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FRIDAY, JUNE 13, 2003

Fishing trends LAKE


Saturday’s full moon makes this an excellent weekend to catch a mess of bluegills. Look for the panfish around the mouth of Uncle Joe’s Cut, the spoil islands around the Clewiston Channel and in Pelican Bay. Bass have been schooling offshore in the morning. Later, they were being caught in holes in the grass and around reeds pitching plastic baits in Bay Bottom, Dead River, J&S and Harney Pond.


High water continued to make for tough bass fishing in the Everglades because the fish are scattered. Capt. Bob Yoder said there were four feet of water on the flats at Sawgrass Recreation Park. He caught fish working a Gambler Flapp N’ Shad on the surface between thick clumps of bulrush. John and Jimmy Trudel won a Weekend Bassers club tournament on the flats at Sawgrass with five fish weighing 20.4 pounds, including a 6.7-pounder, using a Gambler Stud.


Capt. Brian Sanders has been catching permit offshore and along with a variety of sharks, including bulls, hammerheads and lemons. The islands have been inundated with fresh water, but Sanders has been able to catch snook and redfish wherever he finds brackish water. Capt. Alan Sherman reported catching redfish, snook, tarpon and sharks on the outside flats in front of Flamingo.


Some sailfish, kingfish, bonito, barracuda and blackfin tuna were caught this week in 100-200 feet off Broward and Miami-Dade counties. There were some good catches of dolphin 3-25 pounds in 600-1,200 feet off Miami near birds and floating debris. The best kingfishing has been from Lake Worth Inlet to Jupiter Inlet. That area also has loads of bonito and a fair number of tuna.


Tarpon were biting at night at Government Cut. Bait has been plentiful at the piers. Juno Beach Pier had pompano and bonito all week. Lake Worth Pier had jacks, bonito, barracuda and blue runners. Deerfield Pier had a couple of kingfish and barracuda. Pompano Beach Pier had cero mackerel Thursday, yellowtail snapper and blue runners. Anglin’s Pier in Lauderdale-bythe-Sea had tarpon and a couple of Spanish mackerel Thursday. Dania Beach Pier had mangrove and mutton snapper and some small barracuda.


Dolphin were biting the past three days off Marathon. Most of the fish were small- to medium-sized schoolies, with a few fish 15-25 pounds. The Sea King party boat reported the best bottom-fishing was at night for yellowtail and mangrove snapper. A few mutton snapper and black grouper were caught during day trips. Fly-rodders were catching tarpon on the flats. Live-baiters were catching tarpon in the evenings by the bridges.


CALENDAR Saturday: Miami Beach Police and Firefighter Fishing Festival, Miami Beach Marina. Call 305-243-7147. Saturday: Boyton Inlet Fishing Club annual offshore tournament. Saturday-Sunday: 17th annual Fathers Day Dolphin Derby, Key Colony Beach. Call Shannon Butler at 305-743-3434. Sunday: Super Boat Grand Prix powerboat race, Marathon. Visit June 21: South Florida Jr. Classic fishing tournament, ages 8-16, 8:30-11 a.m., Quiet Waters Park, Deerfield Beach. Call 954-929-7710. June 21: DJ Laz Power 96 Fishing Tournament, to benefit the Hollywood Police Athletic League, out of Harbor Grille, Dania Beach. Call Robert Liguori at 954-444-3311. June 21: ABC Fishing Tournament, out of Boca Raton, Hillsboro and Port Everglades Inlets. Call Norma Whittier at 954-984-0075. June 21-22: Coastline Marine Stratos Boats Open Team Tournament, Lake Okeechobee out of Okee-Tantie Recreation. Entry fee $110 per team. Call 954-782-7279. June 21-22: Key West Gator Club Dolphin Derby, out of Oceanside Marina. Call John Stuempfig at 305-296-7511. June 22-27: Treasure Cay International Billfish Tournament, Abaco, Bahamas. Call 800-327-1584 or visit



Get a permit — or four Unlike other areas, permit fishing off the lower Gulf Coast can be fast and frantic. So grab a rod and reel them in, if you can keep up. ·

CHOKOLOSKEE ISLAND Fishing for permit on the shallow flats of Biscayne Bay or the Florida Keys can be a maddening exercise in futility. The fish are spooky, intolerant of poor casts and suspicious of even perfect presentations. Put those same permit in the Gulf of Mexico and the fish and the fishing take on a whole new attitude. The permit cruise on the surface in big schools and fight each other for the chance to eat your live crab. When you hook up, the school doesn’t spook. Instead, the fish linger, offering your companions the opportunity to hook a permit of their own. I know that sounds hard to believe for


