Tag Archives: George Mitchell

Summer Dolphin Tactics

 

Summer Dolphin Tactics

By Capt. Gus Cane

 

Dolphin, Dorado, mahimahi. No matter what you call them these neon green, yellow and blue speedsters are perhaps the perfect pelagic game fish. Why? Because they fight extremely hard, they are common in warm waters around the world, they grow super fast, and they taste delicious. That’s why Dolphin are such a popular summertime target.

 

To get in on the fun, start with the computer. Satellite forecasting services can help pinpoint likely zones based on water temperatures, underwater structure, currents and temporary features like color changes and weed lines. Reports from the local tackle shop, marina or fishing forum will help narrow the search too.

 

On the water, the boat’s electronics will be invaluable tools. The chart plotter will identify ledges, humps and depth contours that concentrate bait. Some units offer real-time data overlays. Dial in the radar to paint frigates and other birds hunting for bait and keep a pair of binoculars handy to confirm the blips. The sounder will show the differences in water temperatures. Dolphin love hot water, so even a degree or two of change could mean a concentration of fish.

Having a mixed tackle set-up will expand your dolphin opportunities. Big plastic chugger and jet head lures on trolling combos run several waves behind the boat will cover plenty of water. A heavy Nylure lead jig in bright yellow trolled way back is a surefire bet. It often produces when nothing else will. A heavy spinning outfit with a large surface lure like a Sebile Popper can be cast quickly whenever the birds are working bait, or you run across a nice weed line or floating debris. Dolphin love to hang around anything, from wooden pallets, oil drums, trees and other flotsam. These “surface structures” attract small baitfish, which in turn attracts hungry dolphin. Another spinning outfit with a stout live bait hook and a chunk of ballyhoo is great enticement when that gang of gaffers does show up.

Dolphin typically travels in packs so once one is hooked, keep it in the water as long as possible. The thrashing and commotion will pull its school mates into casting range. If, after catching a couple the fish seem to lose interest, throw a handful of small cut ballyhoo pieces overboard. That will usually fire ‘em up again. Another trick is to use the raw water washdown hose and spray a light shower near the boat. The noise and dimpling water often triggers another feeding frenzy.

After a fun fight comes the best part—eating the catch. Dolphin filets are very mild and can be cooked a variety of ways. It’s hard to beat a big slab hot off the grill, however.

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Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

 

Yamaha Offers More Than Just Outboard Motors

 

Yamaha Offers More Than Just Outboard Motors

FROM FUEL EFFICIENCY AND RELIABILITY IN THEIR MOTORS TO NEW MOTOR PROMOTIONS AND HELM MASTER™, THERE’S A LOT OF GOOD THINGS GOING ON

By George Mitchell

Yamaha Pro Staff

 

Last week I was fishing out of the Miami Beach Marina on a 32 Yellowfin with twin 300 h.p. Yamaha 4.2 Liter V6 four stroke outboards. I spent a good portion of my life fishing South Florida before I moved up the east coast to Jupiter, so going back top Miami was like homecoming weekend for me.

We decided to go reef hopping and fished some of my spots off Box Shoal and Triumph Reef, and it was like old times. We deployed our chum bags, threw the cast net and caught a bunch of live ballyhoo and then put two baits on the surface and two on the bottom. The surface baits caught a bunch of Spanish mackerel and even a big cero mackerel, but it was the mutton snapper we caught on the deep baits that really made it a successful trip.

 

That big Yellowfin with twin 300 h.p. Yamaha 4.2 Liter V6 four strokes had just phenomenal fuel economy. We averaged 2.2 to 2.4 miles per gallon each day, which is as good as it gets on a boat that size with twin outboards.

We didn’t catch any huge muttons, but we caught a good number of nice ones. We caught three or four mutton snapper each day, which is a pretty productive day on the water.

At the end of the week, I took my son Eddie and some of his friends out of Jupiter Inlet to fish an area to the north off Hobe Sound called Pecks Lake, where the Spanish mackerel just stack up in the winter months. That was nothing less than a blast. We spent two days fishing those Spanish mackerel, which isn’t real tough fishing, but it was fun fishing where you catch a lot of fish.

The next big event I have coming up is the Miami International Boat Show® in Miami Beach, Florida February 13-17. I’ll have my 36 Yellowfin with triple 300 h.p. Yamaha 4.2 Liter V6 four strokes and the Yamaha Helm Master Integrated Digital Control System in the water at the Sea Isle Marina. I’ll be running test rides and showcasing the Yamaha Helm Master Integrated Digital Control System for those that sign up as part of the Yamaha Demo Tour.

Besides being able to see firsthand the performance of the 300 h.p. Yamaha 4.2 Liter V6 four stroke, you can also see the Yamaha Helm Master Integrated Digital Control System put through all the paces. If you take a test ride, you also qualify for some extended warranty packages, so if you’re looking to purchase a boat or Yamaha outboard while at the Miami Boat Show, you definitely want to take advantage of this opportunity. Visit the Yamaha booth (R100) at the Miami Beach Convention Center or stop by the tent at the Sea Isle Marina to schedule a demo ride.

Until the Miami International Boat Show, I’ll be doing a lot of sail fishing out of Jupiter, Florida. The fish are just arriving, and I’ve been using my Yamaha Helm Master Integrated Digital Control to help me deploy the baits and move them into position in front of fish. The Yamaha Helm Master Integrated Digital Control System is compatible with the majority of autopilots on the market, so when I arrive at my fishing spot I’ll put one motor in gear and use the autopilot to maintain my heading, and then use an Autotether wireless kill switch so I can walk to the stern and hook up a bait and deploy it.

 

I always put a balloon on my first bait, and it will be my long flat line bait, and I use it to get a feel for my drift and how the wind and currents are affecting my bait spread. Then I’ll put another bait out tethered through the shoulders, so it will swim down. I’ll freeline that bait.

