Before moving to South Florida i grew up fishing all over Long Island, New York. From Montauk, to Cold Spring Harbor through the South Shore. I caught my first fish with my Dad at around 6 years old. A keeper flounder we had for dinner. From that point on I fell in love with the ocean and fishing. I worked on fishing boats, fished inshore and offshore. I fished the Canyons for tuna, inshore for blues and striped bass. For me it has always been a love affair with the ocean and the sport.
After college I bought my first boat. A 23′ center console rigged with low end electronics, some large outriggers and plenty of rod holders. I fished offshore in South Florida for 3 years before I sold her and made a career change and decided to attend law school.
After my schooling was complete, I got my first job and had some medical issues. I had my gallbladder removed (pretty rare for a person in their early 30’s) after six months of hospitals, testing, blood work etc etc.
I pretty much woke up from that surgery and while still in the hospital said to my wife, “We’re buying another boat.” Through my surgery recovery I searched endlessly for the rig that would suit my fishing needs. I needed twin engines, but quickly made the decision that I wanted 2-stroke engines rather than 4 strokes. I also wanted the boat to have a trailer for our keys trips. I didn’t care about the electronics as I wanted to install my own systems.
After several weeks I found my rig right around July 4, 2011. A 28′ center counsel on a trailer with twin mercury 2 stroke engines. The engines were in great shape, the hull was flawless, but although everything worked most of the equipment just was not up to my standards.
I purchased the boat and had a long meeting with my mechanic and good friend regarding what my hopes were to this vessel. We shot for a launch date around August 30, 2011. (yea’ right)
My mechanic and myself worked rentlessly. When I wasn’t in court I was working on the boat. We replaced the hydraulic steering systems, all new electrical systems, new batteries, new outriggers, all the filters were changes, new water pumps, new spark plugs, new carburetors and to top it all off installed a 12” Garmin 4212 GPS/Radar/Sounder with a 1kw thru hull transducer. I was thrilled about how the completed rig looked.
I should say if anyone needs any electronics I highly support and recommend www.getfeetwet.com. There prices and customer service is excellent.
When all the upgrades were complete it was right around September 30, 2011. The shake down cruise went flawlessly and we named her “Mocean Granted” My name is Grant and I am an attorney. A “motion” is a pleading at the court and what lawyers argue about all day long. When you win the argument the judge says “Motion Granted.” combine that with fishing and the ocean and you have “Mocean Grantd” A name was born.
Finally after a ridiculous week I got out on the water. Me and a friend headed out of Jupiter,Fl on his newly purchased 31′ Contender to find the Bonita and attack them with super light weight fly rods. He decided to let me take the wheel as I have a bit more experience on the water than he does and although he handles a boat very well, we wanted to find the fish and thats my speciality! We cleared the inlet with plenty of live bait swimming around the well, with all his new electronics lighting up his dashboard I felt like I was driving an airliner rather than a boat. He had 3 full size Northstar screens, 1 fish-finder/depth finder, 1 -72 miles radar with an open array, and 1 GPS plus 2 VHF radio’s (why two I have no idea), a forward looking depth finder and of course a stereo.
I tie a lot of flies, mainly baitfish patterns in all different color combinations so wen the bite turns on I have a series of flied ready that game fish will take. Typically, I carry in sizes 1/0-3/0:
- 6 chartreuse and white
- 6 pink and white
- 6 red and white
- 6 all white
- 6 blue and white
- 6 misc colors.
Just in case you have not been keeping count thats 42 flies in a series of boxes that I have with me anytime I head offshore. For travel that number typically doubles. Now stay with me. Think about 42 colors in 3 different sizes thats 126 flies that i carry. Talk about a lot of space taken up by flies.
Lucky for you I have a trick and no longer carry 126 flies. Yes, of course, ill share my trick. I now carry 12 all white flies in sized 1/0 through 3/0 equalling 36 flies total again tied in all white and (heres the secret) 5-10 markers. Regular old permanent markers in various colors. Do you see where I am going here? I can take an all white fly and color it in any combination I wish instantly and even add stripes, mix colors and add fishy patterns.
Carrying 36 flies vs. 142 flies means 1 or 2 large fly boxes rather than 5/6 fly boxes which is less than half of the space, not to mention money saved on materials and fly boxes.
One year all the king fish in my area would only strike dirty orange flies with white bellies. So, I have 60 flies in this color that have not been touched since that very unusual season. Had I discovered my marker trick I could have colored each fly as I needed it and not be stick with all these flies and materials I may never use again.
Try my idea and I know you will be pleased. Plus all the room saved you can bring other items you may really need.
The fishing has finally picked up. Large amount of sailfish, dolphin, blackfin tuna and snapper have made a strong showing. Offshore the sword fishing is picking up as well.
