BF’s Quick guide to nailing Big fish on the Keys Bridges



Written by Tom Argue…aka….Boatless Fisherman Boatless fisherman

This is a QUICK HOW TO, it will get you started on the bridges in the keys and I am sure you can use this info other places also, I will give you a tutorial on Snook, Tarpon, Permit, Snapper and the main thing how to get Bait.
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BEER, Shrimp nets and Great Friends make great memorys

I have had some great times with Fishing friends and just regular friends shrimping, lots of Laugh, Jokes, and just down right ribbing and drinking.

Most nights when they run the wind will be blowing SE at about 16 to 22mph and sometime a nip in the air that ends up getting you when your cleaning the shrimp, your tips of your fingers will go numb and you will not realize how many times you have poked and slashed your finger tips.

Dave Wimberly shrimping 2011 February

A Good Friend Dave W aka Pompano Wimberly

That sweet pain will follow these great times.

Stop at the store Beer and ICE as we empty the beer from the cooler as we shrimp, this will give the room we need for the Shrimp we catch and helps us to drink fast “just Joking” well there’s nothing like slamming a yoohoo, so fill it with Beer over 21, under 21 Orange Soda and Yoohoo it works just as good.

Jeff Dillon shrimping 2011 February

Another Good friend Jeff Dillon shrimping 2011 February

Finding your place at the location you have chosen is always first on the list, once you get there it is time to put together and put down your first piece of equipment the lantern or Battery fish lights which have become very popular, I am old school propane lantern with a custom dome hood to reflect the glare, this is then attached to a rope to be lowered 2 to 3 feet from the water, “not to close” it will get taken out on a big wave, if it has been on for a while it will crack or shatter the glass this can stop you in your tracks, remember tide and that if its coming in the water is going to get closer to the bottom of the lantern So be careful
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February – Broward County South Florida Boatless Fishing Report Forecast

Well made it through the lull of January, this month things will definitely start to pick up Boatless fishing wise, End of February marks the start of Spring for our springaling fish.

Bait for this months will be the same as last, Ballyhoo, Google eyes, Greenies “Thread Herring” and some Mullet in small schools lulling around the shore.

What we should see being caught as the month goes on is Bluefish and they should be on the larger size, every few years we see the 12 to 15lbders move back north and lets hope this springs brings them through, everyone always likes catching the Big Blues. Pompano will start to show in better numbers and will be best caught to the south end of Broward, south of Port everglade that area is always best for the spring. Spanish mackerel will also start to show in better numbers. Snapper, Croakers, Whitting, Margates will be in the mix also.

Snook season Opens on the 1st of February and should be more productive towards the end of the month as shrimp starts to show up more in our waters, Your best bet from the piers and Inlets will be a live shrimp used with a troll rite or a live shrimp live-lined and worked in towards the structure you are fishing. They love those shadow-lines so be ready as you come into them or through them. Another Pier method is walking the dog that is an egg weight on your main line and a 3 to 4 foot flouro carbon leader and a 1/0 to a 3/0 short shank live bait hook and just walk the pier and keep your shrimp at about a foot and half to 2 foot above the bottom you can also bounce it on the bottom as you walk the length of the pier. If you are fishing the beaches for Snook try a olive green xrap at daybreak or sunset that time makes it harder for them to see it clearly and you have a better chance with artificials and you also can try a DOA they work sometimes very well. Snook only opens for the Alantic side and is 1 per day and 28” to 32”

That’s right those pink delicious shrimp that come from the south will hopefully start to make a showing, I have heard that they have been moving in and around the Rickenbacker and have heard of some nice poundage taken and that is why I am mentioning it this early and so its just a matter of timing and wind to get them here to Broward county.

Here is some good indicators that they could run, a good wind from the west at 15 or more for a day or so and then moving to a SE direction and holding for 3 or so days, all this coinciding with a full moon. February is only the start and I have seen shrimp run well into April.

Happy Fishing, the Boatless Fisherman…aka Tom Argue…a Fishing Friend

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January – Broward Boatless Fishing Forecast

So the New Year Begins.
Bait in the water for this month will be Ballyhoo, Thread Herring, Goggle eyes, maybe some Sardines as well. This month is the lull before the Spring run starts to kick in so if we get lucky with the winds and they keep pushing against our coast from the SE or NE this should help to keep bait in the surf and if there is food for the fish the fish are there to be caught.

