Cape Coral Grouper and More

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Recent offshore fishing reports from the Southwest region.


Cape Coral Grouper and More

Florida Sportsman member: Capt Dan Medina

Cape Coral Grouper

As Darwin’s theory suggests, the biggest fish always comes on the smallest rod. This held true this trip as well, with the biggest grouper at 27″ coming on a 4000 penn battle with a 2/0 circle hook and 30 lb leader. A 25″ Grouper followed suit on the same combo.

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Offshore Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: Firetruck1

Offshore Mixed Bag

We managed a couple nice toads and even a red snapper. Hurts to release red snapper, but rules are rules. Kept four out of nine grouper caught. Not much on trolling. We used mostly octopus and dead finger mullet for bait. For whatever reason, lives weren’t receiving any interest.

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Trolling Tuna and Bonito

Florida Sportsman member: BlueWater Gear

Tons of birds, fish clearing the water, a big piece of bamboo, and “yellow gold” in the form of a ginormous weed patch that I have only seen in the keys. We immediately put the spread out and first pass 3 rods go off. Two bonito and a nice blackfin.

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Southwest Offshore: Pulley Ridge Trip

Florida Sportsman member: NaplesSnapper

While running we marked a ton of spots, the bottom out there is just stupid good. Each spot produced a few fish, however we hit the motherland after going over a spot we randomly found. First drift, my buddy on the bow throws a 20 pound scamp over, another guy in the back throws a 12 pound mutton in, and another guy in the middle throws a 33 inch red grouper on the deck.

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Southwest Offshore: Going Deep

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

We did a deep trip this past weekend, four of us for a long trip. Started out in 200′ catching red grouper up to 23lbs. Average size was 18 pounds overall. Picked up a few large porgies mixed in as well. Squid and bonita strips worked well on knocker rigs. Moved out into the deeper 450′ and started catching some blueline tiles, yellow eye snapper, and blackfin snapper.

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Southwest Grouper and Snapper

Florida Sportsman member: larrywitt

Bait was shrimp, squid, fish heads from my last trip and cans of chum. The bite was steady on the lanes and short reds and mangos the two keepers came on lane fish heads.

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Southwest Bottom Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

We fished with a father and son that reside in Fort Myers. Fished in 160′ of water landed their limits of american reds, red grouper, gag grouper and a huge scamp (that they let me catch!). Knocker rigs on with 60 pound flouro produced with a whole squid.

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Making the Run

Florida Sportsman member: Strippedmyclutch!

Headed to a grouper spot we found last year and it was pretty steady. We drifted with two-speed conventionals with 60 pound braid to a 150 pound swivel to 80 pound flouro, 10 ounce weight and a 10/0 circle hook. The current and wind were great and made the drifts slow and easy. Caught four cookie cutter gags at 33 inches, as well as scamps 23 to 29 inches.

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Season Finale

Florida Sportsman member: Strippedmyclutch!

Snapper season extended two days meant we were itching to get back out. Friday had some decent rain storms and we were hoping for better weather on Saturday 6/11. After watching the radar we said go, go, go at 3 am, glad we didn’t call it.

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Overnight in the Gulf

Florida Sportsman member: Strippedmyclutch!

Once on the hook, we cut chunks and set the chum block out while we ate some food before the mayhem began. Shortly after midnight we had two red snapper on board that were caught on the way down. I threw down a vertical jig and had a nice 12 pounder to the boat.

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Southwest Variety

Florida Sportsman member: dccheek2112

Captain Kyle put us on the fish, wind was brutal and cut our fishing time way down. Highlights were a 20 pound mahi that swam up to the boat all lit up, a fat double header of yellow edge, 25 pound black, and a pretty nice queen.

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Runnin’ and Gunnin’

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

As we rolled out to our number we find two boats already anchored up. Moved a few miles to the north and began picking away at nice ARS and red grouper. Average grouper was 13 to 15 pounds. Also pulled up two gags with the larger one being 18 pounds, a decent scamp and couple porgies were also added to the box.

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Mangrove Madness

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

We setup immediately and began catching some quality mangrove snapper. 20 pound flouro on knocker rigs as well as chunking thread-fin and free lining squid worked well for us. The largest Mangrove I pulled up weighed 7 pounds on the scale with the majority in the 4 to 5 pound range with a few smaller.

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Southwest Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: RMD

It was a bit sporty in the morning and calmed down as the day went on. We had about 25 mangos, 3 sheepshead, 3 tripletail, and 3 nice hogfish. The fish all preferred shrimp presented on a jig head or fishfinder rig. The knocker rig did not fare as well.

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Fort Myers Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

I had a trip offshore this past Monday, with following seas we made it out to 115 feet. Five people aboard, we caught their limit of grouper up to 17 pounds. Made two stops for the grouper, did stop on a wreck to try and get the snapper biting but to no avail the tide switched and ran against the wind.

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Deep Water, Big Fish

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

Around 75 feet was where we found nice blue water and headed out right to the edge of the 20 fathom mark. Current running against wind and the full moon we kept one decent AJ for the smoker. Made three stops for red grouper pulling in all 27″ plus fish, biggest one weighed in at 18 pounds

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Southwest Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

We have had a solid bite on amberjack in nearshore on the artificial public numbers, the largest we landed was right in the 40 pound range. Mangrove snapper have also been hot, we landed about a dozen up to 18 inches nearshore. The kings have been hit or miss throw a free line out there and you may get a straggler!

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Fishing with Family

Florida Sportsman member: Angler22

With a few tips from Larry, some cut threads, and live shrimp we were able to have an exciting day. We caught a variety of fish including keeper size red grouper, short red grouper, short gags, flounder, nice lane snappers, mangos, too many blue runners, and a cool looking fish that I have never seen before.

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Fort Myers Offshore Fun

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

I took the wire off and the AJ’s began biting, the bigger ones have made a big push in closer and there is an abundance of them offshore. Some of the bigger ones may have been in the 80 to 90 pound range. Live chumming fired everything up out there, before we left the wreck about a 100 yards back there was a big school of 50 to 75 pound AJ’s cruising the waves which was pretty spectacular.

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Sarasota Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: jbsrq

We ended up anchoring on a spot in about 30 feet of water and as soon as we got situated a big school of cobia cruised by the boat. My buddy threw a bucktail jig which was quickly eaten and it was game on. We ended the day with 12 cobia to the boat and kept a 4 person limit of 4.

