayak Trout Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Hobie Angler

In the past couple of weeks, despite the poor water conditions at the lagoon, I have found that the overall population of seatrout is very healthy. I could be wrong, but as far as I can see the fish look very strong. This has been my experience so far this summer.

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Tarpon Sleigh Ride

Florida Sportsman member: QuiksilverIHB

Forum member QuiksilverIHB got himself a nice tarpon off the beach via paddleboard. We’re sure that was one fun ride. Nice fish!

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Personal Best

Florida Sportsman member: SpaceCoast Slayer

I slowly waded up to them trying not to make too much noise and then just behind them I see a couple red brooms pop up, really nice reds. At this point, I didn’t even care about those drum. I was able to get within 30 to 40 feet of the tails and laid one in right in the sweet spot on the first cast.

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Hollywood Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: Dude-On-A-Kayak

Went out yesterday afternoon, the king bite was on in 100 feet of water off the Diplomat. I was starting to think my fish finder sucked, but I started marking fish and dropped the jig right on them. This was the first time I have actually been able to see several kings chase my jig back to the boat.

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Lagoon Tails

Florida Sportsman member: SpaceCoast Slayer

When they’re tailing, they are so wrapped up in what they are rooting on that most fish you literally have to touch with the lure to get them to notice it. A good handful of the reds I have been catching recently were cane poled right at the side of the kayak close enough to where I can touch them with the rod tip.

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Plan B

Florida Sportsman member: Dude-On-A-Kayak

Without gogs or runners wahoo fishing was questionable. After trying live pichards + jigging from about 90-200′ I gave up and went bottom fishing. I headed to a bottom spot off Dania. I hauled in a nice gag on the second drop of my mullet colored 230 gram “rudo” Jimy jig

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Monster from the Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: Produkt

He has never been fishing in the Atlantic Ocean before and had never even been in a kayak before. We were in 110 feet off Boynton Beach when I set up his live bait rig with a live goggle eye and dropped it in the water. I am holding the rod explaining how a conventional reel works for only a few seconds when the drag starts to pull, then it starts to scream.

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Ozello Kayaking

Florida Sportsman member: TightLinesGuy

Made the drive up to Ozello to do some kayak fishing with my Uncle for a few hours. Gorgeous backcountry fishing up there, I don’t do it nearly enough.

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Catching off of Hillsboro

Florida Sportsman member: John McKroid

I scratched up 6 runners and began fishing around 7:45am. First bait was not out more than 15 minutes before it was hit, boom! It acted like a big King Mackerel from the very first signature long screeching run.

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Matlacha Snookin’

Florida Sportsman member: ReelFinsFlorida

After an hour or so of no action I ran into a nice shoreline with lots of action and hooked up to the biggest snook I’ve caught off a kayak. What an incredible fight off the kayak with light tackle!

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Hallandale Phin

Florida Sportsman member: Dude-On-A-Kayak

At around 7:30AM I hooked up with a nice bull dolphin or “mahi”. It ate the first ballyhoo I tossed out in 105′ of water. I think that is the shallowest I have ever caught a dolphin. During the battle I buried a treble hook in my leg (like all the way in) and lost my sabiki rod. It was another expensive trip, but it was fun.

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All Day AJ’s

Florida Sportsman member: John McKroid

At one point, I casted out and within 20 seconds of my jig hitting the water, I was bent over on a fish. The fish was peeling line off the reel towards the wreck, so I put some heavy pressure on him and he pulled off. I began reeling in, and another fish smashed the jig, and again pulled off under heavy pressure. When I reeled up the jig, it was bent up with a straightened out hook.

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Heavy Wind, Epic Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Rkotinsky

She surfaces and I see a massive head and huge dorsal fins as she circles my kayak. I loosen the drag so as not to lose the fish to a warn leader. She runs again and jumps fully out of the water, which is not very common for a snook this size.

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Catching Across the Stream

Florida Sportsman member: Cannible

Forum member Cannible shared some photos from his trip to the Bahamas, while fishing the Battle in the Bahamas kayak tournament.

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Boynton Phin

Florida Sportsman member: Produkt

As I was paddling back closer to the beach I picked up this mahi in about 150 feet. I headed back to the beach just as Brian’s client hooked up to a sailfish. Solid day.

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Trying Something New

Florida Sportsman member: anglerbros 7286

When I bought my kayak the original plan was to explore new areas and access waters I normally wouldn’t be able to reach. Instead I keep going back to what I’m familiar with and it seems I may never leave. I decided to launch over by Pete’s Pier since it’s so close to everything. I tried something new this time and brought a cast net along with me and caught some really nice 2 to 4 inch white baitfish.

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A Fresh Change

Florida Sportsman member: SpaceCoast Slayer

My first few trips were pretty productive but the fish really left a lot to be desired in the size department. Went out this afternoon and finally put a couple halfway decent ones on deck plus way too many dinks to count.

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Catching off of Boynton

Florida Sportsman member: Pottymouth

We decided to head in shallower, nada. Boat chatter on the radio was the same, nada! Was just about to head out deep when the clients rod got tight, king on. The greedy king ate a runner and a jimyjig so he wasn’t going anywhere.

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Dinner and a Show

Florida Sportsman member: John McKroid

Since the current was dead, and a fellow kayaker reported some action, I decided to head out to 500 feet to try for tilefish. I had a fair number of bites on nearly every drop, but only managed to catch four.

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Boynton Bite

Florida Sportsman member: John McKroid

Landed one nice almaco in 460 feet, hooked right on the bottom. Continued to drift north while dragging a flat line bait and vertical jigging inwards from 480 to 180 feet. Metered some fish on the wreck just north of the inlet, but luck was not with me, I missed a fish on bait and got bit off on the jig the first pass.

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Mosquito Madness

Florida Sportsman member: SpaceCoast Slayer

Around 11, the wind dropped out and the sun came out nice and bright. This was the catalyst as the fish began popping up everywhere. We were on at least 10 separate pods of reds at one time with monster trout mixed in.

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Changing Tactics, Catching Fish

Florida Sportsman member: Anna

The tide was high when we got into the creek, so we tried our luck working some mud-flats and grass lines with various presentations, but only taker was a rat red. After a couple of hours I could tell that my friend was getting a little frustrated, so it was time to switch gears.

