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Fishing for Snapper Diving for Spiny Lobster
Summer is a very special time of year for Anglers. The many different species of salt water fish are all out on the reefs in the south florida waters to participate in their annual spawning. Mutton Snapper are already well into this years spawn up and down the east coast of florida. They began in the month of May and continue for a few months. Mangrove Snapper are all preparing for their turn. Mangrove or Gray Snapper begin their spawn after the new moon phase in june and peak around the fourth of July. The Florida Keys are the best place to experience the spawn. It is something you will not forget. The Mangrove Snapper come to the surface after about ten pm each night to release the eggs and sperm into the strong currents along the reefs edge in 45 plus feet of water. I annually take a trip down to Marathon Florida and take a night trip aboard the Marathon Lady, a party boat at the east end of Marathon just over the Vaca Cut bridge. Prices are great and fishing is even better. We all love Spiny Lobster season. It begins with the "Mini Season", the last wednesday and thursday of July and the regular season opens about 1 week later. It is the adventure and thrill of the chase that makes so many of us play hookie from work to be lined up at the boat ramp way before dawn. You can catch lobster by many methods. snorkeling, freediving or scuba. For most of my life we drug divers behind the boat to cover more area and to let more friends experience the fun. There has always been an alternative way. You do not even have to get wet. Yes you can buy lobster at the fish market and not get wet either but you will miss something you can not experience by any other method.
    Bullynetting! It has been around for years but not many people know much about it other than commercial fisherman who do not use traps. Bullynetting is done at night on the oceanside of major cuts or passes on the outgoing tide. That is when lobster leave their holes in rocks and walk around looking for food. That is when they find their way into lobster traps. With the use of underwater lights of many configurations you can light up the shallow waters on either side of the channel and search them out and use a special net to catch them. It does take a little practice to get the hang of it but the experience is something you will always remember.
Yellowtail Fishing Hogfish Fishing
    Yellowtail fishing is a year round activity to many anglers. It is as productive during the winter months during the day as it is at night during the hot summer months when it is too hot to be out in the sun all day.
Flat lining in 45 feet or more with little or no weight on a small jig is very productive. Chum is a must. There are many types to use but homemade is the choice of commercial fisherman who use fishing rods. Menhadden oil is key when mixed with oats, corn and blood chum. Silver sides are the best choice for bait. Simply drift your bait on an open spooled spinning rig and when the line tears off the reel you set the hook and reel it in. Floating a ballyhoo plug will attract some of the other larger reef dwellers as will your chumline. During winter Kingfish are abundant so when you get cut off switch to a wire leader and catch a few. 
Most people who go after Hogfish are divers, but there is another way. In late winter and early spring Hogfish are abundant on the inner patch reefs. There are several types of patch reefs which are favorited by hogfish. Seafans are a must. You do not really want rockpiles or coral reefs. What you want to find are patches with few rocks and many ferns that are fairly large. Position your boat so the current will hold your anchored boat about ten feet from a large fern. Do not use chum! You only want to attract attention to hogfish. Use frozen shrimp. The older and smellier the better. On a heavy spinning rig with 30 or 40 pound test simply drop your bait next to the fern. If a hogfish is there or nearby it will eat your bait in seconds and the fight is on. If no bite, find another fern and try again. Ten to fifteen pound hogfish are common and that is why you must use heavy line and tackle or you will lose the fish. A ten pound Hogfish will break 20lb mono on its initial strike almost everytime.

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