Once the flatline baits are out, I’ll start putting baits out on the kites. When all the baits are out, then I’ll move back to the helm and disengage the autopilot and use the Yamaha Helm Master Integrated Digital Control System to maneuver the baits left or right, so they’re positioned over any wrecks or structure we want to fish around.

It’s really nice having the autopilot integrating with the Yamaha Helm Master and everything working together so that it only takes on person to operate the boat, deploy the baits and position them to produce the most efficient and effective opportunity to catch a sailfish. From there, it’s up to the fish to find and catch the bait.

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Original Source:  Yamaha Outboards.com 

 

Bait Magnets

 

Bait Magnets

By Capt. Gus Cane

Live bait enthusiasts know you can never have too much bait on board and one of the fastest ways to “black out” a live well is by chumming. Several methods are effective, but soaking frozen blocks of chum is the most popular.

Available at tackle shops and marinas, frozen chum typically consists of ground-up menhaden or shrimp trawl by-catch. It usually comes in 6-pound blocks in wax-paper boxes. The block slips easily into nylon bags with mesh openings from 1/4 to 3/8 inch and a drawstring closure. To activate, simply lower the bag into the water, give it several good shakes to start the flow and tie the bag off on a boat cleat. The current and occasional shake will do the rest. Before stashing the container box in a bucket or hatch, dip it in the water to remove any residue and add to the slick.

As the chum starts to thaw, oil and tiny particles (scales, bits of flesh, skin) will slowly drift behind the boat in the current, forming a noticeable slick on the water’s surface. The combination will soon attract different kinds of bait depending on the water depth and location. Pinfish, blue runners, ballyhoo, pilchards, herring, and sardines are the prime baits attracted by the chum. Once the bait arrives, small jigs, Sabiki® rigs or a cast net can be used to gather the bounty.

Dry commercial chum, typically menhaden pellets in burlap bags, is another alternative. Dry Chum is vacuum-bagged and can be stored indefinitely, so there’s less mess and waste.

Some anglers prefer to make their own chum using ground-up fish carcasses and frozen menhaden or mackerel. A grinder mounted to plate and placed in a stern rod holder can pulverize this raw or frozen concoction directly overboard. Although more labor-intensive than soaking the frozen blocks, this method does work well. There are also products like the chum churn.  that hangs over the side. The long slender tube is filled with fish parts, and the internal blades chop and dice as the handle is pumped.

Do-it-yourself frozen blocks aren’t difficult to make either if a large chest freezer is available. Dry cat food or oatmeal soaked with water and generous splashes of menhaden oil can be poured into quart-size plastic zip bags and frozen. On the water, put them in a mesh bag and soak over the side just like the store-bought blocks.

Mesh chum bags can be bought in bulk and then thrown away after the trip. If you prefer to recycle, however, tie the empty bag off the transom cleat, so it dangles in the water on the run back in. The waves and splashes will scour it clean for the next time you want to chum for bait.

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Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com 

Terminally Well

 

Terminally Well  

By Capt. Gus Cane

Even the most expensive rods and reels are worthless without critical hardware. Catching coastal fish requires a wide variety of terminal tackle—the hooks, swivels, line, leader, crimps and other components that complete the rigs. You might be targeting a certain species. But in the briny, you never know what might show up so it pays to be fully prepared to capitalize on whatever opportunities might arise.

Obviously, line is needed on the reels. The choice between braid and monofilament is a personal one. Both have distinct advantages and disadvantages. Having multiple combos on board offers more flexibility and allows a quick switch from light to heavy if the situation calls for it. If space is limited, carry spare spools loaded with different line classes in case of a break-off, bird’s next or the need to scale up or down.

A similar situation exists with leader material. Multiple spools of different line strengths allow for fast changes. Monofilament leader works well for many applications. For super spooky fish or in clear water conditions, fluorocarbon leader is another option. Again, there are pros and cons to each leader type. Having a mix in the tackle bag will cover all bases. Toothy game fish like king, Spanish and cero mackerel, along with wahoo, barracuda, and sharks, often require the use of wire leader. Single-strand, coated and multi-strand cable are all handy depending on the circumstances. A mix will handle any variables.

The same holds true for an assortment of terminal tackle. Hooks come in multiple styles, sizes, and strengths. A thin-wire 1/0 circle hook nose-hooked to a small pinfish is a good match for a trophy seatrout. But that same hook would be way too light for feeding a palm-size pilchard to an 80-pound tarpon. Similarly, the treble hook on a six-inch surface popper just won’t work as a stinger hook on a kingfish rig. That’s why quantity, quality, and application are so important with terminal tackle. You could go through multiple rigs during a hot bite, and you certainly don’t want to run out or have the wrong stuff. Be prepared, and you’ll be ready for whatever you might encounter.

A good way to organize terminal tackle is by type and sometime species. Clear plastic tackle boxes with multiple (or adjustable) compartments allow loading by size or style. For example, keeping multiple sizes of swivels and crimps in one box allows a quick visual reference. Hooks and sinkers can be organized the same way. The boxes can be color coordinated or labeled with tape or magic marker. Loading several boxes in an open duffel bag makes them easier to tote.

Don’t forget the specialized terminal tackle items either. Plastic beads, copper wire, rubber tubing, dusters, dental floss, floats and balloons all have their place in special rigs. Don’t overlook the rigging tools as well. Pliers, crimpers, needles, deboners, bait knives, scissors and other accessories should be kept with the terminal tackle for quick access.

When you’re 30 miles offshore on a weed line loaded with gaffer dolphin, you don’t want to run out of the right hooks or rigs. Stock up and organize your terminal tackle and you won’t be disappointed.

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Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com