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Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Forecast

Posted on August 24th, 2013 by Mike

November 2006

Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters

November on the Indian River Lagoon coast of Florida sets the stage for some of the best fishing experienced all year by Florida east coast anglers. Record cold temperatures have already dropped water temperatures into the seventies along the beach and offshore, and falling water temperatures will increase the feeding activity of larger species.  Shorter days, northeast swells, cooler waters, all act as a dinner bell for larger fish preparing for the onset of winter.

As water temperatures cool, look for cobia and tripletail to begin showing up on the Port Canaveral Buoy line and on flotsam, both near-shore and offshore.  When you find weeds and other debris, look for tripletail to be hanging just below the floating structure.  Live shrimp and small jigs tipped with shrimp work well when targeting these brim on steroids.  It is also important to keep the sun to your back to improve your range of sight, and to keep a medium heavy rod rigged with a one-ounce chartreuse or white buck tail jig ready to throw to any cruising cobia.  Also, look for the fall kingfish run to commence as well and an occasional sailfish or black fin tuna on the near-shore reefs and wrecks like 8A and Pelican Flats.

November is one of the best months to target snook at Sebastian Inlet. In addition, large flounder and oversized redfish have begun to show up on the Port Canaveral buoy line and in the inlets of Ponce De Leon and Sebastian, and their numbers will increase as the flounder begin their seaward migration out of the lagoon.  Also, lets not forget the influx of Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and black tip sharks shadowing schools of finger mullet and glass minnows along the beach.

On the inside, look for pompano to begin to form up and move off of the lagoon flats thought the inlets, and invade the beach in search of mole crabs (sand fleas) their favorite winter food.  Currently, reports of pompano skipping have been coming from anglers working the flats in various locations within the Lagoon.  Also look for large schools of ladyfish, jacks, Spanish mackerel, and sea trout to be feeding on the migrating schools of glass minnows as they move south through the Lagoon.

Sight fishing this past month for redfish has was tough due to higher water levels and tons of finger mullet, but water levels have begun to drop and the early arrival of cold air and cooling water has the redfish schooling up again, and the large sea trout showing up on the skinny flats.  Additionally, a good numbers of quality black drum and some gag grouper will begin to occupy the deeper channels of the ICW and areas around bridges and power structures throughout the lagoon.

Last but not least, the tailing black drum and redfish have shown up early on the flats of the Banana River No-Motor Zone.  If you have never experienced black drum tailing in a foot of water, it is worth the long paddle.  When targeting black drum in the zone, concentrate your efforts on the deeper side on the sandbars that parallel the west shore.  When you locate tailing black drum and redfish, try throwing crab or shrimp imitation artificial baits or a black Clouser fly, and chunks of blue crab or live shrimp work well for natural baits.

As always, if you need more information or have any questions, please contact me.

Good luck and good fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn

407-366-8085 land line

407-416-1187 on the water

866-790-8081 toll free 

Kite Fishing Instructional How To

Posted on August 24th, 2013 by Mike

Kite Fishing Article
Written by Capt. Andy Roydhouse – Fort Lauderdale Fishing Charters

Many different styles of fishing have originated in the hopes of catching sailfish, sharks, and other top water game fish.  Perhaps the most effective of these types of fishing is kite fishing.  Kite Fishing is a technique of fishing that involves flying kites, and using the kites to suspend live baits on the top of the water.  This type of fishing is highly effective for sport fishing off the coast of Ft. Lauderdale, where the Gulf Stream current and the natural reef running along the coastline, coincide.  Sportfishing charter boats have been using this technique for 20 years to hook into the wide array of big game species that swim through our waters.  This article is written in order to teach basic tactics on how to go about kite fishing.

For kite fishing, live bait is required.  Start off by catching or buying live baits.  Only certain types of baitfish will work effectively in the kite.  These baitfish include goggle eyes (probably the most effective bait for this type of fishing), tinker mackerels, blue runners, pilchards, mullet, sardines and threadfin herring.  There are some other types of baitfish that can be used in the kite, but these types survive the best.

Start out by selecting your spot to fish.  When kite fishing, you are mostly immobile.  You will drift whichever way the current is moving, but as far as covering ground with your engines, you can only make small corrections.  So first thing is to select a good area or depth of water to fish.  Off the shore of Fort Lauderdale, one of the best areas is the 90

SFC 201 Pumpkin Pooning

Posted on August 24th, 2013 by Mike

SFC Members practice throwing the harpoon.  SFC 201 Meeting.

