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Friday, September 12, 2014

From Whites Tackle - Ft Pierce / Stuart

Ft Pierce
Inshore the mullet are starting to show up in the river around the mangroves to the north of north bridge with snook and trout in them around first light top water and live mullet have produced the best.The beach fishing has been good with the windy weather around the south jetty in the bait schools with some nice snook and tarpon in them.

Inshore yesterday there was a few reports of some nice trout around the power plant with a few snook mixed in the mullet schools. The bridges have had some nice snook around them at night on the outgoing tide plugs such as wind cheaters have produced well.The beach fishing has been ok from Jensen to Stuart in the mullet schools if you can find the bait you will find the snook and tarpon.

Sebastian Inlet Report


We have a very subtle change in the air, yesterday the heat wasn't nearly as stifling as it has been and today winds are blowing out of the East-Southeast at 9 mph, gusting to 11. There is a moderate chop on the water. Fall is around the corner and we are ready for it!

Tommy Turowski at the Sebastian Inlet Bait and Tackle Shop reported seeing a few finger mullet in the water, which is always a good sign. There are plenty of greenies in the water and there is still a good Mangrove Snapper bite, one of the best Snapper bites we've seen in a long time these past couple of weeks. Snook are visible in the clear water but they remain finicky about what they will take. More oversized fish have been landed than in the slot, of course with such a small slot, it isn't easy! The slot is 28" - 32", one per person per day and you must have a Snook stamp on your fishing license if are lucky enough to get one in the slot and you plan to keep it. Blue Runners, Jacks and a few Spanish Mackerel have been darting around the inlet. We're seeing Speckled Trout on the flats, along with Blues, Jacks and Blue Runners.
Or first photo today is courtesy of Randy Wickens and is of Brendon Vaughn of Tilton, New Hampshire. Brendon was featured with a large Ladyfish earlier this week on the fishing report, but today's fish was the highlight of his visit. Brendon fished the north jetty and landed this 3' Tarpon just before sunrise, which was released unharmed. 
 Our second photo features David with a 6' 7" Black Tip Shark he landed Tuesday night using dead mullet. He and Jake Barker fished the inlet overnight and landed a 36" C/R Snook and a huge 49" Red. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fish Exotic World Species in Florida Canals


Another Kind of Peacock
These kind do not walk on land – they swim in the canals of South Florida. These are Peacock Bass, and are just as beautiful to look at as terrestrial peacocks. Plus, you can catch and eat them!

Florida has numerous species of non-native freshwater fish that provide great angling fun. The only one that was intentionally stocked in Florida is the Peacock Bass, an animal that looks like all the colors of the rainbow and has a menacing red eye to boot. This fun gamefish averages one-to-three pounds but can top out at over 10 pounds.
Some of the other exotic species that reside in South Florida canals are: Oscars, Bowfin, Jaguar Guapote (Tiger Bass), Bullseye Snakeheads, Clown Knifefish, Mayan cichlids and Midas cichlids. There are 41 non-native freshwater fish species that reproduce in Florida. We're going to concentrate on catching the species above that occupy this multimillion-dollar recreational fishery in South Florida.

The man-made canals of coastal southeast Florida are part of an extensive, interconnected network of canals that were primarily constructed in the early 1900's for drainage, flood protection, and water storage purposes. The freshwater canals in the southern section (Cypress Creek Canal and south) are mostly box-cut into a coral rock substrate, more than 10 feet deep, and have much sub-surface water flowing into them that makes good water clarity.
NOTE: All species should NOT be released with the exception of Peacock Bass and Triploid Grass carp. As with all nonnative fish, (other than Peacock Bass and Triploid grass carp), there is no size or bag limit; take all you catch.

The Exotic Species List

Fortunately for the readers of The Online Fisherman, we have the expert guide Captain Alan Zaremba to channel us through all the winding canals that these fish call home. He runs the guide service, Worldwide Peacock Bass, and guides anglers in more than a dozen South Florida water systems. He also runs trips to the Amazon Jungles of South America where the native Peacock Bass run up to 20 pounds!
For the type of fishing we will discuss below, Captain Zaremba recommends a 6.5-foot or 7-foot medium action spinning rod. He uses a size 20 reel, and for line he uses 10-15 pound braided line with a 10-20 pound monofilament leader.

