Radiant Fishing on the Vessel New Moon: A Report
Ocean fishing off South Florida’s Gold Coast during April and May can be truly golden. This is an excellent transitional period that features the presence of cooler weather fish like sailfish, mackerel, and kingfish alongside inshore pushes of gamesters like blackfin tuna, groupers, and snappers.
I had some family members who were ardent anglers converging on Miami during this period. Just before their arrival, there was a string of three flat summery days which caused the ocean fishing to fall off. But by the time of their arrival in the Magic City, the weather conditions resumed with the lively, vibrant breezes of Spring. The weather forecast for the day of our trip called for brisk southwest winds. This was coupled by a new moon spring tide which could make for a fast moving water column from top to bottom.
I booked the charter boat New Moon out of Haulover Marina, quite close to the inlet of the same name. My friend Adam Goldstein was the first mate and the skipper was Captain Jack (as he is known). Though circumstances forced myself, Anthony Ho (of Curacao) and Gary Mims (of Miami) to grab a Sunday afternoon charter, our concern about tons of boat traffic was completely unfounded. As inshore anglers, we forgot that the ocean is a rather big place.
As we left the dock, Adam netted a large amount of horse pilchards that completely blacked out their huge livewell. Adam mentioned that the live bait would be our basic offering for the top and mid-depths. For our bottom rigs, Adam and Jack planned on adding a chunk of fresh goggle eye to the live bait.
We made a short run to a wreck a few miles from the inlet and anchored upcurrent of a sizeable wreck. After the vessel was in place, Adam started chumming copious amounts of pilchards. The action began immediately and never stopped for the five hours we fished. We caught and released kingfish, bonito, black grouper, gag grouper, yellowtail snapper, mutton snapper, sandbar sharks, and a large hammerhead shark. In addition, we hooked four sailfish, but they all came unbuttoned. It was a truly exciting trip.
New Moon Sport Fishing
10800 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, Florida
Pioneering Conservationist Aldo Leopold once stated “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.” I recently read this in a few brief excerpts of Leopold’s commentary and gave it some worthy thinking.
Simply stated, those that continually immerse/educate themselves on temperamental ecosystems better have strong will and thick skin as the changes, albeit nominal and often not easily seen by the general public, typically are unsettling. South Florida, like many beautiful habitats, is sadly riddled with significant issues relating to responsible usage and general preservation efforts of our natural resources. Resource management and subsequent funding for it typically falls by the wayside of many other politically driven profits centers. A sad cycle of corking holes in the dam until it warrants itself unrepairable, then 10X the capital has to be allocated to fix it, meanwhile ecosystems have suffered.
It’s without question as an avid outdoorsman and father trying to raise kids whom roughly spend 75% of their time in the confides of concrete, outdoor exposure and conservation are naturally of the utmost importance to me.
no matter what side of the fence you sit, prioritizing what’s best for the environment in your daily choices as a consumer/voter can be difficult. Yet shameless choices can be seen every day and exploration of our greatest natural treasures can often be a truly sad affair…….
Of course the current “system” never meets everyone’s needs and regulatory decisions are often made by those who rely on uneducated deliveries of “qualified” data. Yet as no surprise to anyone, both political and regulatory decisions are influenced by those with deep pockets. Yet our elected “peers” continually misuse funds, and cut funding to nearly all agencies in charge of managing our irreplaceable national parks. While my knowledge is local, this issue is vast. However many Corporations and Non-profits are making strides to help were they can, after all without the resource they too are dead in the water (no pun intended). From Costa Del Mar, to Hell’s Bay Boatworks, to Patagonia, to Simms etc. ………many are playing a larger role in conservation efforts, they frankly have no choice yet oddly many company’s do not participate in such philanthropy.
Project Permit hosted by Bonefish & Tarpon Trust and sponsored mainly by Costa Del Mar and the March Merkin Permit Tournament provides a glimmer of faith that fishing oriented companies might follow suit and stand behind reputable conservation oriented causes.
I assume this view has given anglers weak knees since sight fishing on the flats began………….