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Southwest Snapper Bite

Florida Sportsman member: larrywitt

Dropped a marker at the first number Med. spin rods 14 pound flouro leader, small no 2 circle hooks, squid for bait, grunt bite was instant. Most were small and sent back. After chum had been out for about 30 minutes or so I decide to drifted a shrimp back (keys style) just a small split shot , open bail just feeding the line out with the slick.

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Southwest Hogs

Florida Sportsman member: RMD

We used our structure scan to find some nice ledges and rocky areas. Our first spot we landed a few beautiful shallow water gags that were absolute monsters for being within sight of land. We then switched over to hoggin’ and had a banner day, getting 20 keepers to the boat.

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A Trip to West End

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

Sunday morning we woke up and a strong breeze had kicked up from the south west, packed our things and went out to do some more high speed trolling on the outgoing tide. Worked our way north to Memory Rock to do a little deep dropping, found some nice bottom in 550′ and started catching yellow eyes!

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Southwest Bottom Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Angler22

Once we had our fill of that we headed back west and settle in 125 or so feet. We worked around but never really found anything much. After a few stops I did boat a nice 31 inch red grouper. We worked the area some more and picked up another red at 21 inches, a stout 28 inch red, and a few shorts.

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Tangling with Triple Tail

Florida Sportsman member: voltman

I got up early today and decided to target some tripletail, I caught one last week so thought I might find one this week ,started off losing a bruiser and snapping a fishing rod in the process, but all in all the wife and I caught 4.

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Deep Water Giants

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Ross

We hit some of my numbers that I try to fish during red snapper season and hoped for the best. Light seas, winds and current allowed us to drift fish the entire day.

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Due West for Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: larrywitt

The winds laid down so a slow drift was in order. It was fish on, first three over the sides were all keepers. The bite was steady and in no time we had our limit of reds of two each up to 25 inches. in fact we had to release 2 more to 24 inches as we were pulling our lines in.

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Long Runs and Big Fish

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

We left that spot and continued in, not more then two miles we found another spike. Very similar and could see the hard rocky bottom down 150 feet. Did a few more drifts and produced some more nice red grouper and massive scamps.

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Southwest Grouper Bite

Florida Sportsman member: RMD

We moved and anchored on a different show and this spot was absolutely on fire with red grouper. We were trying to target mangos, but we could not get a bait past the red grouper. They were so aggressive that we had our limit in probably 30 minutes or less.

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Plan B Pays Off

Florida Sportsman member: larrywitt

Lines were dropped to the bottom and there were instant hits but no fish ever made to the surface. You could get it four to ten feet off the bottom and then the rod was almost ripped from your hands till the line would break. We were using 60 pound main line and 80 to 100 pound leader.

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Fishing the Ledges

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

The bite was relatively slow, we fished with 20lb fluorocarbon using a 1/2-1 oz knocker rig on a #2 mutu light hook. Live pilchards were the go to bait, we had bought a some shrimp to try for any hogfish as well. The bite picked up after we put in a chum block, with smaller fish around 13 to 14 inches. The larger ones starting biting as soon as we brought out the grill and cooked some hot dogs!

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Catching While You Can

Florida Sportsman member: larrywitt

First spot was only 7 miles out where i have had a good lane snapper bite plus some nice flounder in the mix. We set up on the spot the bite was constant grunts, porgys, mangrove snapper, and the first black sea bass I have ever seen caught on this coast.

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Night Time Snapper Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

We used 5000 sized spinning gear with 15 feet of 20 pound flourocarbon leader. We used knocker rigs in the beginning and then switched over to 1/0 mutu light circle hooks free-lined with pilchards and squid. We had some quality yellowtails for only being in 55 feet.

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Grouper Prospecting

Florida Sportsman member: Angler22

We ended up working our way back south due west of Doctors and began drifting around 1:00 in 75 feet of water. The red grouper were active but a lot of shorts. We finally put a keeper in the boat. Slowly we started adding more keepers. At around 2:00 they turned on with us ending the day with 8 keepers and 40 to 50 shorts.

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Grouper Grapple Win

Florida Sportsman member: PigskinCapt

We managed a 79 pound black to take first place. Also weighed a 23 pound gag and a 17 pound red grouper. The gag fishing this summer has been a little slow in the deeper water. We only managed to catch 2 gags in some areas that generally hold some nice fish. Weighed one 12 pound mutton snapper, the winning fish was just under 18 pounds.

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Nearshore Mangrove Snapper

Florida Sportsman member: RMD

Found a nice little mango spot in 70 feet of water. The fish were pretty selective today. A few mangos were picked up on chicken rigs, but the majority of fish landed were caught on a 3/8 ounce jig head tipped with live shrimp. We also caught a handful of nice lanes, grunts, and porgies. The prize of the day was a fat hogfish.

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Venice Offshore Bite

Florida Sportsman member: perlman1234

Forum member perlman123 got into some nice fish off of Venice recently. prospecting his new home water, he brought home the filets! Nice work.

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Groupers out of Redfish Pass

Florida Sportsman member: larrywitt

Very fast drift, 8 ounces minimum to stay near bottom. First 6 fish were keepers, 21 to 24 inches so we worked the area till the tide stopped as did the bite. Found some good bottom set out the hook and broke out the chum. Took 10 to 15 minutes to turn the bite back on. Never did go deeper as planned. oh well always a next time. Final tally 12 in the box to 25 inches.

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Hitting the Deep Water

Florida Sportsman member: ThePigskinCaptain

Made one night spot where we picked some nice yellowtails and a few muttons. The barracudas were ferocious and, as it’s been for the last few months, the amberjacks and almacos were a real pest. Caught a 60 pound jack in 900 feet of water deep dropping.

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Fort Myers Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: GDM Phil

We got about 25 miles out and setup. It was non stop action all day! Between huge gags, that had to be thrown back and the red grouper. We managed 3 keepers grouper, a bunch of Grover’s, lanes and grunts.

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Full Moon Grouper in the Southwest

Florida Sportsman member: larrywitt

He also brought some cat fish that he had for tarpon season on one rod for quite awhile no takers so he took it off threw it over board . Puts on a pin fish and it gets slammed! We get it on deck and what does it spit out? the cat fish we had thrown overboard. Go figure!

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Deep Trip : Swords, Sails and Black Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: Feeding Frenzy

We recently did a long range trip from Venice, Fl to Orange Beach, Alabama to fish around the oil rigs and did fairly well. The fishing in Orange Beach was horrible as all of the run-off from the mid-West’s springtime heavy rains finally made their way down the Mississippi River and out into the Gulf. We fished the rigs 100-125 nm out and found the water to be a coffee color and very warm. While our target quarry was yellowfin tuna and marlin, it did not work out. The rigs however were very impressive to see.