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First Time Fishing the Lagoon

Florida Sportsman member: kingkong954

Nia and I decided to take advantage of the long weekend and kayak the ‘pole and troll’ zones of the Mosquito Lagoon. It was was our first time there, which means I had zero expectations of catching any fish

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First Time Fishing the Lagoon

Florida Sportsman member: kingkong954

Nia and I decided to take advantage of the long weekend and kayak the ‘pole and troll’ zones of the Mosquito Lagoon. It was was our first time there, which means I had zero expectations of catching any fish

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Lauderdale Action

Florida Sportsman member: John McKroid

First good strike in 500 feet of water broke off the braid line, must have been a bad spot in the line. I re-tied and landed a nice blackfin tuna on my very next drop.

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Paddling Sebastian

Florida Sportsman member: palmbeachpete

Forum member palmbeachpete posted an awesome video of some nice trout and redfish he caught via paddleboard. Pete says “January is a great time to paddle the mangroves and hunt redfish. The water is clearing up around Sebastian and the fishing is good.”

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Wintertime Kayak Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: harrisa2006

I battled her close quarters and managed to prevail. Feeling good, my casting accuracy got better and made some stellar casts between boats and pilings. I managed to pull out more snook 26 inch, 24 and a 22 incher. I also got a surprise redfish to boot.

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Pompano Beach Jigging

Florida Sportsman member: John Mckroid

The current was light and variable making it easy to stay on top of the marks. A Lot of the marks were small little tunny(bonito) and large blue runners, but occasionally an almaco jack, blackfin tuna or something else would hit the jig.

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Dania Beach Mahi and Tuna

Florida Sportsman member: kayakfrank

The bite picked up for me between 3:30pm and 5:00 pm. I managed to pick up an almaco, bonito, another tuna and a nice mahi. The mahi hit a live goggle eye in 250 feet of water. I put the smallest circle hook I had available and downsized the leader size for visibility, it worked out this time.

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Catching with Junior

Florida Sportsman member: SpaceCoast Slayer

We lost a monster drum as well, 40-50 pounder. I had the net in my hand but he made a big surge as he broke the surface and pulled the hook..at least we got to see him! Had a great time out there just relaxing and watching the manatees and dolphins..even heard the drum drumming down there as we were fishing.

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Offshore Action

Florida Sportsman member: meckert

We were actually able to get offshore one day last week and fishing was great. Between Eric and I we got 3 kings (one being 30lbs) a sail and a nice mahi. All fish hit small blue runners in roughly 150 to 200 feet of water.

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First Red

Florida Sportsman member: SpaceCoast Slayer

The kids are out of school on christmas break so I figured I would get my boy out on the water in the yaks. He’s still a little too young to be interested in hardcore plastic slinging type fishing so I just brought him out to where I knew there were a couple reds and we laid out a couple chunks and relaxed while taking in the scenery.

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Topwater Snookin’

Florida Sportsman member: kwanza98

Forum member kwanza98 put together a cool short video of a big snook destroying a topwater. Nice work!

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Hot Action before the Cold

Florida Sportsman member: Spacecoast Slayer

After half an hour of paddling I see a nice group of backs breaking the surface. Threw a chartreuse Mr. Wiffelure past them and whizzed it by and it got thumped. Assumed it was going to be a red but to my surprise it was a drum.

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From Dawn till Dusk

Florida Sportsman member: John McKroid

In 185 feet of water while approaching an area of feeding birds, the runner rod bent over. A mahi was jumping on the end of the line, and before I could get him landed the other reel started screaming.

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Great Day of Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: harrisa2006

Not 20 minutes later I am working a nice choke point and I get crushed again! This time this fish knew instantly something wasn’t right, and ran straight towards the mangroves went way back in there.

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West Palm Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: Pottymouth

We got a late start so we purchased bait instead of catching some. Made it out to the grounds tossed out a livie and began jigging. Soon after I hear flip yell out “mahi heading to your gog.”

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Dolphin on the Jig

Florida Sportsman member: meckert

Mine hit a Victory Lures Pink Dart Jig and Adam tossed his gog bug and another Mahi that was swimming by.

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Dania Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: kayakfrank

I was trolling a Yozuri Crystal Minnow and a blue runner. Just as soon as I reached 60 ft, the Yozuri got smacked. The fish made some hard runs before tiring down a bit, just enough to let me glimpse at the biggest kingfish I had seen next to my kayak.

Read more: http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?206791-Wahoo-Caught-At-Dania-Beach-11-2-2015#ixzz3qdB1IjY5

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Starting November Right

Florida Sportsman member: jcanracer

We were thinking of calling it a day by 11am, but out of nowhere my last, near-dead, goggle eye got smacked and I was onto mahi number two. As with before, the fish did not want to come into the kayak. This time the mahi, after being landed, made a heroic leap back into the water!

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Pompano Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: John McKroid

After filling up with runners, I started fishing at 7:30am and there was no current, rain, but thankfully a little wind and frequent schools of baby bonitas breaking the water feeding. Fish bit good on runners for about two and a half hours.

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Jiggin’ em Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: Whelan

Launched with Paul from Boyton this morning. Caught all of my fish on a JimyJig Japo in the color punk pink.

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Boynton Drift

Florida Sportsman member: Produkt

I hit the water at six to mullet all over the surf with runners, ladyfish and bluefish chasing them. Mullet were jumping into my kayak and I was even able to scoop some out of the water by hand. Got out and put a live runner on a rip in 130 feet and quickly got hit by a king.

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Banana River Action

Florida Sportsman member: AceDawg

Black drum were also scattered in small schools in about two feet of water, just barely breaking the surface with their tails. The total for the day ended with 17 reds, 2 trout, 1 tarpon, and 2 black drum.

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Pompano Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: jcanracer

We decide to pitch some lures that way to play with them for a while but they just wouldn’t hit anything bigger than the white fry they were apparently chasing. As we were giving up on this area I see a mahi jump behind and to my left, then I see it jump again, and I look at my rod as it then bends over and starts to go off!

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Bulls from the Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: SpaceCoast Slayer

We poled around in the murk for three hours without seeing a single fish. I finally ran into one, almost literally but with the extreme murkiness it didn’t see me. I flipped my Pearl White MrWiffelure three feet beyond the fish and proceeded to rip it back to me and he crushed five feet from the boat.

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Boynton Tunas

Florida Sportsman member: Produkt

A few guys got some kings early in the morning but the live bait drift was mostly slow despite bait balls everywhere. I went out a little deeper to 315-325 feet and found some tuna. Caught a few and headed in to make it to work by noon.