anyone who has attempted to catch a permit in three feet of water. But eight miles off the outermost of the Ten Thousand Islands, in 13 feet of water, Capt. Brian Sanders, Arnie Sedel, Carroll Lee and I all fought permit at the same time. Unlike his shallow-water guiding counterparts, who have had a great day if their anglers catch one permit, Sanders loves the thrill of getting his customers simultaneous permit hookups. Sedel, of Lighthouse Point, and Lee, of Deerfield Beach, had already caught both ends of a permit doubleheader when Sanders spotted a nice-sized school waking on the surface from our right to left. As the fish came within range, Sanders told us to cast. I put my crab about 10 feet in front of the lead permit — way too far if I was fishing on the flats — and seconds later, my line came tight. As the permit streaked away, Sedel hooked up, and then Lee hooked up. Meanwhile, Sanders gleefully scrambled to the bait well at the back of his 22-foot bay boat, snatched out a crab, impaled it on a hook and flung it into the school. A moment later, we had our quadrupleheader. Here’s another benefit of fishing for permit in the Gulf: You don’t have to worry about breaking the line on sea fans, sponges, lobster traps and other obstacles that clutter the flats. Sedel landed his permit, then he took the rod from Sanders and landed that permit. Lee and I landed our permit to make us a giddy four-for-four. The fish all were 10 to 18 pounds. That’s when I knew exactly what Sanders was talking about when I asked him if he had any spots to catch sea trout. “Why trout fish when you can catch snook and permit?” said Sanders, who lives in Sunrise yet thinks nothing about making the daily 200-mile round trip to this Southwest Florida outpost. Intimately familiar with the many creek mouths, beaches, oyster bars and wrecks that hold fish in the Ten Thousand Islands, Sanders began the day a few miles offshore by having Sedel and Lee catch herring and pilchards on Sabiki rigs. While they caught bait, I messed around with the jacks and blue runners that periodically strafed the bait schools, catching a couple on a Flapp N’ Shad left on my baitcasting rod from a bass trip until something toothy, probably a Spanish mackerel, departed with my lure. By then we had more than enough bait to try for snook. Sanders ran south to Highland Beach, a long sandy stretch that faces the Gulf. “It’s a good place to start and see what’s happening,” Sanders said after he anchored his boat in a trough off the beach and rigged up some spinning rods. We cast our baits behind the boat and proceeded to catch a couple of nice jacks

GULF OF PLENTY: Capt. Brian Sanders makes the daily 200-mile commute from Sunrise to Chokoloskee to fish the Gulf where permit like this are plentiful and aggressively take a bait. Staff photos/Steve Waters

TACKLE TIPS Permit and snook are hard fighters and require stout tackle when fishing for them in the Ten Thousand Islands. Capt. Brian Sanders uses 71⁄2-foot medium-heavy Redbone spinning rods, which allow his customers to cast a live bait a long way. Sanders spools his spinning reels with 12-pound Momoi high-vis monofilament line, which helps him keep track of his anglers’ fish when they get double- and tripleheaders. Leaders consist of 40-pound Hi-Catch fluorocarbon. For snook, Sanders likes live pilchards and herring for bait. He puts a quarter- or halfounce egg sinker on the leader and puts the bait on a 3/0 live-bait hook. For permit, Sanders uses a live crab with its claws removed and hooks it just inside one of the points of the shell on a 2/0 or 3/0 live-bait hook.


BIG BEND: Carroll Lee, of Deerfield Beach, wrestles a permit to the boat. Multiple hook-ups are common when permit are schooling in the Gulf. and several small snook up to 24 inches. Then it was off to the next spot, where Lee released a small snook. The next stop was the mouth of the Broad River, where Sedel caught a catfish, and a dense swarm of mosquitoes soon had us heading to a new spot. “I’m glad the fish weren’t biting there,” Lee said as he brushed mosquitoes off his forearm. Sanders headed inside the islands to an oyster bar where the tide was just right for catching snook. As we approached, we saw a boat anchored at the side of the bar. “They’re on the wrong side,” Sanders said as he pulled in front of the bar and dropped the anchor while the two fishermen in the other boat watched. “You want to cast to the up-current side of the bar, right about there,”

Sanders said, indicating the spot with his hand. My first cast resulted in a big hit and a fish that I could not stop on the 12-pound line. Lee caught a small snook, then I caught one about 32 inches. I could see the other fishermen making a mental note of the location of our boat as they pulled their anchor and idled away. As the tide and the snook bite slowed, Sanders headed offshore for permit. Given the light winds and calm seas, conditions were ideal for seeing the fish on the surface. “You might see a tail or a wake,” said Sanders, whose long experience fishing the area has him able to see permit schools in seas of 2-3 feet. When Sanders sees a school, he gets in front of it so the fish swim to him, and he has his anglers ready and waiting

with spinning rods and live crabs. “You can either throw the crab in the middle of the school, which sometimes works, or 10-15 feet in front of the school, because an individual fish will not break away from the school to eat the crab. It’s a safety thing,” Sanders said. “A fish might follow a crab 10 feet or so, but as soon as it feels it’s too far, it’ll turn and swim back to the school.” Permit can be caught as close as three miles offshore. Sanders typically finds the biggest schools about eight miles out. While anyone can run offshore and come across a school of permit, Sanders concentrates his efforts around wrecks, which are numerous and mostly uncharted, and what he called “good, live bottom, where there’s a lot of life.” Now through August is a prime time to catch permit. “We catch them from May through November,” Sanders said, “but June, July and August can be fantastic. There’s thousands of fish here, and they migrate up and down the coast.” For information on fishing with Capt. Brian Sanders, call 954-802-0868. Steve Waters can be reached at or at 954-356-4648.

