Shark 2017

© 2017 – Florida Insider Fishing Report | R M Media, Inc.

Article source: http://chevyfloridainsiderfishingreport.com/2017/06/shark-2017

Targeting Sharks In The Northeast Region With Capt. Tommy Derringer

 

 

We have a variety of sharks in my region that you can catch year-round, but if I was going to pick my favorite month to target them, it would be July. That’s when the pogie (Atlantic Menhaden) schools are thick along the beaches and the shrimp boats are dumping their bycatch daily within a few miles of shore. At the same time, the ocean is flat calm, so you can fish just about every day.

Any time you get a lot of baitfish in one area, you’re going to get sharks feeding from their ranks. You can just pick a pogie school, throw your castnet and dump a bunch of big one-pound pogies into the boat and let them die, then cut them up and chunk them around the same school and catch sharks. Just about every pogie school will have sharks around it this time of the year, but if you want to find concentrations of sharks and catch a bunch and a variety of species, the best bet is to fish around the shrimp boats.

Shrimp boats trawl all night long, then anchor up, clean their nets and dump the bycatch overboard and sleep during the daytime. When they dump the bycatch, the sharks are there to feed on all the juvenile fish that get caught up in their nets. These shrimp boats will be anywhere from a half mile from the beach to three or four miles offshore, so you can fish it easily in a small boat.

You can catch a bunch of pogies from a school near shore, and then run them out to the shrimp boats, cut them into chunks and drop them over the side. We’ll get everything from Atlantic sharpnose sharks to blacktip, lemon and even the occasional hammerhead shark behind those shrimp boats.

Most of our sharks range in size from 30 to 100 pounds or more, with the hammerheads getting to several hundred pounds. I like to fish them on 30-pound braided line with a 24-inch piece of #8 wire attached to six feet of 120-pound monofilament to keep the shark’s skin from cutting the leader. Put it on a 7-foot heavy spinning rod with 8000 size reel—you want to have a lot of line because sharks are fast and powerful and will dump a reel that has less than 300 yards of line on it. I always fish circle hooks, using anywhere from a 6/0 to 8/0 depending on the size of the fish in the area.

We also like to target bonnethead sharks around the flats and bars that are close to the inlets. They look like small hammerheads, but are crustacean eaters. They only get to be about 20 pounds, but they’re fun on light tackle. I target them on 10-pound line, a seven-foot rod and 4000 size reel and 60-pound fluorocarbon leader and 4/0 circle hook.

Bait up with a blue crab and toss it onto the bar up-current of where you’re seeing bonnethead sharks, and their sense of smell will help them locate it. They’re not boat shy, so you can usually watch them eat the bait and then come tight. They’re powerful and will rip out a hundred yards of line or more on the first run.

If you’re going to do a lot of shark fishing, sooner or later you’re going to get one to the boat. Plan ahead and bring along a long-handled dehooking device, so you don’t have to get your hands anywhere near the mouth of the shark, which will keep you from getting bit and make releasing the shark at the side of the boat easy.

Captain Tips

Article source: http://chevyfloridainsiderfishingreport.com/2017/06/targeting-sharks-northeast-region-capt-tommy-derringer

Targeting Sharks In The Northeast Region With Capt. Tommy Derringer

 

 

We have a variety of sharks in my region that you can catch year-round, but if I was going to pick my favorite month to target them, it would be July. That’s when the pogie (Atlantic Menhaden) schools are thick along the beaches and the shrimp boats are dumping their bycatch daily within a few miles of shore. At the same time, the ocean is flat calm, so you can fish just about every day.

Any time you get a lot of baitfish in one area, you’re going to get sharks feeding from their ranks. You can just pick a pogie school, throw your castnet and dump a bunch of big one-pound pogies into the boat and let them die, then cut them up and chunk them around the same school and catch sharks. Just about every pogie school will have sharks around it this time of the year, but if you want to find concentrations of sharks and catch a bunch and a variety of species, the best bet is to fish around the shrimp boats.