It always amazes me how impressionable young kids are, so I make a decent effort to explain the reasoning behind choices made on the water. Now, I am not immune to mistakes and have made many, but any advice I can provide to others, particularly my children, to not repeat is a win. One of my most favored reggae prophets once preached “don’t let your mistakes be the mistakes of your children”. This is a strong suggestion that sometimes gets lost with all the white noise of the daily grind.
keeping an eye out for this fishery is a cause I can stand behind with ease……………
at the end of the day, anyone lucky enough to bring one of these fish boat side provides enough of the “hype” to keep you coming back…………
“The world lives within us, we live within the world. By damaging the living planet we have diminished our existence.” (George Monbiot)
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Apparently I did not know this.. but 12 of the 19 IGFA Triple tail world record has came out of Canaveral Florida. I was informed of this fact when I had a chance to fish with Captain Scott Lum last week.
Scott loves triple tail fishing and at one time held an IGFA record himself. This time of yeah he consistently gets on the triple tail bite using shrimp pilchards and my favorite artificial lures.
It was a beautiful morning with a slight over cast skies. The wind was from the east which made it a bit rough on the Atlantic ocean side but it was definitely do able. Scott tells me he likes day like today. It keeps many people off the water and the fish just seems to bite better.
I met up with Scott and his friend Jessica a fun day of triple tail fishing. After he got some extra shrimp we helped him launch the 23′ Contender. I was glad were in a bitter boat versus a day boat on rough days like this. I have camera gear and definitely prefer to stay dry.
It didn’t take long before we started to get on fish. Scott rigged up a shrimp and I was used a Mission Fishin 3/4 oz jig head with a Savage Gear 3d shrimp. Scott keeps telling he likes lighter colors but I only had the darker avocado color on me.
After about 15 minutes the first fish came on board a nice keeper triple tail on my not so light Avocado colored 3d shrimp. I turned around and jokingly said “I’m showing you wrong on your home turf!”
The bite was very consistent and everyone started to catch some nice triple tails. A couple was caught on live shrimp and for the most part the artificial lures did much better for us.
The big difference for me came when I changed out to the 1/2 oz 3d Manic shrimp in the glow color. I must have caught 7 triple tail on it before loosing it to snag.
The biggest fish came in at 74 cm. We know this because we had an IGFA ruler on board. The current length record is 69cm. Yes I would have held the new IGFA triple tail length record except for one technicality. The length record is catch and release only and we kept the fish for dinner.
Overall we caught probably 20 triple tail this day. This day will go down as the best triple tail fishing I have ever had and they I almost had the IGFA length record.
Scott tells me the next couple months the triple tail fishing is quite consistent and that 74 cm is not uncommon to catch this time of year. I will definitely have to back and try again.
Here is a fun video I shot of the day’s fishing action.
Did a quick interview with the cool guys at Salt Strong. Salt Strong is a couple local guys that loves their saltwater fishing. They focus on tips, tricks and product review videos as well as article. Go check them out.
This time of year is prime season for “laid-up” Tarpon. Fishing the west central area can have its ups and downs but lately we have been on the up and up. Tarpon are starting to come out of the rivers and work their way onto the flats and stage in river mouth basins.
When targeting these early season fish it is best to remain stealthy and be very aware of your surroundings. The murky river water makes it hard to see these laid-up fish and you may end up spooking them before you can get a shot. They may sit on the surface or on the bottom depending on their mood. At times they may even sit with their tail slightly out of the water like a redfish would on the flats. (Can you see the fish in the photo below?)
When presenting a fly or artificial lure to these wary fish be sure to keep a safe distance and use a very subtle fly or weightless lure. More times than not these fish want the fly/lure just inches away from their nose, seeing how they want to exert the least amount of energy possible. Start throwing about 2.5′ in front of their face and if they don’t react try the next cast about half the distance until you get a reaction. I will often just let the fly/lure fall in front of their face and not even move it, this can often be the most successful tactic to trigger a bite.
When you get the bite hold on, set hard and smile!
Catch em up,
If you are one of the non conformist you probably owns a not so popular smart phone. You already know that Lifeproof and other companies do not make a case for it. So what do you do when you want to get on the water but also want access to your phone?
There are plenty of zip lock bag like options out there but this product for $40 actually has a vacuum valve that totally seal your phone from water and it’s air tight.
All you do is put the phone in, use the included pump or your mouth to take drain the air and you have a water/air tight phone case. It’s that simple.
Amazon link: http://tinyurl.com/nmoavwx
Here is a candid video of my friend Butch demonstrating it in a parking lot a couple days ago.