Just a few weeks ago Max Puyanic would join us on the L&H for the best dolphin fishing of the summer, today he would do even better! It was slick calm without even a ripple as the L&H headed offshore. From the tower I could see a big weedline out in front of us. Before we got there I saw four twelve to fifteen pound dolphin. We got three of them and kept going. Then Max got a thirty pounder. It was easy livin! James and I would just steer the L&H along the weedline and the big mahi would stick out like a sore thumb. Some would bite and some wouldn't, but we just kept finding them. Several fish over twenty pounds, a couple in the thirties and a bunch over ten. Even the schoolies were nice size. We had it all to ourselves and left plenty of fish behind. We had our limit early and decided to leave the fish and try for some snappers. The current was too strong, but we still managed to pull about ten snappers in. It was another great day for Max, who always seems to be there at the right time. I am starting to wonder if we should sign him up for a dolphin tournament!
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
My sister Ashley's oldest son Johnny wanted to fish on the L&H for his sixth birthday. So one day we loaded up with Ashley, her husband John, her two boys Luke and John, cousin Nathan and my family to see what we could catch. Little John and his dad are accomplished fishermen out of Vero Beach, catching dolphin, kingfish and cobia. I wanted something special for Johnny so James and I had our work cut out for us. After getting bait, we decided to do some bottom fishing. As soon as the first line got down the rod started bouncing like crazy! We were getting good bites! Little John went to work and before long he had a string of nice snappers at the boat much to the delight of the six year old birthday boy! As James pulled the fish over the rail Johnny exclaimed "These are great eating mom, we can have them for dinner"!!! And Johnny went on to say that over and over through the rest of the trip. "These are great eating" Johnny would say nearly every fish that came in. That boy sure likes to eat fish! When we had about sixty snappers, Johnny shouted out with a big smile "There sure are lots of snappers off Miami"!! We decided to try for something bigger. Papa John got a couple nice groupers, and cousin Nathan got a seventeen pound grouper that put up a tough fight. Then at the end Johnny got a four foot shark that he plans to hang in his room. It was truly a great trip for everyone especially the six year old who loves eating fish!!!! Thanks guys, I cant wait until we do it again!
Max Puyanic is a good friend and a lucky fisherman. I have fished with him for many years on the L&H and had countless great trips. Today Max took his brother Larry along and since the inshore fishing was slow we decided to look for dolphin. Only a few miles out we found some sea weed and began fishing. Before long, Max and Larry were hooked up to nice mahi. And that was the way the entire morning went. Max and Larry catching nice mahi one after the other. The weather was calm and it seemed like we would go from one pack of fish to the next. It was fun to watch the two brothers in competition to see who would get the biggest fish. Around mid day Max got a nice wahoo as we were moving further offshore. In the afternoon we found lots of fish, but they were much smaller than what we had in the morning. On the way in, I saw three big mahi swimming on the surface. We threw some baits and hooked all three of them. Max ended up winning the competition with Larry when he boated the thirty pound bull. It was a fun day and another good one for Max!
Michael, Tiffany, Marissa and Nathan Smith from Houston, Texas fished with us on the L&H one afternoon. There had been some snappers around in the morning, but a friend told me he found some big schools of mahi well offshore. It was risky to make the long run on a half day, but after discussing it with the family we decided to make the run. James rode in the tower with me as we headed offshore. When I got to the area where my buddy was finding the fish it looked good and I felt confident we would find something. After a little while I saw a mahi jump several hundred yards from the boat. Then another mahi jumped and I pushed on the throttles as the L&H raced in the direction of the jumping fish. When I slowed the boat down I could see the colorful dolphin swimming all over the place. There was a big blue barrel floating nearby and it attracted fish from all around. The crew sprung into action and before long the Smith family were pulling in mahi like crazy. As fast as you could go the fish were literally fighting over the bait. Lots of nice size mahi some over twenty pounds. You could take the bait away from the small ones and give it to the good ones. It was red hot dolphin fishing. We landed a few nice tripletails, a wahoo and our limit of mahi in short order. James ran the boat home as Travis and I cleaned up. It was a great half day of fishing and a trip the Smith family will not soon forget!
