Lauderdale By The Sea Reef – Snorkeling/Freediving 6-21-14

After a night of fishing at Anglins Pier in Lauderdale By The Seas, we headed to the beach for some snorkeling on the reef South of the pier. Fishing that night ended with a released mutton snappers, a puffer fish, 3 goggle eyes and a hookup to a sawfish that cut my line off, plus someone caught and released a nice size lemon shark. I fished at Anglins pier for many years and had not gone to explore the reef in the area. This time we made plans to snorkel the reef after a night of fishing. On the pier I asked my friend Tom what were the buoys that light up at night over the reef. He explained these were solar panels for a coral growth project (Bio Rock Project) and under it there is a wire mesh structure with coral growing on it. I wanted to see it my self so in the morning we headed to the beach and as we entered the water we were greeted by schools of sardines and then after a few short minutes we were on top of the reef. I was delighted to see the growth of coral and sea life. I had better luck on this snorkeling trip than I had in some of the Caribbean Islands these past few years.

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It took me longer to unravel my float line than getting to the reef, as soon as we we were on top of the reef we saw a diver exploring the sea floor and my son passed right by his trail of bubbles.

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Below are pictures of the reef. We were in water deeper than 15 feet where camera filters are necessary to appreciate the true colors of the reef. I apologize ahead of time as I do not have these filters,  but I can assure you that in person the reef is very colorful and can be highly appreciated.

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Here is a picture of the Bio Rock structure.  LauderdaleByTheSeaReef21

Close to the buoy, but not too close.LauderdaleByTheSeaReef22

A picture of Anglins pier from the reef area.LauderdaleByTheSeaReef23

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Here is my nephew’s son. He grabbed on to my float and used it as a flotation device to help him see the reef.

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At the  edge of the reef on my way out this little fellow decided to model for the camera.LauderdaleByTheSeaReef28

A tarpon waved good bye as we were on our way back to the beach.  LauderdaleByTheSeaReef29

I don’t know why but I just love taking pictures of the sand underwater.LauderdaleByTheSeaReef30

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At the end of the day we sat down and ate breakfast at the Pier’s restaurant. LauderdaleByTheSeaReef34

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   Here is one last picture of the relaxing day. In the background you can see the buoys marking the Bio Rock Project. LauderdaleByTheSeaReef35

Fishing was not productive but the snorkeling was very rewarding. I left with a satisfied soul and will be glad to comeback and do it over again. If you decide to go snorkeling or diving on this reef, it is located at the end of Commercial Boulevard, when you see the pier just walk towards the South and you can start snorkeling after the buoy marker that signals you are too close to the pier. Remember there are people with fishing lines in the water so stay as far away as possible from the pier.

Here is a short video I took.

I did some searches on the Bio Rock Project and found some videos with information:

 

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Fishing on Outta Control Florida Sportsman Trip August 2nd 2013

THE FISHING TRIP: Florida Sportsman South Regional get together fishing trip
Aboard the “Outta Control IV” with Ralph Hawkins
The Spot : Fort Lauderdale to Islamorada Humps
Weather : Friday ESE up to 2 knots, Saturday SE up to 7 knots, Sunday SE  up to 7 knot winds, rainy
Water: calm up to 1 foot seas Water color clear and strong currents at the beginning slowing down on Saturday afternoon.
Fish catches: Monster AJ, Monster Banded Rudder fish, Over 100 mangrove snappers
Biggest size Type : AJ upto 80 pounds
Techniques : Live bait and Vertical Jigging
Jigs : 80 to 300 gram,  butterfly jigs, blue and pink jigs worked best.

This trip had been planed months ahead, I made all possible to be able to go on it. The plans started in the Floridasportsman forum by a member named Ryan  (copout@castaways). many members have been in other outings but I had not. When I arrived I did not expect a bout full of joyful and great people. From the minute I got there it was all about comradery, helping one another load gear talk about the plans ahead and expectations on the trip. It all started to get together and then BAM! a bottle of Seagram’s and some Ginger soda hit the bait cutting table. OH BOY!!! Steve said and ain’t gonna touch that stuff, some one else said  beer only for me. But it didn’t take long for everyone to become even friendlier. Yeap! the drinking did get started, the fishing stories were told, and then little by little some started talking on how they fish where we get bait what gear we use. As always the boat is spotless, the showers even have cold water and hot water, but you have to be careful on how hot you put it, it does get extremely hot.

