Targeting Wahoo In The Panhandle Region With Capt. Pat Dineen

 

 

 

If you’re going to find wahoo on a regular basis during the summer months, you’re going to have to cover a lot of water. That’s how you find the floating objects that are holding fish when there’s not a lot of defined rips or current edges to work.

Every now and then a wahoo is caught on the reefs and wrecks, but anyone who is catching more than one fish is finding them of something floating like a weedline that has a lot of bait on it, a floating pallet or board. Even better is a large tree or log that is waterlogged and floating deep into the water column. Wherever you find weedlines, you’re going to find these floating objects, and it’s a good idea to bring along some binoculars to help you scan the horizon for them.

Whenever we’re wahoo fishing, we know the run is going to be 30-plus miles. That’s how far from land you need to be to find the water that will hold wahoo, and everything depends on location. A few guys get them while bottom fishing along the edge where it goes from 180 to 220 feet of water where there’s a natural bottom break, and some people catch them when running from one spot to the other and chugging along at eight or nine knots while pulling jet heads, but the majority of wahoo caught in my area come off something floating.

We’ll typically target wahoo by putting a flatline out behind a cigar lead with either a Trembler or a Bonito lure—the larger fish-shaped baits designed for high speed trolling. If we’re pulling rigged baits, it’s usually a double-hooked ballyhoo on #8 wire, and we’ll back that up with a large swimming plug. The key is to get the lure or bait below the surface.

Most of the wahoo are in that 30 to 40 pound range, so we fish them with 30- to 50-pound outfits with #8 wire to keep the fish from biting through the leader. You can use a wire line which will get the bait down deep, or a downrigger or planer, but most anglers use a 15 to 30 ounce trolling lead, and will put that about 15 feet in front of the lure or bait. Just getting the bait three or four feet below the surface makes a big difference.

If you find a large floating object, you want to make several passes around it to present the lures or baits at different angles and speeds. If you get a bite, keep the boat in gear. A lot of times wahoo on floating objects are schooled up, so continuing to pull the spread can result in multiple hook-ups. If you catch a single fish off anything floating, you want to make multiple passes on that same object before moving on. It’s pretty common to pick up more than one and up to ten fish on a single object.

When hooked, wahoo make a long run, and then charge right back at the boat hoping to get some slack in the line and have the hook fall out. They also tend to shake their heads in an attempt to dislodge the hook. Keep a tight line on the fish and you’ll be fine. Lead them to the side of the boat and have the gaff ready so you can take your shot the first time you get one.

Wahoo see well, and when gaffed will try to bite you. Control the fish before pulling it into the boat by grabbing its tail. With one hand holding the gaff and the other the tail, you can point the toothy end of the wahoo away from any people and directly into the fish box.

Captain Tips

Article source: http://chevyfloridainsiderfishingreport.com/2017/08/targeting-wahoo-panhandle-region-capt-pat-dineen

Wahoo 2017

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Article source: http://chevyfloridainsiderfishingreport.com/2017/08/wahoo-2017

Fishing Opportunities For Females In The Southeast Region With Capt. Jimbo Thomas

August is a great month for fishing in the Southeast Region, so it’s no surprise that a lot of females are getting more involved in the sport this month. The summer months are when the seas are calm and the water is clear, making for comfortable fishing conditions, and at the same time, the state’s lobster season is open for anyone wanting to cool off in the water and catch some lobster to go with their fish.

Most anglers learn to fish either from their parents who were fishermen or with friends, and it’s no different for females, although going out on the water for the first time with an overly aggressive angler or group and be intimidating. Like any sport, you don’t get better without practice, so you can cut the learning curve by practicing your casting before you head to the water.

There’s also a bunch of fishing clubs in my region, and every one of them has a good number of female members, so you can join or visit one of these clubs and get some of those members to help you with your skills and fishing knowledge. For those that are intimidated by the sport, there’s Ladies Let’s Go fishing, which offers classes in fishing skills for females around the state. You can find out more information about the group and where the next school will take place at www.ladiesletsgofishing.com.

Just about every fishing tournament in my region has a female angler division, and these are great opportunities to put some time in on the water with friends while at the same time getting a feel for the competitive side of fishing. Tournament fishing tends to appeal to the hardcore anglers who put a lot of time and preparation into their day, so be prepared to stick out a full day on the water even if the fish aren’t biting. The one event I know about is the Pompano Beach Saltwater Showdown, August 4-7. For more information on that tournament, you can contact Cassandra Kusmich (954) 725-4010.