Andy Greenberg has been fishing with me on the L&H for fifteen years and we have had many great trips together! Today Andy took his two sons fishing with him and he wanted to make sure they had fun. The fishing had been slow so I knew we would have to work hard. The plan was to try and get some snapper for action and then go offshore. The weather was great and conditions good and in no time we were pulling in snappers. The boys enjoyed this, but dad got the biggest one, a snapper over ten pounds. With good conditions we moved deeper and got a few nice sized groupers before heading offshore. Because the dolphin fishing was slow the team decided to try for a sword fish. We had a bite on the very first drop, but the fish came off. The second drop nothing, so we decided to give it one more try. On the last drop we hooked up! As we battled the fish to the surface, the boys were eager to see what we had. Finally the leader came up and I could see that it was a nice sword! When the fish got closer it raced toward the surface and jumped out of the water. We backed up to the fish and placed the gaffs! Everyone on board was so excited! It was just what we needed to show the boys and peak their interest. On the way back in we found some dolphin keeping a few and letting the rest go. Even with tough fishing we still manged to have a good day and get some nice fish for Andy and his boys!
Hal Weintraub is fun to have on the L&H. He likes to have a good time and always seems to be in good spirits. As long as we catch fish and keep his clients happy, Hal is happy! We got some bait and ran way to the south searching for good conditions. When we finally got down there the conditions had gotten worse. We put the baits out anyway and got some bonitas and a few big cudas. A friend who was on his way to the Bahamas told me he found some dolphin offshore so we decided to give it a try. About fifteen miles out we found a nice school of mahi and everyone enjoyed catching these fish. James finished off the school with a mahi over twenty pounds and it was time to move on. A short time later we hit another school and again everyone sprung into action to fish the school. The team did great and we only needed a few more fish to get the limit. On our way in I found another school of the hungry mahi's and we caught what we needed to get the limit and let the rest go to fight another day! At the end of the day everyone (including Hal) was happy, and that makes for a happy ending.
Mike Lawrence and his girlfriend Allison fish with us whenever they are in town. They are a pleasure to have on the boat and are happy to fish for anything that is biting. After getting the bait we anchored in close to the edge of the reef. The action was fast and furious and it seemed as soon as a bait went out, something ate it. We were getting kingfish and bonitas one after the other when Allison hooked something different. After a tough fight, she boated the thirty-two pound tuna. Soon after Mike hooked a big fish on the kite. The husky fish made some big runs, and after a long fight we gaffed the thirty-seven pound kingfish for him. With our limit of kingfish and heaps of bonitas we decided to go offshore and look for mahi. About ten miles out we found a nice weedline and got some good sized dolphin and a twenty pound wahoo. After more searching we came up on a big piece of debris. Everyone was pulling in dolphin when Allison hooked a thirty pound bull. The fish put on a great show but was no match for our lady angler! Mike added a couple more wahoo close to twenty pounds and we decided to call it a day! Thanks for everything you guys and I can't wait to see you again!
I have been fishing the Pompano Beach Fishing Rodeo on our family boat Frick and Frack for nearly thirty years. It is a great family oriented tournament. We have enjoyed great success over the past few years with two second and one first place finish over the large field of boats. This year would be much more challenging as the weather was calm and the fishing slow. The first day started very slow and we didn't have a single eligible fish until James got a nice tuna just before noon. There were a few boats catching fish, but nothing was happening for us and I knew we had to do something. I decided to make a long run south where a friend had been getting some nice fish. As we made the nearly forty mile trip the conditions went from bad to worse and I felt as if I made the wrong move. Finally we found some good water and with less than an hour left in the day we had to fish fast! We got our limit of kingfish and Greg got a nice tuna just before lines out and we were still in the running. With the long run back to port, we ended up being the very last boat to weigh our catch and had to wait in line as forty other boats weighed before us.
