Captains' Log

Captains' Log

  • Jul 10

    Tips for Dealing with Summer Crowds- Satire

    Published July 10th, 2019

     1. When headed east on a summer day, it helps to leave a trail of bread crumbs or tortilla chips on the surface. Seagulls can’t resist a fresh Tostito and the flock of birds you leave in your wake are sure to keep the fleet of morons busy. 2. Have a friend drive their car into the water at the nearest boat ramp. It may seem a bit rash but stunts like this slow down the revolving door of idiots entering the water on a calm summer day. Don’t worry, your insurance company should cover most of the damage. Be sure to wear a life vest and never fasten your seatbelt if you plan on dunking your car at the ramp.   3. If you have a lot of followers on Instagram or even consider yourself a “micro-influencer,” it helps to post incorrect fishing reports during the week. To adequately confuse weekend warriors, make sure you lie about depth, target species, and any other relevant ...

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  • Feb 17

    Live Chumming for Sailfish and Tuna

    Published February 17th, 2019

    Live Chumming Techniques Live chumming is a technique so effective it has been outlawed in almost every major tournament around the world. The technique is simple in theory: catch a ton of bait and throw it overboard while fishing. Proper technique however is an art. Just like any technique live chumming takes practice and preparation to master. Livewell Space and Boat Rigging The first and most important aspect of live chumming is livewell space and rigging. If you intend on live chumming for the day, you better have at least 50 gallons of livewell space. On our boat we actually have 2 75 gallon live wells. We often leave one well stocked with handpicked kite baits such as threadfin herring and goggle eye. The second livewell is where we'll put the chummers if we can catch them. Some boats have 3 or more livewells. For this technique the more livewell space, the better. For equipment we like to use 14 foot cast nets that range from 21-28 lbs. These big nets take a lot of ...

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  • Dec 20

    Patience while Saltwater Fishing

    Published December 20th, 2018

    Is Patience a Virtue? Patience and Attitude Patience and temperament are two different qualities. I think all captains benefit from remaining calm and controlling their tempers. Yelling, stomping, complaining, and making excuses do not equate to more fish in the boat. All it does is add stress without a result-oriented approach. Some of the best captains I know are well tempered but many of them are relatively impatient. Off of South Florida we have a wide variety of species we target. If your goal is to put your customers on fish, you can’t rely on one technique year round. Remaining positive and putting forth effort is important but it will only get you so far.  Manage Expectations The first and most important aspect of entertaining guests while fishing is understanding and managing expectations. When I get a phone call for a trip, I like to be honest and clear about what’s biting, what is in season, how the fishing has been, etc. If someone calls ...

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  • Dec 20

    Top Trolling Rigs for Mahi

    Published December 20th, 2018

    Trolling rigs for Mahi There are a wide variety of trolling lures on the market. Which ones actually catch fish, and which ones are designed just to catch fisherman? Here are a few of our favorite rigs to pull when we’re targeting mahi. 1. Skirted artificial lures: These types of lures are widely available and catch a variety of fish beyond just mahi. Often times they are rigged and ready to go out of the package. We prefer the smaller sized lures, in the 4-6” range. Colors like a combination blue and white mimic flying fish, a favorite forage of dorado. Pink is also a color that seems to get a lot of bites in the spread. Some of our favorites include the R&R Mahi Magnet which can be found here https://randrtackle.com/collections/mahi-magnets. Feathers fished out of the outriggers and close to the boat will run or skip across the surface and remain relatively free of weeds. Try to position a new lure at different ...

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  • Dec 20

    Fishing Line Maintenance

    Published December 20th, 2018

    Fishing Line Maintenance We run nearly 300 fishing charters per year. This puts an insane demand on our tackle, our boat, and obviously our fishing line. We have tricks to maintain and maximize the life of all of our equipment and our fishing line is no different. Here are a few tips to make sure you get long life out of your fishing line and avoid losing quality fish due to negligence.  1. Check your guides! Always monitor the condition of the guides on your rods. This is important for both spinning rods and conventional rods. Even the smallest groove or chip in a fishing guide can instantly chafe or break your mainline. Check your guides before and after every trip and be sure to avoid bad habits such as putting rods on the deck, reeling hooks into the rod tip, or placing hooks or lures onto the part of the guides where the line touches. 2. Check your clips! Kite clips and outrigger clips can be major culprits when it comes ...

