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      The Tarpon Migration

      The Tarpon Migration

      Every coming spring into early summer, tarpon migrate up the coasts of Florida. For those unfamiliar with tarpon, they are large tropical fish that resemble that of herrings.  Although the are predominately a salt water fish, they are versatile creatures and have been known to live in fresh water as well. Being of larger scale in the fish kingdom these mighty beasts range, on average, between 40 and 80  pounds and mature between the their 7 to 13 years of age.

      May to September is the time in which tarpon breed which is around the same time as their migration along the coast. Although the fish itself favors inshore waters, migration leads it further out. The tarpon will travel in a school along the coast until reaching it’s destination. Often times these fish will not eat until arriving where it is they intend to be.

      The most common place in which fishers have caught the tarpon is off the shores of the Key West in Florida. The state record for largest tarpon weighed in at 243 pounds. However, the world record tarpon caught was found in Sierra Leone, Africa and weighed a mighty 283 pounds.

      Tarpon, being tropical fish, have to stay within warm waters. At the mere temperature of 55 degrees, they begin to die. That leaves no surprise as to why they migrate along the Floridian coast, having some of the warmest waters on the planet. In any case, tarpon are said to be relatively tasty and a beauty to see in the water, so take that vacation time you’ve saved up and hit the beaches of Florida, you might just caught the next record tarpon, if you’re lucky.

      Okeechobee Runoff Causing Major Issues

      Okeechobee Runoff Causing Major Issues

      While environmentalists and avid fishermen are aware of the issues concerning polluted waters, not everyone has climbed aboard the boat of information Studies have shown that freshwater discharges from Lake Okeechobee are causing a negative stir in runoff waterways nearby. The problem with this is that the waters from Lake Okeechobee are flooding, picking up liter and pesticides from the shores and flowing into the main water source. As the water rises, it feeds further out into different bodies of water causing a ripple effect of polluted water expanding its reaches.

      This is not the first time an issue with polluted water has escalated, causing larger problems to occur. We saw it before with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, making it nearly impossible to fish in those regions, but also damaging much of the area’s marine life and surrounding areas. Even in the past water pollution was a big topic issue. In the state of Maryland where the Chesapeake Bay runoff has killed a large pollution of crabs and fish and damaged a significant part of that area’s ecosystem, the state had to mandate a rain tax. This tax decreed that whenever it rained, a fee would be taken from Maryland residents in order to try and restore and preserve the Bay’s waters.

      Evidence of water pollution is nothing new as the demographics will show you. The problem lies a little closer to home. Our use of pesticides, dumping waste into waterways, littering, oil leaks and spills, toxic deposits from factories and so much more goes on to destroy our beautiful ecosystems. Unfortunately, humankind is more concerned with technological pursuits than persevering our home and the homes of others.

      If the problem is not resolved it will only worsen resulting in a continuation of crises. The water in the Okeechobee Lake needs cleaning if we are to see the return of healthy aquatic life. Fish repopulation will shrink rapidly if not and as we should know; this chain effect will reach to other parts of the waters. With luck, the problem will be addressed early on, but it is still our part to become more aware of these on growing issues and try not to be contributors to them.

      How to Rig a Live Shrimp

      How to Rig a Live Shrimp


      Shrimp are a popular form of bait because they can attract a large array of game due to their active movements. In order to properly use shrimp as bait, we must rig it, but it isn’t that simple for there are multiple ways in which to do this.

      Method One:

      The first way in which to rig a shrimp is to place the hook into the carapace. The carapace, for those who do not know, is the center space between the two dark spots upon a shrimps head. This is important because should you miss place the hook and it were to jab either of the two spots, you would be damaging the pancreas or stomach, depending on which spot you hit. Thus, killing the shrimp all too soon and ruining your bait. The hook should be strung in crosswise just below the surface of the shell, in between the two spots for maxim result.

      Method Two:

      The second way to rig is to hoist the hook up under the chin of the shrimp, ease it in and pull it up and out of the front of the face. This technique is supposed to allow for further distance casting with fast paced line retrieval.

      Method Three:

      Going on to method three of rigging you will need to remove the tail fin of the shrimp in order to hook it. Once that has been done, you will maneuver the hook in and up the cut off section of the tail until the hook is secure within the body of the shrimp. This version is a preferable lure in areas of water that contains dense vegetation. It will make the process less painstaking as the bait will not collect as many weeds nor will it become stuck quiet as often as a normal bait would in grassier waters.