Fishing in my region can be as simple as going to the beach and taking a rod along and casting small shad-body jigs or lipless plugs, or putting a sandflea on a hook and casting it out and sitting in a chair while waiting for a bite. There’s also a bunch of fishing piers in my region where you can use a Sabiki rig to catch live bait for snook (catch and release only) or snapper.

If you fish from a boat, one of the best things you can do is find a bait school less than a mile off the beach, use a Sabiki rig to catch a bait from the school, and then put a hook in the bait and cast it back into the school. Everything from bonito and barracuda to blackfin tuna, dolphin and cobia come in close to shore to feed during the summer months, so you never really know what you’re going to catch.

How serious you take your fishing is up to you. A lot of my friends fish with their wives or girlfriends and get an early start to the day, fish hard until 11 or 12, then head for the sandbar for a swim in the middle of the day to beat the summer heat. Fishing is supposed to be fun and relaxing, so don’t make the mistake of putting a lot of pressure on yourself to catch fish. Get out on the water, have fun, and even if you don’t catch fish, you’ll get a nice tan and have the opportunity to see a lot of the great marine life Florida has to offer!

 

 

Captain Tips

Article source: http://chevyfloridainsiderfishingreport.com/2017/08/fishing-opportunities-females-southeast-region-capt-jimbo-thomas

Ladies 2017

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Article source: http://chevyfloridainsiderfishingreport.com/2017/08/ladies-2017

Tuna 2017

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Article source: http://chevyfloridainsiderfishingreport.com/2017/08/tuna-2017

Targeting Tuna In The East Region With Capt. Mike Holliday

 

 

 

 

For the most part, there are two species of tuna we target in my region on a fairly regular basis: yellowfin and blackfin tuna, with the blackfins the more commonly caught species. We do catch some yellowfins in my region, and even a few bigeye and the occasional Bluefin tuna, and that usually happens after a week or so of windy weather and rough seas. We’ll also catch skipjack tuna mixed in with the blackfins.

The anglers that specifically target yellowfins in my region usually do so by running to the eastern side of the Gulf Stream and fish either the western Bahamas or just north of the Bahama Bank in an area known as “The Corner” or “The Pocket.” Yellowfin tuna fishing is good starting in May, and runs through October, with the fish pushing north late in the season. Right now, those fish are probably 10 to 20 miles north of the Bahama Bank.

Most of the boats making the 65 to 80 mile run will be trolling, although you can chunk or chum the fish and live bait them. As they boats get 60 or so miles out, they start using their radar screens to help them mark the big flocks of birds that travel with the tuna schools. On some days, there may be a half-dozen flocks showing on the screen.

Once you find the birds, the trick is to keep them at a distance and plot their course of travel, then run ahead of them, put out lures or baits and wait for the tuna to swim up to the moving boat. Tuna swim very fast, a lot faster than the normal 7 or 8 knot trolling speed, so they catch the boat quickly.

The average yellowfin can be anywhere from 30 to 80 pounds, with fish topping 100 pounds, so most boats fish them using 50 or 80 pound tackle, a 100 pound fluorocarbon leader and either lures like a cedar plug, a big-lipped swimming plug, a Japanese feather or small bonito-style lures or rigged ballyhoo. All these baits are effective, and it seems like the darker colors work best with the lures.

When a fish is hooked, the boat continues at the same speed in hopes of getting more bites from the school. Some anglers like to make a turn when the get a bite, hoping the change in direction of the lures or baits will entice the rest of the school to feed.

Blackfin tuna are the most commonly caught tuna species in my region and range anywhere from a few pounds to up to 40 pounds. August and September are great months to target blackfin tuna in my region, either looking for them along the edge in 200 to 400 feet of water from Palm Beach up to Jupiter, or on offshore atolls like Push Button Hill, 12 miles southeast of St. Lucie Inlet.

The blackfins are usually traveling in schools, with a lot of small fish in the mix, but also so huge ones. The big blackfins sometimes like to mix in with the bonito schools, and are very boat shy, so they’re targeted with lines placed way behind a boat. You can troll up blackfin tuna with small feathers in pink, silver or black.

