November Fishing Report

If you are one to log every years data on South Florida fishing and plan your fishing around it, don't! The other day I shredded 12 years of notes and found no evidence of a trend. Always thought I could surmount an educated and thoughtful way to successfully catch pompano like there was no tomorrow! B.S. One fact over rides everything... It's the weather stupid!!

Last October we captured visual evidence on the end of our rods.. Mack's, blue's pomp's and an array of delightful fish.. This past Sept. was outrageous with showers of mullet, glass minnow's and both game fish and small migratory's provided "that blast from the past" type fishing. Guess what that blast from the past is back and it may be an angry scenario now but the pay it forward's are immense!
It's been 5 years since The La Nina visited the Florida. Man it is a welcome sight.. In a matter of weeks, Hurricane's Julie and Matthew rolled up there mighty sleeve and shoved those Nova Scotia waters to St. Augustine. Guess what? The N. East Florida region is basking in a mother load of fish.. Redfish, both flounder species, big bluefish, monster whiting, and more important than all silver slab nuggets! POMPANO...

Okay so Pompano Rich why down load what doesn't catch fish here! Perhaps Mr. George Lott internally expressed this while reading this column! No worries man! All this radical but archival accumulation of N. Easter's are the x plus y equals z catch equation. {Hah] Juno Beach Pier have trading turns landing hundreds of guess what? Legal keeper pompano's! These are local resident fish that stayed all summer.. When our local pier anglers are smacking the migratory's and the weather goes bust plus the ocean groans with turbidity its like over! But NO! You don't haveto hunker down in some duck stand waiting for wind to stop whistling Dixie. You take your gear and shoot to the Lake Worth Pier [now Lockhart Pier] and resume catching pomp's, spanish mackeral, bluefish, and big tasty moonfish!

Just limit your tackle and take the pier necessities. I don't over load, I minimize the gear to pier fish! One jigging rod with a pompano catching jig and quill [always available at this great establishment]! A 2 to 5 ounce spinner with 6 inches of light wire leader and a silver slash pink Gotcha lure! A 9 foot decent casting spinning rod with a good pompano rig attached. And yes, holding the lead on 'the which pompano rig question". Yes with its The Blue Water Conditions Rig. Big White floats and the almighty pink/white 3/4 inch pill. Clear water also warrants using 15, 20 and 25 lb. fluoro leaders. Two weeks of polling reveal 75 % of the catches are been made with the blanched sand fleas [on the pompano]. The remainder are being caught with a one ounce, pink/white pompano jig! Don't forget to dress up that jig with a white quill! FYI that quill should never be attached to the lead jig with a split ring. Tie an 8 inch [yeah long] loop knot with the quill freely darting away from the jig! Practically 95 % of the pomps, jacks and moonfish hit the quill ONLY! You ask clams? Don't waste your money...

I haven't mentioned the 9 degree temp drop locally. Thus stimulating some legal size sheepshead and drum catches on our IRL bridges and bulk heads. Dead shrimp and sand fleas work exceptionally for these fine eating fish. Beautiful stray pomps are being caught on the Southern Blvd. Bridge on these baits.
I see calmer winds and weather this weekend. I believe by Saturday all kinds of hungry fish will appear on our Jupiter, Juno Beaches. There doesn't have to be like beautiful blue or aqua water to catch these fish. Hunger will over ride the seas as long as there is some transparency in the shoreline waves.. We have waited a long time. You have had time to ready up! If u haven't then I guess some of you just don't want to catch the best eating fish you can catch with out a boat!

For local beach charter's and seminars just ask the pro's at Lott Bros. for my card or ph. number. I worked here in the 60's and have found a friendly home when I visit. Wishin everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
Tight Line's.... Pompano Rich......

"The Rise of Kingfish"
By George Lott

In late summer when the bait is just starting to go north, we have a kingfish run here in south Florida. My father told me that in the past years this run hasn't been as good as it was 15 to 25 years ago do to the netting that went on in the 80's and early 90's. Since then netting has been banned in Florida and the kingfish population is on the rise.