NOTEBOOK FishStock event: FishStock, a saltwater fishing festival, is at AmericanAirlines Arena at Miami today through Sunday. The event features fishing clinics, boat and tackle displays, youth activities, seafood and live music. Hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. today and Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Call 407-628-4802 or visit Boat show: The 10th annual South Florida Boat Show is today through Monday at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Featured are powerboats up to 40 feet, personal watercraft, engines, electronics, fishing tackle and dive gear. Free seminars on fishing, boating and diving will be held today through Sunday. Show hours are 4-10 p.m. today and Monday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 11

a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults and $4 for kids. Call 954-946-6164 or visit Family tournament: The Father Knows Best Fishing Tournament & Picnic is Saturday at Graham Dairy Lake in Miami Lakes, which is loaded with bass and receives little fishing pressure. The free event for adults and children starts at 8 a.m. Anglers who catch tagged fish win prizes. Call 305-843-3486. Ladies Fish-Off: The 18th annual Ladies Fish-Off is Saturday out of Tails/Jimmy’s Jerk Shack in Pompano Beach. Eligible species are kingfish, wahoo, dolphin, cobia and blackfin tuna. Kickoff and registration party are 6-10 p.m. today at Jimmy’s. Fishing hours are 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Weigh-in is at Jimmy’s from 3-5:30 p.m. Visit Kiwanis tournament: The Wilton Manors Kiwanis Club Grand Slam Fishing Tournament is Saturday. Kickoff party is

6-9 p.m. today at the clubhouse in Wilton Manors. Contact Jim Hayden at 954-565-1284 or Gator permits: Permits remain for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s fall alligator hunt. Applications are available at FWC regional offices and at Pros? results: Bill Mulligan caught 15.27 pounds of fish to win the South Florida Bass Pros? June club tournament on Lake Okeechobee out of Belle Glade. Greg Swinea was second at 13.13. Harvey Walker was third at 13.08. Walker had the biggest bass at 7.9, and Mulligan had the second-biggest at 7.85. Renegades results: Joe Timme and his son Steven caught five fish weighing 16 pounds, 14 ounces to win the Renegades Bass Club monthly club tournament on Lake Okeechobee out of Clewiston. Don Brown and Ervin Henson were second at 16-2. Bill Boliek and

Norm Pentolino were third at 15-5. Steve Albaum had the big bass at 7-10. Dennis Snyder and Jack Rice had five fish weighing 18-8 to win the Renegades Team Trail tournament Sunday out of Clewiston. Tony Masiello and Brett Isackson were second at 16-7. Steve Lake and Fran Murphy were third at 12-2. Rice had the big bass of 7-14. Bass-Holes results: Morgan Taylor caught 14 pounds, 11 ounces of fish to win the Bass-Holes monthly club tournament Saturday along Alligator Alley. Harry and Chris Schirling were second at 14-4, and Harry had the big bass of 4-12. The tournament was dedicated to the memory of Linda Burr, the wife of a club member who died of cancer last month, and raised $300 for the American Cancer Society. Fools results: Chuck Ervin caught 9.81 pounds of fish to win the Bass-NFools club tournament Sunday at Saw-

grass Recreation Park. John Cravey was second at 6.92 and had the big bass of 4.71. Jim Anderson was third at 6.42. Weekend results: Rick Krebs had five fish weighing 13 pounds to win the Weekend Bass Anglers June club tournament on Lake Okeechobee out of Belle Glade. Art Lux was second at 10-14 and had the big bass of 3-6. Larry Lane was third at 10-9. Duck gathering: The Everglades chapter of the Delta Waterfowl Foundation will hold its inaugural fund-raiser from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. June 21 at Markham Park in Sunrise. The event, which is geared toward everyone from birders to waterfowlers, features a barbecue, a retriever display, activities for kids, raffles and auctions. Cost is $17 for adults and $6 for ages 12 and under. Tickets purchased before Saturday receive five free raffle tickets. Call Ryan Tanner at 954-605-9774.


P IERS /I NLETS · Fishing for TACKLE TIPS ON OUTDOORS For information on fishing with Capt. Brian Sanders, call 954-802-0868. Steve Waters c...