The most consistent way to catch blackfins in my region is by live chumming with juvenile pilchards or Spanish sardines. Blacken your livewells with these baits and then run out to 200 feet of water or more, and start the chum line going. The blackfins will eventually find them, often showing up after the bonito. At times, you’ll see them jumping out of the water chasing your baitfish.

Blackfin tuna are leader shy, and don’t have teeth, so you can target them with 30 pound fluorocarbon leader and a 2/0 to 3/0 circle hook—something small that can be hidden in the bait. They tend to be boat shy, so you want to put the baits as far from the boat as possible.

You’ll know when you hook a blackfin tuna, as they make long, powerful runs, more so than a big bonito, and take longer to get to the boat. They’re outstanding to eat, but you want to bleed them immediately and put them directly on ice to improve the flavor.

Catch just one blackfin or yellowfin tuna, and you’re hooked for life. These fish not only taste great, but are incredible fighters on any tackle.

Captain Tips

Article source: http://chevyfloridainsiderfishingreport.com/2017/08/targeting-tuna-east-region-capt-mike-holliday

Meet the team at Daiquiri Deck!

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Article source: http://chevyfloridainsiderfishingreport.com/meet-team-daiquiri-deck

Marlin 2017

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Article source: http://chevyfloridainsiderfishingreport.com/2017/07/marlin-2017

Marlin 2017

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Article source: http://chevyfloridainsiderfishingreport.com/2017/07/marlin-2017

Targeting Marlin In The Keys Region With Capt. Randy Towe

 

 

 

Apart from one tournament in Key West in July, we don’t really target marlin in my region, but we do seem to catch a lot of them during the full moons from May through August. More often than not, our marlin come as incidental catches when trolling ballyhoo for dolphin.

Off Key West, there’s an area known as Woods Wall that’s a small atoll where tuna, dolphin and bonito tend to congregate, and they catch a good number of blue marlin in that spot. Throughout the rest of the Keys, the majority of blue marlin are caught in 400 feet of water or more, but I’ve seen them caught as shallow as 120 feet of water.

There are guys who will target blue marlin around the full moon, and they do it by pulling large Kona-head lures with the Halloween and darker blues, blacks and purple combinations the favored colors. They’ll also pull horse ballyhoo or rigged Spanish mackerel, and even large live blue runners or small bonito or blackfin tuna.

You’ll certainly catch more by targeting them, but a marlin can pop up anywhere, and I’m convinced that you stand just as good of a chance catching them in the areas that are holding a lot of dolphin by having a larger bait in the spread. The marlin come in to feed on the smaller dolphin, so anywhere you have a concentration of dolphin, there’s likely to be a blue marlin in the mix.

Our blue marlin vary in size from 100 pounds to 400 pounds or more, so if you want to target them, you’re best served fishing with 50 and 80-pound tackle. When you hook a marlin, it’s going to run, and if it’s a big one, it’ll take 300 to 400 yards of line on the first run, so you want to make sure you have a reel with a lot of line capacity. Two-speed reels are nice in that you can change to a lower gearing when the fish gets difficult to move, and that makes it easier on the angler and doesn’t wear them out.

I’ll beef up the leader to 200-pound test, and use a 12/0 “J” style hook if we’re pulling live or rigged baits. Live baits are bridled through the eye sockets or top of the head using rigging thread. With lures, you want to go with two offset 12/0 to 14/0 hooks and something large and dark that has a lot of action and leaves a good smoke trail in the water.

A lot of times, it seems cyclic. Some years there’s a lot of marlin caught, and other years, it’s just a few. July is a great month for dolphin in my region, so it’s one of the top months where we encounter blue marlin.

We also catch a fair number of white marlin and spearfish, but those also come as incidental catches and aren’t a consistent enough fishery to target. It seems like these two species are found more in the fall and early winter, than in the summer months.

While the Keys are not your typical marlin destination like Hawaii for blue marlin or Maryland for white marlin, if you come down here and specifically target them and put in your time, you are going to catch one. The thing about marlin fishing is that the bite is so spectacular and the leaping runs so memorable that once you catch a blue or white marlin, you absolutely must do it again.

Captain Tips

Article source: http://chevyfloridainsiderfishingreport.com/2017/07/targeting-marlin-keys-region-capt-randy-towe