Tuna City...Our Florida in February

Tuna City...Our Florida in February
For those of us who take our fishing seriously February can be a very exciting, rewarding month. Hopefully the weather Gods/Godess
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will cooperate. Our Floridan in February is Tuna City Time
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February, 2017, was the time for tuna.
The bite was on from the beginning, February 3, 2017:
Tim drove from Indiana, over 1,000 miles, to catch our tuna:
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The bite was strong: 
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Both night & day:
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In addition, the very beautiful African pompano were showing up on a very regular basis:
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What a way to kick-off one of the coldest months of the year:
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Replies

  • harbisonharbison Posts: 2,674 Captain

    January, 2018, is looking just as good. Mr. David Sorrells gladly drove the 535 miles from Canton, North Carolina, to fish our Florida waters. David reports...This trip was fantastic! I will be back soon & often:
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    Our great state has so much to offer both native and tourist alike. We love to showcase our Paradise on earth. The Florida Fisherman ll has overnight trips scheduled for February, 2, 9, 16, & 23. It's Tuna City Time. The blackfins are winning way too many battles. We need help!
    With cooler weather the tuna have now moved in, in numbers, under 120 feet. These extended overnight trips are for everyone. I am 76 years old, if I can do it anyone can. This makes a huge difference:
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    To me showing off our Sunshine State is a passion. What an honor it would be to photograph & video you & your great catch. Hope you are not camera shy. Our reports are viewed by thousands all over the country.
    This just in from Santa Rosa, California, 2,979 miles away
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    Dustin says...

       "Thanks for the great pictures and reports from your beautiful state, Bob"

    Tuna City...Our Florida in February
    Bob Harbison  Florida Outdoor Writers Association

  • harbisonharbison Posts: 2,674 Captain

    Unfortunately the 2/2/2018 full moon 44 hour snapper/tuna trip has been canceled.
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  • drgibbydrgibby Posts: 1,232 Officer

    She wins again!
    Seems to be a recurring theme the past few weeks............

  • andrewthe1andrewthe1 Posts: 608 Officer

    Man this is a bucket list trip for me, any info on what the tuna are caught on, jigs, bait etc?

    we need more internet money
  • TennesseeDaveTennesseeDave Posts: 303 Deckhand

    They catch them trolling between stops and with flat lines when anchored. Occasionally on bottom rigs as they go up and down. Don't see many people jigging for them like they do on the Keys party boats.

  • harbisonharbison Posts: 2,674 Captain

    Thanks Dave!
    The very best time is immediately before the sun comes up. But they can be caught all night & day. Flat line with wither live pins or frozen sardines works well.

  • andrewthe1andrewthe1 Posts: 608 Officer

    @harbison said:
    Thanks Dave!
    The very best time is immediately before the sun comes up. But they can be caught all night & day. Flat line with wither live pins or frozen sardines works well.

    Thanks Harbison, is it hard to not get tangled with other guys freelining- does it have to be done from the stern like some night snapper boats?

    we need more internet money
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 2,674 Captain

    Freelining, depending on current, can be done from anywhere on the boat. The Florida Fisherman is 72 foot long, 25 foot wide; that's a lot of room. The boat maxes out at 50 guest. Freelining is much more difficult with 40+ on board. Other than during red snapper season there is usually plenty of room.

  • dovedove Posts: 19 Greenhorn

    Tuna at 120 feet -- wow. How warm does the water have to be? Could we find them on a 1 day trip?

  • Firetruck1Firetruck1 Posts: 125 Deckhand

    Looks like there are ARS in these pictures.... Aren't they out of season ?

  • SloughSlough S.w. Ga./ St. JamesPosts: 4,494 Captain

    Heck of a report

    I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you
  • Reel-LuckyReel-Lucky Oldsmar, FLPosts: 2,936 Moderator

    @Firetruck1 said:
    Looks like there are ARS in these pictures.... Aren't they out of season ?

    Old photos.

  • harbisonharbison Posts: 2,674 Captain

    "Looks like there are ARS in these pictures.... Aren't they out of season ?" Good point! Thanks for questioning.
    They were indeed 'Old photos' covering different months of 2017. Wanted to show the tuna catch as on-going. Hope to be able to do the same with 2018. All out of season, over the limit, fish are vented & released to fight again.
    This year is starting off good. We in Florida are so fortunate, there is always fish, plenty of fish, to be caught. 1/19/2018:
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    Most of the snapper in that picture were vermilion not red snapper, some were indeed American reds.
    African pompano: Another fish of interest is the African pompano. Did you know that African pompano are regulated, even in federal waters, by the FWC? NOAA does not regulate African pompano, as such, the FWC does. The boat limit is 2 per day with NO two day limit for multi-day trips. All over the limit African pompano are vented and released.
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    Gag grouper: 2017 was a tremendous year for gags. 2018 is looking just as good. June is once again going to be something very special. Both American reds & gags (hopefully) will be open at the same time. Many gags were caught on the 39 hour 1/19/18 trip. All were vented & released to fight again:
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    We in Florida are so fortunate, there is always fish, plenty of fish, to be caught.

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