Inshore Fish!ing Report
Lady Pamela II
Fort Lauderdale, Fl
Feb. 26, 1998
by: Jim Sawyer
Late February is never the most dependable time to go offshore fishing in SE Florida and El Nino has done nothing to improve the situation. However, I had an invitation from Capt. Kevin Dinnen on the Lady Pamela II for a half day trip out of Fort Lauderdale, so I enlisted my oldest son, one of his friends, three co-workers (including my boss), and we set a date for Thursday morning on Feb. 26, 1998. (BTW, I think only 1 or 2 of the above had ever caught a dolphin before and most had never fished offshore.)
Another cold front had passed through late Sunday and the weather had been cold and windy with lows in the 50s on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday was a little warmer and the wind finally moved back around to the ESE that night. Thursday mornings marine forecast was "partly cloudy, winds 10-15 knots with a moderate chop and a high in the mid 80s. Better than we had expected, but we wouldnt know if it was good enough until we were on the water.
We met at the dock at A1A & Las Olas Blvd. at 6:45 AM and for once everyone was on time. There was parking right next to the boat so by 7:00 everything was loaded and we were underway. Capt. Dinnen had already prepared bonito strips before we arrived and on the way out we each pitched in a few bucks to buy a dozen goggle-eyes from one of the live bait boats in Port Everglades.
Right outside the port we began trolling south between the second and third reefs lines that run parallel to the beach. The kingfish werent hitting so we turned east and worked our way toward the Gulf Stream to about 10 or 12 miles offshore. We were trolling for the mahi-mahi (dolphin) now with a spread of five bonito strips with feathers and a teaser, plus a sixth line on a deep plainer looking for wahoo. At 9:00 the clouds were beginning to break up and the weather was warming so we turned back east and a little farther south. Here we finally found some scattered weeds and some small debris. We trolled south along this weed line and picked up our first three fish of the day, including this bull of about 13-15 pounds that my son caught.
By about 10:30 Capt. Dinnen had found a small eddy of lighter water and we set up the kite to work that edge with the live goggle-eyes. This put another three mahi-mahi in the box. The Lady Pamela II had another charter that afternoon so we headed back in at around 11:30.
In April this would not be a remarkable catch, but for February we couldnt hardly ask for more. The weather turned out great with clear blue skies, the Lady Pamela smoothed the seas out beautifully, we found enough fish to give everyone a turn in the chair (which is fun, even when you dont really need it) and there were plenty of fresh mahi-mahi filets for dinner. Capt. Dinnen and Mike, our mate, had managed to do all of this on a very marginal day and with a boatload of rank amateurs. They even took the time to explain what we were doing and why.
Everyone had a great time and we are all ready to go out again. Even my boss and son were happy with me. (Sorry I don't have more pictures, but my 35mm decided to take a swim.These were taken with my Kodak DC20 Digital.)
So, let me say:
1) Thank you again Capt. Dinnen for a great day of fishing!
2) I gladly recommend Capt. Dinnen and the Lady Pamela II to anyone (amateur or otherwise) who is considering a trip offshore from Broward / Fort Lauderdale. They were 100% professional, everything went as advertised or better, and they were just good people to go fishing with.
You can check his page at <http://cyberangler.com/guides/dinnen/Kevin_Dinnen.html> or give him a call at 954/761-8045 for more details.
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Last modified on 02/28/98.