Great Bait For More Bites

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Islamorada Sea Horse Fishing Report:    Sailfish action is definitely here in Islamorada now.  Almost all of the charter boats in the area have been catching them regularly.  Some boats more than others.  The trick to getting more sailfish to bite starts off with perfect live bait.  The boats that have more consistent success have one thing in common - they pay close attention to their bait.  It may sound silly but it’s true.  The mates and captains that protect and take care of their baits before sending them to their death usually catch more fish. Most boats go out in the morning and catch bait on the way out before fishing.  Fresh lively ballyhoo, cigar minnows and pilchards are local favorites.  When catching ballyhoo it is common to throw a cast net on them.  This is a very productive technique that works well, but is devastating to the ballyhoo.  This method removes scales and exhausts the fish to near death. We use this method only when there is no other option.  The preferred method that protects the bait from harm is a hoop net.  Under the correct conditions this method is very productive and does not stress the ballyhoo.  A lively ballyhoo that jumps out of the water and skips across the surface of the water when a sailfish swims close by is likely to be eaten.  Sailfish really get fired up when the food they are trying to eat tries to get away.  The more lively the bait, the more bites you will get. Offshore Forecast for Islamorada:    Sailfish, kingfish and cobia are at the top of our list this month. Islamorada is always full of surprises it’s not unusual to catch a monster wahoo, big mahi, and sometimes a marlin while fishing the edge of the reef.  Fish can swim where they want, and eat what they want.  Hopefully everyone out there fishing offshore will get a big surprise and have the memories for a lifetime. Back Country Report:   Capt Fred Ferreira, of Capt Fred’s charters has been catching Spanish mackerel, cobia, snappers and groupers on Gulf wrecks.  Cooler water temperatures in the northern Gulf of Mexico have driven bait fish and larger predator fish down here to the Florida Bay area.  In Lake Ingram, Capt. Fred has caught redfish, sea trout, sheepshead and snook. The falling tide has proven to be the most productive time of day to fish this area. Fishing on the Gulf side and around the Cape is likely to be outstanding all winter. wc-MAteof-MonthFullSizeRenderWhale Harbor’s Mate of the Month:  Tom Steger Honors go to Tom Steger.  Tom has previous experience fishing and is learning the Islamorada charter boat techniques of catching fish.  He is a quick study, and has proven himself to be quite skilled at throwing a net, catching fish, maintaining the boat and most importantly taking care of clients.  Tom has moved on to another boat in Whale Harbor already and is doing well.  Nice Job Tom.


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