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Doubled up

Florida Sportsman member: meckert

Forum member meckert put together a video of some nice sails caught via kayak. Nice work!

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Personal Best

Florida Sportsman member: TideUp

The water came on up and my go to spot was looking right so moved over there and bam caught a nice spotted red really quick. While dehooking him, I heard a monster slam around the bend so I grabbed the spook jr. And waded around the corner for a cast.

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Pompano Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: John McKroid

Small Almacos bit well on the vertical jigs, one drop caught two jacks on one jig. Total catch for the day included 10 Almacos, two cudas, a bonita and a yellowtail snapper taken in 200 feet of water on the vertical jig.

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Boynton Bull

Florida Sportsman member: meckert

Forum member meckert shared a recent video he put together. He caught two nice dolphin off of Boynton and Lake Worth, on a speed jig and a blue runner. Nice work!

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Tampa Bay Tailers

Florida Sportsman member: rkotinsky

I looked at the tide tables and found some good low tides occurring after working hours. Launched two hours before low tide and worked my way out to the flats. Saw dozens of mullet schools along the way none of which contained any red fish.

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Flamingo Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Produkt

Today went much better. Finally got my first Florida redfish and my first redfish from the kayak. I caught two redfish, one mangrove snapper and two jack crevelle, my buddy caught one juvenile tarpon, six redfish, and a handful of mangrove snapper.

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Paddling the Banana River

Florida Sportsman member: AceDawg

The bite is solid from 6am till about 830. It slows down but is still possible to catch fish. One of the last reds I caught was right along the shoreline as I was heading back in around 1130. I saw a splash out of the corner of my eye and it looked like he was doing backflips in the water.

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Flood Tide Via Paddleboard

Florida Sportsman member: Jettyrat3200

Forum member Jettyrat3200 recently got on some nice reds from the paddleboard. Fishing the flood tides, flies were the ticket to getting the bite.

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Mill Cove Kayaking

Florida Sportsman member: jacqueo

I must have hit the red on the head as I threw it because within seconds my line was screaming. 20 inch red into the cooler! Yes!

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Big Girl from the Groves

Florida Sportsman member: harrisa2006

I positioned my yak to make a few good cast and my second cast in, I get thumped by a solid snook. I only had 20 pound leader but this fish wanted to play hide and seek in the mangroves so I had to get down and dirty with her and pull her out from under the mangroves twice! I landed her after a couple minutes and she hit the tape at 34 inches, but really really fat!

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Banana River Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: AceDawg

After messing with them for a bit started heading back south scouting the shoreline and started spotting fins cruising the shore. Reds were scattered throughout along the shore and buried in grass. Caught 7 on my way back down before getting stuck in a storm. Hunkered down in the mangroves and sat it out for an hour.

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Vilano from the Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: kayakling

For about an hour large schools of spanish mackerel were about destroying bait. After tearing through some of those and some bluefish I slowly started to drift back to the bridge. Hit up my favorite spots on the way and only managed smaller jacks.

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A Drift with Friends

Florida Sportsman member: kayakfrank

We planned a drift a few days back, and some nice fish were caught. Steve killed it out there with a sailfish, tuna and a kingfish.

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Good Day in the Bay

Florida Sportsman member: rkotinsky

After a few casts my lure gets inhaled and I have a nice fish on. She goes airborne and a nice battle ensues with a good size snook. She heads for the mangroves and I stop her, she jumps again and ag

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Recent inshore fishing reports from the Big Bend region.

 


Variety Slam

Florida Sportsman member: Gator4Life

We pulled into an almost empty CK parking lot. That’s when you know your dedicated, dumb or both. Winds were blowing 15mph at times, but we made the most of it with four Reds, a Flounder and about ten Trout.

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Fishing The Chazz

Florida Sportsman member: Ruff One

Duane was fishing with his super secret redfish lure and his rod bends over. After a fight that has the red circling the gheenoe about 10 times, he finally boats a nice 30in fish!

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Homosassa Reds and Trout

Florida Sportsman member: SassaWhaler

Made several drifts catching trout on each pass. Stopped counting at 25 trout with 11 keepers in the box. Got 2 more keeper reds in the box with one being my friends son’s first redfish.

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Yankeetown Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: gators7233

After a slow start while trolling some new spots in Yankeetown, forum member gators7233 stumbled upon a couple of big Reds. Nice catch!

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Waccasassa Bay Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz

Even though weather hasn’t been ideal, forum member Redbonz made the most out of his day off in the Waccasassa Bay and snagged 13 beautiful redfish, the largest of which was 30″. Nice!

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Fishing with Dad

Florida Sportsman member: ghostrider8

I see Jay putting on a paddle tail and I STRONGLY suggest that he use live bait as we had a bait well full of shrimp, pinfish and mud minnows and I figured it would increase his chances. But no, he stubbornly insists on using it and then promptly pulls this 29-inch snook out from under the mangroves on his first cast.

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Crystal River Redfish Action

Florida Sportsman member: anglerbros 7286

We had a hard time catching a lot at first, being on the opposite side of the bar from the school, so we got snagged a lot. There was so many that we still managed catching several on top of the rocks though.

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Waccasassa Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz

You gotta love this time of year. The Reds start coming alive, cooler weather is on the way and the fishing should just explode.

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Crystal River Snookin’

Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed

Today I went out early with Robbie, but we started at slack high tide and didn’t catch anything until the water was flowing out hard. Been catching smaller snook and this 35 inch snook is the first big one I’ve gotten in a month or so and a real treat.

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Hot Redfishing

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

It was a little slow at first but then as we warmed up so did the fish. I started off with three keeper reds and a trout before we decided to move. Duane, not to be out done, adds three more keeper reds in the boat.

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Early Morning Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

So off we go to Billy’s Creek. It was full of reds with some with their backs out of the water. The problem was they wouldn’t bite anything we threw at them. After a frustrating period of time, and for once wishing (sort of), that we should have had bait Duane says let’s move.

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Big Bend Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

Fished a bit for a few trout, caught maybe three or four, to wait for water. That didn’t last long, just needed one for the box anyway, and Duane says let’s go for the reds. They were around, even saw one with it’s fins out of the water, but they were reluctant to feed. We kept trying and eventually put eight keepers in the boat all around the 22 inch size.

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Getting Revenge

Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed

It made a loooong run of probably 100 yards and we ran it down. When it came to the net, it was a “slob”, very similar to mine from the other day, in fact we measured it at 39″, same as mine, but a different place.

