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 – Browards 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.
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Fall kicking in – Are you locked and Loaded 10/10/2010

Well get it together if your not geared up,the fish are arriving and I would suggest to be ready.

The smaller migratory species have begun to move in and then the maturer ones come just after. These will be bigger and a lot more fun, we have seen Juvi Pompano with a few keepers each day along browards beaches, Bluefish are thick, Snook in the troughs, Tarpon are passing heading south in small pods of 6 to 8 and most are over 100lbs, Spanish Mackerel have moved back into the shallows now but we should see more once the water Temps make a more permanent drop into the middle to upper 70s.

Snapper bite has been pretty good with nice size Mutton snapper and some big Mangroves, day time some nice Yellowtail snapper.

The mullet are still flowing south in very good numbers and I am still seeing pilchards around and now have started to see the Sardines pass heading south, Ribbonfish have also started showing at night and a few pods of Goggle eyes.

I would bet that on the next good NE wind the bite picks up and if we could get an early cold front this would just help to kick it in to full gear.

So be ready to do some fishing, reline, stock up and prepare to catch some fish if you have the time.

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June – July Ideas and suggestions for Broward county

Family Fishing Summertime, this is for those Moms and Dads that have plans or ideas of maybe taking the little one or ones fishing during summer break. It’s simple, what ever they catch will be great for them so don’t stress and use this simple technique. Cast out fresh pieces of shrimp fished on a double guppy rig ( 2 or more hooks on a rig spaced 8 to 10 inches with the weight on the bottom ) Aka chicken or pompano rig. I use a light rod small enough for them to handle with a 1 or 2 oz pyramid weight and number 6 or 8 circle hook size (this is a very small hook), fish this anywhere there is sand from the beach or pier area and also on the sandy sides of Jetties. Keep the line taught and just let them hold the rod and when the fish takes the bait it should hook itself. We should have an abundance of sand perch (mojarras), blue runners, small jacks, grunts, and croakers all will be a blast for kids under 12 and they should not have to wait to long for a bite. Don’t forget a rag or gloves, kids can be kind of funny about touching fish and they are much easier coached into it with a rag for that photo op.

Dave Wimberley with 70 to 80 pound Tarpon

So for the salty ones – Bait Bait Bait, pilchards should stack up pretty solid for June, goggle eyes should be here and scattered small schools of mullet.
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