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  • Dec 20

    Boat Maneuvering While Sight Fishing

    Published December 20th, 2018

    Pick a Spread or Have no Spread At all Boat maneuvering is a crucial component of successful sight fishing. The first step in sight fishing is determining what type of spread (if any) you should have behind the boat. When dolphin fishing for example, we usually troll 4 baits out of the riggers while looking for schools of fish. If we are seeing a lot of fish or there is an excessive amount of seaweed for example, I might make the decision to have no baits behind the boat whatsoever (this is ill advised unless your boat has a tuna tower). The benefits of committing to sight fishing exclusively is that you are always ready when you see fish rather than adjusting a trolling spread that may be less effective. I usually reserve sight fishing exclusively for good conditions. Lighting, fish behavior, sea-state, and more all contribute to that decision. If you are looking for cobia on stingrays in the sand, it is usually best to have your rods ready and ...

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  • Dec 20

    Sight Fishing for Sailfish, Mahi, and More

    Published December 20th, 2018

    Preparation and Presentation for Sight Fishing Sight fishing is a common technique used for many species worldwide. This is a technique we incorporate into almost any Deep Sea Fishing Trip The best way for me to breakdown sight fishing is into different categories. The first step is having the correct rig and bait, which falls under the category of preparation. The second step is boat maneuvering. The third step is presentation, which is basically casting and bait selection. The fourth step and sometimes the most important one is fish behavior/ mood. This can make or break your day.  Always Be Prepared The first step when sight fishing is preparation. This is an area that you have the most control over even if you lack experience. Always have multiple rods rigged and ready. If you are fishing from a flats boat, this may only be 1 or 2 rods. One may have 20lb fluorocarbon leader, 10lb braid, and a live shrimp on the end. Bonefish might be the main target but never ...

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  • Dec 20

    How to set up a Kite Line- Clip Spacing

    Published December 20th, 2018

    How to set up a Kite Line- Making Kite Marks Any serious fisherman in south Florida is going to be flying kites this winter for sailfish.  In order to do so, you’ll have to make a kite line.  The basic kite line uses three different “marks” used to stagger three kite clips.  This is established by having different size holes in each of the kite clips, each corresponding to a mark on the kite line.What do you mean by a “mark”???  The mark can be a swivel or a floss mark made with wax floss tied in a series of half hitches.  The marks are designed so they are slightly larger than the hole in the kite clip. As the kite is sent away from the boat, the mark on the line leaves the reel and catches the kite clip.  Most fishermen use a 3-clip system and refer to the marks as the “long”, “...

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  • Dec 20

    Rigging Bonito Strip Baits

    Published December 20th, 2018

    Making Bonita Strips for Trolling: Bonito strips are deadly tools that can bring life to a troll spread. Tough and versatile by nature, these wiggly morsels work just as well up top as they do behind a planer. Whether you are trolling or live baiting, the goal while fishing is to shoot for the most natural presentation possible. Bonito strips behind a seawitch or feather can be irresistible to a variety of species as they rip through the water column.  The first step in prepping for bonito strips is the obvious: catch bonito. Bonito are ravenous little fish that can be caught on the edge from 80-200 feet of water almost year round. We catch bonito while live baiting and trolling. Bait preparation and management is crucial while charter fishing so we make sure that every bonito we catch makes it into the box and eventually our freezer. The Little Tunny or “bonita” are widely regarded as a trash fish because they are poor table fare.  ...

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  • Dec 18

    Understanding the Gulf Stream

    Published December 18th, 2018

    Understanding the Gulf Stream and How it Affects Fishing in South Florida The Gulf Stream is the main driving force behind our fishery in South Florida. If you drive east out of Miami, eventually you will hit the Gulf Stream and move to the north. An often over looked aspect of the Gulf Stream is that subtle changes can make or break your day of fishing. Bearing of the Gulf Stream About 18 miles offshore of Miami are a series of seamounts and valleys in 1,000-2,000 feet of water that are often referred to as the sword grounds. The Gulf Stream is almost always moving to the north offshore but the angle of the current does vary. On some days, the current is pushing hard inshore. I have seen the current move at about 350 degrees, a touch to the west of north. On other days, I have seen it move at about 20 degrees. When fishing a mile long drift, this 30-degree variation can have major consequences when trying to line up ...

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