Shrimp boats trawl all night long, then anchor up, clean their nets and dump the bycatch overboard and sleep during the daytime. When they dump the bycatch, the sharks are there to feed on all the juvenile fish that get caught up in their nets. These shrimp boats will be anywhere from a half mile from the beach to three or four miles offshore, so you can fish it easily in a small boat.

You can catch a bunch of pogies from a school near shore, and then run them out to the shrimp boats, cut them into chunks and drop them over the side. We’ll get everything from Atlantic sharpnose sharks to blacktip, lemon and even the occasional hammerhead shark behind those shrimp boats.

Most of our sharks range in size from 30 to 100 pounds or more, with the hammerheads getting to several hundred pounds. I like to fish them on 30-pound braided line with a 24-inch piece of #8 wire attached to six feet of 120-pound monofilament to keep the shark’s skin from cutting the leader. Put it on a 7-foot heavy spinning rod with 8000 size reel—you want to have a lot of line because sharks are fast and powerful and will dump a reel that has less than 300 yards of line on it. I always fish circle hooks, using anywhere from a 6/0 to 8/0 depending on the size of the fish in the area.

We also like to target bonnethead sharks around the flats and bars that are close to the inlets. They look like small hammerheads, but are crustacean eaters. They only get to be about 20 pounds, but they’re fun on light tackle. I target them on 10-pound line, a seven-foot rod and 4000 size reel and 60-pound fluorocarbon leader and 4/0 circle hook.

Bait up with a blue crab and toss it onto the bar up-current of where you’re seeing bonnethead sharks, and their sense of smell will help them locate it. They’re not boat shy, so you can usually watch them eat the bait and then come tight. They’re powerful and will rip out a hundred yards of line or more on the first run.

If you’re going to do a lot of shark fishing, sooner or later you’re going to get one to the boat. Plan ahead and bring along a long-handled dehooking device, so you don’t have to get your hands anywhere near the mouth of the shark, which will keep you from getting bit and make releasing the shark at the side of the boat easy.

Captain Tips

Article source: http://chevyfloridainsiderfishingreport.com/2017/06/targeting-sharks-northeast-region-capt-tommy-derringer

Mangrove Snapper 2017

© 2017 – Florida Insider Fishing Report | R M Media, Inc.

Article source: http://chevyfloridainsiderfishingreport.com/2017/06/mangrove-snapper-2017

Targeting Mangrove Snapper In The Southwest Region With Capt. Ron Hueston

 

 

 

June is just a fantastic month to target mangrove snapper in my region because the Gulf of Mexico is flat calm so you can run fast to the wrecks and reefs, and the fish are schooled up and feeding. What’s nice about mangrove snapper is that you can find them inshore and offshore, so the nearshore wrecks, ledges will hold fish, as will any structure inshore like downed trees or logs, or rocks and seawalls.

The largest mangrove snapper are going to come offshore. That’s where you’ll find the six and seven pounders. The best wrecks and ledges are in 25 to 50 feet of water, and Collier County has put in a bunch of new Artificial Reefs the last couple of years, and those new reefs have drawn big schools of mangrove snapper in a very short period.

Some of the best wrecks in my region are anywhere from 8 to 30 miles out, but the farther you run the less likely that spot is going to have too much angling pressure. Since it’s flat, don’t be afraid to run and gun, stopping on a reef and fishing it for an hour or so, before moving to another one. You can hit a half-dozen spots in a day, and find fish at just about every one of them.

The best mangrove snapper fishing seems to take place when the water is a little murky or discolored. A lot of the hardcore snapper fishermen will wait until we have a bunch of windy days in a row or some tropical weather move through to go, knowing those fronts will stir up the water and make it harder for the mangroves to see your leader.

Just anchor on the up-current side of the reef or wreck, and start a chum line going. The idea behind using chum is get the fish feeding and draw them away from the structure to make them easier to catch, while at the same time not over-doing it so they get full. Most anglers use a ground chum and will supplement it with handfuls of glass minnows and pilchards to get the fish in a frenzy. The higher you pull the fish into the water column, the less likely they can make it back to the structure to cut you off when hooked.

One of the things I’ve noticed over the years is that the largest mangrove snapper come from the outside of the school that is chummed up. Big snapper are wary and smart, and they don’t like to get into the middle of the feeding school. Instead, they look for the one large meal they can find away from all the other fish.

