Angler catches giant wahoo off Boca Inlet

The week around the full moon in August is the best time to catch a wahoo in South Florida.

The full moon was Saturday, and it didn't take Chris Fay long to cash in.

Trolling off Boca Raton Inlet Saturday evening, Fay caught a wahoo estimated at 70-75 pounds.

"That's the nicest one I've ever caught out here," said Fay, of Boca Raton, who was fishing with Joe Firek and Robbie Parker.

They went out Boca Inlet at 6:45. Conditions were not ideal, with storms and rough seas offshore.

Fay put out a big bonito strip with a skirt on the surface, then put out a split-tail mullet on a No. 3 planer 500 yards behind the 31-foot Contender. Then he started trolling at 11 knots.

"We got in some nasty weather, so we pushed inshore to avoid it," Fay said. "We got into 60 feet and that's when the reel started screaming like I've never heard before. I knew it was the one bite I came out there for."

That bite came about two minutes after the moon came up. Fay said the fish ripped line off the 50-wide reel for a minute.

"It was a big bait, so I knew it wasn't a kingfish," Fay said. "I knew it was a wahoo."

The fish was securely hooked and the entire fight took only five to six minutes. That included the time Fay needed to pull in the 150 feet of 80-pound shock cord attached to the planer by hand.

"He wasn't going anywhere," Fay said. "What a fish! I am 6-foot-3 and he was as long as I was with his tail still on the ground."

Fish of the week

When dolphin are around, it's not uncommon for anglers to hook blue marlin. On a trip with five kids and their parents back home to Boca Raton from Bimini, the 55-foot sailing catamaran Palm Breeze caught and released a 250-pound blue and had two other marlin strikes, one from a 400-pounder. They also caught five dolphin 15-20 pounds.

John De bliso and Brad Ochs caught a 37-pound bull dolphin fishing in 700 feet off Hollywood.

Capt. Alan Zaremba of Hollywood reported a good morning topwater bite for schooling peacock bass in urban canals using plugs like a MirrO Prop with the front blade removed. When that bite ended, his customers used suspending hard jerkbaits. Fly rodders had success with Clouser minnows on sinking lines. Zaremba added that peacock bass also were biting around the marsh access cuts in Everglades canals. Largemouth bass were biting Gambler ribbontail worms and Flapp'n Shads on the surface.

Zaremba and Joe Schillace of Weston caught 65 largemouths up to 31/2 pounds on a half-day trip in the L-28 Canal. Ted Sander and Zaremba caught five largemouths and six peacocks on a half-day trip in the L-30.

Twin brothers Dane and Matt Wood of Amarillo, Texas, caught six peacocks during a rain-shortened fly fishing trip in the C-4. Lance Benson of Miami caught 23 peacocks up to 61/2 pounds and a largemouth on a half-day trip at Miami International Airport. Jan Forszpaniak caught two grass carp up to 20 pounds and 18 peacocks fly fishing in the C-1.

Thadeus Ragan of West Park caught a total of 10 bass weighing 47 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday and Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division Super Tournament on Lake Okeechobee out of Okeechobee. Ragan, who won by more than 31/2 pounds, earned $6,922.

"I was catching them along a half-mile stretch of hydrilla in the northwest corner of the lake," said Ragan, who used a black hollow-bodied frog and a chartreuse Zara Spook.

Kail Stevens of Boynton Beach was fifth in the boater division with nine bass weighing 38-14 to win $1,384. Jay Trudel of Boca Raton was eighth in the co-angler division at 27-8 to win $519.

Current meeting: Professor Arthur Mariano of the University of Miami will talk about the Florida Current, its associated circulation features and its influence on bait and fish distribution at Wednesday's meeting of the Hollywood Hills Saltwater Fishing Science and Social Club. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at Shenanigans East Side Pub, 1300 S. Federal Hwy., Dania Beach. Visit meetup.com/Hollywood-Hills-Saltwater-Fishing-Science-and-Social-Club.

swaters@tribpub.com or @WatersOutdoors

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