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Incoming Bite

Florida Sportsman member: permit_me

As I was re-rigging a spare rod, I put my rod in the holder and slam, Jack grabbed the rod was on with a 26 inch red. A couple minutes later we resume, I am just finishing my knot from earlier and slam, Jack takes my rod and lands another upper slot slob.

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Fishing with Grampa

Florida Sportsman member: anglerbros 7286

My grandpa was able to catch a couple which was cool because they are pretty much his favorite fish to catch, and this was his last trip he had before heading back to New York.

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A Trip to Crystal River

Florida Sportsman member: badonskybuccaneers

As the day progressed, the wind seemed to die down some, so we hunted some crab pot floats for tripletail on the way out but didn’t find anything legal. We tried working another bar along the spoils further out and picked up a couple more trout, some jacks, a redfish, and I finished my inshore slam with a decent snook.

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Steinhatchee Trip

Florida Sportsman member: Cole321

We went out the next afternoon into the Gulf and fished on the grass banks north of Steinhatchee. Found spots where there was thin grass and adjacent oyster bars/rock piles. The first spot we could see reds and drum tailing all over the place, the reds were also rubbing in the grass.

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Crystal River Slam

Florida Sportsman member:Blkmnstr

Finally had a nice enough day to head out to long point. We got a later start than what we wanted too but were still at the ramp in time to get to the banks before the tide changed. I hooked up with the first trout then my girlfriend landed the next three back to back.

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Short Trip, Hot Bite Florida Sportsman member: Jim311 The first stop was a creek that had produced well for me on Thursday, but it generally holds smaller fish. It was about two hours from the bottom of the low tide but we made the call to get skinny and risk getting stuck in the creek in hopes of finding a good bite and it paid off. Click here to read the full forum report


Fun on the Chaz Florida Sportsman member: Ruff One Duane uses that Chaz finesse and this snook is caught! But, he swallowed the lure completely and there was no way this one would go back. The damage was to great. At 28 1/2 inches he was legal and will give up some delicious fillets. Click here to read the full forum report


Fishing Both Sides Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown From Yankeetown to Cedar Key to Horseshoe and both Palm Coast and Matanzas on the east coast. The east coast has had vary clear water for sight fishing and we have been getting 10 or so a trip. The west side, well let’s just say it’s been catching, not fishing. Click here to read the full forum report


Crystal River Trout and Sheepshead Florida Sportsman member: anglerbros 7286 After reading Super D’s post about catching trout in the days inn canal figured we’d start there since we launch there on every trip and was surprised to catch a 17 inch trout on my first cast with a gold lil john. Caught a few more on every other cast then got one more in the mullet hole before heading to the creeks. Click here to read the full forum report


Big Bend Trip Florida Sportsman member: Flat Nuts I made an excuse to come back up your way with my daughter. We were sneaking up to Ocala to pick up a new pup for my wife for Valentines day under the guise of a quick father daughter fishing trip. Click here to read the full forum report


Catching in the River Florida Sportsman member: 4WARD We stayed in the river on Sunday and jumped around here and there. Snapper were not very active but a couple reds decided to play. We ended up with two reds (23 and 26 3/4 inches), one drum and a couple snappers. Click here to read the full forum report


Catching on the New boat Florida Sportsman member: StandOutI2 I saw a fish tailing so I told mom where to look and she saw the fish and made the shot. Without me telling her where and boom, fish on! A solid fish at 27 inches and was her first real fish that she has sight fished. Click here to read the full forum report


Low Tide Action Florida Sportsman member: StandOutI2 The water came in a little bit so I started working a shoreline next to a creek mouth. This turned out to be the best decision. We saw several fish, and some absolute studs, on the outside along the shoreline. Ended up picking up a couple fish this way. Click here to read the full forum report


Catching on Topwater Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown I got blasted three more times by giants here but they were over hitting the plug, literally coming out of the water. My co-worker had enough and went to top water as well. Did not take long and he was crushed by a giant. Click here to read the full forum report


Catching in the Creeks Florida Sportsman member: kingkong954 On our way out of the creek I managed to get my lure stuck in some grass. After much yanking and pulling and cursing the lure pops out into the water and wraps around my rod tip. After some cursing and untangling I find out the action had somehow attracted a redfish, who had eaten the lure while I untangled the line! Click here to read the full forum report


Crystal River Variety Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips Tripletail fishing has been great along the channel markers, crab trap buoys, and floating grass mats. Live shrimp under a float is a sure bet when targeting these fish. Look for them as you run from spot to spot. They hide just below the floating structure or nose up to channel markers. Click here to read the full forum report


December Big Bend Action Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown We had a negative low mid morning which I like to fish up there, well it did not disappoint. The trout and reds were laid up in the pot holes just like they should be in spring weather. Caught well over 40 nice trout up to 23 inches and 20 reds up to 30 inches. Click here to read the full forum report


Topwater Action Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed I hear a big snook hit Robbie’s lure with that telltale giant suction slurp they do and the battle was on. Fish was in good current and was a multiple jumper of five or six times. After a good battle the 31 inch fish came to the net. Click here to read the full forum report


Yankeetown Reds and Trout Florida Sportsman member:StandOutI2 We ran out to a pretty low tide, so we started trout fishing. Boy were they on fire, they were eating everything, topwater, flukes, jigs, whatever we threw. Most of them being 19 to 23 inches with a few smaller ones mixed in. After about two hours of that we went to go find some reds. Click here to read the full forum report


Patience pays Florida Sportsman member:shuterkng Not a great day as it was starting to get late and the tide was about full. Then surprise, monster red invasion. Almost everyone got a big red as we were fighting for position on the boat, girls won. We kept four that were just under 27 inches and released a bunch more. Click here to read the full forum report


No Water No Problem Florida Sportsman member:barhopperAD Catching mullet paid off, first cast was a 26 inch red. Little bro was catching rat reds left and right. The water got higher and action got slower. So we moved around explored a little to find a fishy looking cove with lots of activity and that REALLY paid off. Click here to read the full forum report


Cedar Key Action Florida Sportsman member:Big Bend Brian We were without a bottomfinder as I just sent my Furuno in for repair so our plan was to just troll a shallow broad area of intermittent hard bottom we used to stone crab on. Stopping in 19 feet we deployed some grouper plugs despite a fair amount of grass on the surface and within 10 minutes had our first fish. Click here to read the full forum report


