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FRIDAY, JUNE 2, 2006


FishingTrends LAKE OKEECHOBEE Plenty of big bass were biting softplastic topwater lures such as Gambler Flapp N’ Shads and Cane Toads in the grass along the west side of the lake. Spinnerbaits also were working. Bluegills were biting live worms and crickets in Harney Pond Canal. The lake level was 12.67 feet.

FRESHWATER/ EVERGLADES Lots of bass were still biting stick worms, jerkbaits and Cane Toads in Everglades canals, especially along Alligator Alley and in the L-68 Canal, which runs north from Everglades Holiday Park to the Alley. Sawgrass Recreation Park had lots of bass biting plastic lures and shiners in the east and north canals.

FLORIDA BAY/ 10,000 ISLANDS Capt. Brian Sanders said plenty of snook, including some big ones, were biting around the outside islands off Chokoloskee Island, along with a few redfish and tarpon. Permit, cobia, kingfish, goliath grouper and sharks were biting around Gulf wrecks.

GOLD COAST OFFSHORE Dolphin were still biting all along the coast, and so were kingfish. Capt. Dave Kostyo said schoolie dolphin were biting from the blue-green edge out to 15 miles. Anglers who were running way offshore for bigger dolphin were also catching yellowfin tuna. Robert Deignan and his crew on Diversification found some birds 25 miles offshore and caught half a dozen yellowfins up to 63 pounds. Mark Reeder and his son Brett, and Greg Lowe and his son Brandon, caught a 65-pound yellowfin on a trolled ballyhoo that took 75 minutes to land. They also had four schoolie dolphin and four tripletail.

INLETS/PIERS Big tarpon were biting live crabs at night at Government Cut. Juno Beach Pier anglers had lots of croakers all week, a few Spanish mackerel, jacks and blue runners. Deerfield Beach Pier anglers caught some blue runners, jacks and snapper. Pompano Pier had a few keeper cobia, yellowtail snapper and mackerel.

THE KEYS Bud N’ Mary’s Marina in Islamorada said lots of dolphin were biting 15-25 miles offshore, and blackfin tuna were at the humps. Yellowtail snapper were biting on the reefs, and mangrove snapper were starting to show up in 80 feet. Tarpon were biting live bait at the bridges.

Calendar Today-Monday: 13th annual South Florida Boat Show, Miami Beach Convention Center. Admission $8 adults, $4 children. Call 954-946-6164 or visit Saturday: Plantation Flotilla 38, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, one-day boating safety program, 8 a.m., Plantation Community Outreach Center at Broward Mall. Cost $45. To register, call Ron Albert at 954-915-0667. Saturday: Bimini Hoe Outrigger Canoe Race from Bimini to Miami. Awards ceremony 2 p.m., Bayside Hut, Rickenbacker Causeway. Visit Saturday: Palm Beach County KDW Classic out of Riviera Beach Municipal Marina. Call 561-832-6780 or visit Saturday: 10th annual Stiles Corporation Miami Dolphins Fishing Tournament out of Miami Beach Marina. Call 954-452-7171 or visit Monday-June 9: 32nd annual Don Hawley Invitational Tarpon Tournament, Islamorada. Call 305-664-2444 or send e-mail to Wednesday: West Palm Beach Fishing Club meeting, 7 p.m., 201 Fifth St. Capt. Scott Hamilton discusses how to catch dolphin on a fly rod. Call 561-832-6780 or visit June 10: Team Renegades bass tournament out of Everglades Holiday Park. Entry fee $70 per boat. Call Fred Shuey at 954-775-6629. June 10-11: Palm Beach County FOOLS Saltwater Fishing Tournament out of Riviera Beach Marina. Entry fee $200 per boat. Call Dwight Saxon at 561-722-3224 or visit June 10-11: Bass Busters Big Bucks Bass Tournament, entry fee $200, Lake Okeechobee out of Clewiston. Visit or call Chris Fickey at 941-232-9539. June 11-16: 23rd annual Treasure Cay Billfish Tournament, the Bahamas. Entry fee $1,900 per team. Proceeds benefit the Guy Harvey Research Institute. Call 954-525-7711 or visit


Steve Waters’ recent stories, fishing reports, outdoors calendar, coastal marine forecasts and current radar can be found online at

CAN’T KEEP IT: Charlie Fleury, left, and Capt. Brian Sanders show off an undersized cobia before releasing it. Staff photos/Steve Waters


Eight species in one day? It’s par for summer in the Ten Thousand Islands. CHOKOLOSKEE ISLAND

HECK OF A WRECK: With fish thick around a wreck in the Gulf of Mexico and hungry for crabs, it wasn’t hard for Capt. Brian Sanders and Co. to entice plenty of strikes from permit such as this.