This year and last year I haven't noticed many big kingfish in the 50lb range, but what I have noticed is that there are tons of king mackerel in the 5 to 20lb.range. Although I have heard about the occasional "Smoker" this past August I heard of probably a thousand or more "snakes" caught. Almost anyone that I talked to that went fishing out in the ocean this pat summer, was catching kingfish on anything from jigs, live and dead bait, and event trolled lures. This summer I caught about a half dozen on trolled ballyhoo and live bait like greenies, goggle-eyes, sardines, and menhaden
The kingfish tend to congregate around drop offs and wrecks in any where from about 20 to 125ft. of water. They tend to live in schools, although the 40 to 55lb. smokers have been said to swim in pairs. They feed on anything from squid to large baitfish such as goggle-eyes and blue runners.

There is an arsenal of angling methods used to catch these fish. The way I like to use most is live chumming, because it is more hands on and sometimes is known to catch more fish. Another method that I have used while fishing with my dad is slow trolling a big bait like a blue runner out of and outrigger. This sometimes results in a bigger fish. This is how I caught my biggest fish. You can also fish off of a pier. Nice sized kingfish are known to come right in by the pier and feed on the baits that are at the pier for safety.

You can use lots of different kinds of tackle when fishing for kingfish. You can use light tackle in the 12 to 20lb. range. I prefer to use a 20 to 30lb. rod Lott Bros custom rod with a shimano TLD 15, spooled with 475 yds of 20lb. test line. I also use a G-Loomis 15 to 25lb. rod with the same reel. Kingfish can also be caught on standup gear. I suggest using anything in the 15 to 40lb. range, just in case you hook into a "Smoker."

This is one of the most fun fish to fish for in my area during the summer. I would recommend this to anyone young or old. HAPPY FISHING. <*)))><

Summertime Speedsters
By Mike Beebe

As the heat of September continues to cook, so does the South Florida Wahoo season. Although Wahoo are caught year-round, the most numbers and the largest fish are targeted from June through September. Wahoo are a member of the pelagic family of fish. They are super fast swinmmers, strong fighters, and great to eat no matter how you cook them. With the exception of some billfish, Wahoo are one of the only fish to have a single species tournament, such as The Bahamas Wahoo Championship.

Key factors such as bait supply along our coast (i.e large schools of bonito and flying fish), and water temperatures in the 80+ degree mark attract fish. Another key factor is a good north current, which is usually present in the summer, along with a full moon.

As the dolphin bite slows down, offshore fisherman look for an alternate plan. Surface rigs give way to sub surface fishing with downriggers, planers, and the ever-popular wire-line. Techniques change, such as trolling speed, depth, and time, which all vary from angler to angler. Highspeed artificial lures do well when trolled at 10 knots or above, and large well-rigged natural baits such as split-tail mullet, bonito strips, or horse ballyhoo trolled between 5 and 9 knots seem to be the most productive. Wahoo will hit a variety of bait at various speeds, but the most important factor is well-presented or good swimming bait. If it doesn't look good to you, Wahoo probably won't like it either.

A Wahoo's mouth is a cutting machine. The hinge of the mouth passes its serrated teeth and depending on the size, the scissor like action can sever a full size bonito in half in one quick bit. Wire leader is a must for Wahoo fishing, with number 9 being the preferred size, or 175 lb cable when using lures.

Since Wahoo are known for long, lightning fast runs, line capacity and smooth drags are most important when choosing your tackle. 4/0 sized reels with 40lb monofilament will handle most situations just fine, however most serious Wahoo fisherman choose 6/0 or 50lb class outfits for either surface or subsurface baits.

Wahoo are pack feeders, and on any day, with good conditions, more than one bite can occur in single area. A GPS waypoint or certain depth and landmarks allow one to work a productive area. Telltale signs of fish such as active baitfish (i.e. bonito or flying fish) and good clean water make for a good place to start.

A good amout of Wahoo seem and caught have cut a hooked bonito in half and then returned for the other piece. Most of the fish that do this are over 50 lbs. Last summer, I I weighed a Wahoo for another angler with a similar story tipping the scale at 72 lbs.

Working at Lott Brothers tackle shop in North Palm Beach, I can definitely tell you the Wahoo holds the most burnt drag, burned thumb, lure crushing, line breaking, reel spooling, one that got away stories than any other fish.




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