March Tarpon Madness

Report Date: March 28, 2006

The last half of March has been quite an experience. We fished with Jeff, Cody and Taylor Lapnow for a couple days and they taught us about "butterfly jigging". They caught a variety of bottom fish on these new concept jigs. While catching almaco jacks, amberjacks, bar jacks, yellow jacks, kitty mitchell grouper, scamp grouper, yellow eye snapper, vermillion snapper, king mackerel and other lesser fish on these artificial lures, they also caught a few dolphin up to 18 pounds, an african pompano and a 14 pound mutton snapper on live bait.

We fished the Billfish Masters Tournament over the weekend of the 18th. Our anglers, Steve and his daughter Amanda Nichols caught 8 sailfish, several dolphin, a couple of king mackerel and some bonitos.

An Irak jack

Patrick and Joe Fixter fish with us for a day and an evening. They caught loads of kings, several dolphin, a black grouper, a good size shark, Joe's first sailfish, a big jack and both guys each caught their first tarpon.

A day of bottom fishing produced a few snapper, 5 assorted groupers and some jacks for the Peter Whiting group.

The 23rd we caught a sail, a bunch of dolphin and several kings with the Bobby Vogel party. In the evening we saw tarpon fishing at it's best as we scored by catching 5 out of 9 hook ups.

On the 25th we had a bonito blitz , catching 8 of these prize fighters. A sailfish made a brief visit and a nice dolphin provided lunch for the anglers. The evening trip was a treat for the Irak guys from Indiana. Joe and his boys caught 3 big jacks, a 5 pound gray snapper and each guy caught a tarpon.

Sunday was a real treat as we fished with the Harkavy family. 10 year old Heather is a world record angler always trying for another. On Sunday she started with an 11 pound mutton snapper. Then she caught a king. As the day progressed she added another king, a small amberjack and a couple barracuda. She finished the day with a world record gray grouper of 10 pounds. The one sad event was when she fought a potential world record african pompano up to the boat only to have the hook pull out as I worked the leader to bring the fish up to the boat. On top of all this action, Heather showed off her artistic abilities aboard my new Dusky 33.

Heather and Jeff with a couple beauties

We thought we had hot tarpon fishing a couple nights during the last week. Sunday night showed how much better it could be. The Lambert party, Dan, Alex and Big John, caught a big jack and 7 out of 12 tarpon including one on 12 pound line with a Tsunami artificial shrimp for a wild night of action. We even quit early to get Alex home for school the next morning. You have to have good school grades to earn fishing trips.

Be sure to check out "Living Legends in Big Game Fishing" it is a great collection of fishing stories compiled by Patrick Mansell. It is available at . To plan your summer fishing for swordfish and snook, contact me at or stop by Miami Beach Marina.

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Capt. Bouncer Smith
1521 Alton Road, #505
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Phone: (305) 439-2475