Rockaway Outdoors/Tales From The Wheelhouse
The temperature down in Fort Lauderdale varied from the mid-seventies to mid-fifties throughout most of last week. Tony "The Hawk" is down there with his winter cronies and daily, he relays the weather and fishing to me.
Apparently, the kingfishing is a bit off with the colder temperatures and most days, he is bottom fishing, with an occasional trip by execution cut for tarpon. The highlight of the week being a twenty-pound permit caught on light tackle. I'll be the first to admit I'm a little jealous he is down there, still going fishing daily and I am sitting at my desk repairing rods and reels. Such is the fishermen's life here in the northeast during January and February.
The winter mackerel run has been, to put it mildly, sporadic, and the water temperatures, in the mid-thirties more or less; put the lid on the coffin, so to speak, regarding any decent blackfishing. Apparently, the only worthwhile fishery, locally that is, would be sea bass offshore trips.
From Freeport, the Captain Lou, skippered by Captain Mike Wassermen, has been sailing special offshore trips with good results. Sea bass, cod and other bottom dwellers fill the coolers for hardy anglers. I like Mike. As a kid, he used to fish with me regularl and definitely has paid his dues and knows his craft well.
Regulations for the upcoming season are on the table, with the state and other coastal overseeing agencies. It doesn't look too promising for the upcoming fluke and flounder run. Hopefully, the final decisions will give us a fishery that's worthwhile. I'll keep you updated.