Snakehead Fish Pictures

Posted on August 24th, 2013 by Mike

The northern snakehead is a very popular fish that is a top predator in the waters of China.  There have been many encounters with this fish in several parts of the world.  The snakehead fish fascinates people all over because of its deadly encounters with native fish. 

A snakehead fish has been known to drastically reduce the man species of fish in the same waters of the snakehead and for this reason it is a danger to various species.

The picture of a snakehead fish was caught in Singapore.   Officials in Maryland say there are many snakehead fish in the many ponds killing all native species.  The plan is to poison the snakehead fish and get their species out of the ponds to preserve the native species.

Check out the official Snakehead Fish Photo Gallery

ASMFC Gaffs Recreational Summer Flounder Fishermen

Posted on August 24th, 2013 by Mike

Atlantic Beach, NC 10/25/06- Just when recreational anglers had the chance to keep the 2007 summer flounder season viable, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Summer Flounder Management Board dropped the ball.  In a last minute motion offered by Gordon Colvin of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the ASMFC overruled a motion that would have set the commercial and recreational summer flounder quota for state waters at 19.9 million pounds.  Had the ASMFC set the total allowable landings (TAL) at 19.9 million pounds, recreational anglers and fishing businesses dependant upon reasonable access to summer flounder would have been able to scrape by and remain in the fishery.  However, ASMFC’s failure to set the 2007 quota makes the likelihood of a 12.9 million-pound TAL a reality.

“This represents a lost opportunity to restore the faith of fishermen in the ASMFC,” stated RFA Executive Director Jim Donofrio.  “It is obvious that the recreational fishing industry can not look to the ASMFC for leadership.  Time and time again, certain commissioners have proven their lack of interest and understanding of the industries’ needs by failing to consider our testimony or comments during their deliberations and purposely swaying the commission position away from measures that would have less severe impacts on the industries.” 

The Mid-Atlantic Council approved a 19.9 million-pound TAL for 2007 at their August meeting based on the findings from the Summer Flounder Monitoring Committee, which included current high level of abundance and the unnecessary economic impacts that would occur with a drastic reduction in TAL.  The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) immediately indicated that based on their revised estimates that a TAL of 12.9 million pounds must be set to ensure a 75 percent probability of meeting the rebuilding target.  NMFS claims such a position is necessary to comply with the statutory framework and to avoid a lawsuit from environmental groups.  ASMFC is not bound by the same legal constraints as NMFS and could have used their best judgment and an ounce of common sense to set the summer flounder TAL in state waters at 19.9 million pounds for 2007.

“The ASMFC has become a rubber stamp for NOAA policy,” continued Donofrio.  “Anglers from New York and other states that voted in favor to reconsider the 19.9 motion should contact their Governors and ask them to question the actions of their state representatives on the ASMFC.”

Reasons for the drastic cut in quota stem not only from a rebuilding target that is set extraordinarily high but more importantly from an arbitrary 10-year rebuilding timeframe.  The summer flounder population has been rebuilt to its highest level ever recorded, yet the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act requires that we continue to rebuild the resource and that it be completed by January 1, 2010.  The current problem with summer flounder illustrates the importance of amending Magnuson to include flexibility and economic consideration for rebuilding fish stocks. 

“NMFS’ hands are tied and the ASMFC is not going to help us,” said Donofrio. “This fix will not come from the regulatory agencies but from putting in long hours speaking with Members of Congress on how important this fishery is to the Mid-Atlantic.  Recreational anglers need to ban together to fix this looming disaster.”

On the heels of this setback, RFA met with key Members of Congress to inform them of the negative impacts on jobs and the economy that will occur if the NMFS recommendations are put in place.  “Our meetings were extremely positive,” continued Donofrio.  “A great deal will depend upon the outcome of the election, but the RFA will not give up on exploring any and every option to fix summer flounder.”

Fishing Headquarters Charter Information

Posted on August 24th, 2013 by Mike

Ft. Lauderdale fishing has some of the best game fishing in the world.  Fishing Headquarters is a sportfishing and drift fishing company that operates out of Ft. Lauderdale.  Fishing Headquarters runs daily private and shared charters, as well as open boat drift fishing every day.  Our drift fishing boat, the Catch My Drift is the largest and fastest boat of her class in our area.  The Catch My Drift is an 85

Rod Guides

Posted on August 24th, 2013 by Mike


Wrightsville Beach Fishing Guide

Posted on August 24th, 2013 by Mike

Rod-Man Report November 22, 2006

Hi Folks,

Happy holiday to all and don’t eat too much. The Rod-Man is on a diet and feels like everyone else should suffer too. Due to the terrible storms, rains and winds the last 3 days and continuing in tomorrow, I don’t know exactly what to say about fishing right now. It will be “pot luck” for sure.