Peacock Bass -- Captain Zaremba said these are fairly easy fish to catch.
"For the Peacocks, I use almost exclusively artificial baits such as the Heddon Torpedo -- the Tiny or Baby version," said Zaremba. "Those lures make noise, like a fish on the surface and the Peacock like that noise."
Zaremba also uses the Rapala in size #9, which is three inches long. He fishes this lure as a floating or suspending lure.
"Use the Rapala as a follow-up bait," said Zaremba. "Cast it and wind at a good clip."
For sight-fishing Peacocks, Zaremba uses a ¼-ounce jig, bucktail style. He advises to jig it through the territorial sites where the fish live. He tells anglers to stop the boat to target the fish. Sight-fishing for Peacocks using small gold-colored Rapalas or topwater chug baits can be extremely productive. If the water is opaque, try a live minnow.
Jaguar Guapote – (Tiger Bass) – These tough-looking fish get up to four pounds. They have big fangs and a second row of sharp teeth, so watch it when you remove the hook. Zaremba said they hang out in the weeds, and can be caught with artificial or live bait.

"For Jaguars, I use a ¼-ounce jig such as a Crappie jig, with 10-15 pound braided line and a 10-20 pound mono leader," said Zaremba. "To catch Jaguars with live bait, use shiners or shad on a J-hook or 1/0 Khale hook."
Snakeheads -- Florida Snakeheads are native to parts of tropical Africa and Asia occurring in China, Thailand, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and India. All snakeheads are distinguished by their torpedo shaped body, long dorsal and anal fins without spines, and toothed jaws. The snakehead typically has red eyes and is gold-tinted brown to pale gray in younger fish while older fish are generally dark brown with large black blotches. The most distinctive marking is the black spot rimmed with orange near the base of the tail fin, known as an eye-spot or ocellus.

Zaremba said the biggest tip to know about Snakeheads is that they are very wary.
"When targeting Snakeheads, I'll stop the boat and use a pole, and make long casts so I don't spook the fish," said Zaremba. "I fish topwaters such as Chug Bugs or Torpedo lures. Another great bait is a soft plastic Ribbit Frog which kicks up water, or the original 3-inch shad tail by Bass Assassin, which is a bit more quiet. I also use the Flappin Shad."
Oscars – This tough aggressive fish is a rock-star at pet shops where kids can feed the Oscars three goldfish for a dollar. It has been in the Florida wilds since about 1970.
Zaremba said that to catch Oscars he mainly uses jigs that he ties straight to the line with no leader. He uses a single hook such as a small 1/0. He also uses Rapalas to hit their territories. You can catch Oscars throughout the L67A, as well as Alligator Alley, Miami Canal, Tamiami and WCA II. Cane pole anglers do well with crickets and worms, but beetle spins, small Rapalas or topwater poppers all work.
Florida Gar – A native yet exotic species, the Gar could pass for a non-native species as weird-looking as it is. To catch the Gar, Captain Zaremba recommends using a piece of cut bait such as a strip of a Mayan cichlid.

"For the Gar, troll off the back of the boat using a 3/0 Kahle or J-hook with a strip of Mayan cichlid," said Zaremba. "They put up a good fight and are fun to catch while trolling."
Mayan Cichlid – For the Mayan Cichlid, use the Rapala. You can wind and then stop the bait and the Mayans will jump after it. Use floating or suspending lures with a light-wire treble hook. Mayan Cichlids can also be caught on poppers or minnows, fishing shallow water. They provide a great fight and great meal.

Midas Cichlids – These gorgeous fish are only well-established in a couple of canal systems – C-100; A, B, and C. Zaremba said to use small jigs such as Crappie jigs. Fish along the banks because you'll usually find Midas Cichlids in the rocks. They'll come out of the rocks and take a swipe at the jigs. What also works well are pieces of bread on a small J-hook. The brightly colored Midas Cichlids shine in Miami-Homestead canals. Look for clear water and sight-fish for them with little jigheads and a worm, using light or ultralight gear.
Article above written by Paul Kimpel, Editor.


Photos by Alan Zaremba and FWC.

And Now: Captain Alan Zaremba's Fishing Report – 9-4-14

The fall time pattern continues to get stronger and stronger! This all adds up to more topwater fishing making for big smiles on my boat. Heddon's Baby Torpedoes and Zara Spook JR's, Mirror prop and Chug bugs worked well along with a fast-moving, floating Rapala.
My best bite for Peacock bass and Largemouth bass was out in the Everglades using the smaller boat to access the areas. We found schools of Peacock bass being very aggressive about chasing the prop baits. The key was not to stop it when they came under the lure as they often would miss the bait on the first and second pass.
This week started off with Drew Gregg of Davie, Florida and myself fishing in the L-30 canal for a half-day in the morning. We caught 26 Largemouth bass up to 6 pounds, 17 Peacock bass up to 4 pounds, 5 Mayan cichlids, a bowfin and a Florida gar.