We fished three rods at varying depths; all rigged with large squid baits from Baitmaster’s of Florida. At about 11:30 pm we got a bite on the far right rod and had a pretty decent fish on the line. After about a 45 minute fight, we had a nice swordfish on the leader. Turns out, the silly fish ate all three baits in the spread and certainly wasn’t going anywhere.

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Punta Rassa Red Grouper & Yellowtail

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

We headed out right before dawn, the thunderstorms surrounded us at Punta Rassa and made it out there regardless. Needless to say we did not get wet at all after breaking out the rain gear. We made a pitstop in 50 feet to load up on some pins and headed straight to the stoney. We immediately set up and got the chum working, in about 2-3 minutes, Joe Isley hooks up to a big fish. All of us are laughing right now as we think it is a big blue runner or a almaco jack. Fish comes into sight and it is a TRUE flag!! We land that sucker and it measured in at 28.5 inches the biggest one i’ve seen on our coast. My record tail was 27 inches so my record was beat.. We caught two more tails, regarding bait, they were all caught on live shrimp tipped on 1/2 oz jig heads with 30 pound yozuri flouro. We booked it to some red grouper grounds where we managed a couple red’s nothing too big, just barely keepers at 21-23 inches.

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New Pass : Gags, Red Grouper & Amberjack

Florida Sportsman member:capeangler

Fished somewhere around 60 miles out of New Pass today on a Gag specific trip. Plan was to fish a handful of ledges in the 26.** line. All bait caught the night before died, so we got out pretty late, after refilling the well with big baits. Caught a limit of Gags and even 2 Reds. All fish were in the 30 inch + range. Fishing was slow but consistent until the AJ’s showed up and seemed to follow us everywhere. Released a dozen or so AJ’s. Lost some monster gags to the ledges today. 65/60 was just a little too light.

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Armed Forces Grouper fishing

Florida Sportsman member:larrywitt

Had the privilege of fishing with Brooke and her dad Keith, she just finished basic and is going to her first posting.We wanted to get an early start targeting grouper. We met at Tight Loops boat at 6am and began to prepare for the day. I put in the numbers on his GPS for our first stop. As we were still preparing his boat we could see and hear the thunder and lightning in the gulf towards the south west, the exact direction we were heading. My hopes were that it would be heading away from us WRONG!! As we were heading out the front was moving closer so I decided to detour the Edison drop a line and see what the weather was going to give us. Drift was really fast because of the wind requiring six to 8 ounce weights to even get close to the bottom.In no time Brooke was pulling fish over the gunnels, she even caught a stone crab.Wind, waves, and dark clouds Brooke never flinched. We could see a slight clearing in the clouds so we made the run for it. Arrived at the first number and dropped in our lines still 3 to 4 mile south drift porgys,grunts,lanes and red shorts were caught. seas were laying down a little I put in another line and made a move. Brooke got hammered on a white jig head Tight Loops put on for her. It was fun to watch.

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Wild Moon Red Grouper

Florida Sportsman member:Bluefin

The target was red grouper yesterday, and the day did not start out very promising. Rounding up live pinfish is usually pretty easy. Not this time. After chewing up quite a bit of time at three different spots, we only managed half a dozen live baits. I was starting to worry that the super full moon was going to somehow shut down the fishing. We ran out of New Pass to about 100 feet anyway and started our drifts using live bait on one rig, and a jig and squid combo on another.

Almost immediately, Peter had a fish on, and a minute later I was into a fish. We had a double red grouper hook up, except both fish were shorts. Again I started fussing that the full moon was going to screw up the fishing and that it’s not a lot of fun to run out to 100 feet for a bunch of shorts. Well the action was pretty steady over the next few hours. We ended up with 6 nice keepers ranging from 22 inches to 26 inches, with a bunch of shorts thrown into the mix. The type of bait used made no difference…

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Boca Grande Bottom Fishing

Florida Sportsman member:SJC

Headed 20 miles west of Boca Grande member Ptrshenry as a buddy boat. With another false forecast from NOAA it was a manageable but, not a very fun ride out in a 20 ft bay boat, thankfully the seas died down through the day and turned into a beautiful day for fishing.

We stoped and an artificial reef and after a couple drifts found where the fish were holding and dropped anchor. It was lane Snapper after lane, porgy after porgy. Then the red grouper woke up and it was non stop for about 2 hours. A lot of shorts I bet we threw back 20 that were 18 inches or smaller than that. We did end up with a keeper from the group…

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Successful Red Snapper Trip

Florida Sportsman member: Angler Systems

It was a solid day on the water today and a great start to Red Snapper season. On the way out we did try trolling for an hour in 100 feet but without any action we continued out to our first spot in 158 feet. First two lines down brought up two keeper fish a Red Snapper and Scamp. The bite continued for about an hour but then slowed significantly. With keeper fish consisting of three Red Snapper, three Scamp and two Red Grouper we began to worry. We moved around and fished in 156 feet to 162 feet marking a mess but catching only a few. We fished the next two hours only putting two more fish on the box. Then like it often does all craziness broke loose and we achieved our goal for a Red Snapper limit. We caught 16 Grouper up to 30 inches, three Scamps, a nice Mango Snapper and a 24 inch gator porgy.

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A Busy Day Offshore/strong>

Florida Sportsman member: Gamekilla

Headed out of Weeks around 7. Tried Big carlos for bait but there was no current, so we headed off to the tripod and loaded up with a few casts of the net. Cruised past the group of boats off Knapps point and headed out to some wrecks about 12 miles offshore. It was a nasty ride out on the pathfinder but worth it. Constant action all day with some big kings, released gags, bonita and amberjack. We probably lost 30-40 fish (probably kings) but some took us in the wreck so you never know. We used white bait all day and had times when we had three rods going off all at once! It was a great day.