But, I can tell you the fishing prior to the storm was fantastic and hopefully will be back to that sooner than later.

Now here’s my report:

Inshore: The reds and trout have been biting the bottom of the boat out. The jetties, the docks, the creeks, the inlets, the marsh banks, all have been holding fish. We have been catching fish on GULP SW, live shrimp, dead mullet.

Nearshore: Some gray trout and miscellaneous bottom fish have been biting. I still expect a run of albacore. The water temperature is still 62-64 degrees, so a lot of fishing is in front of us.

Offshore: I have heard reports of some nice king mack catches from 23 to 42 miles out.

Gulfstream: No reports this week, but no the wahoo have been biting well and some bluefin have shown up.

Gosh, this year is winding down fast. Soon it will be boat show time and then fishing schools and before you know it, spring will be here and we start again. This year I will be at the Greensboro Bass and Saltwater Expo at the Coliseum Jan. 5-7 and the Raleigh Bass and Saltwater Expo at the Fairgrounds Jan. 12-14. My Raleigh area Rod-Man Fishing School will be February 10 and the Wilmington Rod-Man Fishing School will be March 3. Registrations for the schools are coming in and I hope to see many of you there. You can find registration information at

Finally, I wanted to say a big thank you to the nice folks at the Raleigh Saltwater Fishing Club for welcoming my wife and me last night. The weather was bad but inside the welcome was warm and hopefully we shared some good things about fishing.

Don’t miss this week’s pic of the week:


Let’s Go Fishing!!!

Capt. Rick Bennett

Rod-Man Charters


Barrelfish Deep Drop Fishing Report

Posted on August 24th, 2013 by Mike

It all started out as a case of insomnia. Or rather, a rare case of me waking up at 6:30am on a Sunday for no good reason. I had no plans, so I started gathering my gear. Since I was heading out by myself, I decided to try something unconventional. I grabbed my sword rods, sword tackle, sword squid, and… what’s that leaning in the corner? The electric deep-drop rod. Yep, it’s time to test it out. I haven’t attempted a ‘real’ deep-dropping adventure just because, well… it’s a lot of work, I had no clue what I was doing or where to go, and it’s boring to everyone else but me.
Cleared Boynton inlet at 9am. Seas were a little bumpy running at 25kts on my 21ft Sailfish, but tolerable. And for those of you that know me well… YES, I yelled Yee-Haw! each time I “dried the prop”.  (where’s a camera chase-boat when you need one?) An hour and a half later, I arrived at my destination, 20-something NM SSE of Boynton inlet.

Now, if y’all had been paying attention, ya might have noticed the few times I mentioned “sword” in that first paragraph… Yep, my goal was to try to catch a daytime swordfish. There’s only ONE other person I know that would even consider wasting time with this optimistic endevour… and his cell phone went directly to a FULL voicemail inbox. a’hem 

Before you think I’m totally wacko, I did have some ballyhoo and trolling feathers ready to deploy. But, the run out to the sword grounds was clean. Really clean. Not a speck of sargasso, debris, party balloons… nothin. The seas were still choppy enough to hide the rips too. Heard several other folks on the horn reporting only a scattered weed line out 26nm… and nothing under it. So I set up my drift. Shot a super-squid, tri-color LP, and 3-1/2 pounds of lead south from my bent-butt Tiagra 50w in 1300ft. (using 130lb hollowcore braid) 3.2kt Gulfstream current, engine at idle forward, pointed south, and 3/4 of the spool out… no bottom. Set the drag, put out a 50ft deep squid on a balloon, and a ballyhoo flatlined from a spinner, and waited 1/2 an hour. Yeah, I was hoping for a stray mahi too.


Reel up the deep bait. (it takes about a song and a half on the radio to bring it up) Perfect condition. So I dropped it again, as fast as it would go, with the boat idling into the current. Still no slack in 1200ft. Let it drift for another 20 minutes. Then decided to go shallow to increase my odds of “touchdown”. Went in to (bleep)ft of water. Nearing noon, the seas and winds were calming down quite a bit, which meant the drift would be slower with less “jig” from boat motion. 

Sent the Tiagra down, and sure enough… touchdown! Waited. More line. Touchdown. Waited. More line. Touchdown. Waited. More line. Touchdown. Waited. (kinda like ANY team -vs- the Miami Dolphins ) …okay, time to reel it up. Song and a half later, the bait was chewed!  Not a sword slash, but it was definately a snack for something down there. I happened to look at the depth reading, and it was getting shallow quick. Waited to see what it was gonna do. Sure enough, within about a quarter mile it came up about 100ft from the average, dropped 50, rose 50, then dropped 100ft and leveled out. I BLINDLY found me some (bleep)ft deep structure in the middle of the dang ocean! Yee-Haaw! 