Summertime fishing in the Ten Thousand Islands means variety for Capt. Brian Sanders and his customers. And they don’t have to do a lot of running around to enjoy the mix of fish that are available this time of year. Sanders grew up fishing out of Chokoloskee with his father and uncles, and he knows the wrecks and productive bottom areas of the Gulf of Mexico as well as he knows the streets around his home in Davie. On a recent trip with Charlie Fleury of Dania Beach and me, Sanders left Chokoloskee Island Park and headed several miles offshore across the slick waters of the Gulf to catch live bait. A couple of tosses of his cast net produced more than 500 pilchards, and we were set for the day. Rather than go back inshore and fish around the islands for snook, tarpon and redfish, our next stop was a rocky spot in 13 feet of water that Sanders referred to as “live bottom.” The area was alive with fish, and it didn’t take long after we anchored for Fleury to reel in a large spotted sea trout. Fleury caught several more trout, up to about 4 pounds, using pilchards with a circle hook and light spinning tackle with 20-pound braided line. Meanwhile, I had tossed out a pilchard on my baitcasting outfit, got an immediate hit and lost my leader to a fish with teeth. Sanders made up a wire leader, attached its swivel to the end of my line and hooked on a pilchard. I cast out the little baitfish and got a hard hit from a solid fish. With just some old 10-pound monofilament line on my reel, I played the fish carefully.

Eventually, the fish tired and came to the surface, where Sanders identified it as a kingfish. As I slid the king near the boat, Sanders reached out and deftly gaffed the fish, which was just under 10 pounds. “This is the most consistent kingfishing that I’ve had over here since I became a guide 10 years ago,” Sanders said. “I think it’s due to the net ban. We have more bait and more species because the fish follow the bait. “In June, we catch Spanish mackerel, cobia, bluefish and tripletail just outside the islands, in anywhere from 3-10 feet of water. But then you get out a little bit beyond that and it opens up a whole ’nother ballgame.” After the kingfish, I caught a sea trout, then I hooked a nice Spanish mackerel, which joined the king in the cooler. Sanders saw some permit swimming just below the surface, but they never came close enough to the boat for a cast. I did catch the elite permit’s lowly cousin, the jack crevalle, and Fleury landed several big bluefish. All that activity attracted some sharks, and it wasn’t long before Fleury was hooked up to a nicesize blacktip. After we caught another shark, we were ready for a new spot. Sanders ran south to a shallow

wreck that he thought might have some cobia. Within minutes, a pack of big bull sharks showed up behind the boat. “Don’t be surprised if you see some cobia behind these sharks,” Sanders said. Sure enough, as one of the sharks eased past the boat, we saw five cobia swimming in its wake. Unfortunately, neither Fleury nor I was able to get a bait in front of the fish. Not a problem. Sanders grabbed a big spinning rod with a topwater plug, made a long cast and started popping the lure in the hope of attracting some cobia. Before long, Fleury got a bite, but as soon as the cobia realized it was hooked, it panicked. That, in turn, got the sharks excited and the battle was short-lived. With the sharks so thick, Sanders got out a fly rod and had me cast behind the boat and steadily strip back the flashy fly. I hooked up instantly, but instead of a shark, it was another big Spanish mackerel. I was glad to get the fish to the boat, but sad when I saw that it had chewed up the fly, rendering it useless and putting an end to the fly-fishing. Eventually, Sanders spotted some more cobia swimming past the boat, and I managed to cast a pilchard in front of the fish and get bit. The cobia fought me and also

