Monthly Archives: July 2012

Red Hot

Captain David keeps Flamingo red-hot. Sweet fish, amazing picture!

The largest of our reds the morning on Snake Bight Flat in Flamingo during June of 2012. This 9-pounder was caught while sight-fishing with a 1/4 oz gold spoon. He looked like a locomotive train as he chased the spoon and then nailed it with a HUGE boil! Great fight, great fish!

Captain David A

Homestead, FL

 

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Snookin’ In Flamingo

Line-siding in the Flamingo back-country on what looks to have been a beautiful day! Nice catch, David!

Caught this nice over-slot sized snook in June 2012 in Flamingo at one of my favorite snooker’ holes! He inhaled my topwater Bomber while I was “walking’ the dog”!

Caught by Captain David A.

Homestead, FL

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Kickin’ Some “Bass”

Some South Florida Fresh-Water Fun! Keep up the fantastic angling, Kristen!

While fishing in my favorite lake, I caught a nice Peacock Bass! I was running out of bait and caught this fish on a quarter of a night crawler!!! I couldn’t believe it!!! Thanks!

Kristen C.

Homestead, FL

 

 

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Big Bully

 

Just one of the many reasons why dolphin fishing is so great – look at those COLORS!! Angler Eric C. with a beautiful bull.

Just wanted to share my photo of the 30+ Bull landed in Tavernier, FL 7-7-2012. We had an AMAZING day fishing with family and friends. Fish was landed approximately 22 miles offshore. Angler Eric C. Fishing with Ali H., Panee C., Rhett C., Melissa C., and Jake S.! Great day! Thank you, “Fish-On, Florida” for a place to put up stories/catches!!

 

EriC

Miami, FL

 

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That Ain’t No Whiting – After the Beach

An adorable snook-slaying family! From Left, Mr. Brayden “Clark Kent” B., the beautiful Ms. Sarah F., and Mr. Snook…with the Florida tattoo and all.

Mr. Snook and his beautiful family representing “The Florida-Style”. That kiddo better have a rod & reel in his hands by the time he can walk!! At least, that’s what we recommend! My question to you could only be about cooking this monster…come on – we wanna hear the Chef Anthony B. Killer Snook recipe! Feel free to comment the ingredients. Bring it on! Fish-On, Florida!

 

July 27, 2012 – Hello all! Ali wanted my snook recipe, so I’ll share one. I took some filets and fried them. I then took some red curry and coconut milk and made a sauce with it. Then I sautéed some zucchini and squash…some red peppers and onions. I then layer those on some cilantro infused jasmine rice and added the fried snook. I topped it all off with the red curry coconut sauce and then we all stuffed our fat faces! So good. Tight lines, my fellow Floridians. -Mr. Snook

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FOF Article: Don’t Discount The Schoolies

A long way from “slammer” status!

Lately, offshore fishing for Mahi-Mahi in The Florida Keys has left many an angler with half-eaten baits and the hook just barely missed. Why? From my recent observation, my baits are bigger than the fish I’m finding! The intense offshore search for these incredibly “fun to catch” pelagics has revealed that the fish are here in abundance – schools of dolphin-fish in the hundreds! But, there’s only one problem…they’re tiny…and illegal to keep. With the current size minimum at 20” (to the fork, people – don’t risk that citation!), lots of us are finding that our recent action is a far cry from that world-record of 87 pounds. Sure, some of us have gotten lucky with that rogue slammer, but the majority of my recent catches have been tossed overboard with hopes of catching the same fish again a few months from now after he’s grown a bit.

If I can bring any light to spending lots of time (and money!) attempting to catch big dolphin, but only finding the little guys, it’s this – their population is outstanding. In an environment where conservation is key, it appears to me that this species is extremely hearty and nearly resistant to over-fishing. They eat and grow constantly. Anyone who has tossed a ballyhoo chunk into a school of mahi can appreciate the feeding frenzy that ensues. All day long, their goal is food – preying on the numerous types of bait and juvenile fish taking shelter under sargassum flats, drifting debris, and the occasional floating tree trunk.

Their constant need to eat results in an outstanding growth rate. From the larval stage of 4mm in length, these eating machines can grow to 15mm within 15 days (1). When conditions are right and food is abundant, they can grow 1.3-2.7” in a week (4). Unless they are eaten by a predator or caught (preferably by me – ha, ha!), these fish can live upwards of 3 years with a potential of living to 4-years-old (3). Males and females are discernable by the time they are 4-5 months old. By the time they are 5-7 months old, they spawn continuously (3) replenishing their population greatly.

It’s hard not to consider how depleted the fish population could be 20 years from now. Luckily, it seems as though the dolphin-fish is here to stay. As tempting as it is to box that tiny mahi, handle him with care and let him get back to his friends. We all want to see future generations enjoy what we have now. Although, catching and having to release a ton of these “schoolies” may seem repetitive and frustrating, it ensures that the fish are here now and will be around for years to come. Oh, and, just because your boat is surrounded by a voracious school of shakers, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a 50-pound slammer hanging out in the shadows! Fish-on, Florida!!!

By Ali H.