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Grouper : Southwest of Sanibel

Florida Sportsman member: conch50

Took my son and some of his high school buddies out Sunday. Started in 80 feet and picked up a few reds in the 22 to 24 range. Bite was not bad but still a lot of barely 20 or just under that went back. Was too busy venting to get many pictures and the ones I did get had my thumb in the middle lol. Decided to try a couple of ledges out in about 100. Dropped down a couple of good sized pins and rods bent. Couple of nice gags about 26 inches.They were vented and sent back down to hopefully be seen again in a couple of months. I put down a light rig with live shrimp and get slammed. After a few minutes of battling up comes the biggest porgy I have ever caught. One of the boys hooks up on a goliath. These guys play football and are always bragging about how much they can bench or squat. By the time he finally got him up-five good runs and about 30 minutes he had 2 of his buddies on the rod lifting to reel in. In the picture I’m not sure if he is smiling because of the fish or just that it was over with[…]

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Starting Off Grouper Season the Right Way

Florida Sportsman member: jocofi

We hit our usual producing grouper grounds but didn’t get much. On Sunday we caught lots of bait, then we headed to our usual grounds again. We picked up a few small fish and then decided to head out a bit further to search for new grounds. In 70 feet of water we drifted over a magical spot, surrounded by mackerel and broom stick bending grouper. We continued to run the same drift with similar results. Heavy leadheaded jigs tipped with various types of fish did the trick. We also had a dolphin hanging around us for a few spots. Most of the undersized fish made it safely back down but one grouper hung around the surface too long and was captured.

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Venice Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: nfairbank

After a rather late start due to the fog, managed to catch a few baits and then off to 140 feet. First fish in the boat was an African Pompano about 27 inches.The AJ fishing was good with lots of decent size fish, 45 – 70 pounds, for all on board. After boxing our limit of AJs, it was off to grouper fish.

The gag grouper were biting and of course returned to live until opening day. The juvenile red grouper were biting but could not find any decent fish. We went to some spots we fished last Friday where caught some really nice reds up to about 18 pounds.

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Sarasota Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: Captain_Tim

Went offshore Superbowl Sunday with the intentions of catching a mako, but like always the weather man was wrong again, was suppose to be 10 to 15 knots with 2 to 3 foot seas but after hitting the 20 mile mark it was easy 4 to 5 feet with a few 6 footers mixed in. So changed plans on the way out and decided to opt out of targeting a 200-to 400-pound high jumping shark and go for some snapper and amberjack.

Ended up with a 20-pound cobia, some nice 4-to 5-pound mango snapper, some yellowtail snapper, beeliners, porgies, AJ’s in the 30-to 40-pound class, oh and an African pompano.

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Limiting out on Red Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: Angler Systems

Mission accomplished for us yesterday. The plan was to limit out on Red Grouper before the season closes at the end of the month. We had an older boat wishing to follow us (some history of motor issues) so we wanted to stay as close as possible but still get into some keeper fish. We left the dock at 7:45, broke the pass by 8:30 and were fishing by 9:10 in 75 to 80 feet[…]

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Grouper off Ft. Myers

Florida Sportsman member: nuclearfishn

Headed out past the 240 ledge. Saw too many boat out there so went another 8 miles. Picked up a few grouper and snapper in the 70-75 foot range. Grouper are real spread out. Not one fish broke the surface all day. Caught this fat 27 inch grouper dropping a jig. Fattest grouper I have ever caught for this size. had to go close to 20 pounds […]

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Grouper Southwest of Sanibel

Florida Sportsman member: conch50

Went out yesterday with my 15 year old. Fishing 65-70 feet of water. Bite was pretty decent and conditions were just about perfect. Kept 4 reds with the largest 27 inches, couple of nice mangroves around 17 inches. Sometimes when things are breaking down or a trip doesn’t go right, I start complaining to myself about the money it takes to keep a boat. Then you get a day like yesterday, beautiful water with just you and your son (and best friend) and it all makes sense why it’s worth it.[…]

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Sarasota Trolling Bite

Florida Sportsman member: FlatzBroke

Headed offshore Wednesday in search of a trolling bite, mainly looking for wahoo and tuna. Stopped in 140 feet and found plenty of bonito. Not quite what we were looking for so we headed out to 160 feet again, more bonito. But, we did find a decent dolphin. So we headed to our last spot in 180 feet that drops off to over 200 feet. As soon as we got in the area we spot a frigate bird. Ok, things are looking up. I steer the boat right under him and he leads me right to the ledge, as soon as my arrival alarm sounds BAM! Tripled header of blackfins! Alright things are looking much better. Anyway, we troll around for the next couple of hours or so and end up with at least 2 triple headers multiple doubles and singles. And plenty of lost fish too. Total for the day was 14 blackfins, 2 red grouper and a dolphin […]

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Tripletail Hunting

Florida Sportsman member: InshoreSlam

Headed out this morning with a good buddy of mine for tripletail. With the livewell full of shrimp, we headed out off the lighthouse offshore to find a nice string of crab pots. In about 25-30 feet of water we found a nice string and followed it all the way to redfish pass. During the run we wound up seeing a trip around every 5 to 6 pots down. Most of the ones we caught were small…around 10-12 inches, but managed 2 keepers, a 15 inch and a 23 inch. We wound up catching around 7 or 8 total. It was a great day, the seas were calm and the sun was out![…]

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More Triple Tail Action

Florida Sportsman member: Feeding Frenzy

The tripletail fishing this past week has been phenomenal !! I have fished in SW Florida for a long time and this is the best season, by far. The trips have been holding on the deeper (30ft plus) trap balls. Today, we caught 18 and saw well over 30 fish, with some trap balls holding multiple fish. If they weren’t bigger ones, we did not even turn around on them. Some have been pushing the 10 lb mark over the past 7 days or so[…]

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Monster Triple Tail off SRQ

Florida Sportsman member: Captain_Tim

Went out for a few hours today with one of the mates that I work with to target some triple tail, since he told me he has never caught or eaten one. So we left the dock around 12:30pm with a few dozen hand pick shrimp in search of some triple tail. We started running the crab pots and with in minutes we had our first tail in the box, only about 16 inches but a good way to start the day. For the next half hour or so we probably caught 7-10 shorts between 12-15 inches and then I see the beast of triple tail hanging on a buoy. We throw the biggest shrimp we had on a circle hook, put it right in front of his nose and he sucked it down! Ended up fighting that fish for almost 15 min but we finally got him in the boat and we put him on the scale to see what he weighed 18 POUNDS![…]

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Southwest Offshore; Red Grouper,Permit

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

We managed to make it to some red grouper grounds out 40 miles. The early morning was brutal with the thick fog close to shore. Thank god for radar, as one boat came within 70 feet of us buzzing by. Around 7am we were out looking for bait, the closer bait spots of mine had been wiped clean from this past red tide we had. We trekked out further to about 50′ and found a nice new spot. We Loaded the well with hardtails and made our way to 80′ of water. Headed to some ledges with 4-5′ of relief and bagged 4 red grouper. Marked some new bottom and then decided to head to our red grouper grounds 11 miles further out. […]

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Action Packed Two Day Adventure

Florida Sportsman member: Captain_Tim

Around the end of September I get a call from a buddy of mine that is a camera guy for a new fishing show that will be on NBC Sports in January 2013 called Gaff Life. He calls me and said they were going to shoot a show in North Carolina but there was some bad weather so it got canceled and would I be able to put a offshore trip together for the show? So of course I said hell yeah, called my boss who owns the Flying Fish Fleet and I tell him what we want to do and we quickly put a trip together […]

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Venice Bottom Bite on Fire

Florida Sportsman member: RMD

We left New Pass at around 7 a.m. and headed out to about 160 feet. Spent a few hours trolling and picked up a few bonita for bait, but the pelagic bite was slow. Decided to switch gears and do some bottom fishing which was very productiv

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South Key Largo Grouper and Snapper Bites

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Recent offshore fishing reports from the Florida Keys region.


