Captain's Log


  • 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 to help attract fish.   Catching Golden Tilefish We chose to fish or rigs on electric combos with 80 pound braid, although it’s possible to go to lighter braided ...

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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. 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 or 5 hook rigs with the hooks spaced around 3 feet apart.  Dropper loop knots ...

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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 Read the Article and Buy what you need below 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 ...

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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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  • Aug 1

    Hatteras Renovation- New Boat!

    Published August 1st, 2017

    About a year ago I began the search for a new boat. With careful consideration I decided the right boat would be a 43 Hatteras but I needed one that was already repowered. Finding a Hatteras from the 1970s that is still in good shape isn't an easy task. After looking all over Florida and even flying to Texas and New Jersey, I finally found the right boat. Located in WIldwood, New Jersey was my diamond in the rough. The boat was already repowered with Cummins 450c engines which is a modern 6 cylinder engine. In addition, most of the boat was rewired and the interior was in good shape. She seemed like a great boat to refurbish so I pulled the trigger. I bought a boat over 1,000 miles away that needed some work. I knew it would be a long year.

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  • Mar 25

    Spring Fishing off Miami

    Published March 25th, 2016

    Fishing Action Heats up in Spring. Hands down, my favorite months to fish Miami's offshore waters are March-May. This season we have seen string numbers of sailfish pushing down the line, good numbers of quality kingfish, the ever present bottom bite, and are just starting to see the springtime Mahi bite that got very good around this time last season. Due to the gulfstreams presence along our continental shelf, the majority of our action happens between 100' -- 220' of water. Although flat lines can and will get bit, the activity behind a 6 line spread of kite baits really draws the most predators to the transom. Aboard the Blue Yonder we do our best to always hang as many kite baits as possible, while accenting the spread with flat lines and bottom lines to make sure as much water as possible is covered. So far this season the number of sailfish migrating down our coast has been impressive. This last month we have been averaging around 3 sailfish per trip, withmany more ...

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  • Aug 14

    The Captain's Dilemma

    Published August 14th, 2015

    Backing into the slip with a rigger full of release flags and a box full of fish is the best feeling in the world. We bust our asses every trip to put our clients on fish so we can relive this feeling. We are very competitive and it bothers us to know that someone else came back to the dock with more fish. As professional fishermen, we should be one of the top boats on each given day. Reminiscing about an epic trip is usually short lived. When we wake up each morning, yesterday's catch is only relevant in the context of how it will influence today's fishing. Regardless of what we've been catching, each new group steps onto the boat with high expectations. To keep them happy we have to fill the box every day, regardless of the conditions. Mother nature constantly conspires against us. We don't step foot into a stable work environment each morning. Our office is influenced by a number of factors. ...

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  • Nov 3

    Mullet Run Fishing Techniques

    Published November 3rd, 2014

    The Mullet Run The north winds and dry air that follow the first few cold fronts each fall put an end to summer year after year. During October and November, Mother Nature tends to have schizophrenic tendencies. One day it might be in the mid 80s but the next might dip into the 50s. Yes, 50-degree weather might not sound cold to most of the country but to us Miamians, it is reason for concern. Fall means it is time to dig up the hoodies and jeans because winter is right around the corner. What does this mean for the fish? Most of the fish that inhabit our waters are to some extent migratory. Traditional pelagic species such as swordfish, sailfish, and mahi-mahi aren’t the only fish that move around. Squid engage in vertical migrations each as they rise and fall through the water column without ever seeing the light of day. Snapper and other bottom dwellers might sneak into shallower waters with dropping temperatures. Pinfish might abandon ...

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  • Jul 12

    Miami Fishing Camp

    Published July 12th, 2013

    Double Threat Fishing Camp Living in Miami has a number of benefits but too many people miss out on what makes Miami such a special place to grow up in. For five days captains Nick and Brent helped show 5 kids how wonderfully rewarding the ocean can be through our Miami Fishing Camp. Our Miami fishing camp is a hands on approach for teaching kids about the different angling opportunities Miami has to offer, while supplementing the experience with knowledge on the ecosystems that make our marine systems so important. It was an incredible week filled with fish and fun, and we can confidently say the kids have a true passion for fishing.   With five full days of fishing at our disposal, we were able to give the kids a well rounded fishing experience by sampling all of what Miami has to offer. Every day held something different in store for the group, and there was never a dull moment. Late spring is still a period of time marked by ...

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  • Jul 5

    Stalking the Flats

    Published July 5th, 2013

    Sight Fishing in Miami The acres of shallow flats that border south Biscayne Bay serve as my hunting grounds, right in Miami's backyard. These beautiful expanses of water stretch across the entire length of the bay, serving as a barrier that protects the inland coast from the open ocean. Every day, twice a day, an entire bay full of water flows across these shallows making its way offshore. Then, at the turn of the tide, fresh water flows right back in completing the cycle. During both tidal periods life is swept across the flats where fish of all sizes take part in feeding on the unsuspecting critters that flow by with the current. The bonefish and permit that frequent these areas are constantly foraging for food in water less than two feet deep, making them excellent sight fishing targets. In its finest form, sight fishing unearths our most primitive and hard wired instinct-- the need to hunt. From my vantage on top of the poling platform, I still have issues ...

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  • Feb 26

    Winter Sailfishing off Miami- Epic Bite

    Published February 26th, 2013

    The Winter Sailfishing Has Been Phenomenal The past week we had a stellar bite off Miami. Sailfish, tarpon, snook, swordfish, and more were caught. The fishing picked up following the first genuinely significant cold front of the year. With a few more cold fronts heading our way, expect it to get even better. Weather- There are several cold fronts moving into our area. Temperatures will be dropping into the low 50s at night and the low 70s during the day starting on Thursday night (Feb. 28th) and lasting until at least mid next week. These cold fronts will be accompanied by light to moderate north winds. What does this imply for fishing in Miami for the next few weeks? Perfect weather and lots of fish. Winter sailfishing at its finest. Offshore Fishing- The fishing during the past week was phenomenal. The average boat caught 5-10 sailfish per day with dolphin and kingfish mixed in (we caught 6 sailfish, 2 kingfish, and 10 dolphin on Wednesday). We even heard a few reports of up ...

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  • Oct 27

    Miami Fishing Forecast

    Published October 27th, 2012

    Weather- This past weekend was an absolute blowout as Hurricane Sandy nailed the Bahamas as it scooted north. Winds off Miami were tropical storm force with frequent gusty bands from the storm just off our coast. Winds from 35-50 knots out of the northwest have kicked up the sea into the 15-20 foot range and rendered offshore fishing too dangerous for the time being. Inshore has been a blowout as well. In addition, runoff from the storm has caused for murky, confused conditions. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, our first genuine cold front is pushing through the region and furthering out transition into winter. Winds will be blowing 25+knows out of the northwest and easing by midweek. Seas are still 10-15 feet as of today with a large north swell in the water but this will fade. Light north winds are currently in the forecast for Wednesday but expect winds and seas to have fully returned to normal by Thursday and look forward to some fishing this weekend. Low ...

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