First Trip Success Florida Sportsman member:Gman27 30 minutes later I found a nice creek and a few lagoons and began working the banks with a paddle tail. I could see reds pushing bait on to the banks and lots of activity. Couple casts in and landed my first cedar key redfish of 19 inches. After the activity slowed down, I moved to a new lagoon and found more activity, landed another redfish of 29 inches. Click here to read the full forum report        


A Trip Down South Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown Friday, we decided to trailer up to Flamingo and sight fish way back up in the glades. Made about a 25 mile run north of Flamingo to some super skinny creeks. Ended up sight fishing around 10 nice reds up to 30 inches and 4 snook up to 28 inches. All fish being caught in less than 12 inches of water. Click here to read the full forum report


Fishing with the Girls Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz Being the two girls have never caught redfish I thought this would be a good chance to put them on some fish. Didn’t really matter most were under slot, just catching was a blast for them. Click here to read the full forum report


Catching in Cedar Key Florida Sportsman member: barhopperAD We started off two keeper reds back to back. My little brother then hooked into a “redfish” which was screaming drag, pulled up to boat and it was a giant trout probably 25-27 inches, but the hook pulled right there and watched him swim away. Click here to read the full forum report


Waccasassa Reds Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz Headed out early even though it was a pretty early low tide. Took out a buddy that has not caught a lot of reds and was hoping to get him into some quality fish. He was not disappointed as we got into them pretty good. Click here to read the full forum report


Slot Slam Florida Sportsman member: anglerbros 7286 Bob stuck to topwater like I’m sure Ted does because they want that one fish, which I understand but I wanted to catch my share of reds and wanted to see if it worked for him before doing so. All my redfish didn’t change his mind then he landed a top of the slot redfish that inhaled his plug! I stuck with the spoon then hooked the first snook! Click here to read the full forum report


From Tripletail to Tarpon Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown We head to where the third and final trap is, hopefully and sure enough it’s still there. We did not see any fish on it but made casts at it any way. My second cast and the cork goes under and drag starts screaming, another 10 pounder jumps. We get him netted and in the box. My kids both agreed that I needed to put my rod down. Click here to read the full forum report


Father and Son Fishing Florida Sportsman member: huntentails With the youngest son off of work and a favorable tide we settled on yesterday morning and it wasn’t a disappointment. We fished out of Crystal River and were on fish all morning with a strong outgoing tide. Robbie caught his best snook to date at 39 & 1/4 inches and I caught a 30 incher. Click here to read the full forum report


New Spot Producing Florida Sportsman member: Billy We went to an area that I’ve never been before, Duane hadn’t been in years, and we spent most of the trip fishing the same area. We put twelve keeper reds in the boat and Duane managed a snook after another one got off earlier. Click here to read the full forum report


Cedar Key Reds Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz Mid-morning the tide was moving pretty good so we hit up into some creeks and found what we were looking for. We got 14 reds on rattletraps, spoons and jerk baits. A couple of oversize, a few under, with the majority in the slot. Click here to read the full forum report


Muddy Water, Big Drum Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown I told myself that when I hit this one bar, if there is a drum on it, I was going to get him. It was protected from the wind and would allow me to make a perfect cast. Sure enough, I round the corner and the tail was a waving. Click here to read the full forum report


Backwater Snook and Reds Florida Sportsman member: Ruff One With the tide getting lower every second, Duane say “Lets hit some redfish spots closer to home base”. Off we go on another wild ride and before you know it we are sitting on some rocks with redfish swirls looking us in the face. Pitch a spoon and a nice redfish is going home for dinner. Click here to read the full forum report


Yankeetown Drummin’ Florida Sportsman member: anglerbros 7286 The fishing really picked up with the incoming tide, as we released a few slot reds and one over slot. We also caught three black drum, all were great fights in the kayak. All fish were caught less than a mile from the ramp and on live shrimp. Click here to read the full forum report


Grinding it Out Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed Robbie went out with me for some topwater casting practice. Low outgoing to start and the incoming the rest of the morning. Robbie must of practiced ahead, because he hit a nice 36 inch snook at the first stop. Click here to read the full forum report


Cedar Key Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown Well with in three casts with the skitter walk, I get smashed and a school stands the water up. Josh throws in and we are doubled up. Mine came in at 29 inches and his was 26 1/2, that set the tone for the day. We hit five or six spots and every spot had a school on it. Click here to read the full forum report


Snook and Scallops Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed We went to Sandy Hook yesterday so we decided to go Scalloping again on this beautiful day. After a late start, we motored out to the boat pack and found all the scallops I care to clean in a reasonable time. There are still plenty out there and they were big! Click here to read the full forum report


Crystal River Mixed Bag Florida Sportsman member: huntentails We started with an outgoing tide and a slight east wind. First cast was a great snook, but was lost before it was boated for a photo session. We had to make a move a few hundred yards to get away from the bluefish as they were just tearing up anything we threw. Click here to read the full forum report


Cedar Key Reds and Trout Florida Sportsman member: me3260 Live shrimp and cut ladyfish were the bait of the day. We caught a few on Gold Spoons, but the water is so dark, the only hits we got on spoons were throwing over a white sand bar, and reeling back across. Click here to read the full forum report


Big Bend Snook Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed By now I am fishing spots where I’ve never fished before. Paid off with this massive 39 inch snook that was the toughest I’ve ever caught. 3 jumps and 3 long runs and somehow she didn’t wrap herself up in the sargasm. Missed another big one a few casts later and left early with the grandkids visiting at home. Click here to read the full forum report


Big Bend Giant Florida Sportsman member: Biggary16 I called Pete (Snookspanker) to try for some snooks with the morning high tide. He liked the tide today too so we went out for a quick trip. He stuck a giant one within the 1st half hour. The shoulders and the girth of this 40 plus incher was unreal. Click here to read the full forum report


First Snook Florida Sportsman member: Lake13 We both were looking for our first snook and just pounded till we both got one. 14 hours of fishing for one fish apiece. Couldn’t be happier though. What a beautiful area and we will both be back. Click here to read the full forum report


Jumbo Drum Florida Sportsman member: Biggary16 We had some gulps so we messed around with some big drum pulling us around for a while. The last one that I caught was a behemoth and that was enough for me. We got out of there before the storm and made it home still dry. Click here to read the full forum report