Loading up   Who is gonna start

We went to Bent bait and it seemed like it was drunker than many in the boat or was that the buzz? Well we were using plain sabikis but since there were no threadfin  herrings or pilchards we tipped the sabikis with squid and off everyone went helping, some catching some de hooking some cutting bait and others, well drinking, what else? Not all fit in the back so why not let the other catch the bait. In the end everyone helped one way or the other. The bait caught was the good o’l mighty BooRunner (blue runners), a few pinfish, a few dozen spot tail grunts. We were set and off we went fishing.

Bent Marker   Catching bait

A beautiful sunset over the Miami scene as we left the old Bent Marker

Sunset over Miami-Picture by Herbert Hans Muller

The first few stops did not yield much, a mutton snapper caught on pre frozen sardines caught by Ralph and winning the biggest snapper pool the as we moved and moved finaly there was a wreck closer to the keys where the AJ’s where hungry at night. Steve paid with the drinking and almost ran out of gas catching this AJ, the current helped the AJ fight stronger. Then as they stopped feeding the Captain moved to another spot, this time it was a sharkathon, all was shark after shark so he captain made a longer move, again , and again.

Steve's AJ

It was morning time and we arrived at Carysfort to try and get some yellow tails. The crew went on the mission of putting two 15 pound chum blocks (one blood and one tiny silversides), that rallied up some of the fish but the current was still going Bob Marley on us, it just kept JAMMING!  i was able to get one yellow tail while another 2 muttons were landed. Then it was nothing at all. Carys Fort Reef Light is where we meet a very happy waving youngster, dad, and family moving next to the boat and drifting with their anchor all the way around to the propeller of their boat, wonder why it didn’t start and dad had to dive in the water for? Well they had their anchor rope wrapped around the bout and in between the propelers. Fellows be careful when renting a craft you do not know how to use, there are motorized crafts not bicycles. Well the Captain made a few more moves that were still pickings of small fish.

Carys Fort reef Light House

Night time came and what do I see? BANANAS? What? BANANAS? BANANAS IN A FISHING BOAT? YOU AIN’T GONNA CATCH NOTHING MAN!!! “No problem, I did not buy these bananas, the crew did” I think the trick is eat the banana while drinking water at the same time, the water sucks the bad mojo away. Then drink a beer an hour so you forget the banana bad luck thing.

Oh Crap bananas

Well, the very next morning while fishing for big AJ’s at the islamorada Humps he hooked up to a sailfish on a kingfish jig and let the sailfish go unharmed, so Karma got his back.

Ryan on the sail   Sailfish

The first big, well I should say monster AJ came on board. it was Doc’s first ever big fish and he was happy to have caught it and was undisputed for the big fish pool. After this fish he was ready for another when most people would just sit down.

Doc's pool winning fish

It was BBQ king Doug’s turn and this time he had an AJ on a small jig and was very happy for the battle and chose to continue as well. brave people I tell you most would just rest.

Doug's AJ

Then came my turn and Jeff’s turn to get into the AJ’s and were reward with some nice decent size fish.

Herb's AJ

Herb's AJ 2

Coming back from the Humps Captain Ralph decided to anchor by Alligator Reef light and catch bait plus what ever mangrove snappers we could catch. We loaded with mangrove snappers and bait and as we were doing so Jimmy caught another sailfish, DO NOT FREAK OUT!!! This was the second Sailfish of the trip. Jimmy thought it was a flying fish, looked at it closely and realized it was a sailfish after he took it out of the dip net. Took a quick pick and released it.

Jimmy's Sailfish

After the bait gathering and getting the boat’s limit on mangrove snappers it was off to the Isla Morada’s humps again. Where the battles began. We caught many fish on jigs but some were still trying to land a MONSTER AJ. Ernie took his turn with the kingfish jig and had a great battle with a big fish. We all thought it was a wahoo until the line came back up all frayed. Hmmm wahoo got very shark teeth, may be a shark but better think the boat was following a big wahoooooo. below is the Captain guiding the Co-Captain to following the fish.

Ernie on his shark

My skipjack on a jig

Herb's skipjack on a jig

Lots of rare size (for Florida waters) Banded rudder fish were caught. below is the one I caught on a vertical Jig.

One of my banded rudder fish

Eddie is below showing off his AJ and in the background the rest of the fish caught by all 14 anglers.