Fishing this month will improve as the month goes on, with King Mackerel, Cobia and Spanish macks being the more prevalent fish on northern Broward piers. The days when the water is calmer and clearer will be the days to set back and keep a rod rigged with a large Cobia jig, watch for rays and those Dark moving fish behind them or around them should be cobia, toss out past them, give a couple of jigs to get there attention and they should be on it. If you are going to fish a bottom bait try using a Blue runner head. Another fish that will be caught will be King Mackerel mostly on the Northern piers a single trolly rig or as others call it a slider rig with a live Goggle eye or Ballyhoo will do the trick.

We should also see after any storms and rough water some nice size Mutton Snappers move in and around all the piers. I am never surprised when I see a 7lb to 10lb Mutton caught this time of year.

Also a good mix of fish will be caught from our Southern Broward piers, Spanish Mackerel, Bonita, Amber jacks “Lesser and Greater” Make sure you know the difference because the size on a lesser is not less than 14″ or more than 22″ fork -Daily Bag Limit is 5 per harvester. For the Greater Amber Jack minimum size limit is 28 inches fork length, Daily bag limit of one fish per harvester per day,
and they look very similar. Cobia are around the Southern piers but there are many shorty’s that do not make the number unlike the ones to the North. Bluefish are always a sure bet at night and numerous Black tip and Atlantic Sharpnose Sharks, some Mangrove snapper are also caught under the structures at night.

From the surf the Southern end will be better with Pompano starting to show, along with 3 to5 lb jacks, there will also be plenty of Pan fish like “Mojarra,” large ones, Croakers, Southern or Gulf Kingfish “Whiting” these can be caught from the beach using a double hook rig like a pompano rig with small pieces of shrimp.

Our Inlets will produce some great fish also, fishing live shrimp on a troll rite on incoming or outgoing you may get a Snook “Out of Season let it go”, Sheephead, Tripletail and 6 to 8lb Cubbera or Mangrove snapper working the edge drop offs from the sides through the inlets.

What is great about fishing this month and the next couple of months is we have a lot of different fish around so you don’t know what you may catch until you try so get out and find a nice place to take some time and fish and enjoy this time of year it only comes once a year.

Happy Fishing, the Boatless Fisherman…aka Tom Argue…a Fishing Friend
Please Visit my Web Site www.boatlessfishing.com

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BRrrrrr Winter Fishing in South Florida

Ahhhh the cold air is moving in and the wind is strong and the bite has lessened since fall, but fish are here and it is all in the method you use and the time you put in.

This is not a time that you can run out and fish for an hour and get a bunch of fish, the only fish that will be in abundance at night will be Bluefish, During the Day maybe Bluefish. Small Sharks will be also around in numbers at night and Daytime. Spanish Mackerel, Pompano, Snappers all species will show everyday for a spurt if were lucky we will get more then a few in a short burst.
So this is to give you some pointers as to how to fish now and to help you with your patience.

First thing is bait.
Fresh Fresh Fresh this is key, I would get fresh Shrimp, Pilchard, goggle eyes, BALLYHOO will be the bait.
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Eeeeek BLUEFISH “Get Out of the Water”

Screams of panic, then the action of those screams “the people swimming” running for their lives, as Huge schools of Bluefish are moving North on their Spring migrations and are at consistently 14 to 18 pounds and traveling in numbers that only nightmares are made of and they are consuming everything in their paths, swimmers run from the water with bites in there extremity and bleeding.”its a scary moment because most are thinking sharks” but its only bluefish the Atlantic piranha its 1969 South Florida. Those were the Days, will we see them again I doubt it marine management could never bring them back unless they shut them down to harvesting period for many years.

Well we don’t get massive schools of bluefish like the 60s but we do still get bluefish runs, The spring brings us the bigger ones moving north and the fall has the 1 to 6 lb range, more schools in the fall but the little monsters of the shore can still go as big as 20lbs on the spring run north.

Eric catching Bluefish on Top water lures

Eric catching Bluefish on Top water lures

Well when these bluefish are schooling through in large schools they are easy because they hit anything that moves, a large Top water is great because you get to watch them chasing and fight for it.

But when they are few it makes it tricky, here is some suggestions for Atlantic side of Florida.
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