Fishing Seminar Hosted By george Poveromo-Representing Miami Guest speaker Capt. Alex Rodriguez

Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show Seminar

Capt. Alex "Speaking"

 

Newspaper Headline

 

 

As seen on the Palm Beach Post Article

By Willie Howard-Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Thursday, September 08, 2005

 

PALM BEACH — Dave Justice probably thinks more about snook fishing than most anglers. Not only has pursuing the fish been his lifelong hobby, perfecting methods for catching it is now part of his job as field services manager for Berkley Fishing Products.

For 35 years, the Miami native has worked bridges, inlets and beaches for snook from Fort Pierce south to the Florida Keys and the state's west coast. He enjoys fooling wary snook with jigs at inlets and from bridges with live bait, almost always at night or early in the morning.

GRAPHIC:



The book on snook
The Justice system (for snook): Dave Justice, a 35-year veteran of snook fishing and the field services manager for Berkley Fishing Products, offered these tips for catching snook by working jigs over ledges near inlets. He also catches snook from bridges using live bait, by trolling and around spillways. Justice will speak this weekend during the Florida Sportsman Fishing Show at the South Florida Fairgrounds.
• Water conditions: When fishing around ocean inlets with artificial baits, Justice favors the cloudy water of the outgoing tide. He usually fishes at night or in the early morning.
• Artificial baits: For ledges around inlets, Justice rigs jig heads ranging in weight from 3/4 to 1 1/2 ounces with Berkley Powerbait shrimp or Berkley Gulp Shrimp. For beginners, he recommends the Gulp Shrimp because of its strong scent.
• Rod/reel/line: When casting jigs around inlets, Justice uses an 8-foot musky rod and Ambassador 6500 reel. He spools half the reel with 25-pound-test monofilament (backing) and tops it with 30-pound-test braided line, such as Spiderwire Stealth, linked to 60-pound-test fluorocarbon leader.
• Leader knots: Justice developed two knots for attaching braided line to monofilament or fluorocarbon leader. His favorite is the Stren Knot -- half Uni knot, half improved clinch knot. He also uses a J-knot, similar to a surgeon's knot, but finishes in a top-to-bottom weave. He ties on jigs with a loop knot.
• Presentation: Justice casts over ledges and drop-offs, then works his jig back over the drops by reeling, pausing and reeling. He barely moves the rod tip. He strives to move the jig no more than 12 inches off the bottom, then lets it fall again. Snook often hit when the bait is falling. When the jig comes to a large drop-off, he sometimes puts the reel in free-spool to achieve as much vertical free-fall as possible, as if walking the lure down underwater stair steps.
• Live bait/bridges: When fishing from bridges, Justice uses live bait on a 9-foot rod with a Penn Senator reel spooled with 80-pound-test monofilament line and about 3 feet of 100- or 125-pound-test leader. His hook: A Mustad 9175. Favorite live baits: Sand perch, mullet and ladyfish.
• Snook season/limits: The fall snook season runs Sept. 1-Dec. 14. East coast bag limit: Two. West coast bag limit (including Monroe County and Everglades National Park): One. Snook must be between 26 and 34 inches to be kept. A snook permit is required wherever a saltwater fishing license is required. Call (561) 625-5122 or www.myfwc.com.
• Alex Rodriguez:
Rodriguez leads fishing trips to Biscayne Bay and other South Florida locations for tarpon, permit, bonefish and snook aboard his 18-foot flats boat. Call Rodriguez at (786) 412-4859 or go online to www.biscaynefishingguide.com

 

Justice will give a presentation on snook fishing at this weekend's Florida Sportsman Fishing Show at the South Florida Fairgrounds. During a red-eye trip to Lake Worth Inlet with guide Alex Rodriguez last week, Justice demonstrated his methods by working jigs ever so carefully over ledges, using braided line so he could feel the jig as it bumped along the bottom.

Motoring south from the Blue Heron Bridge, we found few other boats fishing the inlet at 10 p.m., two hours before the fall snook season opened. Rodriguez moved his boat in and out of the inlet as he and Justice cast toward the south inlet wall, working Berkley Powerbaits and Gulp Shrimp, over drop-offs and ledges.

Their presentation of the jigs seemed odd. While working them back toward the boat, their 8-foot musky rods stayed parallel to the water. They cranked their reels to lift the jigs off the bottom, then stopped and concentrated, waiting to feel the lure hit the bottom before cranking again.

"We're literally probing the bottom, the way we fish," Justice said.

At large drop-offs, they sometimes put their reels in free-spool, letting the jigs sink vertically. Snook often hit falling baits.

Justice and Rodriguez also cast in the direction of the current and retrieved their baits against the tidal flow, challenging the conventional thinking that baits should be cast upcurrent and bumped along with the flow to look natural. Snook face into the current. Their hunch: A bait that suddenly appears from behind a snook can trigger a reaction strike.

Working his jig over a ledge near a lighted dock on the outgoing tide, Justice got a hit soon after we arrived. A large snook splashed on the surface near the boat, then spit the hook. The action slowed, so we moved east to the mouth of the inlet.

Tarpon splashed on the calm water at the outside edge the inlet around midnight. The ocean was slick and calm. The lack of boats on opening morning was amazing.

Although Justice likes to fish the points of jetties, he and Rodriguez had no luck working their jigs around the tips of the north and south jetties at Lake Worth Inlet. We moved back inside the inlet to a spot near the middle of the south jetty wall, where Justice and Rodriguez started getting hits on jigs. Justice's 31 1/2-inch snook hit a Gulp Shrimp rigged on a 1-ounce jig head at the deep part of the ledge.

Working through the wee hours of the morning, Justice and Rodriguez caught nine snook, including two legal-sized fish and four over the 34-inch maximum size. Some of their snook hit at the ledge near the middle of the south jetty wall; others were taken farther back inside the inlet, closer to Peanut Island.

Even when the flowing water of the outgoing tide had stopped, Justice caught and released a snook estimated at 19 pounds on a Gulp Shrimp around 3:30 a.m., a quiet time at the inlet when dozens of small snook were stacked like logs under the lights of a private dock. The little dock-light snook weren't interested in the jigs, but Rodriguez caught an 8-pounder working the bottom ledge with a jig in the same area.

Justice says jigging ledges can produce big snook. His personal best is a 36-pounder caught on a jig at Fort Lauderdale's Pier 66. Rodriguez caught a 50-inch snook in Miami's Government Cut during a night trip in 2002.

 

Thank you for reading this story of the Palm Beach Post

on Capt. Alex Rodriguez

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