Tag Archive: pelican

We ended an all day trip having caught over 100 fish…

By Captain Larry Jarboe

Florida Fishing Kayaks

The easterly trade wind has been blowing hard for more than a week.
This is Spring Break in South Florida. Many of the local tour, fishing and diving boats that take people to the reef and blue water have to turn away customers because of the 6-8′ waves that are pounding the reef line.
There has been some seriously lost business and most disappointed vacationers.

In Key Largo, we have had wonderfully productive trips fishing our Wavewalk W700 tandem kayaks in the narrow creeks that flow through the dense mangrove forest here in the heart of Pennekamp Park. Because of the tight quarters and many non-combustion zones where internal combustion motors are prohibited, many of these areas rarely see a fisherman.

This weekend, two groups booked Wavewalk kayak fishing adventures with me –

Issac brought Julio, Daniel, and Darren for a Good Friday afternoon trip. They caught about 30-40 lbs. of keeper fish (Mangrove Snappers, Bluestriped Grunts, and Sailors Choice). I filleted out and boxed enough fish for a panko fried fish platter with black beans and rice that they had cooked up at the Blackwater Siren Restaurant before leaving our island. And, they had a big bag of fish for a big fish fry in Miami.

April who was raised and worked in the Keys, brought her son Keith Jr. and crew Kevin and Joey on Easter Sunday. After a most slow start to the day, we found fish way up Smugglers Run (a creek named for the infamous Keys past when “Save the Bales” was the slogan of the day.).
Those new kayak Ricky Rods got a real workout dragging fish from beneath the mangrove roots. April caught the most fish but everyone got their share including the pelicans who got a bucketful.
We really had to travel some distance to find the calmest possible conditions but we ended an all day trip having caught over 100 fish.

 

 

Everyone who tours or fishes with me in the Wavewalk portable boats is amazed how comfortable and stable these vessels are compared to conventional kayaks.
It is not too hard being the best fishing kayak guide in South Florida with the best fishing kayaks that are available, anywhere.


Larry also offers guided fishing and diving trips in the Key Largo and the areas that surround it »

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Fish of the week – Atlantic Sharpnose Shark

By Captain Larry Jarboe

Often, fishermen disregard the food value of unusual fish. The Atlantic Sharpnose Shark is one of the most common sharks up and down the East Coast. They don’t grow very big. Three feet long is about the average size for these unusually small sharks.

Many of the larger species of sharks are prohibited for harvest due to their protected status. Without fishery management regulations to conserve shark populations that have been diminishing, there might be very few of these toothy predators left.

There is a daily limit of one Atlantic Sharpnose Shark and that is certainly enough to provide a few delicious meals. The shark in the photo was caught while fishing for bottom fish in fairly deep water (135 feet depth). Sharks do not have kidneys to process urine. Thus, to make the meat taste good, the shark should be gutted and allowed to bleed out in the water.

The trick is to grab the shark by the tail and point those snapping jaws away from you. Hold on tight. Hang the shark over the side of the boat and rip through the belly with a sharp knife. Spill the entrails out and suspend most of the shark in the ocean from a line tied around the base of the tail and secured to a cleat. About a half hour later, pack that almost dead shark in ice, carefully. Even dead sharks have been known to bite.

My wife is very particular about the taste of the fish she eats. Her favorite fish for many years has been Hogfish which has firm white meat and is not particularly easy to catch. Last week, I grilled steaks cut from a properly processed Atlantic Sharpnose Shark. She looked at me and said incredulously, “This tastes better than Hogfish!”

I had to agree. With sensible preparation, these small sharks taste just like swordfish for a fraction of the cost to catch one of those monsters.

Even the pelicans at the dock seem to especially like the shark guts and chunks of carcass thrown from my fish cleaning table.

Most sharks are designated for catch and release, only. But, the Atlantic Sharpnose Shark that bites on my line will be caught and filleted.

I have a hungry woman to feed.

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Atlantic Sharpnose Shark with Wavewalk 500 fishing kayak, Key Largo, FL

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Fish of the week – barracuda

By Captain Larry Jarbo

Other than sharks, probably the most fearsome predatory fish that swims in the Atlantic Ocean is the Great Barracuda. These fish can grow over seven feet long and have razor sharp teeth capable of ripping human flesh to the bone.

Fortunately, these ferocious fish prefer to feed on smaller fish like mullet, ballyhoo, or grunts. Most barracuda attacks on people are cases of mistaken identity. The cuda mistook that silver Rolex watch on the swimmer’s wrist as a fleeing fish. Smart people don’t wear flashy objects or jewelry into the water.

Great Barracuda are found in the depths of the Gulf Stream, over shallow reefs, around shipwrecks, and throughout the back country creeks and bays. They are a good sport fish for kayak fishermen to target because they can be found in so many different environments. Though they may be found in schools in the ocean, Great Barracuda are predominately lone predators.

Both live and artificial baits can be used to catch barracuda. Large swimming plugs, surgical tube eels, and large plastic enhanced jigs will all catch these toothy denizens but I prefer live baiting them. In the deep, a short wire leader with a Goggle-Eyed Scad or Blue Runner swimming on a 3/0 – 5/0 hook is a good Barracuda bait. In shallow reef and back country waters, I use an empty twelve ounce Coca Cola plastic bottle for a homemade bobber to keep the bait (a pinfish or small grunt) out of the bottom.

Recently, the catch limits on Atlantic Barracuda in South Florida were wisely reduced to two fish per person per day or six cudas per boat. This is a most sensible way to protect the resource and the sport fishery that targets barracuda. Smaller barracudas (2 feet long or less) are good to eat seasoned and grilled but larger ones may carry Ciguatera poisoning due to toxins accumulating in their flesh from their own consumption of algae eating parrotfish.

The large cuda in the photo was caught on a kayak combo trip that included free mothership transport to the Gulf Stream. That day, we also caught a small shark, jacks, porgies, legal tilefish, and dozens of good eating grunts. Definitely, the four foot barracuda provided the fight and thrill of the day. After a battle on light line, the fish was too winded to be released. That predator provided dinner for the heron and pelicans at my dock, the head will become Stone Crab bait, and the fillets are fine shark bait for another adventure. Nothing goes to waste.

And, the picture will live on to encourage more people to experience the joy of fishing.

Fish and be happy…

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4 ft long barracuda hanging from a white Wavewalk 500 kayak attached to the mothership.
 
Key Largo, FL, February 2016

 

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How to sneak up on fish and the unfair advantage

By Steve Lucas

I went over to Chokoloskee to do some sight fishing and of course I got fogged in. Rather than curse the gloom I lit a candle with my unfair advantage – the WaveWalk 500.

I was paddling over oyster beds in the fog with a light chop on the water but being able to see so well from the W500 allowed me to spot and snag this upper slot Snook.
The rest of the day consisted of small Snapper and trash fish. The day turned out to be beautiful once the fog burned off. The Pelicans were in full bloom and there was a lovely crop of poles.

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Pelican and Wavewalk looking for fish in south Mississippi

By Paul Harrison

Thought you would enjoy these photos from a little trip I took yesterday.
This pelican joined me for a few minutes. He may have been curious about the unusual craft I was in, but I am sure he was more interested in seeing if I had a fish or maybe some bait we could share.

It was cool and breezy here in south Mississippi, but I was able to paddle and fish in comfort. It is great to have such a long season for water sports thanks to the dry cockpit and elevated seating position of the Wavewalk. The fish did not cooperate, but I am as likely to paddle just for fun and exercise because of my kayak.

Paul

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Hey, what kind of yak is this?

 

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