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Headboat Habits

Cool weather has finally come to town, at least for a while anyway. Fishing in general has been erratic at best. We had a few nice trips catching kingfish, only to have them disappear. Normally kings are a staple for us as well as other coastal fishermen in South Florida. It’s fairly easy to predict that they will show up in force any day now.

December usually brings herds of sailfish our way as well, but haven’t been easy to find up until the last few days. Sunday, January 16, the North wind and north current running under the wind created the “rip” and sailfish tailing conditions. Many sails were hooked and released. Standard sailfishing techniques such as kite fishing or flat line fishing with live bait were used. More effective was to see the tailers and pitch a live bait to them. Small fast boats with towers make this fishing exciting! Tailers don’t always “tail” but appear usually on the southern face of a wave, riding it southward. Frequently they are in small groups.

The past few weeks we have also caught quite a few large amberjacks and Almaco  jacks.  I’m cautiously optomistic that this is a sign that we may have a strong jack season this spring. It really has been several years since they’ve been present in good numbers. Live pinfish on a heavy bottom fishing rig is standard and vertical jigs work amazing at times. Nothing is quite like a 30 pound Almaco hitting on a flat run with braided line! We try to release nearly all of these wonderful fish, but will keep a nice one to divide up for our fishermen.

The best consistent fishing this past month has been at night. A great night catching plenty of yellowtails, mangrove and mutton snappers for customers on the night trips. We use 12 to 20 pound tackle, and small barbless circle hooks.

I’m happy to announce that the Reward Fishing Fleet has had its web and Facebook sites renovated by the expertise of Rudy Gomez at Cyberangler with consultation from Greg of These guys are awesome at what they do. The website is,  Facebook page is Reward Fishing Fleet at Facebook. We also have videos that are amazing. Check them out, as well as posted fishing reports, info and tips on an upcoming blog. We also will be posting a schedule of specialty trips such as vertical jigging, 10 to 12 hour “Ironman” trips, and overnight trips starting in the Spring.

Tight lines!

Captain Wayne