Reward Fishing Fleet – All Day Trip 1-9-16

I wanted to go fishing  this weekend so I called the Reward Fishing Fleet to book a spot on their special all day trip, for $100 it’s a nice bargain to go out all day fishing without having to go back to the docks and the wait for the boat to leave back on the next trip (taking two 4 hour trips on the same day).

The trip started by gathering bait. The mates and a few other fishermen collaborated with catching white bait, pinfish, and small grunts. Once the bait was non responsive we moved onto another bait spot, the famous Bent Marker outside of Government Cut Miami. There we met with a numerous amount of boats trying to catch bait themselves. Below is a pic of the Marker.

Bent Marker Port Everglades

We then moved up to several other spots where people were catching vermilion snappers, Amberjacks, and Almaco Jacks. Jongsoo caught an Amberjack that was tagged, the fish was lip gaffed, taken a picture of, measured and released again. Below is Jeff the mate before measuring the fish. Sorry I didn’t take a pic of you Jongsoo.

Taged Amberjack

On the next move we saw some birds but nothing was biting under them, we kept moving and then as we stopped to fish I saw a Mahi Mahi and let everyone know, I wanted to make sure someone got it before it left. Leaving a caught Mahi Mahi hooke in the water will bring others closer to the boat if they are schooling together. I went to get my plug rod as Will sent his out first cast catching the first Mahi Mahi. I sent my plug flying out and as I retrieved it with a sweeping motion I caught the next Mahi Mahi with an H4L Wingman plug. I caught another right after while using the same plug. One of the mates set up some pitch rods and people started catching more mahi mahis including Jared who was ready with his own pitch rod. A total of 12 were caught ensuring many would take a nice dinner home. Below is mines.

Dolphin Fish

At one of the spots we started to get a few small Blackfin Tunas, mines was one of the smallest ones and one of the fishermen by the name of Ben whom is another experienced slow pitch jigging fisherman that was only using jigs caught the biggest one, a football size one with enough meat to get a couple dinners out of it. Here is my small Blackfin Tuna, it was so greedy that it swiped a jig half it’s size.

Blackfin Tuna

As the day went by a few yellow eye snapper, sand tiles, and a rare Long Tail Bass was caught by Jeff another experienced slow pitch fisherman. I should have taken a picture but I was busy fishing, sorry guys, I was trying to maximize my fishing time. On the deeper end of the trip we fished down to 500 feet of water where Will caught a nice keeper Amberjack.

Will Amberjack

I was still fishing with my prototype slow pitch setup and Shark Fishing Jigs when I hooked up a Snowy Grouper and then sent my 500 gram slow pitch jig down again and hooked a Yellow Edge grouper. What are the odds, the only two keeper groupers caught were back to back on my setup. Below is the Snowy Grouper and the the Yellow Edge.

Cudaman Snowie Grouper

Cudaman Yellow Edge

The highlight of the day came when Jared hooked up with a Sailfish on a jig. He fought it for 30 minutes going around the boat 2 times until he got it close enough to touch the leader and made it an official catch. The jig was extracted using a gaff and the fish was released. High fives went around and the fish swam away to live another day. Below is Jared fighting the fish and also a pic of the Sailfish with the jig on it’s mouth.

Jared Hooked on a Sailfish

Below is a video of part of the fight.

All in all it was a good trip and plenty fun was had. We left with a full boat’s fish cooler. Back at the Bayside Marina Docks the fish were unloaded and the mates cleaned the fish for those that wanted that service. Below is the mate sorting and giving the fish to the fishermen.

Reward Mate sorting fish

Below is a fisherman that was using bait and tried out vertical jigging. He caught dinner and wanted a picture for him to later retrieve from the web. So here you are Sir. You are welcome to download your own picture, enjoy your fresh fish dinners. Just click on the picture to make it bigger, right click on it and save it to your PC or phone.

Fisherman

Happy New Year to you all and Happy Fishing in 2016. thanks again for visiting my site.

Vertical Jigging tips:

In order to reach the bottom use 1 gram weight per foot of water (if fishing in 300 feet of water use a 300 gram jig), if the current is stronger adjust accordingly by using a heavier jig. It works the same way for Slow Pitch Jigging.