South Key Largo Grouper and Snapper Bites

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

South Key Largo Grouper

The fish are shallow now with cooling waters, we fished 55 ft and the bite was great. We had the yellow tails close behind and of decent size. The first bait down got slammed by a nice black grouper and the next bait got hit by a mutton, after another black was caught.

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Cudjoe Key Variety Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: saltlifegarrett

Cudjoe Key Variety Fishing

We have been catch everything from mutton to sailfish. Mahi and tuna have been caught just about everyday.

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Week of Fishing in Marathon: Tasty Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: cameron sleep

Fishing in Marathon

Something ran off with the bait and really objected to my attempts to bring it to the surface. The something turned out to be a beautiful 25 inch mutton snapper, probably 8-9 pounds and I quickly aborted moving. Next drop, a 21 inch mutton met the same fate. My chicken rig was producing small yellowtails and a decent 18 inch, tasty, speckled grouper. A more urgent pull yielded a double header of 16 inch muttons, to complete the catching for the day.

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Keys Snapper Assortment

Florida Sportsman member: piner_wahoo

keys snapper

Forum member, piner_wahoo picked up a nice assortment of thick snapper over by Big Pine Key. Someone is gonna be eating good tonight!

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Shrimp Boat Fishing Slam

Florida Sportsman member: bambam78

The line ran off the reel faster and stronger than any of the other bites. The fight on a fast action rod and a 30 class reel was an absolute blast. Capt. Chaz told me as the fish got closer to the surface, that Yellowfin will do crazy things. Sure enough he was right. We saw color on the fish and shortly after, it made a run for the bow of the boat.

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Wahoo in the Keys

Florida Sportsman member: flbluerunner

We decided to make a quick Wahoo trip since the wind laid down and I had a good tide. On our second pass in one of my favorite areas, we got 45lb-er in the box.

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Islamorada Action

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

Even with the tough fishing we’ve managed to put a lot of nice catches together. We haven’t had many easy days though, but the last two days out this week saw a huge improvement and I’m hoping it’s the beginning of some red hot fishing. We got in on several large schools of mahi of mixed sizes from schoolies to some fish up to 30 pounds the last two days.

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Tortugas Trip

Florida Sportsman member: Gary M

Yuri would toss out some herring pieces to get the fish next to the boat. He was looking to see if any blackfins were in the schools of bonito and he had warned us, “You may have to catch 10 bonito in order to finally hook a blackfin so break off any bonito as soon as you can, re-tie and get a bait back in the water.”

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Red Hot Reef Action

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

We’ve had some really good reef fishing down here in Islamorada the last few weeks. Yellowtail fishing has been on fire and we’re catching some really nice black grouper and mutton snapper as well. Today we went to the reef and caught our limit of 40 yellowtail snapper in the morning.

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Surprise Visitor

Florida Sportsman member: boackerman

Forum member boackerman and friends got into some nice yellowtails and grouper recently. They also got a surpise visit from a cobia, that came home for dinner.

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Tavernier Muttons

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

As we were heading to it, I noticed a big party boat anchored about a mile before getting to my spot, knowing this area well, I knew he was on the fish. Keeping our distance and about a half mile down current, I told Capt. Evan slow down and let’s scan the bottom here with the sounder and sure enough, we marked a load of fish right on the bottom.

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Heading Out to the Hump

Florida Sportsman member: flbluerunner

We left the dock at about 8am, and worked our way to the Marathon Hump, made a couple of passes, got a handful of tuna and moved on. We ended up catching the mahi about three miles south of the hump.

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Islamorada Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

We loaded the bait wells and headed just offshore of the reef in the 140 foot range to start fishing. Flat calm seas, glowing blue water, and a very strong current are all great wahoo conditions and we had them all. That and the approaching front coming later that evening seemed to have the wahoo’s fired up! I think almost every boat fishing in a three to four mile area just offshore of the reef caught wahoo yesterday.

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Dry Tortugas Jigging

Florida Sportsman member: benwah22

I have never seen a wide open scamp bite before, but drop after drop they kept hitting slow pitch jigs. We didn’t even have time to get some of them in the cooler, and I was kicking scamps off the rail.

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A Trip to the West

Florida Sportsman member: Gary M

The next morning, I dropped one of my whole shrimp to the bottom and bam, I was hooked up! He ran just like a shark would have done, but I got him stopped and got him off the bottom. Looking down, I saw a stockier fish than a shark and I soon knew it was a nice mutton snapper!

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Islamorada Action

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

We wound up catching two sailfish, a nice black grouper, a mutton snapper, a few kingfish, and best of all a triple header of 30 to 40 pound wahoo on 16 pound spinning tackle. The wahoo flurry was quite the sight. We hooked the first one on a live cigar minnow on the down rod, It bit while we were winding it up to check the bait.

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Dolphin in Close

Florida Sportsman member: Teamteke

With rain storms solid offshore, we worked the shallow 220 to 270 foot depths where the scattered weeds held the dolphin. NOAA said the gulf stream was only two miles off of Sombrero light. We did venture out to about 500 feet and found a one degree rise in the water temp.

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Dolphin in the Weeds

Florida Sportsman member: flbluerunner

We did have a big one on but could not keep him from loading up on weeds and coming unwound. Funny thing, it was raining and if I got out of the rain the bite shut off, so we fished in the rain, and I took pellet beating in the tower.

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Speed Jigging Fun

Florida Sportsman member: Tavernierguy

The guys I had aboard jig from Kayaks all day, so they had it dialed. Bite was at the low tide then just kept getting and better has the tide started to move. Caught a wide variety of fish and few “fish heads”.