Crystal River Reds and Scallops Florida Sportsman member: T-Bonefc After 15-20 minutes we shot further south and joined a small community between the C.R. crowd and Homosassa . The scallops were much better here in numbers. Still small for the most part but it is what it is in the beginning of the season. Click here to read the full forum report


Poling to the Reds Florida Sportsman member: Dveres95 We started the day out in Mason Creek and worked south toward Chassahowitzka, with a high morning tide we got deep into the back country to a flat that is very active and holds big redfish. Click here to read the full forum report


Catching in the Creeks Florida Sportsman member: Billy We managed a few reds and maybe a half dozen snook that actually made it to the boat. We kept hooking up the snook but a bunch simply either cut us off or came unbuttoned before we could get them to the boat. Click here to read the full forum report


Yankeetown Variety Florida Sportsman member: Biggary16 My brother was in town so we hit Yankeetown early. Got a nice snook on topwater that started the day out great. Had a couple other snook blow ups. Then went looking for reds. Click here to read the full forum report


Early Morning Snookin’ Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed Robbie had the big fish of the day on first and after a good battle, it gill plated the line, but we saw enough to know it was a big one. Then I got a fat 32 inch fish, which was a welcome relief. Click here to read the full forum report


Low Water, Big Snook Florida Sportsman member: StandOutI2 I heard drag screaming and saw a wake that looked like a torpedo going through the water. Had to pull the powerpole up and chase it for a little bit then finally it stopped making the long run and came close enough for me to realize it wasn’t the big red I thought it was. Click here to read the full forum report


On the Reds Florida Sportsman member: bigkahuna Forum member bigkahuna and wife got into the redfish in the big bend region, as well as a few bonus snook. Nice! Click here to read the full forum report


Yankeetown Redfish Bite Florida Sportsman member: StandOutI2 My step dad picked up a couple more shorts. Well, the school died down and we started working to another area. My mom was real quiet in the back of the boat and said she sees something. So she throws to it and sure enough, it’s a nice 27″ red! Her biggest to date. Click here to read the full forum report


Calling in “Sick” Florida Sportsman member: hausw Not more than 5 minutes later I hooked into a much larger one and battled him for almost an hour. Hoisted him in the boat for a few pics and released him. After that I was exhausted and called it a day. Click here to read the full forum report


Mason Creek Reds Florida Sportsman member: Dveres95 We caught all our Reds on gold spoons, the fish were concentrated in the deeper mud troughs between the islands, which still held 2 to 3 feet on the dead low. It has been a great past month in the creek and it’s only looking better. Click here to read the full forum report


Yankeetown Redfish Florida Sportsman member: StandOutI2 Well, got back to our normal spots on the incoming and noticed there wasn’t a whole lot of water moving. Turned around and went back out the way we came still on the incoming and boom, started seeing reds everywhere. Click here to read the full forum report


Big Bend Inshore Bite Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips Forum member and the Big Bend’s weekend 4caster ripnlips has been on the fish. Catching snook, trout, redfish and more. Click here to read the full forum report


Windy Day Success Florida Sportsman member: Billy It was windy. Even in the creeks it was a chore to have any kind of boat control but we stuck it out for a few hours. Tide was rushing in heavy and flooded a bunch of areas we usually fish. We had to change up a bit but it all worked out. Click here to read the full forum report


Working the Docks Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin Switched to the smoke/gold halo color and was slowly swimming my lure near the bottom in the front of a dock, it got blasted. Set the hook on a solid fish. Got it away from the dock. After a nice aerial display and some good runs, Pat got her in the net. She measured 28 inches. Click here to read the full forum report


Crystal River Snook Bite Florida Sportsman member: Biggary16 Hammerhead Ted and I got out there early to catch the outgoing tide. Ted is the king of topwater snookin and he hooked a giant one on his 3rd or 4th cast. He fought it for a long time but it scraped his 40 pound leader up and broke off. Click here to read the full forum report


Fun with Friends Florida Sportsman member: Billy A great day on the water with a couple excellent fisherman and lots of laughs. Almost all fish came on top water and a Redfish Magic type lure. We’ll definitely do this again. Click here to read the full forum report


Big Bend Mixed Bag Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips Forum members ripnlips and Swampthing07 got into a nice mixed bag of fish from triple tail to black drum. Swampthing07 wife Kayla got in on the action too. Click here to read the full forum report


Successful Scouting Florida Sportsman member: CarneLoco We saw some big tails pop up in about 3 foot of water. Have heard of big black drum in these areas, but had no live crabs. Could have swore a few were reds mixed in. After many very good casts from both of us, Libby had a monster on. 15 minutes and a few laps around the bout she had her first black drum landed. Click here to read the full forum report


Big Bend, Big Reds Florida Sportsman member: Jim311 I pushed in further into the creek. I spooked one nice red which I didn’t even see until he’d spooked. Then I hooked up again, and again it was another super hard fight. This fish was bigger though, over 32 inches. It had a head on it the size of a football, a real stud fish. Click here to read the full forum report


Crystal River Snookin’ Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed We caught fish everywhere we went including some places that haven’t produced the last couple years. Robbie got 4 lower slot and under slot reds and several jacks. I missed a big snook early, but disappointment didn’t last too long when i got a 31 inch snook at the next place. Click here to read the full forum report


Sheepshead, Snook and Snapper Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips Sheepshead Snapper and Snook have been the targeted species lately. Seems like the sheeps are finally spawning out on the rocks reefs and ledges just offshore. They are willing to bite if you get good enough weather to get out there. When the weather gets bad we have been getting snapper and snook in the river. Live shrimp has been the bait of choice. Click here to read the full forum report


Big Bend Bruisers Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown We hit the first spot, the water was clear and they were schooled up. Watched a school of over slots swim down the bank. Then got to watch the whole school fight over my fluke, simply awesome to watch. Click here to read the full forum report


Homosassa Redfish Florida Sportsman member: floridafan Pulled in about 60 mostly undersized reds but managed 4 keepers between 20 to 24 inches. We each had a run 10 fish in 10 casts for me and 11 fish in 11 casts for my son, both at the same time! 21 fish in less than 10 minutes! Click here to read the full forum report


Crystal River Inshore Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips Sheepshead are starting to show up in their normal wintertime spots. We’re still getting a by-catch of gag grouper too. All on 8 pound braid and live shrimp. Click here to read the full forum report


Afternoon Redfish Bite Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

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Jacksonville Jetties Big Redfish

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Recent inshore fishing reports from the Northeast region.