The holidays are officially upon on and as children, and some adults, wait anxiously for Christmas for me Christmas means sailfish! Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays. I enjoy giving gifts, love all the food, think Santa is a radical dude and am excited for Christmas morning. However, with the holidays means strong cold fronts hitting South Florida from the North East. On the coldest days the sail fishing is awesome.
I consider myself a hardcore fly fisherman, but i love kite fishing for sailfish. If you have never dangled a live bait from a kite and watched a sailfish come up and attack that bait, your really missing out. I hate trolling, I find it a waste of gas and unproductive. Well, that is unless you are tuna fishing in which case I think trolling is productive. Kite fishing is just so easy and the rewards are HUGE.
Its simple, deploy a sea anchor to slow your drift down. Let out a kite on your kite rod than from a release clip dangle your “bait rod” so the live bait is sitting right on the surface. Kings, wahoo, sailfish, tuna, even dolphin will attack that nervous bait with gusto. If they miss they bait they will sky rocket out of the water. Keep your eyes on the bait and your camera ready! Trust me, try it and you will be hooked.
Well, the wind is still howling here so I haven’t kite fished in quite a while but I’m all ready. New line on all my reels and kite rod. So what do I do when the wind never stops? Simple, I tie flies and take pictures. I love photography, but that for another blog. I have been tying gotcha’s, merkins, eat me fly’s, clousers and dock light snook fly’s. I really enjoy being behind my vise. Its relaxing and when the better weather comes my fly boxes will be packet with flies. Im not a big fan of staying up past my bed time to tie fly’s for the next morning. I rather be prepared so I can jump on a weather window at a moments notice.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Fly Tying and Happy Kite Fishing.
Fishing has been so good I haven’t had much time to report.
Offshore-the sail fishing is quickly picking up as the cold fronts appear and is on fire during the coldest days. Dolphin are being caught on every trip as are kingfish and skip jack tuna.
Sword fishing remains very consistent with multiple fish days, that is if you can find a day that is not too rough to fish.
The mutton snapper bite has also been very good in 90-100 feet of water.
The Fishing is simply on FIRE!
The bonita are everywhere with 50-60 fish caught per day on flies, light tackle and dead bait. They respond very well to chum and most can be caught on the surface.
There is also a great mix of blacken tuna available on the deeper parts of the reef which readily take a trolled feather fly and love of dead bait.
Sword fishing remains very consistent this week with several bites a day and many caught fish.
If you wan too catch ALOT of fish now is the time.
I have good news and bad news…The bad news is that fishing on the reefs has gotten a little slow. The bonita have been hard to come by but the bottom fishing for snapper has been good although very hit or miss.
The good news is that the daytime sword fishing has REALLY picked up. Most boots are getting several bites a day and landing 1-2 fish per day. There has also been some very large dolphin offshore on the swordfish grounds which readily take live or dead bait.
Snook fishing on the beach has also been picking up and becoming quite steady. We have some rough weather in store for the next few days so if my log book holds correct after the weather settles down the fishing should be FANTASTIC.
Now is a great time to book a trip.
My second favorite time of year has officially arrived! (my first favorite time of the year is mid may when we have loads of big kingfish and dolphin) Currently the fishing is hot hot hot and so is the weather.
If your a fly fisherman this next sentence should have you diving for your nearest fly rods…the Albies are HERE! Head offshore to 90-120 feet with a few boxes of dead glass minnows and chum like crazy. You will see the bonita eating the glass minnows within a few feet of the boat. Throw just about any fly and you will hook up. You really only need to be able to cast about 10-20 feet and your fly will be in the strike zone. The bonita have been hitting clouser’s, gummy minnows and crease flys very well but any baitfish imitation will work. I strongly suggest fishing an intermediate sinking line and beefing up your tackle to at least an 8/9 weight rod or above. You can absolutely catch these on lighter tackle but with the amount of sharks around, the more you play the fish the better chance a shark will eat it. it is not uncommon to hook 20 fish but only 5-8 due to the shark problems. Using heavier tackle will increase your odds of landing fish.
If you do find yourself with a lot of sharks around the bite…MOVE! the sharks will not go away if there is chum and bonita int he water. Move the boat and start chumming again..the pelagic will find you.
Mixed in with the albies have been large black fin tuna, king fish, dolphins and the occasional wahoo.
For you non fly fisherman there has been excellent snapper fishing on the reefs from 75-90 feet with limits of yellowtails, muttons and mangrove snappers.
Inshore the snook fishing on the beach has been getting better as well. Pre-dawn there has been schools of bait right on the beach with snook, jacks and lady fish mixed in as well. I recommend throwing a 7/8 weight intermediate line and a 15-20lb fluorocarbon tippet to any baitfish imitation (chartreuse and white work best for me).
Fish before work, after work, during work whatever. Just go fish!
Be sure to check out our Fishin’ Pics link. we have been having a ton of fun daytime sword fishing. The bite is ON so now with the weather getting better and better as spring approaches is a great time to go catch your monster!