I like to fish snapper on 20-pound braided line with 7 foot medium heavy rods and 4000 size reels and a 30 to 40-pound fluorocarbon leader. You want to use a small enough circle hook so that it doesn’t stand out when hooked in a bait, so a 2/0 to 4/0 is a good size, depending on the bait. Just about any cut bait will work, from menhaden, sardines, pilchards and threadfins to mullet, pinfish and ladyfish. Hide the hook in the bait, and use just enough weight to make it sink slowly to the bottom in a natural way.

You can do the same thing inshore, looking for structure and chumming it first. Any time you’re running, particularly on the lower stages of the tides or on a negative tide, you want to watch for big trees on the bank and mark them. You can come back later during high water and fish them, and you’ll be surprised how many mangrove snapper they’ll hold.

You’ll catch a lot of smaller mangrove snapper in the backcountry, but you still can easily catch a limit around these structures. I’ll use the same tackle as I do offshore, but use a live shrimp, or juvenile sardine or pilchard to target them.

Once you get the fish chummed up, the fishing can be fast and furious and you can catch a limit quickly, so be sure to pay attention to what you land and keep so you don’t go over your limit. Throw back any undersized fish or fish that are just legal so you can keep the larger ones.

Captain Tips

Article source: http://chevyfloridainsiderfishingreport.com/2017/06/targeting-mangrove-snapper-southwest-region-capt-ron-hueston

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Article source: http://chevyfloridainsiderfishingreport.com/production-manager

Dolphin 2017

© 2017 – Florida Insider Fishing Report | R M Media, Inc.

Article source: http://chevyfloridainsiderfishingreport.com/2017/06/dolphin-2017

Targeting Dolphin In The East Region With Captain Mike Holliday

 

 

The end of May and early June are prime time for dolphin fishing in the East Region. There’s still some big fish coming over from the eastern side of the Gulf Stream, and at the same time, the weedlines are starting to stack up while the seas are calming, so there’s a lot more days you can get out on the water.

From now through the rest of summer, the key to dolphin fishing in my region is to cover a lot of water. Start your day with a little preparation on the way out by rigging a couple of spinning rods for casting to fish you might run across or to schoolies that follow a hooked fish to the boat. You never know what size fish you’re going to come across, so I go with 20 or 30-pound tackle on 7 foot medium heavy rods and a 60-pound fluorocarbon leader.

I like to rig one rod with a 1 ounce yellow jig, and another with a 6/0 J-style hook. If I have live baits on board, I’ll put a live bait on the hook and place the rod near the bait well and the bait back in the well. That way, if we come by a big fish within casting distance, I can just grab the rod and throw the bait in front of the fish. If you don’t have live bait, you can rig a whole ballyhoo on the hook and have it ready for the same scenario.

The best way to cover a lot of water is to troll, whether that be ballyhoo, swimming mullet or just a simple Japanese feather and strip bait combination. But don’t arbitrarily stop at a certain depth and put out baits—look for something that indicates dolphin might be in the area, like a weedline, color change or current edge. Start at the first thing that looks good, and fish it for 30 minutes, moving from one side of the rip or weedline to the other. If you don’t get a bite, pick up and run to the next thing that looks good.

Oddly, the fish typically hold on things that make them comfortable and provide food, but not every weedline had fish. You can be on a huge pile of weeds and be fishing in the desert while a single floating board will hold an oasis of fish. So don’t be afraid to move.

When you do find fish, work that area well, and if you go 30 minutes or so without a bite, pick up and move on. The key to the run-and-gun method of summertime fishing is to cover as much good-looking water as possible without wasting time fishing just anywhere. Look for lone floating objects, particularly things that have been in the water for some time and have barnacles growing on them. It’s even good to bring along some binoculars and scan the horizon every 10 minutes looking for floating objects.

Any time you’re dolphin fishing, you also want to watch for birds, which can be an indicator of dolphin below. Frigate birds diving on the water or circling and flying in a set direction are usually over a predator. Small terns diving repeatedly on the water are usually over school-sized dolphin. Birds flying north are often over school fish while birds flying south tend to be over larger fish.

