Great Fishing In Miami Offshore
We left off with lousy tarpon fishing April 22nd and 23rd. Bill Buckens caught a sail, a bog dolphin and a couple school dolphin on the 23rd.
Debbie Howard and Kathy went head to head against the guys on "305" and showed the guys that the girls are tough anglers. The girls took 2 hours off to care for a sick friend and still caught 5 sails, 2 barracudas, 6 dolphin to 20 pounds, half a kingfish and a 36 pound wahoo.
That night Bill and his friends caught tarpon of 125 and 80 pounds. The big one ate a Gulp shrimp on a jig head.
Our long time team of Joe, Joe and Jay Della Monica were joined by Jack for a day of tarpon fishing on the 25th. They caught two tarpon in the bay on live crabs in the morning and then added two tarpon on live mullet off Fisher Island in the afternoon.
On The 28th Charla caught a 120 pound tarpon in the evening. We missed 2 more.
On the 29th we fished with Tim and caught 3 sails, 6 dolphin to 20 pounds and a king in 5 hours. That evening Bill Buckens caught a sail and 4 small dolphin.
April 30th was a tough day when we caught a king and 4 dolphin before we suffered a computer failure and engines failure after only 2 hours on the water.
As if the 30th wasn't bad enough, we had the same failure again on May 1st. We caught 3 sailfish and 2 dolphin before being towed in again after another 2 hour trip. It turned out to be corrosion in the shift control and was cured by days end.
May 2nd was the "Mad Dog Tournament". We must have been confused because it was a eatting fish tournament and we caught 5 sailfish instead.
The 3rd we fished with Bob, Fern and Les. They caught 3 sails and a nice mutton snapper. That evening we abused Tony's brother. Tony runs the IGFA School of Sport Fishing and his brother was down from Vermont. Damian fought one tarpon for an hour before it cut him off in the ship channel. Then he fought another tarpon for over an hour before bringing this 125 pound beauty boat side for the release.
On Monday Shane and Pete caught 4 sailfish, 2 nice kings, a 15 pound dolphin, 2 mutton snappers and 2 bonito.
On Wednesday we fished with Ronnie and Morgan. They caught 4 sails, 2 amberjack and a couple small bottom fish.
On Thursday Capt Marty Moore caught 2 sailfish and 2 bonito before heading out for daytime swordfish. I guess we should have stayed with the sails, because we had no more luck.
On May 8 and 9 we fished with light tackle experts Benji and Gabriel Hiller. On Friday they caught 2 permit on 12 pound line and 1 on 8 pound line. Gabriel added a sailfish on 6 pound line. They finished day one with one of 4 tarpon hooked on 6 pound line. On day two Benji caught a sailfish on 6. They caught 5 kings and a 10 pound dolphin on 6 and ended the day with 1 of 3 tarpon on 6. The last fight lasted two and a half hours before losing the fish three miles from where it was hooked.
On the 11th we fished with Jim , Joann, Mathew and Jeff. They caught 15 dolphin, 2 bonito and a king. That night we fished with Ben, Rob and Domenic and they each caught big tarpon.
On the 12th we filmed with Mark Sosin. We had a great day catching 4 permit, a 40 pound king and 2 small kings.
On the evening of May 13th we fished with Don and Sandy Blake . These two always have great fishing and this day was no different. They caught 4 sailfish up to 90 pounds, 2 bonito, a dolphin and a 20 pound tuna.
On the 14th Ann, Sarah and Bill caught 2 sails, 7 tuna (3 were over 30 pounds), 3 bonito, 4 dolphin and a cuda.
Gus caught his first two sails
Gus, Carmen, Bob and Alicia caught 2 sails to an estimated 100 pounds, 2 big tuna, 3 dolphin to 15 pounds, 3 kings to 12 pounds, a cuda and 3 bonito.
That evening I paid off on a promise to the students of Pace High School. I said I would take the two students from their fishing club with the highest GPA and the most improved student for an evening of fishing. Bradon, Andre and Cindy each caught sailfish and they added 2 bonito. Their club leader and teacher Scott watched with envy.