The next day TJ Hawk and Evan Hallin of Jacksonville fly-fished a full day in the Lake Ida system and the caught 12 Peacock bass up to 2.5 pounds and 2 largemouth bass using Clouser Minnows and Poppers. Next up was Dan Dengate of Hallandale Beach, Florida, who fished a half-day in the morning in the L-30 canal and he caught 7 Largemouth bass up to 3.5 pounds, 6 Peacock bass up to 2.5 pounds and 10 Mayan cichlids using Baby Torpedoes, Flappin Shads and floating Rapalas.

The next day I had my 18-year old son Rich fishing a half-day in the L-30 canal and we caught 15 Peacock bass up to 4 pounds, 12 Largemouth bass up to 3.5 pounds and 2 Mayan cichlids using Baby Torpedoes, Mirror Prop baits, Zara Spook JR's and floating Rapalas. My last day this week my 15 year old son Salvatore fished a half day in the morning in the L-28 canals and we caught 8 Largemouth bass and 2 Mayan cichlids on floating Rapalas. This day was tougher and the fish really wanted the bait slowly twitched.
*Captain Zaremba advises anglers to invest in a good pair of polarized sunglasses.
Captain Alan Zaremba can be reached at: (954) 966-2275

Palm Beach Report

photo courtesy of Sebile Fishing
Snook season is open and in full swing!
Plenty of big snook and tarpon are being snagged on the beaches of the Treasure Coast. The key is finding bait schools — but that shouldn’t be too difficult. There are some big permit on the beaches as well, and whiting and croaker are always around.
The mullet run is going off in the Indian River, especially around the bridges, where snook, tarpon, black drum, sheepshead, snapper and pompano are all being caught. The best strategy for snook and tarpon seems to be fishing the shadowlines in early-morning hours, around 2 a.m.
Snook and trout are also biting on the flats.
Finger mullet are running along the beaches of Jupiter, and are also moving inside. When the mullet move through the Jupiter Inlet, the snook fishing is red hot! Bluefish, redfish and Spanish mackerel are also being found mixed in with these bait schools. If you can’t find a bait school, try fishing at first light — that should be productive.
Snook, tarpon and big jacks (up to 20 pounds) are all being snagged in the Intracoastal Waterway and Loxahatchee River.
The snook fishing has been decent in the Lake Worth Inlet and in the surf along Palm Beach. As the mullet make their way through the area, the fishing should be good.
There are plenty of snook on the beach in the morning before the sun comes up, and you can always find them near bridges and docks in the Intracoastal Waterway at night.
There are scattered bait clouds around the Boynton Beach Inlet, but there don’t seem to be big numbers of snook or tarpon at this point. However, there are some tarpon rolling through the Intracoastal near the Lantana bridge (snook also in the mix) and Boynton Beach Inlet. There are nice-sized jacks around as well.

The best bass bite is still early — well before the sun comes up — on Lake Okeechobee. You can catch a good number of fish at that time, but by 10 a.m., the bite is gone.
Anglers are having success with both lives shiners and artificial lures, but the artificials seem to be the bait of choice right now.
Bass are biting out in the open water and also along the outside edges, so it’s really a matter or preference.
report courtesy of Palm Beach Post

Sebastian Inlet Report


There's a little more breeze this morning than there's been all week, but it's not enough to keep the no see 'ums at bay, they are out and gnawing away at our anglers this morning! Winds are blowing out of the North-Northwest at 6 mph, gusting to 8 and there is a moderate chop on the water. 

Yesterday there was a good Mangrove Snapper bite according to Mike Ricciardi of Vero Beach. Many anglers got their limits by free lining live shrimp. Greenies and mojarra and a few sardines were the live baits in the water but the mullet haven't been back since that preliminary run. One slot Snook came over rails in early a.m. by Dale of Long Point Park. Two oversized Snook were landed by Tony Swiderski of Sebastian, 34" and 38", an unidentified angler landed one that was 33". A few boats that were anchored near the north jetty hooked up with Snook but Mike didn't see any keepers. The water was clear and Snook, Blue Runners and Jacks were visible. 
We received our photo from Donna Cortese of Sebastian. Donna and her husband Joe fished the Indian River Lagoon on the Northwest side of the inlet  reported landing many Speckled Trout, but only two were slot sized, they were using shrimp and jigs for bait.