Captains' Log

Captains' Log

  • Nov 7

    Wreck Fishing Rig for Grouper and Amberjack

    Published November 7th, 2018

    Wreck Fishing Rig for Grouper and Amberjack Where to fish: Looking for a grouper or amberjack to bring to the dinner table?  Plenty of anglers try tackling big bottom dwelling fish with poor results. Modern marine electronics make secret spots a thing of the past. Shipwrecks, ledges and rock piles are marked on modern GPS chart plotters.  There are also plenty of resources online if you’re willing to do the homework.  These are the places you’ll want to fish to catch big Amberjacks, Grouper, Cobia, African Pompano, Snapper and other structure seeking fish. Shipwrecks are see more fishing pressure, and fish are getting smarter as a result.  Don’t make the figurative mistake of bringing a knife to a gun fight when looking to catch big amberjack or grouper off a ship wreck.  These fish will try and get back into the structure, whether it's a coral head, rock ledge, or shipwreck.  Here's a great site, FloridaGoFishing ...

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  • Oct 22

    Fishfinder Rig for Mutton Snapper

    Published October 22nd, 2018

    One of the most widely used bottom fishing rigs is the versatile fish finder rig.  It can be adapted for both inshore and offshore fishing and for a variety of different species.  It’s an easy rig to tie, making it a favorite for anglers.  The rig consists of a weight attached to the main line followed by a swivel.  An egg sinker placed on the mainline allows fish to pull line without pulling the weight of the lead.  This allows game fish a swim off with the bait and swallow it before the angler sets the hook.  There are sinker sliders available on the market, and they allow you to attach different sinker types through the use of a snap.Sinker sliders are ideal for surf fishing, when a pyramid type sinker is preferred over an egg sinker.  They also provide a convenient attachment point for quick lead changes.   Leader selection: When fishing from a boat for snapper or grouper, ...

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  • Oct 8

    Tips for Catching Golden Tilefish

    Published October 8th, 2018

    Tips for Catching Golden Tilefish Off the coast of Miami, golden tilefish commonly dwell in waters ranging from 500-900 feet.  They range the length of the US eastern seaboard and have been found as deep as 1,500 feet.  Golden tiles look for areas with soft bottom such as clay.  They make conical shaped burrows and guard them against invaders.  Catching tilefish involves dropping a heavily weighted rig to the bottom with squid or fresh cut bait.  The preferred rig for goldens is a “lay down rig”.  This type of rig opposed to a chicken rig consists of 2 weights, with a heavier lead close to the main line and another at the end.  This allows the rig to drag across the bottom, kicking up sediment along its path.  Be sure to attach a high quality deep drop light such as the Duralite Diamond Light to help attract fish.   We chose to fish or rigs on electric combos with 80 pound braid, although ...

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  • Oct 1

    Chicken Rigs for Snapper and Grouper

    Published October 1st, 2018

    Deep Drop Rig for Snapper - Chicken Rig A quick and easy bottom rig to tie is the chicken rig.  The rig itself consists of multiple hooks with your lead on the bottom.  It presents your bait vertically in the water column, great for schooling fish suspended near the bottom.  We often use them to target vermillion snapper and yellow eye snapper off Miami.  My first introduction to chicken rigs was fishing for flounder off NJ.   Off NJ we would tie primarily double hook rigs, spaced closer together and with longer loops.  Chicken rigs work great for catching bait too, the Japanese sabiki rig is essential to anglers here in south Florida. Sabikis are essentially a miniature chicken rig. Check out Tackle Direct for all the essentials you need to assemble this rig. The rig itself can be used in numerous different applications and fisheries.  For snapper fishing off Miami try making your rigs from 30-50 lb mono or flouro.  I prefer 4 ...

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  • Sep 24

    Mullet Run Snook Rigs

    Published September 24th, 2018

    Mullet Run Snook RigsLate summer and early fall brings about the annual mullet migration.  From the Carolinas to south Florida, millions of black and silver mullet migrate down the coastline and then offshore to spawn.  This massive migration is quite the spectacle to see and provides excellent opportunities for fisherman on land and at sea.  Mullet are a favorite forage for snook and they are both found in brackish backwaters and tributaries.  When the two species collide in massive numbers, you’ll want to be in on the action.  Acre size bait schools come under attack at all hours of the day, usually peaking around the sunrise and sunset.  There are a couple different ways to target snook during the mullet run, so let’s examine some different tactics and the rigs you’ll need to maximize your success.   Surf Fishing: One of my personal favorite ways to target snook is on the beach during the mullet run.  The ...