Ralph sneaking in the pic

Taking pics at the dock

For more pictures you can go to the main report written by Ryan, he is the one that set up this trip. We were all very thankful for him taking this long awaited task on his shoulders.

http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?123765-Outta-Control-IV-48hr-FSFF-trip-8-2-4-Absolutely-wide-open-fun!-PIC-HEAVY

Bait Trip on Out of Control IV June 1st 2013

THE FISHING TRIP: Saturday June 1st 2013The Fishing crew
Aboard the “Out of Control IV” with Captain Ralph

The Spot : Fished from Port Everglades to Hollywood Beach area

Weather : Rainy, Very Cloudy

Water: 2 to 4 foot seas with a few bigger swells in between

Fish catches: yellow tail snappers, small throw back mutton snappers, blue runners, a lion fish

Biggest size Type : Dusky Shark over 100 pounds

Techniques : Vertical Jigging, cut bait, and live bait

Jigs : 250 gram glow jig

Other terminal tackle used: 1/8 oz Jig heads for bait strips, 1/2 ounce weights knocker rig style for bottom fishing

This trip was another one for the books. After getting my jigging trip to West Palm Beach canceled because the Charter Boat’s bottom machine burnt out we all scattered looking for a make up trip. So we got a nice deal on the Out Of Control party fishing boat. It was yet another slow trip. We began with the cutting of the bait and since this was going to be a yellow tail and small snapper catching trip I brought some king fish bellies to at least bring one fish home for dinner. I was not expecting much from this trip since all other party boats were reporting slow fishing as well during that weekend. It was a rainy day and there was no current at all. Conditions were again a plague for good fishing. On the first few stops some yellow tails were caught, a nice lionfish came overboard by Ricky and all hell broke loose as soon as the bite got better then the sharks showed up.  Small muttons, a couple we keepers and some nice mangroves were caught, the biggest mangrove caught by Adam was bit in half by a shark. I was catching some blue runners and was using them for bait. I caught a nice yellow tail that later on was dinner for two at home. SO! I got bored and decided to put on a show I later came to regret. I took my jigging rod and decided to go after the sharks, well I hooked one up and the battle was on. The shark fought nice, at the beggining for a minute I tough it maybe a grouper, nice runs no head shakes. I reeled in then it would run again and again. I was sweating up a storm when on one of the runs PAW! an explosion MY ROD BROKE! Not what I expected a $300 fishing rod would do. I had caught fish over 50 pounds on it before but I guess it just couldn’t take a mad over 100 pound shark. Well I tdecided to finish the battle get the shark closer and recover the piece of rod I lost. Got the shark boat side took some pics but the line busted making me loose the rod piece. HOT DANG IT!!! I will not do that again! Next time  I will not drop unless I have a shark rod.

For a description of the pictures just place your mouse pointer over them.

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Ron the photographer on this trip. Thanks for the pics bro

Preparing Bait The Galley on Out of Control IV The Bunks on Out of Control IV Bait stations and coolers on Out of Control IV Fishing space on Out of Control IV Fighting a fish on Out of Control IV Got some bait  Ricky with a nice Lion Fish- an invasive species The boys playing around Got eaten by a shark Fighting the shark Getting a little tired putting pressure on the sharkThe shark The shark The shark chewing on my rod tip The shark  Loney the mate-cook

36 Hour Fishing Trip from Fort Lauderdale to Key Largo and Back May 4th to May 5th

THE FISHING TRIP: 36 Hour Fishing Trip from Fort Lauderdale to Key Largo and Back May 4th to May 5th   2013

Herbert Cobia 8

This Cobia was caught on a vertical jig

Aboard the “Out Of Control IV” with Captain Ralph and Captain Dennis

The Spot : From Port Ever Glades to Key Largo Soldier Key

Weather : Partly Sunny then clear skies

Water: Calm with strong over 3 knot currents at first then cloudy with sand mix noticeable and 2 knot currents

Fish catches (from all in boat): cobia, amber jacks, mutton snapper, yellow tails, black groupers, gag groupers, and king fish

Biggest size Type : Amber jack

Techniques : Vertical Jigging, cut bait, and live bait

Jigs : 100-250 gram, Bullet type bucktail jigs, butterfly jigs, speed jigs, Pink, red/white, silver, and blue worked the most.

