Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sailfishing in South Florida

The wind has been blowing non-stop in south Florida for weeks now causing the ocean to be extremely rough, with small craft advisories almost every single day. After being stuck on land for so long I finally decided to head out anyway to do some kite fishing, at least I knew it would be windy enough to fly the kites. Before we left the dock I cast net some mullet to throw in the live well just incase. We left the dock and headed to the gas dock to fill up and buy a couple dozen goggle eyes and pilchards, from there we headed out Hillsboro inlet.

We ran a little bit south and out to around 120 feet of water and started setting up the kites and put a few flat lines out as well. Within 10 minutes of getting all the baits out we had a double header with 2 nice size sails that we released at the boat. A little while after that we watched a King Fish skyrocket on our far kite bait, and also caught a few skip jack tuna’s. Then the sail bite really turned on, during the next hour and a half we hooked 6 more sails, bringing 4 of them to the boat. After that we decided it was time to head in because it was so rough and 2 of the people on the boat were feeling seasick.
Even though not all of us were feeling so well by the end, we we’re all really happy we went out anyway and had an awesome time catching sails.

Capt. George Cheshier

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With winter rapidly approaching we begin to get a bit more hesitant to enter the water. Gone are the days of bikini's and boardshorts for hours on end floating happily in the water unless you are #1 brave enough or #2 smart enough to travel further south for the winter.
This past week just before the onset of the most current chilly weather set itself down upon Florida I was able to sneak out and do some diving to capture some pics that will hopefully carry us through the winter and remind us that there is still something amazing down there below the surface to dream about and we need only grab a wetsuit and grit our teeth a bit to enjoy it.

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The first picture is of a mature male Hogfish. These guys are one of the wildest looking fish in the ocean and one of the best eating as well making them a favorite catch from North Carolina to Venezuela. They eat small shrimp and crustaceans and despite their numbers are rarely caught on hook and line so the only way to land them is usually by spearfishing or Fish Traps which have luckily been banned in most places we visit.

They have a few different color phases but this white with black markings is one of the coolest to see so I was lucky to be in the right place and get some good shots before he was on his way.
All these pics were taken while freediving in 45' of water. I was laying on the bottom waiting for the fish to come to me and as you can see from the pics, if you are patient enough they will present themselves proudly displaying their fins and markings to the world.
Amazing fish and one that is a symbol of Spearfishing in Florida. More pics to come.
Cameron Kirkconnell