Day two of the tournament has shorter hours and lines are out at noon. I decided to fish a spot off Fort Lauderdale where I fished a lot with my dad, brother, and grandfather and always had good success. Day two was flat calm and made kite fishing nearly impossible. With my long time friend Mike Welter running the flat lines and everyone working together we had a great day. We got some nice kings and a tuna right away and everyone was confident. The whole team worked great together and we ended up with a limit of tuna and limit of kings and even a big snapper for Laurel just before lines out. As soon as the tournament ended we reeled up everything and raced for the weigh scales. Today the Frick and Frack would be the first boat to weigh in and there was no waiting in the dreaded weigh in line. Our second day catch gave us the top overall boat for the day and two hundred thirty-four total pounds. We finished second place overall in the tournament missing first by only three tenths of one pound. James was awarded top junior angler, Laurel got third for small fry and we ended up as third place family. It was another fun and successful family fishing tournament!
Ed and Barbara Grace fished with us last year. They are some of the nicest people we know and I enjoy fishing with them very much. With the tuna fishing better in the afternoon we decided to leave late and stay late. After getting a bunch of bait we ran to the north and found some good conditions. Again we put up three kites with three baits each along with some flat and bottom baits. Before long Ed got a nice king and then another and another. We then released a sail and got a big tuna so I knew we were in a good spot. As the afternoon progressed we started getting more and more tuna bites. Ed, Barbara and even Barbara's father got in on the action. The Grace family released a couple more sails and we were looking good. With most of the tuna close to thirty pounds, I asked Ed if he would mind if my daughter Laurel got one. The IGFA record for female small fry was twenty-six and I was confident we could beat it. A short time later, a big blackfin jumped out of the water on the left middle kite bait. Laurel grabbed the rod, reeled tight, and hooked the fish. The tuna raced offshore on the surface, taking a bunch of line! After that the fish went deep, but this tuna was no match for Laurels determination. After fifteen minutes her brother James had the leader and we gaffed the fish and pulled it in. The tuna would later weigh twenty-nine and a half pounds! Another pending IGFA record for Laurel! The Graces would finish the day with a few more tunas to give us nine total for the day and a lot of smiles.
Day two would prove to be a little slower, but we still managed a few snappers, a few kings, four amberjacks and three tunas. It was another great time spent fishing with the Grace family! Thank You both so very much!
Gabriel Baber had fished with other boats from our dock with very little success. So after seeing one of the catches from the L&H he decided to try his luck more time. On a half day fishing we got some nice kings, amberjacks, bonitas, and a triple header of big blackfin tunas. With good success on a half day, Gabriel quickly booked us for a full day trip. With a late start on the full day I felt the pressure to get a bunch of fish and keep Gabriel happy. We got bait and tried a few shipwrecks. Commercial boats were on the spots, but we were still able to get our limit of nice amberjacks. I ran the L&H south to a spot where there had been some tunas. The conditions were great and we put up three kites, some flat lines and bottom baits. It was hard to keep up with all the lines out, because we kept getting bites. Snappers on the bottom, kings on the flat lines and big blackfin tunas on the kites. After some nice snappers and our limit of kings, Gabriel got a real big sailfish that we kept for a trophy in his new house in Key Biscayne. As the afternoon wore on we released a couple more sails and started to concentrate on the kites and fish for the big tunas. With three kites holding three baits each there was still a lot going on. It was some of the best tuna fishing we had seen in a few years. Blackfin tunas from twenty-five to thirty-five were jumping out of the water on the kite baits giving us some outstanding bites!! It was so much fun to watch, we didn't even seem to mind if they got off. When the tenth big tuna of the day hit the fishbox, the lid would not close and there was no more room! It was time to go home. Back at the marina, another captain and his mate (who were fishing in the same area) watched as the L&H unloaded the catch and all they could do was shake their heads in disbelief! Needless to say Gabriel was pumped up and now he calls us to go fishing whenever he is in town.