<p>Wow! It's been a good while since I wrote a report. I've been extremely busy in all aspects of my life for the last several months. I went into one of my local bait shops the other day and the owner said he had heard from 3 or 4 guys that I stopped doing charters and sold my boat. Well… that's news to me! Matter of fact, the bank keeps taking my boat payments every month. This recent statement has reminded me to take a little time to sit down and pound out some reports. We're in the worst economy I've ever seen and BP tried to kill the fishing business last year, BUT… The BEAST is still here!
Many of the local guys around South Biscayne Bay may know a guy who runs one of those red & white boats with the TowBoatUS name on the side. He works around the Feather Beds and Boca Chita. His name is Carlos. Carlos and I have been friends for a good while now and we were talking one day about catching Kingfish. He was asking me how I managed to have such good success with them. Rather than explaining the entire process, I told him that we should get a day together and go and get them. That way he could see for himself. When that day came, Carlos and "Uncle Al" joined me, but we all opted for a late start.
We untied the snarling BEAST and headed out to collect some baits. After a few stops we had enough different baits to really enjoy ourselves for several hours. We headed out in search of our quarry and deployed a spread. We decided to fish for whatever would bite but the top bite was slow. The wind and seas were calm. I made a few adjustments and began targeting the Kings to give Carlos some hands on lessons. Within minutes of this change we had a hook up. Carlos took the rod and quickly landed a "snake".
We missed a few bites. My guess was that the fish were on the small side. Then the rod began to sing. We didn't miss this one! Carlos once again jumped on the rod and he was off to the races. A bit longer fight than the first time but Carlos overcame the odds and landed a good fish.
The action had slowed down again and Al was tossing a small speed jig around when he got hooked up. He was putting the heat to his little 15# setup and scored a pretty Blackfin Tuna.
After that we decided to call it a day. We had some fresh "sashimi" and Carlos had plenty of Kingfish meat. It was a good day with good friends!
Another trip we had was with a long time customer, Jon Clement, and his friend. Devon and I met them at the normal 7 AM shove off time. The winds were good and the seas had enough chop to get the fish going. We ran out and did our normal bait routine and then headed offshore.
Devon set out our normal 5 line spread and we were fishing. We had pretty good action most of the day. Jon's friend, who's name escapes me, hooked into a nice Sailfish and it was game on! There were several minutes of some incredible aerial antics by the Sailfish. A little more time was spent with the fish dogging him deep and then he got the fish under control. Shortly thereafter we had the fish at the boat for a quick photo op and good release.
We stayed busy on Dolphin, Kingfish and Bonito, when another Sailfish came calling. This fish seemed to do the opposite of the first Sailfish of the day. It dogged us deep in the beginning portion of the fight and then went ballistic at boatside.
Another good release and we set out the spread once again. We had a double hook up but it only lasted for a short time. One of the fish came unpinned. Several minutes went by on the remaining fish and we began to see the tell tale gold of a Blackie. Yes sir!
Well there ya go! That is the way to end a good day. Jon and his buddy tallied 2 Sails, 6 Kings, 10 Dolphin, 2 Bonito, and a nice Blackfin. The mission was accomplished and followed up with a good ride home.
Yep… The BEAST is still here!
About The Author: Captain Jim Barlett
Company: Beast Fishing Charters
Area Reporting: Miami & upper Key Largo, , Florida
Bio: Beast Fishing Charters is an offshore, light tackle, live bait, fishing charter. Capt. Jim has been fishing South Florida waters for over 35 years. The BEAST is a 2007 WorldCat 330TE, powered by twin 300 Suzuki's and is a stable, comfortable, center console. Capt. Jim specializes in, but is not limited to, Sailfish, Swordfish, and Dolphin. Wreck fishing and bottom dropping are also on the menu.