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Good Bite Out Deep

Florida Sportsman member: INTREPID377

The most excitement we had was a when a school of juvenile sailfish began tearing up the spread. We had five lines hit in addition to both teasers. Finally, after running around in circles from rod to rod, we got one to stick on the Wide Range moldcraft in the shotgun position. He wasn’t very big, but he was a sailfish.

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Fun in the Marquesas

Florida Sportsman member: Captbernie

Just back from a week in Key West with my wife and son. We had outstanding weather,fishing and diving. We spent four out of the six days fishing, diving and exploring the Marquesas. Limited on bugs daily and caught/speared enough fish for eats each day.

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Marathon Reef Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

The ballyhoos are on the reef but the speedos are a gamble, one day, they are at the bag and the next they are lost. Grouper have been biting good on speedos and live horse hoos and some nice muttons have fallen for those same baits.

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A Keys Adventure

Florida Sportsman member: Fish Tails

We stopped to check some fishy rips and a smaller weed line but Captain didn’t like the color of the water. And right about 28 miles off shore there it was. The mother of all weed lines, beautiful blue water and lines were in. Not three minutes later the starboard short goes off and my boy is on his first dolphin.

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Keys Trip with the Kids

Florida Sportsman member: FlagMaster

Forum member FlagMaster and kids enjoyed a recent trip to the keys. Big grouper, mutton and yellowtail snapper filled the cooler, as well as hogfish taken via speargun.

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Florida Keys Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: Gary M

We also had a pretty good bite with the yellowtail snappers. I tend to fish for them more than the heavy gear on the bottom and on this trip I got nice fish up to 23 1/2 inches. Fat ones too and on my light spinner, it was just a blast.

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Epic Trip to Pulley Ridge

Florida Sportsman member: cudaman

A lot of screaming reels all over the boat with double hook ups, up to quad hookups, the over under screaming of the mates could be heard from one end of the boat to the other as the mixed bag of fish started flooding the decks. Some bonitas (little tunny) found their way into the mix and a regular scene to happen of the days of fishing.

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Find the Birds, Find the Fish

Florida Sportsman member: seamonkey23

We then decided to run and gun. I saw 2 or 3 birds that were joined by 3 or 4 more circling something, so dropped the baits. We watched the birds circle back to our baits and as soon as I mentioned that, we hooked up on the bigger bull and cow.

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Night Time is the Right Time

Florida Sportsman member: PBG POOLGUY

The mangrove bite was red hot! Got out a couple hours before dark, had the chum flowing and picked at some smaller snappers and managed a nice rock hind, but when the sun went down it was on! All the big whitebait you wanted in the light all night long, bug a bait, drop it down and bam!

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Keys Offshore Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Got Ta Go

Dolphin have been holding mostly between 500-750′. I won’t say they have been easy, but if you keep working at it in the grass you’ll put together a nice catch. Seems they’ve been wanting meat, as most my catches have been coming on ballyhoo with or without skirts.

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Tearing Up the Tortugas

Florida Sportsman member: Gary M

It was a matter of picking off a few nice fish, move to another spot and repeat throughout the trip. But we did have a wild snapper bite that gave us a very busy hour at sundown the first night!

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Islamorada Offshore Variety

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

Dolphin fishing has really picked up for us over the past week down here in Islamorada. Every day has been a little different, and it can still be a little hit or miss, but we had a few outstanding trips over the weekend.

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The Gift of Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: kajo

We headed out to 650 feet, put out a few trolling rigs and hooked up pretty fast. We got some schoolies in the cooler and after hooking 4 we saw a mass of flying fish blast out of the water a little ways away and a second later a huge mahi mauling them.

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Keys Trip Success

Florida Sportsman member: stoutner

We went back out Thursday afternoon and found a nice solid weedline in about 650-700 feet of water. Trolled up to it and as soon as we arrived we were doubled up on Dolphin. Stopped trolling and started to chunk up that Bonito to bring the school to us.

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Day Saving Tuna

Florida Sportsman member:flbluerunner

Decided to go Southwest, there were broken weeds the whole way. Got out about 28 miles off and found birds were everywhere.

It was a big school of blackfins,and we were able to catch all we wanted. Kept 3 nice ones and let the rest go.

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Working for the Fish

Florida Sportsman member: Gulf2Back2Front

Weed formations were key with the occasional dolphin jumping to confirm our aspirations. These were caught mostly on Billy Bait and our own techniques for getting more.

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Islamorada Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

So we ditched the reef fishing plan and headed off to power drift on some deeper wrecks. In addition to the grouper there were also lots of amberjack and jack crevalle on many of the wrecks. I did notice a lot of pressure on the reef and wrecks. It was hard to find a spot not covered up with either boats hook and line fishing or divers spearfishing.

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Islamorada Day and Night

Florida Sportsman member: jcuilla

Our guests were some long time anglers in the area and Uncle Ted, the brother of Robbie, as in Robbie’s Marina. Awesome guy! Toward the end of the trip the short line gets slammed and it’s game on!

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Catching in the Marquesas

Florida Sportsman member: heavychevy15

Fished the Marquesas and got some decent fish out there this past weekend. We caught yellow tail, muttons, red snapper, some other bi-catch, and a handful of grouper (that all went back).

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Permit, Cobia and a Surprise

Florida Sportsman member: NauticalWheeler

The real surprise at this location was when I saw a small shark with interesting markings cruising around the boat. I thought it might resemble a tiger shark, but wasn’t sure. I threw out a live bait in haste and was only using 40 pound mono for a leader and was lucky to not get bitten off, but the hook was right in the corner of the mouth.

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Islamorada Wahoo and More

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

We had about a 45 minute flurry with at least one wahoo on the whole time. We wound up catching 4 out of 8 and had as many as 3 wahoo fighting over baits at once just 20 feet behind the boat including a couple the skyrocketed about 8 feet out of the water chasing the baits.

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Shallow Water Fun

Florida Sportsman member: Jciulla

Here’s a few pics from this week in patch reefs from 18-22 feet. Lots of good action from mangroves, muttons and mackerel. It seems like the fish are starting to go back to hitting the cut bait more as well as the live shrimp.

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Catching Fish on the Drift

Florida Sportsman member: youngguns2

We wanted to fill the box so decided to fish all wire on the top and mid rods and immediately had a triple on sailfish on the first set up. With only two people on board and wire leader, you can imagine the chaos that ensued but we did manage to land one out of the three.