Jacksonville Jetties Big Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: Doc Ron

We decided to go into the Jetties, where we caught a few bass and a Bull Red. It was a beauty, well outside the slot. Always a good day out on the boat!

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Mayport Inlet: The Spot is Hot

Florida Sportsman member: Salty Dog

Went out to some of the sheepshead and trout spots around the Mayport area to see if the fall fishing season had arrived yet. I found hungry, aggressive fish at every spot. Brought home a cooler full of sheepshead, trout and nice inshore sized mangrove snapper.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Mayport Inlet: Sheepshead, Flounder, Redfish and Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Morocco_madness

The transition from late October to November is always prime time Sheepshead fishing. The largest concentration of fish come through Mayport Inlet every year at this time. They quickly disperse throughout the river, the ICW, and neighboring estuaries. The best fishing tends to be at the tips of the Mayport Inlet Jetties.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 


Bridge Fishing with the Mayor

Florida Sportsman member: Sea Snake

The one thing that I took off of that trip, was that it is way more to fishing that bridge, than just wheeling out a cart and tossing shrimp over. It takes patience, preparation, and timing to be successful. Knowing what the fish want and how to present it, are crucial.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Jacksonville Inshore: Bull Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Cast&Blast

Finally getting around to posting some shots from our day fishing the Full of Bull tournament. We did decent catching and releasing three fish from 29 to 38 inches. It was a little slower than the previous days we were out “practicing” for the tournament.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Jacksonville Mixed Bag: Flounder and More

Florida Sportsman member: Morocco_madness

The retrieve I go with is simple, “bump, pause, bump, pause.” Roll the bait back towards the boat slowly and once you get bit, pause roughly 1 to 2 seconds and sting it! The bite of a Flounder varies from fish to fish but most of the time, if the fish is of half way decent size, you’ll feel a single thump followed by a sensation of weight.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Pine Island Variety

Florida Sportsman member: slobouf

I stopped in the creek across from Pine Island to catch more bait. I got lucky and caught a nice ladyfish while netting some mullet at sunrise. We went south and found a few places that looked fishy. By 9AM, (2 hours of fishing) we had five 22 to 24 inch redfish and a nice 25 inch trout.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Fun with the Boys

Florida Sportsman member: Sea-Squatch

It was pretty steady action for about 2 hours. We caught rat reds, trout, mangos, and flounder. We lost some good hits too. The tide came up, and water covered up our sandbar, so we decided to call it a day.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Redfish Palooza

Florida Sportsman member: Morocco_madness

The Big, breeder Red Fish have started their annual movement up river from the St. Johns River Inlet in anticipation of spawning season. These fish begin staging on the 40 foot dredge lines that edge the shoulders of the rivers shipping lanes every June. This period is what we call the “Pre-Spawn”. The breeders gather up in numbers and gorge on fish and crustacions to fatten up for the spawn that typically begins in the early weeks of August.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 


Northeast Flatties

Florida Sportsman member: jameslentz

I got about a dozen finger mullet and paddled north out of beach marine. Fished the finger mullet on cork and Carolina rig for the last two hours of the incoming with no luck. As the tide started flowing out I switched to a 1/4 ounce jighead and penny gulp shrimp. Started dragging it in creek mouths and banks and ended up with three keepers.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Jacksonville Action

Florida Sportsman member: Morocco_madness

The Shrimp boat action is hot and there is no shortage of fast and furious, line screaming craziness to be found. No hassle, no wait, instant gratification. Big Jacks as large as 50 pounds and all manner of sharks. You can pitch large plugs behind the these boats and get these guys nearly every cast.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Fishing the Flood

Florida Sportsman member: Cast&Blast

I’ve never really scouted for the flood tide around home so last night I decided to go check out some areas I thought I might be able to walk once I felt confident that those pop up storms weren’t going to be an issue.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Buckman Reds

Florida Sportsman member: REDROB

Went out after work yesterday to soak a few crabs, fishing the buckman in 20 feet of water, the bite was on fire! 9 reds all over 36 inches with the biggest being 42 and one 40 incher with a tag in her.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Back at It

Florida Sportsman member: Chongg

The reds are on fire around the little jetties. Last Saturday we brought in seven upper/over slot reds fishing shrimp on the last of the outgoing and first of the incoming. All the fish swam away healthy that day.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Late Spring Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Guanagator

At this point I know what I have and am overcome with mixture of excitement, nervousness, excitement, this is why I’ve been using 30 pound leader after all! After the first jump the fish found the current and ran towards the ICW and deeper water, line peeling off my 1000 letting the drag work.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


River Reds

Florida Sportsman member: trousertroutman

Fellow forum member and childhood fishing buddy “Flounderpounder” was gracious enough to take me out on his sick ranger whip, and we got a couple nice reds fishing docks with live and cut mullet.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Hot Artificial Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Guanagator

Fishing all artificial, mostly working the docks on mid tides and natural structure on West side closer to the bridge and just south at high tide to mid low, some nice sized reds, a couple of flounder and a few smaller trout first couple trips then Saturday night my buddy put the first North Florida snook on my boat.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Beachside Action

Florida Sportsman member: Sea Snake

Sunday I went back with my grandson Hunter, my daughter and momma Snake, we had a nice catch of fish in a couple of hours of fishing. With this time all of them being keepers.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Northeast Pompano

Florida Sportsman member: Sea Snake

All in all a good day for us. I got to spend some time with my sweetie, and catch some fish too, and anytime the targeted species is acquired, then in my book it’s a good day!

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Northeast Big Uglies

Florida Sportsman member: Morocco_madness

It’s that time of year again! The first full moon of early Spring has past and the “big uglies” have reached the North East Florida inlets. These massive inlet monsters head up from south Florida and migrate north every year around february.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Epic Week in the Valley

Florida Sportsman member: Slug-O

The past week in the valley has been nothing short of “EPIC” for me. With the water temp in solid 70 degree range and bait thick as fleas on a stray dog, the bite has been the best so far this year. With mullet as thick as you can imagine, the reds, trout and a few flounder have all the food they want.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Lots of Bait, Lots of Fish

Florida Sportsman member: Slug-O

Three ways are really working well with mullet. Popping corks with 24 inches of 30 pound flouro with 3/0 khale hook works well at creek mouths or oyster beds with current. Freeline live mullet hooked through the back, casting to schools working the banks. The last is 1/8th ounce jig head with a live mullet that can be used about a 1000 ways.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Northeast Trout and Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Morocco_madness

