Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

March Report

Posted on: March 2nd, 2012 by Capt. Wayne Conn No Comments

Are we still waiting for winter? Give it up. Ain’t going to happen.
The winter fishery wasn’t as strong as we would have liked, that’s for sure.
Sailfishing is just now getting good. This week we’ve seen them every trip. We hope that they keep coming!
Kingfish made “fake” runs, with a few trips in a row being strong, but fading quickly. The good news is that Captain Chris caught a few large ones this week, maybe signaling the start of the spring run. Historically these fish bite better in the afternoon. Spanish mackerel were up to par from about October through December. Most of these fish were caught in 15 to 30 feet of water by trolling small feathers or plugs, or on live pilchards.
Amberjacks, Almaco jacks and groupers have made a better than average showing. The jacks were on all the local wrecks from 160 to 450 feet of water. Live pinfish as well as vertical jigs on braided line worked awesome! The full moon of this month should signal the beginning of the real jack season. Hopefully we will be able to catch them (and release many) at will. These fish are great fighters, and deserve to be released to fight another day. The groupers are closed until May 1. We will be running some “Super Grouper” trips at that time to target them. Call the office at 305 3729470 for info and to reserve.
Night fishing has also had it’s ups and downs, but consistently provided ample action with yellowtails, small bluefish,muttons and blue runners.
As always, when the wind was blowing we caught nice sized dolphin. This should pick up this month, as well as the Black fin Tuna. We’ve had several the past two weeks up to about 30 pounds. The smaller black fins from 2 to 8 pounds have been hit or miss, with small pilchards as well as vertical jigging working well.
The Reward Fleet is offering it’s first Summer Camp. Working with the Fish and Conservation Trust as well as FWC and our local Sea Grant office, we will have 9 weeks of camp for kids 8 to 13 years of age. The hours will be 8:30am to 4pm, Monday through Friday. Educational topics will be boating safety, FWC rules and regulations, ethical angling concepts as well as different fishing techniques each day previous to the daily fishing trip. Catch and release is the theme, with limited take allowed.
Be sure to get your kids signed up early! Call the office for more details and to reserve your spots
Hope to see you soon, lets go fishing!
Captain Wayne

February Report

Posted on: February 17th, 2012 by Capt. Wayne Conn No Comments

A week or so ago we had a great time with kingfish for several trips. The fish were caught in 80 to 100 feet of water off Government Cut, Miami Beach. The standard kingfish rig with a whole sardine or ballyhoo worked well, with a variety of weights. Depending on wind and curent conditions we use from “no weight” to 4 ounces of lead in front of the rig. Also effective are bucktail or nylon jigs with two additional hooks added on to accommodate the whole baitfish.  Butterfly jigs work wonders as well on these toothy critters! Be prepared to lose some iron. By the way, we’ve had great luck with putting a piece of #6 wire in front of the jig, thereby minimizing cut offs.
An added bonus while fishing in such shallow water is catching nice yellowtails and occasional mutton along with the kings. Although they are caught on the same rig, it’s somewhat better to fish a single hook, usually a 3/0 to 5/0 circle hook on a 10 foot leader, with a 2 to 4 ounce lead to take it down.
A memorable catch last week was made by Captains Ryan and Chris. They ran into hungry muttons a bit south of the inlet, catching about a dozen up to 12 pounds! Great catch.
Last Monday, Captain Chris and I ran a charter on the Reward Won out of Bayside Marketplace for John and Mary Jane from Boston. They are best friends with Bruce Berman, longtime Reward customer. John was hoping for his first sailfsh, and to show Mary Jane a good time. The sail never showed up, but in only three drifts with live baits out on two kites as well as flat lines they caught 7 gaffer sized dolphin to 14 pounds, and a 30 pound Blackfin Tuna! First one of the season for us of that size.
Night fishing has been consistently decent for yellowtails, small bluefish, and an occasional mutton or mangrove snapper.
This Saturday, February 18th, we have our vertical jigging loyalists taking the Reward Won at 6:30am. This trip is full at this time, with 12 customers pre booking. We are attempting to hold this trip to 12 fishermen to reduce tangling and crowding. If you have an interest, call the office in case there was a cancellation.
We are also starting an all day trip on Sundays from Bayside Marketplace on the Reward Won as well. The hours are 7am to 3 pm. Parking is no more than $5 if you get in the parking garage early, and usually it’s free! We plan on fishing near Fowey Light( Elliot Key ) . Vertical jigging customers as well as bait fishermen are welcome. The plan is to use our standard driftfishing techniques, usually staying on a drift for 10 to 15 minutes. Wreck fishing, jigging, kite fishing,trolling or anchoring are all possibilities. The cost is $80 per person, tip not included. We will run the trip with 10 booked customers, maxing out at 20.
Our goal is to have these trips each and every weekend. and throw in a 12 hour trip monthly, as well as an overnight Key Largo trip.
I’ll keep you posted on this site for these trips, but please call the office to book in advance! These trips will sell out.
In case of bad weather, I’ll cancel, no charge, and either refund the deposit or put in on another trip to hold your spot.
Check back in Sunday, we’ll post the results from our jigging trip.
Hope to see you all soon!
Captain Wayne

Winter Jigging

Posted on: January 25th, 2012 by GregS No Comments

Grouper season has closed, and we have shifted focus from working the bottom to jigging the entire water column.  This requires lightening up on the gear to be able jig longer, with less effort.

Trolling small feathers and finding birds working in 400-500’ of water is a good way to locate black fin tuna, especially on overcast days.  The black fin can be targeted with much lighter jigging outfits working 100 gram jigs rapidly through the top 100-200’ feet of the water column.  Black fin routinely hit the jig on the drop.  Wahoo are always a possibility when fishing these depths.  We are working to establish a pattern to be able to successfully target wahoo, as opposed to just being a phenomenal incidental catch.  We have been sharing wire and cable rigging techniques for use with the jigs.

Capt. Wayne and Sehoon’s jigging,wahoo,vertical jiggingWahoo

Jacks are another target; both almaco and amber.  A common scenario is to find these fish hanging 200-250’ down over structure in 320’ or more of water.  This is where color coded metered braid comes in handy.  200-250 gram jigs are commonly used in this scenario, but if conditions allow to go lighter, do it.  Almacos and AJs seem to respond well to the long slim style of jigs worked quickly and rhythmically through the ‘zone’.

Kingfish, found shallower, can provide hot action but are notorious jig stealers.  King cut offs frequently occur on drop, with the kingfish striking the leader just above the jig as it descends.  Wire can help alleviate the problem, don’t forget wire assist hooks as well.  A hot king bite is a great time to break out the old beat up jigs from your bag, or those collecting dust.  Fish hooked on the upstroke have a much better chance of being landed.

A variety of other species are also commonly encountered this time of year.

Modifying strategies to fish around the grouper closure  provides a great opportunity to keep jigging fresh, and target different species.

Interested in our Vertical Jigging Specialty Trip?  Call the office to learn more, and make your reservation on the next scheduled trip.


Written by GregS aka SeaGreen