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Dockside report
Well the Dockside is still there and growing. They have even added a tiki bar, open to the public, which makes parking almost impossible in the evening. (hint, don't go out to dinner, use the grills and kitchens to make your dinner in the room or on the dock or wait for 45 minutes for a parking spot to open.)

I got there Thursday afternoon after dropping my wife off at her father's home in Vero Beach, about 20 minutes North of the Dockside, and picking my son up there. (we knew of the parking problem and left his truck in Vero). Had a Captains meeting for the funament after which Corey gave a bait (ballyhoo) prep/rigging seminar.

We left the dock at 7:00 Friday AM for the tournament practice day and ran south to a couple markers looking for live bait. We managed 1 bait and wasted too much time trying to catch them,[Image: bang.gif] so off we went trolling. Over some artificial reef area in about 140', we ran into a school of dolphin and had a triple on trolled baits, but we also had an inexperienced crew and lost two of the three, landing one 5# fish. It came in without any of his buddy's. After several hours trolling this area and similar depths we took off running East and stopped in 1000'. During this run, we saw NADA, nothing, zilch. It was like a desert. No flying fish, no weeds, no rips, nothing!! We did troll out in the depths for about an hour and then ran back in to 140 and trolled into 60' where we managed a small kingfish on the down-rigger. We did manage a bonito at some point in the day, but I don't recall where or when we caught it.

Saturday was the funament day and looking at our result on Friday, decided to fore-go any live bait and run north, toward Bethal Shoal. We again left at 7:00 am. As we approached Bethel, we saw a lot of boats trying for bait, but found a rip and scattered weed in 120' several miles south of the marker and put the lines out. We had a bottom number in this area and trolled over it. Several hundred yards later we had a sail up on the teaser. It dropped off the teaser and ate the short bait, but again an inexperienced angler did not feed it long enough and it jumped off. A minute later, another sail came up on a rigger line and Corey fed it sufficiently, but it to jumped off. Another sail immediately ate the same bait and again came unbuttoned. When we pulled the bait in we saw that the hook had turned in the bait and the point was completely buried and could not hook anything. Several hours later we had a double on bonito and another hour later, we had another bonito. We trolled out to 250' and it was like the previous day, a desert. We continued trolling and had a sail short strike the downrigger bait, and several short strikes, missing the hook all on the downrigger, but no further fish. We did have some excitement at one point when the downrigger went off and our female angler thought she had a nice fish, but it turned out to be a large trash bag, hooked, 50' down. She claimed it fought like something big on the way up. She is now called the "Bag Lady" and got an award for it at the awards banquet.Big Grin Called it a day and got back to the dock at 4:00

Weather both days was excellent. If we saw a 1' wave it was large. We did see a thunderstorm building over what appeared to be Ft Pierce inlet on Saturday, but radio reports said it was 3-5 miles inland and not moving (like the last storm I got caught in out of Ft Pierce) :eek:

Awards banquet was at the Gator Trace Country Club, several miles south of the Dockside. A very nice establishment and a nice dinner for the 30 of us in the funament. Even though fishing was poor, very little caught by anyone, the camaraderie was good and a lot of fun.
at least you had a lot of fun and a good time...

the last time we were at the Dockside was the end of April... they were having two different King Mack tournaments going at one time... the SKA ..and a Police vs Firefighters from Orlando funament style one.. actually it wasn't too bad with the amount of people there

the 4 or 5 times before that at our stays there even with the new Tiki bar/restaurant there was nobody around... in fact before our Canal cruise in early Feb they still had their stay 3 nites pay for 2 nites special.. first time I saw that in the height of the winter season...usually it's only offered in the fall months until mid Dec... we always stay there for 2 or 3 nites before heading down to Ft Laud for one of our cruises... in the Harborlite building away from that other end

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