If of any interest to you I was using a 60 to 400 gram Slow Pitch Jigging Rod, a Shimano Ocea Jigger 2000 with high speed gear 6.1:1 loaded with 30 lb test braid line, 40lb test fluorocarbon leader, and 3/0 size hooks with 2mm length  assist cord. two hooks on top and two hooks on bottom.

 

 

 

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Iron Man 10 Hour fishing on the Reward Won 4-12-14

The was another 10 hour fishing trip on the Reward Won and this time we would go straight to the action with the amberjacks and anything else that lurked around the artificial wrecks around Fowey Rocks Light. The trip started by going to get live bait which again is included in the $100 of the trip’s cost. As we got to bug light and waited on Jimmy’s boat (the bait man) some started out tossing sabikis and started catching bait, some of us started tossing crappy jigs and got a couple of blue runners, the captain bought the rest to complete a live well full of big pilchards and thread fin herrings plus a couple dozen of goggle eyes (Gogs courtesy of Jimmy the bait man).

Live well 1

fishing for bait

Jimmy and his Bait Boat

Here is the live well after Jimmy the bait man passed by.

Live well 2

 

As we headed out 4 rods were set up for trolling, not so far out the day started with a football size blackfin tuna reeled in by my son  was welcomed aboard to the fish cooler.

Blackfin Tuna

A Sailfish Tournament was going on so there were many boats flying kites. Below is one near Fowey Rocks.

Fowey Rocks Light House

The drive to get to the fishing grounds went on and a small Mahi Mahi was caught on the troll. The Captain said to give the fight to one of the lady anglers that came on this trip.

Mahi Mahi 1

As soon as we got to the wreck we started jigging and there were double hook up and quad hook ups. I landed my first fish of the trip a decent size Amberjack and as was landing it some were fighting their fish side by side.

Amberjack-Herbert

Double header

Others were landing their fish, here is a couple that came on the fishing trip.

Amberjack-3

Another happy fisherman got his priced caught fish which he released.

Amberjack- 4

Amberjack released

Here is my fishing friend Ron playing around with his exaggerated fishing pose and afterwards happily posing with his catch which he released.

Ron fighting fish

Amberjack- 5

And another angler continued the battle and then landed his biggest fish to date which was also released.

Verical Jigging fight

Amberjack- 6

Amberjack- 7

We passed over the wreck and as we started to fish a new wave of anglers were catching more Amberjacks. This time William did it again by catching a 65 pound amberjack that unfortunately was not going to make it and was kept along with three others. This was one of the longest drifts and as many continued catching fish Captain Wayne Conn let out the kite and placed two goggle eyes out in the water so I was fortunate to fight a sailfish and got it to the boat and the leader was touched making it a catch, unfortunately I do not have pictures because I pressed the wrong buttons on the Gopro and the fish had gone under the boat cutting the line off.

Willie Amberjack- 8

Below is my son with one of the last amberjacks caught, after this one the fish turned off and the captain moved the boat to another location.

Seth Amberjack -8

As we arrived at the other location a deeper one this time I used one of the boat rods set up with a chicken Rig and caught two Vermillion snappers with it. Not many were bottom fishing so I decided to get a rest and do so. Captain Wayne had the kite out with two live baits and William took the rod as a nice Mahi Mahi hit one of the baits.

Willie Dolphin

The day went by and weak cold front started approaching so the seas got a little rougher. A fishing friend of mines Nilson came out of hibernation and caught a peanut Mahi Mahi,  it was not of legal size so it was released. A few more Mahi Mahi came in the boat and a few made the size limit while a few more were released. On the troll another peanut tuna was caught and a couple of skip jack tunas came on board as well. As the day came to a close I took a chance at tossing a live thread fin Herring bait to a good size Mahi Mahi of about 20 lb or so and it took it I thought it had the circle hook well set but as it made it’s first jump it tossed it out. I ran to the back of the boat and took a goggle eye and tossed again and again it did the same. I ran back again got another bait and the same happened again, then another person also had it and he also lost it. This fish was a smart one and it might  is still out there eating.

Nilson's Mahi Mahi

 On the way back I was able to take some pictures of the Key Biscayne Light House. It is always nice to see.

Key Biscayne Light House

We also Passed close by the Bill Bags State Park Fishing Piers. Below is the first one in the corner of the park.

Key Biscayne fishing piers

Below are the rest of the piers lined up one after another.

