Over the past several years, we have heard people say that fishing is slow, no good, no fish, nothing to catch, conditions are always with blowing wind and no fun, etc.
I disagree. In my lifetime, I have caught many thousands of snook and it is my belief that there are a lot more of them around. Starting 20-30 years ago, conservation and size limits and a closed season have all helped build the population back up.
The bad things that happened were the several very cold fronts Florida experienced 5 and 10 years ago, with the water temperature diving down into the 30s, 40s and 50s. It killed many, many thousands of breeding size fish, as well as millions of smaller fish of all types.
I had a customer fishing really deep in the back country of Florida’s West Coast Everglades, like Flamingo and Everglades City, and he and his buddies said they were catching 100 plus snook, a few tarpon, redfish and trout in a single day. It just shows that the breeding fish are coming back. The next 3-5 years of fishing in that area should be amazing but we are seeing the same thing here on Southeast Florida’s coastline. More sailfish than ever, tarpon, snook, and bottom fishing, as well as the wahoo fishing and yellowfin tuna fishing, not to mention blackfin tuna.
What I am trying to say is that fishing is good this time of the year. Catching is even better any day of the week. You can call your buddies and say let’s go in the morning and catch a variety of 10-15 types of fish and have your choices every day. Surround yourself with experts on certain fish and it will rub off on you too.
The kids today are so much better fishermen than their fathers of yesterday. Today we have better equipment, faster boats, and more knowledge. Kids today tie better and stronger knots, understand leaders and lines, kite fishing, and taking care of live baits, or as we say “bait presentation.” I teach every day to all these kids and adults to fish through the fish’s eyes and what the fish sees in the water.
Another thing that’s amazing is the size of some of these fish. They have all grown up since the longline business in South Florida started 30-40 years ago. We were all told they were wiped out but, surprise, surprise, in the past month we have had more extra-large swordfish caught right off our coast from Pompano Beach to the Upper Keys. It used to be a couple of 200-300 pound fish were caught now and then; now it’s a 40 pounder one night, a 757 pounder another day, and a 595 pounder a few days later, plus several more over 500 pounds. On top of that, in the daytime you can catch 2-5 swordfish at a weight of 100-200 pounds each, keeping some and releasing others.
Guess what. Fishing is great and catching is still good. It’s like kids on computers. Go ask a kid to fix your ‘phone or the computer or anything else. He just might help you with your fishing too.
June 6 this year is my 60th year in the fishing business in South Florida, first in Boca Raton and for the past 42 years in Lighthouse Point as Custom Rod and Reel. Everything I write is more than an educated guess. I’ve been there long before the kids of today even thought about it. Listen to what I say, and it will help you in the long-run. It’s been fun. We are so lucky to fish here where the fish are. It’s hard to catch them when you are fishing in an area where they are not.
Tight lines and good catching!