On the Water: Boynton Inlet drift boats

7960549467?profile=originalA mate throws a pair of small kingfish into the fish-sorting bin from the Lady K drift boat

at Lantana’s Sportsman’s Park. The 65-foot boat is one of three walk-on fishing boats

that reaches the ocean through Boynton Inlet.

Lady K:

Located at Sportsman’s Park, 314 E. Ocean Ave., Lantana. Trips leave at 8 a.m., 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The fare is $37 for adults, $25 for ages 12 and under and $33 for seniors, members of the military, law enforcement officers and teachers. Call 588-7612 or go to www.barjackfishing.com.

Living on Island Time:

Located at Palm Beach Yacht Center, 7848 S. Federal Highway, Hypoluxo. Trips leave at 8 a.m., 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. The fare is $40 or $25 for ages 12 and under. Seniors, students and active military: $35. Call 585-4475 or go to www.fishingonislandtime.com.

Sea Mist III:

Located at Boynton Harbor Marina, 700 Casa Loma Blvd., Boynton Beach. Trips leave at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Night trips (Friday and Saturday) leave at 6:30 p.m. The fare is $40 for adults, $25 for ages 12 and under and $35 for seniors. Call 732-9974 or go to www.seamist3.com.

Driftboat basics

Basic rules: Drift boats allow customers to bring their own rods, but braided line is frowned upon or forbidden because it is harder to untangle than monofilament line and can cut through the lines of other anglers.  
Big-fish pools: Most drift boat crews allow anglers to chip in $5 in hopes of winning the pot of money for the largest fish. Most boats exclude bonito, sharks and some other fish from the big-fish pot.
What to bring: Layers of clothing are recommended during the winter in case of cold or rain. Hats and sunglasses are a must because they protect eyes from hooks and sinkers. Drift boat anglers often bring snacks and drinks in a small cooler and their own fishing tackle.
Weather: Check the marine weather section of the NOAA website (www.weather.gov) and look for wave height before deciding when to fish. If you’re seasick because of rough seas, don’t expect the captain to take you back to the docks. You’ll be out there for four hours.
Tips: Call ahead to check sea conditions and the types of fish being caught. Show up at the docks half an hour before the scheduled departure time if possible. Ask questions to learn from captains, mates and veteran angler.

-- Willie Howard

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