Monday, August 19, 2013

Many Apologies for a Lack of Content.......

I'm currently in the hospital.  I think you can guess what effect this has on my fishing.  :p  I have had an attack of Atrial Fibrillation, a rarely fatal cardiac issue, but it can and does cause strokes.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

It's Official, Red Tide in the Indian River Lagoon

MARTIN COUNTY — Algae found in the St. Lucie River is toxic, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection confirmed Tuesday.
Martin County health officials have warned residents to stay out of the water.
Looks like my plans to fish Jensen Beach this weekend are closed.  Then again, I'm not surprised, what with all the freshwater and citrus grove runoff this summer, and kind of expected it sooner than now.  Well, I've been hankering to try my hand at beach surf fishing over in Hobe Sound, and have a couple reef breaks in mind to try,

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Jensen Beach Causeway: Bad Weather, Low Salinity

With the lake level emergency in place, Lake Okeechobee has all the spillways wide open.  This is to reduce pressure on the Herbert Hoover Dike that surrounds the lake and prevent the potential of a collapse due to piping of water or hydraulic pressure failure.  Unfortunately, this ruins the salinity level of the various river outlets like the St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon, and significantly reduces the salinity of the ICW as well, regionally.  Water temperature is in the upper 80's, and silty, with poor water clarity doe to the freshwater runoff.

The effect this has on the fishing is essentially, catastrophic.  Saltwater species head out tp the ocean for the salt, and what fish are left are the freshwater tolerant ones like baby snappers, and grunts.  There was one relatively small Crevalle Jack caught, yesterday, maybe a 5-7 pounder.  My catch was 1 very small red snapper (3 inches), and a 5 inch grunt I streamed on the big pole as swim bait, to no avail.  I spent the entire day in the rain being generated by the remnants of Dorian, just up to the north.

 By the way, Stearns Dryware is some pretty decent foul weather gear.  It breathes pretty well and it kept me dry and comfortable.  Even in the tropics, you can get a bit hypothermic in an all day rain, and I was just the right temperature....not so hot I sweated badly, and not clammy, either.  Exposure to the elements can be the worst enemy of a fisherman.  Just be aware that if you wear in out in the boat, have a life jacket on at all times.....your foulies can drown you if you go overboard.

One good point, I've been making my own bottom rigs, and I did get to test them for snaggability, and I can report that they don't seem to snag up as easily.  I use 80 pound test monofilament and the clip end is a Snell loop.  I use both pendulum bank weights and/or egg weights, and Kahle hooks or Circle, or Octopus hooks.  You get a good positive hook set with this and I do plan on making these for sale through the site when I have them in their final form.

I'm also working on a needle hook that you can use to draw a Snell line through a live fish's dorsal area in line with their long axis to be able to set a tailhook that the line exits the body ahead of the dorsal fin and allows a natural swimming motion for larger freeline live baitfish from grunt size up.  Essentially, you will be creating a "live" lure.  It will also work with whole dead bait.  Just Snell it and freeze it on a flat and toss it in Ziploc bags.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Port Mayaca, and the St Lucie Canal

Port Mayaca has the spillways wide open, so the retention pond has quite the current going.  Specks are hitting hard, but the Port was crowded today.  Everyone and their brother was h=there, it seemed.

I moved on to one of my holes on the St Lucie Canal.  I had several hits, with no landings before I finally hooked and landed an oddball.  I caught a Brown Hoplo.

Brown Hoplo, or Cascadura

 It's not a common fish to catch with chicken liver in a hook, they're mostly a castnet or speared fish, since they rarely will even look at a hook.  They look ugly and inedible, but apparently, they're pretty tasty in a Trinidad dish called Curry Cascadura and Dumplings.  You can find the recipe for this dish here.

Info on the Brown Hoplo:

Brown Hoplo: Hoplosternum littorale


Brown hoplo is less than a foot long and belongs to family of fishes known as Callichthyidae; has bony armor consisting of two rows of large hard scales forming plate-like armor along each side; dark brown to black in color with two pairs of long barbells on chin.


First documented in the Indian River Lagoon system in 1995; now found throughout central and south Florida from the St. John's River to Lake Trafford. Native to eastern South America.


 Occur in a variety of freshwater habitats including muddy bottom and slow moving rivers, streams, side channels, ponds, marshes, and man-made waterways such as ditches and borrow pits; larvae and juveniles inhabit shallow water areas with lots of vegetation; adults prefer foraging in deeper, open water areas; gulps air, and tolerant of both low oxygen and high hydrogen-sulfide levels.


Spawning Habitats: Males build floating nests in vegetation near shore that consist of bubbles covered with plant material. Eggs are released by the female below the nest. The male fertilizes them and then takes them into his mouth and blows them up into the floating nest. Breeding males develop enlarged, red pectoral spines with hooks at the tips that are used to defend territories against other males. The eggs hatch in about four days.
Feeding Habits: Primarily feeds on benthic invertebrates and detritus.

Age and Growth:

Grows to about 2 inches in 2 months; however, rarely exceeds 10 inches.

Sporting Quality:

Little to none, but can be caught using live worms; normally fished for with cast nets.


Highly sought after as food by Floridians with cultural ties to Trinidad and parts of South America; raised as a food fish in native range; no bag or size limits.

Courtesy of the State of Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission under fair use and public ownership of State run servers.
Site URL:

Saturday will be Jensen Beach and possible Hobe Sound for some beach fishing.