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Fishing the Patches

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

We had a great day patch fishing today. Fishing the patches about a half mile inside the edge of the reef. The water was completely mudded over with the strong southwest wind we had last night. That and a moderate northeast current made for some great patch fishing conditions. We wound up with a few dozen nice yellowtail, some hogfish, porgies, and a half dozen muttons including some really nice ones.

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Mack Attack

Florida Sportsman member: piner_wahoo

Forum member piner_wahoo got into some nice fish offshore, fishing in his flats boat. Big kingfish and snapper should make for some excellent fillets and fish dip!

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Islamorada Deep Dropping

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

The kings made for some fast action and after catching our limit of them on cigar minnows just offshore of the reef. We then headed offshore and spent the rest of the day bottom dropping in depths from 400 to 800 feet deep. We wound up with an excellent catch of yellow eye snapper, vermillion snapper, queen snapper, tilefish, and a couple of beautiful yellow edge grouper up to 30 pounds.

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Keys Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: TeamTeke

Along the way we set out a dolphin spread of four Billy Baits. Luckily I put out one that had some wire on it as it got slammed by a nice wahoo. Others suggested at hookup that it was just a skipjack tuna but this fish was pulling some serious drag and did not want to come in. Finally getting it closer Harry yelled from the upper helm that it was a good wahoo. Bingo!

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Duck Key Reef Report

Florida Sportsman member: TeamTeke

Albert takes the first drift. Only one angler drifts at a time. At a moderate distance back he gets a run-off and hook up which produced a nice mangrove snapper. My wife Tania and myself each took our turns having bites and landing fish also. I think Albert went 7 or 8 fish straight without a miss.

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Summerland Key Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: Death From Above

The weather was still good so we went for it one more time. Picked up some nice dolphin on another weedline and then the big hoo shows up. Hit a blue and with Islander with a rigged ballyhoo. The bait was rigged with mono so it was a little tense until he hit the deck.

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Fun Weekend in the Keys

Florida Sportsman member: Lori Jo Fishing

Cayden’s on the reel, gets him boat side and the phin goes crazy. Then the captain sees more phins and says get some more baits out. Me and Jeff hook up and we ended up catching all three.

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Tavernier Tuna and Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

Found dolphin all afternoon and into the evening. Dolphin were on small current rips and slicks. Found a couple on small white birds. Fish were between 270 to 350 feet for me. They were in closer as well, but found the best action in that depth so I stuck with it.

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Tearin’ Up the Tortugas

Florida Sportsman member: cudaman

In the morning I started jigging and was able to connect with a red grouper, a story that would repeat over and over about 20 times. On this trip the ged groupers seemed to like jigs slowly jigged near the bottom.

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Mixed Bag off Islamorada

Florida Sportsman member: EarlyBird

We managed to hook three and land two 40 pound hoo’s. My guests then looked at me and says, “Capt let’s head on in because we can’t top this” and I happily took her on in. We ended the day with 7 wahoos, 40 mahi, 2 tripletail, and a dozen tunas.

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Day Timing off Duck Key

Florida Sportsman member: out of the blue

We were now 5 for 6 on the day and we deployed once more and as we were near the end of the drift, there was the unmistakable tap. We went to work, he felt heavy all the way up so we were thinking it was foul hooked or a shark.

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Slayin’ Them Solo

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

Went solo today looking for a phins and maybe wahoo and the fish were hungry! The bull and the cow crashed the baits at the same time. Cow hit the wire leader and the bull smacked the mono. 20 minutes later put them over the rail, thankfully the seas were flat. Both ate blue and white islanders.

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Limiting Out

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

I started the usual chum slick to find the yellowtails eating right behind the motors. The guys took pictures and were excited to begin the catching, which they did just that, in a short time we had our limit and a mutton on the bottom to make the 50 snapper limit.

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Fishing on the Edge

Florida Sportsman member: ShallowSalt

Biggest score of the week was a 19.5 pound blackfin tuna caught on 20 pound spin gear while drifting. We began to see the big boys skying about a quarter mile behind the boat and eventually they worked their way close enough and took a drifting bait behind the boat.

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Islamorada Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: INTREPID377

Based on what we saw, if you want a shot at a dolphin, you’re going to need to run a bit. I know some bigger dolphin were caught in close, but no real numbers. If you want blackfin tuna, both the 409 and Islamorada Hump were loaded with small fish.

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Catching in Key Largo

Florida Sportsman member: Joepilot

Dolphin were abundant about 10 to 17 miles off Key Largo. The ocean was glass and no one around to compete with. The edge of the stream was clearly visible in these condition, which was really interesting to see so defined.

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Keys Swords

Florida Sportsman member: out of the blue

We went to work and after a short battle placed a 50 incher on the deck. My spell had been broken and it was my buddy’s turn, unfortunately we pulled the hook on the next bite and then we caught a big mako in 1700 feet of water, we let that one go as it was only 1130 am and no point on putting that on the deck.

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Pulley Ridge Trip

Florida Sportsman member: Xaf

Greg said we could go ahead and load our gear. So we lugged all the above mentioned gear from the truck to the boat. Then it was off to the Hogfish for a bowl of lobster bisque and an order of hogfish fingers. Soon the rest of the anglers for the trip started showing up and went through the ritual of loading their gear on the boat. Finally it was 8 pm and time to shove off.

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Dry Tortugas Trip

Florida Sportsman member: Gary M

We all agreed the next morning that none of us had ever seen such a long, hot bite of such consistently BIG yellowtails! Even Ed, who fishes for yellowtails a lot in the Bahamas, was having a hard time remembering such great action over in the islands.

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Little Torch Key Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: punchdog

It was getting to be early evening so we decided to troll back in and saw a frigate at about 600 feet. Followed him for a short while and a schoolie mahi hits a lure. As we are bringing him in 3 or 4 big mahi are following. Avery, who is 12, grabs a pitch rod, puts a pinfish on the big circle hook, tosses it out and hooks the 47 inch cow. About 20 minutes later, good gaff shot and it is in the boat.

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Deep Dropping and Dolphin off Key Largo

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

We set up a drift, and put down some bonita chunks. First pull up 3 roses, we were ecstatic! We did two more drops with 3 rosies each time. Afterward we continued to troll and found a nice log in 650 feet. This was loaded with schoolies, most of them were right at 20 inches but we landed 5 that were 22 plus inches. Many were thrown back to get bigger.