FISHING TIP Catch more of Capt. Brian Sanders and his tips on fishing leaders in today’s Community News. fought to get away from the sharks, so I made sure to let the fish run whenever it wanted. After a while, the cobia came up beside the boat, which Sanders said offered it protection from the sharks. The fish was lifted into the boat, measured at 30 inches — three inches short of the legal minimum — and safely released. When the next fish, a 20-pound kingfish, got cut in half by a shark, Sanders said it was time to go to the next spot. This was a wreck that usually had permit. When we arrived, the skies had clouded up, making for poor visibility, and the wind had increased, rippling the water. Instead of trying to sight-fish for permit, Sanders anchored upcurrent of the wreck and had us cast live crabs straight out from the boat so that they would drift back over the wreck. The strategy worked to perfection. Fleury hooked a 25-pound permit that put up a grueling fight. Before Sanders could grab the permit, Fleury’s line rubbed against the anchor rope and broke, allowing the permit to slowly swim away. It didn’t take long to hook another permit, as the fish were plentiful and hungry for our crabs. A couple of the fish broke our lines in the wreck, but a couple made it to the boat, which gave us eight different species and provided a perfect ending to our day. For information on fishing with Capt. Brian Sanders, call him at 954-802-0868. Steve Waters can be reached at or 954-356-4648.

OutdoorsNotebook King Classic: The season-ending classic for the King of the Glades Open Team Tournament Series is Sunday out of the boat ramp just north of the entrance to Sawgrass Recreation Park. The tournament features 16 boats competing for a winner-take-all first prize of $2,500 and free entry into next year’s tournaments. Visit Ladies Fish-Off: The 21st Ladies Annual Fish-Off is Saturday out of Hillsboro Inlet with the weigh-in at the Alsdorf Park boat ramp on 14th Street. Eligible species include dolphin, kingfish, tuna, cobia and wahoo, plus billfish. Kickoff party, registration and auction are 6-10 p.m. today at the Pompano Beach Elks Club. Call Mike Leach at 954-351-8849. Hunting permits: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is

accepting applications through June 11 for quota permits to hunt on wildlife management areas. Applications are available at county tax collector offices, license agents, FWC regional offices and online at Dive meeting: Neil Hammerschlag of the Pew Institute for Ocean Science will discuss shark biology, ecology, behavior and threats to their future at Wednesday’s meeting of the South Florida Divers at 7:30 p.m. at the Ramada Inn, 2275 State Road 84, Fort Lauderdale. Visit or send email to FWC meeting: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will meet at the West Palm Beach Marriott. Wednesday’s agenda features proposals to proceed with the final phase of reclassifying manatees from endangered to threatened and to remove bald eagles

from the imperiled species list. On Thursday, the commission will consider approval of a proposed rule to adjust the snook slot limit by one inch on both the lower and upper ends of the limit, moving it from 26-34 inches to 27-35 inches total length. Visit Saltwater Slam: The Mercury/SeaVee Saltwater Slam is June 10 out of Hillsboro Inlet. Entry fee is $225 per boat through today and $300 thereafter. The kickoff party is 6-10 p.m. June 8 at the Pompano Beach Elks Lodge at 700 NE 10th St. Call 954-725-4010 or visit Benefit tournament: The Boynton Inlet Fishing Club has its sixth open offshore fishing tournament June 10. Proceeds benefit Boy Scout Troop 395 of Boynton Beach and Special Anglers USA. Captains meeting is Thursday at the Grumpy Grouper in Lantana. The weigh-in

starts at 1 p.m. at Two Georges Restaurant/Marina Village Dock, 743 NE First Ave., Boynton Beach. Visit or send e-mail to Okee-Tantie results: John Burke and Val Osinski used Gambler Cane Toads to catch 28.83 pounds of fish to win the season-opening Okee-Tantie Team Trail bass tournament on Lake Okeechobee. Greg Norling and Andre Eggelletion were second at 27.93. Norling had the big bass at 8.95. The next tournament is June 10. Visit or call Mike Blocher at 813-363-5266. Gambler Open: The Everglades Bassmasters of South Florida have the 10th annual Gambler Open fishing tournament June 11 out of Everglades Holiday Park. Call Dan Potts at 954-257-2297.


Eight species in one day? It’s par for summer in the Ten Thousand Islands. B Y S TAFF W RITER S TEVE W ATERS FISHING TIP 10C F RIDAY , J UNE...


Eight species in one day? It’s par for summer in the Ten Thousand Islands. B Y S TAFF W RITER S TEVE W ATERS FISHING TIP 10C F RIDAY , J UNE...