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  • Sep 18

    Wreck Fishing Charters Miami

    Published September 18th, 2018

    Shipwrecks off Miami With a big population and easy access to the water, there can be quite the crowd of fisherman offshore of Miami on any given day. Highly migratory species such as dolphin, tuna, and sailfish aren’t usually victims to local overfishing. Stocks of pelagic species can be adversely affected by commercial fishing, but the local recreational fishing pressure does little to suppress these fisheries as a whole. Bottom fish are a different story.     Benthic species (bottom fish) are less migratory and don’t grow as quickly as large pelagic fish. As a result, they can be seriously affected by over fishing. Miami has a multitude of different reefs and wrecks (both natural and artificial). These wrecks create great ecosystems for baitfish and their predators to search for both food and protection. Ranging from as shallow as 25 feet to as deep as 450 feet, and running from North Miami to Key Largo, the shipwrecks off Miami are as diverse as they are abundant.  The plus ...

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  • Sep 10

    Planer Fishing For Wahoo

    Published September 10th, 2018

    Wahoo, A Crowd Favorite Before reading into wahoo fishing with planers, I recommend checking out the article written about Planer Fishing Fundamentals. The rigs and techniques have some definite similarities so it helps to cover the basics. In addition, feel free to check out our species write-up on Wahoo.Unlike kingfish, wahoo have very distinct color patterns. These fish have neon blue backs and white stripes. I truly believe they have better camouflage than almost any fish. When you are bringing them to the boat they blend seamlessly into dark blue water. Until they end up on their sides and you see stripes, wahoo are tough to make out in the water.  The color pattern on wahoo is important to consider because like all fish, they have a distinct niche for which they are adapted. Wahoo blend in best with dark blue water. As a result we often look for blue water and current when we are targeting wahoo. The Gulf Stream fluctuates off of South Florida. Some days ...

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  • Sep 4

    Live Baiting Mahi

    Published September 4th, 2018

    If you’re out fishing this weekend and looking to find a school of mahi-mahi, don’t make one of these top 5 mistakes. Here are a few tips which can help you catch your limit! Avoid these 5 mistakes: 1. No live bait: Although it’s not a requirement to catch dorado, sometimes the largest fish can be shy, weary of both the boat and artificial lures. A couple scoops of live bait will often mean the difference in going home a hero or a zero. Other boats have flagged us down or called us in on a school of mahi because they had no bait and the fish wouldn’t eat lures. In my experience one of the best mahi baits you can get is a small blue runner. They can be caught on sabiki rigs under large sargassum patches, and these hardy fish are irresistible to mahi. Pilchards, ballyhoo, cigar minnows and others can also make great baits. If you prefer to use artificial lures, bucktail ...

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  • Aug 28

    Planer Fishing for Kingfish

    Published August 28th, 2018

    Kingfish at a Glance Kingfish are always a welcomed gamefish while fishing in tropical waters. They fight hard and are great to eat. Kings are present in South Florida year round with bigger fish around during the cooler months. We catch kings every month of the year using a variety of techniques. You can find more information on kingfish here: Kingfish Species Information When you look at the anatomy of a kingfish you will notice distinct characteristics that are evident for all fish in the mackerel family. With long slender bodies, these fish are designed for bursts of speed. King mackerel lack the stamina of tuna and billfish but they are excellent hunters. They have razor sharp teeth and "slash" baits while they are hunting. This approach usually cuts their prey in half, killing it instantly. If baits are near the surface kings will sometimes "air out" on the bite. I have seen kings jump as high as 15 feet out of the water on kite baits. ...

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  • Aug 16

    Planer Fishing Basics

    Published August 16th, 2018

    Traditional Trolling Spreads Trolling is a very old, effective technique for targeting a variety of gamefish. Employed in every corner of the world, this technique has proven effective for everything from small mouth bass to grander marlin. The theme is simple, move forward at any speed and put some lures or baits behind the boat. Lures and baits vary; everything from 1” jigs to 20lb skipping tuna may end up in the spread depending on the species of fish you are targeting. Regardless of what ends up behind the boat, the concept remains the same; cover ground with baits on the surface hoping for a bite. Trolling is one of the many techniques we incorporate during our miami fishing charters. Unfortunately, conventional trolling spreads may have multiple lines behind the boat but surface baits still only cover a small percentage of the water column. Some people argue that the boat is a great teaser. Fish “raise” from the depths to investigate commotion on the surface. I think the ...

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