I launched off the beach at 530am in flat calm conditions. Due to the full moon I did not expect to catch many goggle eye baits, but to my surprise I had a dozen in the tank by 615am at which time I headed out deeper and had two live baits out on the troll by 645am. There was no morning bite:( Around 7:30am, I caught a live Speedo and put it out on the slow troll for over an hour. Finally about an hour later it was sideswiped while dead on the troll. Based on the chops, I suspect it was a shark.
On the radio, the Charter fleet out of Ft. Lauderdale was reporting that they had located a wolf pack of Wahoo. Their morning count was 5 hoos in the 30-40lb class. There were a lot of bait sized schools of Little Tunny, so I tried live bait fishing them also without any luck. For a whole morning of trolling baits I had a big cuda, Little Tunny and lost 2 big fish on the bottom structure.
For the afternoon I decided to go deep looking to jig up some blackfin tuna. The kayakers out of Dania had landed a few the previous day. Current was 1kt Sth in 200ft, and slightly more in 300. I spent 2 hours jigging in 320-380ft of water for zilch. Even though at times I jigged through some good fish marks, not a single strike. I guess they had fed during the full moon, so moved in shallower to fish some more wrecks. For Kayak Wars, I needed 4 more fish to reach the 500th for the year. Surely I could jig up some Almacos, but they were alluding me. Wreck after wreck, I kept getting skunked. Finally in the late afternoon, I found a spot where the fish bit.
I jigged up 3 Almacos , and then hooked into a solid fish that was pulling out heavy drag. Kayak Wars fish # 500 felt like a big Amberjack that had a side jig hook snagged. I was not far off a wreck and the fish had already pulled out about 60ft of line. To avoid a cut off, I thumbed down on the spool and held on. Miraculously the fish stopped, the line did not break, nor did the hooks straighten out. I started gaining line and was pleasantly surprised to see a nice Black Grouper.
After 3 years of offshore kayak fishing, this was my first good sized Grouper, and thankfully in season. The next two drops of my jig were smoked by unstoppable fish that broke off. I continued to jig on the metered fish, but the fish had shut off. The sun was close to setting, so I called it a day and headed in. All fish released except the grouper and the little tunny.
Thanks LMK, it was a long day for next to nothing, which made it that much sweeter when the grouper came up.
Thanks Vinny, It was more colorful than I would have expected -- had to reference a placard for ID confirmation. The Grouper fight was more of a straight up and down with a brief tow towards the structure. Sailfish, Big Sharks and Tarpon provide a better South Florida Sleigh ride !
Thanks Flip, I thought I saw you out there on a paddle kayak.
Thanks Pete -- better than 2015, Maybe luck, but It is good to feel like one is improving.
Thanks Hobie Angler -- That was the nicest kayak grouper I have seen taken locally.
Thanks Tim -- Agree, persistance did pay off.
Thanks, I was in 220ft of water. Pompano Beach is a hard hit area -- hard to believe I got a grouper there. This is the time of year that they are sometimes away from structure and in shallow along the beaches. Two weeks left before the season closes -- good luck.
Great Job, Sir
Thanks Karl, I have definitely put in some time fishing.
Oh, yeah, I was out of Boynton the 12th. Fishing was slow that day. Also saw a group of 3 paddle kayakers on the 15th off pompano, guess you were not one of them -- Did not see the big Costa Rica flag. How are you liking your Stealth Pro Fisha 525 ? Looks super fast and seaworthy.