Focus on the river, not the creeks, but river shoulders. Find spots with current breaks, bottom contours, and sharp drop offs. Bottom type is definitely a factor. Gravel, shell and rocky bottoms are all good signs to look for. I don’t do well in areas with sand or mud bottom.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Fun in the Creeks

Florida Sportsman member: Guanagator

Got out this morning and picked the right creek, Alexis had a fat 16 inch flounder within a minute of the mullet hitting the water. Was expecting reds but no complaints. My second cast, I hooked something solid on the catch 2000 and unfortunately it got me in the oysters and sliced the leader, downside of using a 1000.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Northeast Sheepshead

Florida Sportsman member: sydngoose

We hit channel markers and pilings from the inlet up the intercostal. Number one circle hooks and very small leaders (6 inches of 15 pound flouro) was the ticket. We ended up with six nice sheeps but two absolute STUDS, at 10.25 pounds and 7.20 pounds.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Oak Harbor Slam

Florida Sportsman member: Cast&Blast

Went and hit the Harbor in the cold wind with two buddies and 4 dozen shrimp. Most fish caught were under slot reds and trout but we found a 20 inch red and a 17 inch flounder to bring home for dinner.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Cold Weather Convicts

Florida Sportsman member: fsu11

We managed nine keepers the majority were 2 to 4 pounds again. We didn’t go through half a pint both days. The key was moving water, we fished the exact same spot both days and when the tide was moving we caught fish and when it stopped, so did the bites.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Cold Water, Hot Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Slug-O

This is my favorite time of year, the water temperature drops into the 50s-60s and the reds start to school up thick. Low tides and mud flats are a few degrees warmer than the rest of the ICW and I target them there. Moving slow on my push pole, no trolling motor, I can get close to a school and start picking them off.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Northeast Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: Spongking

Wednesday we got out and went to jetty. Beautiful weather and fish biting. We got one giant red on light inshore setup. He swam away strong too which had me worried after a 15 minute fight.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Northeast Drummin’

Florida Sportsman member: Morocco_madness

I spent a day hitting a number of productive Inlet holes in an attempt to reassess what’s around out there. I haven’t been spending much time in my usual playground. It didn’t take long to figure out that the bull reds and black drum were pretty thick.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


December to Remember

Florida Sportsman member: Slug-O

Aside from the windy afternoons you can’t ask for anything better. The bait situation is just amazing with all the shrimp, mullet and blue crab right now in the valley. Fishing creek mouths, oyster beds, mud flats, and drop offs this time of year will produce big payoffs.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Palm Valley Report

Florida Sportsman member: Slug-O

Water temperature is still in the high 60′s and will stay there until something big comes along to change that. Trout, reds and flounder are still thick and are feeding on mullet and a second hatch of shrimp in the valley. Best bet is popping corks fishing with 3/0 kale hooks working the last outgoing tide and incoming tide.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


December Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: Alec_904

However about 30 minutes later my rod tip starts bouncing, I pick it up and i’m on! This one did the same thing as the last, immediately screamed drag and jumped, it proceeded to jump four more times before we got him to the boat.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Inshore Variety

Florida Sportsman member: Morocco_madness

Eventually, we reach a spot where I’m hooking up pretty consistently. Chips getting some action on the Fluke but not near the action I was getting. Eventually, he ties on an X-Rap he happened to have. His was orange and yellow. Before long, we’re either hooking up or getting hit on every cast.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Valley Report

Florida Sportsman member: Slug-O

The wind will be great the next few days to fish the valley. Water temperature is still from 67 to 70 degrees, last year it was 57! Lots of shrimp, mullet and pogies are still here to be used as bait.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Fishing the Creeks

Florida Sportsman member: sydngoose

We had one hour of nonstop action- rods bending, fish retrieving, rebaiting, casting, releasing fish, kept a few. Every bait was eaten, all three said presentations. I would subjectively say the live mullet was the most popular choice.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Family Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: creekgeek

We finished the day in the same spot my dad landed his big fish and my 11 year old, Marina, connected with her best red ever. She wanted to give the rod up as the big fish made several long runs on light tackle and with the help of a strong outgoing tide.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Northeast Reds and Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Morocco_madness

I’ve been on a healthy dose of both species as well as some of the largest sand trout I’ve ever seen. The same places I mentioned above are holding ridiculous numbers of trout. I was actually targeting trout when I realized that the Bull Red presence was so thick in the shallows.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Northeast Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Spongking

A few nice fish came unglued but all in all a win. Good weather and beat crowd back to ramp by about 20 minutes. Just enough time to clean up boat and get in line to get out of there.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Fall Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Morocco_madness

The slot reds are chewing VERY well right now at both the little and big jetties. The bull reds have emptied out of the river and are officially done spawning. The good news is they are a year round species for us and the inlet is where you’ll be finding them from this point on through early June.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Fishing with the Wife

Florida Sportsman member: butchbal

After Barb saw what I caught yesterday, she wanted to go out and get a few reds herself.

Click here to read the full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Heroes on the Water

Florida Sportsman member: M

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You can now spend the night in Bran Castle via Airbnb

Bran Castle, Romania. (Image Credit: Airbnb)

Bran Castle, Romania. (Image Credit: Airbnb)

Searching for a truly terrifying Halloween experience? Why not sleep in a coffin in Transylvania like a true vampire? Bran Castle in Romania, which was the inspiration for Count Dracula’s castle in Bram Stoker’s classic story, has been listed on Airbnb as part of a Halloween giveaway.

The castle accommodates two people, who will get to sleep in individual specially designed, velvet-trimmed coffins for free on October 31.

Airbnb has partnered with novelist Dacre Stoker – “Dracula” author Bram Stoker’s great grand-nephew – who will provide a guided tour of the legendary 14th-century castle to the competition winners and give an insight into the historical truths behind the vampire myth.

Stoker will explain the historical connection of how Vlad the Impaler became known as Dracula, and how the legend lived on for centuries.

“Bram Stoker included many references to real people and real historical anecdotes and questioned whether vampires are really a myth at all,” said Stoker in an emailed statement.

This isn’t the first time Airbnb has turned to local legends for Halloween. In 2015, the website partnered with Paris Catacombs, offering a one-night stay inside a mass grave.

To enter, visit the Bran Castle listing and tell Stoker in no more than 550 characters what would you say to Count Dracula if you were to meet him in his castle.

Earlier this year the owners of the castle had to quash rumors that they were selling their spooky spread.

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