Key Biscayne Fishing Piers 2

And again another picture of the Rickenbacker Causeway Fishing pier.

Key Biscayne Fishing Pier 3

A closer look at it.

Key Biscayne Fishing Pier 4

Here is the end summary of my fishing report:

 THE FISHING TRIP: Iron Man 10 Hour Fishing Trip which in the end ended being a 12 hour total trip again so thanks to the captain for that.
Aboard the “Reward Won” with Captain Wayne Conn of the Reward Fishing Fleet
The Spot : Around Fowey Rocks Light House, FL
Weather Forecast: Sunny 20% chance of rain, Saturday Easterlyt winds 9 to 14 knots. Seas 2 to 4 feet with occasional seas to 5 feet. The real weather was: Earlier seas 2 to 3 feet in the morning and 3 to 5 later in the day with occasional 6 foot rolling waves, clear skies and no rain all day.
Water: Choppy and slow current in the morning strong currents in the afternoon around Fowey Rocks Light House.
Fish catches: Small Dolphins and one gaffer, Big Amberjacks, 1 mutton snappers, 2vermillion snappers, 1 Snowie Grouper, small kingfish, football size blackfin tunas, skip jack tunas, and several bonitos.
Biggest size Type : Amberjack estimated at around 65 pounds
Techniques : Vertical Jigging, dead bait, live bait
Jigs : 80 to 300 grams all colors were working.

Fishing on the Sealegs III 1-19-14

It felt wonderful to fish once again and be able to actually do so. Last few trips were plagued with Russ' Porgy upcloseengine trouble. This trip was out of no where, some of us have been too busy with our lives to be able to fish together so emails flew and we decided to just chill on a six pack boat for 4 hours but ended going on the Sealegs III since we heard it was back on the water after being newly refurbished. The boat looks like new just like the Out Of Control IV which is another boat that was refurbished last year. After speaking with Captain Ralph he gave me the news that the Out Of Control IV will be moving to the West Coast to possibly do Tortugas trips as well as fish the towers and wrecks in it’s surrounding, I know there is quality fishing in those areas I would definitely be interested to do a few trips to those towers, I sure miss fishing them. Another news Ralph gave me is that his father Captain Kenny would probably be retiring and would captain the boat on a part time basis plus a fish market was in the works since he has just purchased the marina.

The trip was a regular 4 hour trip we knew jigging was a possibility and we did try I got a nice hit but that was it. I kept at it until 10:30 when I switched to bait as Russ landed a nice porgy  that won the pool, then it was John’s turn at a nice vermillion snapper (beeliner in some other areas), and after came Nilson with an even nicer Vermillion, after that we moved and it was my turn at a nice Vermillion we call nice a vermi that we can hold with two hands  since in these areas the usual size is barely pass the legal size. Then Nilson got a lesser amberjack and many i the boat where landing triggerfish, lane snappers, and more porgies. Not everyone got to keep fish as many had to be thrown back in, but a nice amount of fish was caught and kept. Well enough of the talk, here are some pics.

Waiting to go fishing while looking at the new paint.

Sealegs III waiting

Sealegs III just refurbiished 1-19-14    Checking Sealegs III engine 1-19-14

The bait donated by a very nice angler, a tinker mackerel

Tinker Mackerel bait used 1-19-14   Bait used Sealegs III 1-19-14

Russ’ Porgy, the pool winner

Russ' Porgy Sealegs III 1-19-14

Nilson’s Vermillion

Nilson's Vermillion Sealegs III 1-19-14

John’s Vermillion

John's Vermillion Sealegs III 1-19-14

My Vermillion

Herbert Hans Muller Vermillion Snapper on the Sealegs III 1-19-14

Ricky’s Mangrove Snapper

Ricky's mangrove snapper

Only one trolling on the way back

Trolling on the Sealegs III 1-19-14

Chilling on the way back

On the way home Sealegs III 1-19-14

Biggest catches of the day in the fish box

Fish Box Sealegs III 1-19-14

After the fishing was over we had a nice lunch at the Sandbar Restaurant a few blocks away from the Sealegs III. It was nice to fish with old friends again. The Sealegs III will have an all day jigging trip on February 2nd the cost is $125 and includes tip, but we wont be able to make it so we scheduled a trip later in February.

Lunch after the trip 1-19-14

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.

DSC_0027

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.

Herbert Cobia 4

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