If you encounter birds, don’t drive right through the middle of them. Instead observe the direction they’re moving, run up ahead of them and deploy your baits and let the fish swim up to you. That will keep the boat from breaking up the school or sending a big fish in another direction.

In the summer months, it’s common for the Gulf Stream to push current eddies in close to shore, so you may encounter fish as shallow as 60 feet of water, but as a rule the best fishing is from 100 feet of water on out. Cover water, look for signs of fish and birds and you’ll be hooked up and fighting dolphin in no time.

Captain Tips

Article source: http://chevyfloridainsiderfishingreport.com/2017/06/targeting-dolphin-east-region-captain-mike-holliday

Bonefish 2017

© 2017 – Florida Insider Fishing Report | R M Media, Inc.

Article source: http://chevyfloridainsiderfishingreport.com/2017/06/bonefish-2017

Targeting Bonefish In The Keys With Capt. Randy Towe

 

 

It used to be that Key Largo and Islamorada were the hot spots in the Keys, but over the last ten years, the Lower Keys and Key West have been the place to consistently catch them. Whatever area you fish, you want to have favorable conditions which are a good incoming tide with a lot of current. Keep in mind that in the Keys there’s a different body of water on either side of every island, so there’s an incoming tide from the Atlantic and an incoming tide from the Gulf of Mexico, and a lot of times they differ so that you can fish the incoming tide on the Atlantic side and then run into the backcountry on the Gulf side and fish the incoming tide there.

On the incoming tide, the bonefish come out of the channels and up onto the flats to feed. As the water levels rise, the fish push up shallow to take advantage of the shrimp, crabs and worms that are exposed with the incoming water.

The key to bonefishing is in the water level—too much water and you can’t see them or they’re in the mangroves, and too little water and they can’t get up onto the flat. What you want is 8 to 15 inches of water on top of the flat. Tide is critical and the windows are small, so you want to time your bonefishing to stay the most amount of time in that perfect level of water.

Sometimes in the middle of the day when the tide is high, you’ll find bonefish mudding in three to five feet of water. It’s not your traditional dark looking mud, it’s more of a dusty, off-color to the water. If you see that discoloring of the real clear water, you want to stop and either blind cast or look for fish.

Remember that when you’re dealing with current, it’s like a conveyor belt, so the mud you’re seeing is actually behind the fish. Bonefish feed into the current, so if you’re looking at a mud, you’re looking at something that had already happened. You want to look ahead of it to see the fish.

Good baits are a small 1/8-ounce brown jig, a live shrimp or a quarter-sized blue crab. If you’re going to use the shrimp or crab, you’ll want a 1/0 hook. You can break the tail off the shrimp and thread the hook through the tail, and then back into the body of the bait to make it weedless. If you’re using a crab, you want to hook it in the corner of the shell, and then break off the other corner to add scent to the water. You can also break off the claws and some of the legs so the crab can’t burrow into the sand and hide.

I fish them on seven to right foot 10 pound spinning rods with a 4000 size reel and 10 pound monofilament line. You want to have a reel that holds at least 200 yards of line. If you use braided line, you want to use a monofilament leader, because bonefish have excellent eyesight. I like the eight foot rods when there’s a lot of small mangrove shoots in the water, because it gives you a little extra height when you need to get around them.

You don’t want to cast directly onto the fish. Cast ahead of them 15 to 20 feet and let them swim up to your lure or bait. Bonefish have an outstanding sense of smell, and they’ll come from 10 feet or more to find that shrimp or crab.

The average bonefish in the Keys these days is four to five pounds, with a 10 pounder a big fish and anything larger a jumbo. When someone hooks up on a bonefish, that’s the time to get the camera out and get ready for when you get it to the boat, so that you can grab the fish, take a picture and get it back into the water quickly. You want to handle the fish as little as possible and release it so they live to repopulate the species and fight again another day.

Captain Tips

Article source: http://chevyfloridainsiderfishingreport.com/2017/05/targeting-bonefish-keys-capt-randy-towe