Fort Lauderdale to Pompano Bch Drift - 6 Sept 2015

Launched near Sunrise blvd to utilize my Ft. Lauderdale Bch parking pass. The plan was to catch bait to entice a trophy fish, then go out and rack up a Blackfin count. Several kayakers had been out over the weekend tallying good counts on small Blackfin tuna. I would rather be targeting other species, but Blackfin are high points for Kayak Wars. Launching at 530am was eerie quiet and calm on the water -- the exception being some loud thunder to the Nth in the area I wanted to fish. Since it was clearer and quiet to the Sth, I headed Sth toward the anchored ships off Ft. Lauderdale. Bait fishing was unproductive along the beach, and every structure I metered was barren. The current was relatively weak, except when I tried for bait off the anchored ships -- for some reason there is always a difficult current around the ships. With no live bait, I defaulted to head out and jig up some tuna. On the way out, I picked up a Rainbow Runner and King Mackerel trolling a plastic bait live target lure.



At my jigging destination, the current was an ideal .7kts to the Nth, and the fish were consistently biting...about 1 fish per 4 drops. By 11 am I had landed 18 fish -- mainly small Blackfin with a few Almaco Jacks and Little Tunnies.





Then a rip current started sweeping in from the East. Once the rip swept in the current bumped up to 3kts -- making it impossible to pedal against. The drift increased up to 3.5kts in 300ft of water. While drifting Nth, I had my first ever shark attack. Unfortunately, my gopro was not running (frequently I keep one running continuously in loop mode). The hammerhead lunged up partially out of the water and hit the side of my kayak(no damage done). I believe the shark had mistaken my SOLAS reflective tape for fish. After the initial strike, the shark swam around the kayak agitatedly at a quick pace -- swimming away, then charging in towards the kayak only to slow down at the last moment. I eventually did get my gopros on, and found the whole ordeal entertaining. I pulled my gaff out for fending purposes, but never felt compelled to use it.


While the shark was looming around, my down rigger bait was hit hard -- 300yds of line stripped off quickly. The fish(most likely another shark) was going up current, and it was impossible to chase, it eventually broke off due to my drag being deliberately too tight. Had the current been a little weaker, I would have consider spending the 2-4 hrs to reel in the shark -- on the remote chance that it might have been some better quality fish.

Just Nth of Commercial pier, the current died out, and I found another area to vertical jig. The action was good for mixed Almacos and Blackfin with an occasional Little Tunny. I saw a sailfish finning and believe live bait would have produced a hookup. Fourteen more fish later I decided to call it a day. No big trophies, but plenty of action. Most of the fish were released, except, 4 of 17 small Blackfin, the Rainbow Runner, King and a Little Tunny.

Replies

  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 5,150 Admiral
    Great report and good fishing. I give you Kayakers credit, you guys have cojones. I would be afraid of getting rolled over by a weekend warrior more so than a T head attack.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • palmbeachpetepalmbeachpete Posts: 2,620 Captain
    Sounds like a fun day on the water John. Hammerheads love to play with kayaks.
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 1,847 Captain
    conchydong wrote: »
    Great report and good fishing. I give you Kayakers credit, you guys have cojones. I would be afraid of getting rolled over by a weekend warrior more so than a T head attack.

    Exactly, sharks are not a problem, it is the irresponsible boaters that are my biggest concern.
    Sounds like a fun day on the water John. Hammerheads love to play with kayaks.

    It was fun Pete. I have had sharks follow me around for up to 30 minutes, nudge the bottom of my kayak when I pull a fish away from them, but that was the first incident when they actually tried to bite the kayak. Thankfully unsuccessful.
  • crackedconchcrackedconch Posts: 380 Deckhand
    Wow, great report!!:applause
    Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things!!

    Pioneer 197 Sportfish
    Suzuki DF150
  • kayakerinkeywestkayakerinkeywest Posts: 538 Officer
    Crossfit fishing workout. Great day.
    Youtube - KEY WEST KAYAK FISHING https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkGY6yxE8kogYHKXisMhA2w
    All About The Bait Store - http://www.allaboutthebait.com/
  • timmcollinstimmcollins Posts: 858 Officer
    Great day, congrats John!
    I have had Hammers(2) swim up and leave but never bump me. LOL. I'm sure a good pop on the noggin with a gaff handle would send them on their way but a little unsettling none the less.
    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, martini in one hand, Cheeseburger in the other, body well used and worn out and screaming WOO-HOO What a Ride!"
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 1,847 Captain
    Great day, congrats John!
    I have had Hammers(2) swim up and leave but never bump me. LOL. I'm sure a good pop on the noggin with a gaff handle would send them on their way but a little unsettling none the less.

    Thanks Tim. The shark encounter was more than a bump. I wish I had the gopro running, cause it would have made a viral clip. The shark lunged up out of the water and T-boned the side of the kayak from a 90 degree angle. Luckily the sharks mouth being well behind the snout does not make it easy for them to do damage. I agree, a sharp poke of the gaff on the noggin probably would have sent the shark swimming off.
  • inshore daveinshore dave Posts: 556 Officer
    Great report and pics John. I was out there yesterday (my first offshore trip) and got zip but had a great time anyways. saw one of the guys land a nice sailfish, The others landed some nice tunas, bonita, and some other fish. Current was running N at almost 2 knts.
    2014 Hobie PA14-Dune
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