I setup ahead of “Buck’s Humps”  and fired the Tiagra down again. Hit bottom. Felt a lot of “thumps”. Since I wasn’t familiar with the “feel” of deep dropping, of course I thought I had a fish. Reeled it up with a clean bait. Dropped again for the second hump. Nothing. Kept trying a few more times. Nothing… but my baits were getting chewed. Ran south and dropped again. Hit bottom. A few seconds later, bam! Hmm, was that just bottom bouncing again? Reeled quick, and holy ****! Sword rod nearly doubled over! I started cranking with some drag-pull at 25lb strike! Two or three songs later (and my arm about to fall off) the mystery fish is still fighting it’s way to the surface.


My thoughts after 10 minutes: “don’t most deep dwellers bloat and die half way up from (bleep) feet? Could it actually be a small swordfish?” Nope. Not that lucky…


Grabbed the gaff… put it in the boat.


I asked myself, “what the F*** is it?”

I answered, “looks like a cubera snapper with big eyes and the face of a permit. It’s a… um… uh…” …I had no friggin clue, but it was big and funky lookin… so I threw it on ice and went back to try it again. (yeah, insert another “yee-haw!” here)

Started ahead of the spot this time and fired down the Tiagra with another swordfish squid. Sure enough, bounced a few times on the top of the hump, and let line out as the depth increased. BAM! Another solid hit. A few songs later I put another, larger, mystery fish on ice. By this time, I was thinking how lucky these fish were to be bathing in ice… ’cause my right arm was feeling the burn. 

So… out comes the electric reel, 5lb sash weight, and a make-shift 2-hook chicken rig. Blue LP this time. Set up at the start of my new “deep drop drift”, fired down the Tiagra again. (yes, more punishment) 1/2 way down, I rocketed the electric towards the bottom. They reached dirt at the same time. As soon as the hump dropped off, both rods bounced. With one hand on the electric reel’s switch and the other cranking the Tiagra, up came 2 more fish. This time it was another mystery fish on the electric, and (thankfully) a little rosie on the Tiagra. Setup again. My right arm was spent, so only the electric went down. Over the first hump. Nothing. Over the second hump. Nothing. My new-found confidence was dwindling. Dragged another 500ft across the bottom after the second hump and BAM! Another mystery fish on the deck, along with another rosie on the 2-hook chicken rig.

By now it was about 5:30pm and I was still 18-something miles from the marina. To be honest, the thought of an early evening of swordfishing DID cross my mind. But I was tired, hungry, and sore from the un-Godly amount of cranking on the reel from (bleep)feet down. I still had no friggin clue what I had caught. Even the “phone a friend” option yielded no results. So, I took a few self-portraits (not easy to do without a tripod on the ocean) and headed in.




The dock office was closed by now, so I called a nearby friend to ask if he could bring some ice to the marina. Luckily, his buddy had worked as a mate on charter boats, and was happy to clean all the fish in exchange for one. I was too tired to deal with it anyway.  The four mystery fish yielded 4 gallon-bags of clean, snapper-looking meat.

Once I got home, I started Google-ing. It took nearly an hour for me to positively identify what I had caught. Barrelfish. I searched for another hour trying to figure out if it was good, and more importantly, SAFE to eat. No solid results. I went to bed.

Got into work Monday morning and started doing some more research. I eventually discovered that it was “fine eating”. The same article from 2001 stated that the world all-tackle record at that time was 16lbs. True or not, that really got me wondering, because my largest one weighed-in at 25lbs on my Rapala 50lb spring scale. More internet searches revealed no conclusive data about the world Barrelfish record.

So, that was my Sunday. I got to try something new. I caught 2 species that I have personally never caught before. I marked a “honey hole” that is dang near impossible to find. I’ve got a bunch of “fine eating” deepwater Barrelfish in my fridge. And most important… I had a fun time catching ’em, and sharing the tale. That’s what it’s all about.

(Fast forward to Tuesday afternoon.) I now have an IGFA membership, and have spoken to one of the records-keepers at their headquarters. If my mainline does not over-test past 132lbs, I will be eligible to submit my Barrelfish as an all-tackle world record! Unfortunately, hollowcore spectra braid is known to be at least as strong as it’s rating (130lb). My chances are slim, but if it fails, I know where to catch ’em… with lighter line next time.

Pictures and full report here:

The Jurassic Drift Swordfishing Tournament

Posted on August 24th, 2013 by Mike