The luck still ok, but can get better

A new boat is in town out of Fort Lauderdale and it’s going to be doing long range trips to the Florida Keys and the Bahamas. The out Of Control fleet just expanded with a 75 ft boat and a beam of 21 ft powered by two JohnDeer engines with over 500 hp each  and can do 18 knot service speed and capabilities of over 22 knots. I am glad I was able to witness the power of these engines as later on you will read.

Prior to the day of fishing Nilson a friend of a few fishing years and I went on a bait hunting expedition for a couple of hours. We got 21 large size pinfish and kept them alive in a 15 gallon bucket with an aerator and a bit of aquarium ammonia neutralizer, a bottle of frozen water helped to cool down the water and keep the fish calm. One of them did not make the 1.5 hour journey to the docks, but that was expected.

On the day of fishing, we made it to the boat a couple of hours prior departure to find out that the crew already had a bait well with a decent amount of bait (blue runners and spot grunts). We loaded our gear and around 4:20 or so we were well on the way. By sunrise we were in the Miami Port Everglades Channel marker area catching more bait. A chum bucket was deployed and we loaded with 40 or more pins, 30 or so spot grunts and some blue runners. The boat had tinker mackerels, squid, frozen ballyhoo, and about 20 or so bonitos caught the day before. We had all the bait we needed for the trip.

Saturday started with slow fishing around Fowey Rocks lighthouse, and can we say “slow” a few small fish here and there. We had all the live bait and other good baits but we couldn’t quiet get the bait where we needed it, on the bottom. The current was ripping in over 200 feet so we moved shallower. A few fish came up among them a nice gag caught by Robert another fishing friend of mines and I got a mutton snapper as the night fall came.

DCIM100GOPRO

The flying fish were all over the boat but were running a bit deep as they got close by. I waited patiently until I saw one that bluntly committed suicide by flying into the boat through a small gap and hitting the live well. I ran like a running back going for a Hail Mary 3 seconds left on the 4th quarter. I got the sucker and saved it for later. Well, it didn’t work out so well for me as I got a big shark instead of the mutton or grouper I was looking for. Later on the boat crew brought out a net and I was able to get 4 more flying fish with it. Got wet like I was under the rain and it didn’t pay off since we could not find a spot with slower currents. A baby African pompano came up on a flyer by Nilson. The plan was to make it to Isla Morada but given the conditions with stronger winds than expected and strong currents needing 16 ounces to bring the weights to the bottom, the captain decided it was better to turn around and find better spots closer to Miami. A few fish did come up, some yellow tails, some groupers, and some jacks.

On Sunday morning we found some wrecks that were holding fish. I lost my attempt at a large amber jack when my line was tangled by someone’s braid line and when they where told not to pull they did the opposite so I lost the fish. You just got to love when that happens. On the way back we hit many wrecks and the captain cranked that engine to make a speed wreck fishing race to the finish line. By Haulover we found a wreck that was holding nice amounts of vermillion snappers (beeliners). That saved the trip for some. Once again the captain cranked the engines even faster and mover over the county line where the fun began. I started as I did on some of the stops with vertical fishing. I was fishing a long 300 gram jig when a 35” cobia hit it. I got it to the boat and off to the cooler it went. That was one of three cobias caught that day. Right after that a nice 31 pound AJ was caught by my friend Ricky another friend of a few fishing years caught it vertical jigging a long jig as well. We all got into the jigging loosing some massive hits to the wreck. I had my reel drag maxed but it just ran like butter as if it was greased so I lost that fish.

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Another picture of the cobia caught on a vertical jig slow mechanical technique

In the end the crew and the friends is what made the slow fishing conditions fun and interesting, while in the other hand we had that one guys whom is always complaining of not catching fish but sleeping most of the time while others are catching bait or fishing. I ended with an over 15 pound king fish, the mutton snapper that won the biggest snapper pool, the cobia, and some vermilion snappers. It could have been much much better, but the weather did not get our memo. There is always that next time if it isn’t, I will hear “you should have been here yesterday”. So I have to keep on fishing to be there that one day when all hell breaks loose and fish are eating everything you throw at them including the bottom of the boat.

Rob and his Gag Grouper

Robert Gag

Ricky and his AJ

Ricky AJ

Nilson and his African Pompano (released back into the water)

Nilson African Pompano 1

The Catch from the 2 days, looks very small for 14 people but given the conditions it was great.

Catch

Until next time