      Method Four:

      If you want to use live shrimp to do some drift fishing, you will need to poke the hook onto either side of the shrimp tail, thus, piercing the shell until it comes through to the other side. This will allow a visible hook end and for the shrimp to kick freely as bait.

      Method Five:

      The fifth and last way we will learn how to rig a shrimp today is by, just like in version three, cutting off the tail fin and placing the hook inside the body. The difference in this rig as opposed to example three is that we will not keep the hook covered by the body of the shrimp, but instead expose it on the outside by rotating the hook and poking it out the underbelly of the shrimp.

      After learning these five ways of rigging a shrimp, all you pros and amateur fishermen alike may now get out there and have some fun on the water. Stay safe and happy fishing!

      Goggle Eye VS Blue Runner

      Goggle Eye VS Blue Runner


      Just look out onto the coast of Florida during any month of the year, and you will see hundreds of tournament and recreational boats alike all trying to score the big catch. A majority of the boats will be targeting pelagic species such as the Kingfish (King Mackerel), Dolphin (Mahi Mahi), and Wahoo. There are two main ways to effectively target these fish. The first method is trolling. Tried and true, everyone knows that trolling can catch fish. However, live baiting has become the preferred tactic for many anglers. This would beg the question, what is the best live bait? To keep it simplistic we have narrowed it down to two. The Goggle Eye and the Blue Runner. Of course there are many more species of bait fish that could be used as live bait, but these just happen to be the most common/popular.

      Blue Runner

      Difficulty to Catch

      Blue runners would rank as one of the easiest baitfish to locate and catch. Unlike other species, they can be caught throughout the day. Many other baitfish can only be found within small windows of time. An extremely effective way to catch runners in large numbers is to fish a shallow structure with a sabiki rig. It is best to do this while chumming the water. This can really get them fired up and biting on all cylinders. If you don’t have nearby structure that you can fish, try trolling a small spoons in depths between 20-50 feet of water. Although this method isn’t as effective as fishing structure, it should produce most of the time.

      Fishing with Blue Runners

      There is one fish that blue runners attract probably better than any other baitfish. That would be the Kingfish. Many tournament kingfish anglers swear by these hardy baits. It is quite common to hear they are the ticket to the “BIG ONE.” Runners tend to outlive other live baits. They are extremely durable baits and easy to keep alive. Put one down deep on the the downrigger and bump troll is over reefs and wrecks. Its chances of getting eaten by something is almost guaranteed. We recommend using a stinger rig with #7 wire to prevent kings and wahoos from shopping your bait or line in half.

      Goggle Eye

      Difficulty to Catch

      Gogs are not that difficult to catch contrary to what you might hear. Anglers tend to keep quiet when it comes to catching them. Because of how valuable they are to the professionals who make a living selling them, you won’t get much helpful info on them. It's all about locating the fish, and waiting for the bite to turn on. It requires a great deal of patience and expect to lose a bit of sleep. They will eventually start chewing. When they do, you need to be ready to catch as many as possible. The bite will shut off just as fast as it turned on. They can be located along coastal structures like piers, buoys and jetties. Additionally they can be found in areas with wrecks, reefs and rocky bottoms. Depth ranges from extremely shallow up to 500 feet deep. Should you not be able to find these golden nuggets, be prepared to cough up 80$ a dozen!

      Fishing with Goggle Eyes

      When I think of using goggle eyes for bait, one thing comes to mind. Kite Fishing. It’s like these big eyed baits have special fish attracting powers when dangling on the surface. Most well known for being the bait of choice among top sailfish teams, goggle eyes are just as enticing to kingfish, dolphin, wahoo and BIG tunas. A live gog will give you the best chance of hooking up with a yellow fin tuna if there is any around. Goggle eyes are best rigged by bridling them using a rubber band. This allows them to swim more naturally and gives a more natural feel to sailfish. This isn’t really necessary when targeting meat fish.


      If I was forced to use one species for the rest of my fishing life, I would have to choose a goggle eye. But it's really up to you. Remember to consider all the different variables. You might not be able to catch one kind on a certain day, or the fish just might not be interested. Also, I always tell anglers to use what they are confident in. It helps to talk to some of the charter captains in you area to gain some local knowledge.