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Dinosaur Dolphin off Key Largo

Florida Sportsman member: SeaCarrII

Around 12:30 pm, we came up on a frigate tracking fish from about 30 yards up, with bait splashing below. Followed him for a few minutes, and our two trolled ballyhoo got hit. About a 30 pound cow jumped and spit the hook, but this bull came aboard after a long fight. It hit a green skirted ballyhoo in 670 feet, about 17 or 18 miles out.

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First Phin in the Box

Florida Sportsman member: SonarSup

Looked for weed lines and birds and didn’t find any. A lot of sargasso patches but no distinct weed lines to troll up and down. I trolled around 5 knots when I hit the 330 foot mark my drag started screaming. About 5 minutes later my wife and I got the fish in the boat. 20 pound 40 inch first dolphin for my wife and I!

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Big Pine Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: AMPED

We went out to about 625 feet today, East of Big Pine Key & West of Sombrero Light. We caught some really nice phins (triple header), some peanuts which were tagged and released, average size wahoo, a black fin tuna, and some cudas. Left at 8am and was back by 3:00 pm.

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Mahi in Marathon

Florida Sportsman member: CatchDog

Forum member CatchDog has been on the dolphin off of Marathon. Catching many fish trolling naked and skirted ballyhoo between 630 and 750 feet. The big bull was taken on a blue and white islander.

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Tearing up Tavernier

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

Reef bite has been ok when the current cooperates. Been having some fun catching and releasing Permit. Got to do some grouper fishing on Sunday May 4 for the first time in along while. First drop we took a nice black grouper for dinner!

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Gettin’ Jiggy in the Keys

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

On Saturday we took out Greg, George, Eric, Jomal, and Lynn and released 32 amberjacks all between 30 and 75 pounds as well as a dozen almaco jacks and banded rudderfish. These guys are a group of vertical jiggers from Miami and loosely refer to themselves as the “Miami wrecking crew”.

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Lower Keys Cobes

Florida Sportsman member: Bill Welder

We kept the first 3 and released number 4 and passed on number 5. We could have taken more.They ate whatever we threw at them. My clients also kept about a dozen yellowtails between 18 to 20 inches. Sharks are thick. We leadered a large Bull shark after a 45 minute tug of war. Only saw 2 Sportfishers all day.

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Tavernier Slammers

Florida Sportsman member: youngguns2

Found a nice bucket with bait but no mahi, then came across a nice piece of bamboo with heavy mono tied to it with again lots of bait and a triple tail but no mahi. Kept running southwest till about 11:30 am when we spotted a hawk heading down on the water in 750 feet and it was chaos from then on. With only 3 guys on the boat, we got covered by 3 large slammers, hooked all 3 fish but ended up landing the bull and the smaller cow.

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Awesome Trip on the Yankee Capts

Florida Sportsman member: LitiGATOR

The mate gaffed the fish and a beautiful mutton hit the deck. I don’t know if Juozas had ever caught one before, but I believe it was his first on the Yankee. At 10-years old, on his first trip out here. That’s impressive. You couldn’t wipe the smile of his face.

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Lowe

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The Wrap: Gauging how Trump’s win will affect Palm Beach real estate, Wynwood attracts Florida’s first industrial design college…and more

Trump

Donald Trump (Credit: Gage Skidmore)

1. Gauging how Trump’s win will affect Palm Beach real estate [Palm Beach Daily News]

2. Wynwood attracts Florida’s first industrial design college [Miami Herald]

3. A once run-down Miami Beach district gets new start [Financial Times]

4. Zak the Baker’s 7,000-square-foot Temple of Bread opens in Wynwood [Miami New Times]

Sean Stewart-Muniz

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Market economy emerging in post-Castro Cuba

Cuban entrepreneur Barbara Fernandez Franco works in her home in Havana as her boyfriend Michel Perez Casanova helps. (Credit: David Gilkey / NPR)

Cuban entrepreneur Barbara Fernandez Franco works in her home in Havana as her boyfriend Michel Perez Casanova helps. (Credit: David Gilkey/NPR)

Fidel Castro’s death probably will have little impact on the Cuban economy, which has been invigorated by a new wave of small business owners and self-employed professionals.

Under Castro, who called business owners a “class of parasites,” the Cuban government abolished private property ownership and property exchanges and controlled all production and all employment.

But in 2011, significant reforms legalized small businesses and increased their presence in the Cuban economy.

Today under-stocked, government-run retail stores still attract long lines of under-served Cubans. But state-owned stores operate along with a new generation of small-scale entrepreneurs who sell such goods as fresh produce and such services as manicures and haircuts.

Castro’s younger brother Raul, 85, who succeeded him in 2008 as president of Cuba, has supported legal reforms that authorized self-employment in hundreds of professions and trade between small businesses and the state. In his pragmatic approach to the Cuban presidency, Raul Castro also has started to reduce taxes on entrepreneurs and has permitted private exchanges of homes and vehicles.

The reforms have encouraged a surge in the number of self-employed Cubans from 148,000 in 2009 to 500,000 in late 2015.

In the wake of his brother’s death, Raul Castro may expand the business-friendly reforms of the Cuban economy. And though he plans to step down as president in 2018, his handpicked successor, Miguel Diaz-Canel, probably will pursue similar economic policies. [The Daily Telegraph]Mike Seemuth

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Secret Service in talks to take 2 floors at Trump Tower

Trump Tower and Donald Trump

Trump Tower and Donald Trump

From the New York site: Hail to the Chief…and potential landlord.

The United States Secret Service is in talks with the Trump Organization to take two full floors at Trump Tower, sources told the New York Post.

The agency and the New York City Police Department are looking to operate a command post out of the space at the 68-story tower, according to the newspaper. President-elect Donald Trump’s wife Melania and youngest son Barron plan to live at the building through the spring.

Taxpayers would be on the hook to pay the president-elect’s own company to lease the floors, a bill that could exceed $3 million annually, according to the newspaper. Asking rents at the tower exceed $100 per square foot.

Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio has reached out to the federal government to ask for help in covering the costs of securing Trump Tower, a burden that CNN reports costs $1 million a day. Trump has said that even as president, he’d like to spend weekends in his hometown. [NYP]TRD

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The jargon of real estate: How not to sound stupid

Basil Fawlty of Fawlty Towers

Basil Fawlty of Fawlty Towers

With fancy homes come fancy terms. You’re far more likely to hear words such as “dais,” “koi pond” and “porte cochère” when discussing a multimillion-dollar home than a humble rental. But these terms often trip up brokers and clients alike. When trying to appeal, as Mr. Basil Fawlty would, to a “better class of customer,” it’s important to get these terms right. … [more]

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