Works Cited

(1) FLMNH Ichthyology. (n.d.). Dolphinfish. FLMNG Ichthyology Department. July 15, 2012, http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/gallery/descript/dolphin/dolphin.html

(2) Ruff, Sam. SFSU Department of Geography. (1999). The Biogeography of the Dolphinfish. July 15, 2012,  http://bss.sfsu.edu/holzman/courses/fall99Projects/dolphinfish.htm

(3) TagPelagic.Org. (n.d.) About Dolphinfish. July 15, 2012, http://www.tagpelagic.org/aboutdolphin.html

(4) iOutdoor.com (December 20, 2010). How Fast Do Dolphin Fish Grow. July 15, 2012, http://ioutdoor.com/fishing/how-fast-do-dolphin-grow/

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That Ain’t No Whiting

Slammin’ day at good ole’ Indiatlantic, Florida. Mr. Snook representing the East Coast!

Well folks, here’s a story. My beautiful girlfriend, Ms. Sarah F., and our handsome son, Brayden “Clark Kent” Anthony B., and I were at the beach (Indiatlantic to be exact!) and it was goin’ off. Giant schools of abnormally large greenies were everywhere – looked like black clouds in the turquoise water. Spanish Mack’s were jumping like damn mullets. Stingrays as big as a pizza box were a foot from shore. So I grab the cast net and make a toss. I netted one little baby greenie, so I hooked him on the awesome circle hook that I’m now a huge fan of and I cast him into the trough. Bam, bam, bam, I feel on the line…I figure it’s a whiting. Sarah had just caught a 3-pound whiting on a dead shrimp. So I set the hook, needless to say, it wasn’t a whiting. It was my favorite fish – “The Line Sider” – or a Snook as we Floridians strive to catch and call it. 45 minutes later, a 36″ 25-pound fatty is in my hands…what a day!! Is there anything better than being with your family and landing a fatty? I love the beach. Here’s the snook’s pic…Isn’t he gorgeous??? Tight lines to all. And if you need a captain, call Alison, she’s a pro.

Sincerely, Mr. Snook  Indiatlantic, FL

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The Afternoon Bite

JULY 7th 2012

From left – Rhett, Melissa, Jake, Eric, Panee, & Ali

Heading out of Tavernier in The Florida Keys, we started our day in 4-5 foot seas in search of the sometimes elusive Mahi-Mahi. Birds were abundant and in flocks small enough to keep us from thinking that they were over Bonita.

It was about 8:30am. We spotted a few birds that we ran up on and decided to toss live pinfish under them (I know, baits could have been better, but we didn’t take the time to pick them off the reef – bait store only had the pinnies!). We threw bonita and ballyhoo chunks as well as a couple jigs and – BOOM!!! Our baits were destroyed! Our excitement drastically came to a close when the fish were quickly brought to the boat – we realized that they all had about 2-6 inches to grow before they were legal. Not having a tower on the boat, we had difficulty determining if there were any potential keepers in the bunch. After letting the little guys go and sifting through a school of at least 500 shakers, we proceeded to repeat the aforementioned scenario several times until most of our spirits (and mono leaders!) were broken. We did manage to box a gaffer bull (wooohooo, Melissa!) and one small, barely legal lifter. Hey, we found ’em, right?!?

I know at some point, we all were wondering how we were going to share a half of a filet with our families! It was closing in on 1pm and most of us were wary about staying out any longer since it appeared as though the skies had darkened and we were about to get dumped on by some of Mother Nature’s finest. We started running back towards Tavernier – with lightning popping not too far from us in all directions! Being the die-hard fishing freaks that we are, we vowed to stop ONLY if something looked severely promising and was possibly worth risking that one-in-ten-thousand chance of being struck by lightning in your lifetime. What can I say, we’re nuts. The ocean started kicking up even more and about two or three more times, we found a group of birds over sargassum patches which led us to pick up a couple more keepers on trolled, skirted ballyhoo and two more on pitched chunks. We decided that we had enough dinner for everyone and made our way back towards the most non-threatenting looking area of The Keys (Tavernier thankfully appeared to be clearing from the crazy afternoon storms).

Just as we were settling down for the ride in, one of our guys spotted a frigate flying low and “one, two, three, no – four, no-wait-five…five birds and a frigate flying low!!!!!! Yeahhhh!!!!!!” At that moment, it was like a fanatical frenzy to make sure the baits were rigged, properly skirted, and set perfectly in the spread. Jake, our “Cap-For-The-Day” circled us around the wheeling birds and diving frigate and within 20 seconds of setting the lines, that magnificent, almost musical sound of drag quickly peeling off the reel filled the air and then….it jumped. Big-ass dolphin. Sweet! About two seconds later, his girlfriend joined the party and the games began. I got the privilege of getting the little lady to the side of the boat which was gaffed and boxed perfectly by Rhett. Our Bull of the Day decided to put up a little bit of a fight. Eric worked him in perfectly after a few last runs and after one of those arrhythmia-causing gaff misses (don’t worry Rhett, you redeemed yourself – lol!), the second shot got him in the boat.

Well, all I can say is when you’re still not completely seasoned in Dolphin Fishing, a nice-sized bull like this can make you act like you won the damn lottery…or at least on our boat it does. Yea, we get excited – super excited. But, what’s fishing if you can’t have a little fun?? Today just goes to show you that the morning bite may not be the end of the day’s show…don’t give-up on the afternoon. Unless you’ve got lightening striking around you…then consider it…maybe.

BIG thanks to Panee C. who got the amazing jump shot of our bull – check him out on our home page!!

Ali Hobson – Islamorada/Fort Myers/Vero Beach – on the “Frigate About It”

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