Old friend Mark and his nephew Miguel fished on May 16th. They caught 2 sails, 2 kings, 2 bonito and a dolphin.
IGFA president Rob Kramer, Len and Jeff fished with us on the 17th. They caught 2 sails, a tuna, 2 kings and several bonito.
John and his daughter Jenny fished May 18th and 19th. They caught 5 dolphin, 2 tuna, 3 sails, 9 kings, 7 bonito and a couple bar jacks.
Tom and Peter Kane fished May 22 and 23. They caught 6 dolphin to 28 pounds, 4 bonito, 2 sails, 2 kings, 2 barracuda and a cero mackerel.
The 24th we went evening tarpon fishing with Brandy Birtcher and his guest. Mark Lauria stole the show with a grueling 2 hour fight with a beautiful 120 pound tarpon.
Memorial Day we took my sister Sue and my mates girlfriend Yudith fishing for a few hours. The girls caught a bunch of kings and a bonito. Yudith had her first sailfish bite, but she will have to get a little luckier next time.
Heidi Nute and her brother Drake fished with us on May 27 and 28. The fishing on the 28th was slow. We found 1 dolphin offshore we then caught 4 kings and a bonito on the edge. We were 20 miles south of the cut in 165 feet of water when we thought we saw a turtle offshore of us. We motored over there hoping to find dolphinor a cobia under the turtle. We were all shocked when the turtle turned outr to be a 300 to 350 pound goliath grouper bloated with gases from being pulled from the depths. I had seen a shark longline boat go north a half hour sooner and could not help but suspect that they had caught the grouper and left it to die. The grouper was now near death showing the slightest gill and pectoral fin movements. We gaffed it in the lower jaw and vented the fish behind the pectoral fin and below the lateral line. gases started to bobble from the vent hole and we started towing the fish slowly through the water to force oxygen rich water over the grouper's gills. Soon the tail began to pulse with motion. We rolled this giant right side up and in a minute or two this monster of the reefs threw water over all of us as she bolted for the depths. Saving this giant predator was far more rewarding than catching a few more fish.
Heidi with her estimated 100 pound sail
On Heidi and Drake's second day they got rewarded for our grouper good deed. They caught 3 tuna over 30 pounds each, Heidi caught a sailfish that was definitely every bit of 100 pounds, 10 kings, a bonito and a barracuda.
John brought Jim two Andrews out fishing on the 30th. They caught 5 kings, 2 bonito and a grand finally sailfish.
Ron, Guy, Macs and Earl joined us on Sunday. They caught 2 sails, 2 amberjacks, 3 mutton snappers, a 28 pound king, 2 smaller kings and 2 bonitos.
June 2nd we went tarpon fishing with live crabs. We caught 2 of the 4 that bit while fishing with Dick and Loraine.
On the 3rd we filmed with Mark Sosin again. We caught 5 sailfish and 2 bonito. While catching our first sailfish we ignored a 20 pound dolphin jumping around on another line till the leader broke. On TV you can only catch fish one at a time. We also had the thrill of watching a 125 to 150 pound yellowfin tuna sky rocket into the air with our short kite herring. The bad news was he spit the bait before the line came tight.
April ended strong, May was very good and June is off to a great start. We have lots of open dates, so let's go fishing. June usually provides good tuna action, pretty good sailfish action and plenty of dolphin. The biggest swordfish we ever brought to the dock was caught last June. Our next seminar in at Dusky Sport Center July 16th.
Morgan with one of four sails
Benji with one of several permit
About The Author: Captain Bouncer Smith
Company: Bouncers Dusky Charters
Area Reporting: Fort Lauderdale to Miami out to Bahamas
Bio: CAPTAIN BOUNCER SMITH is experienced in every aspect of the sport of fishing, in South Florida as well as a variety of ports in both North and South America, he has devoted his life to sharing fishing with others, through his radio shows, magazine articles, seminars, and on the water. Bouncer has been running boats out of South Florida since he was 19, working on them since he was 15. He shares his love of the ocean and fishing with children and adults from the novice fisherman to the tournament sportsfisherman.