Big Tarpon are Here

Report Date: November 25, 2009

The Holiday season is here, and the winter fish are starting to appear.

The last month has shown signs of the season, but it has also seemed like cooler weather may never be here long enough to end summer. Some sailfish days were very good and then fishing dropped again. Dolphin made a brief appearance that thrilled everybody and tarpon have arrived.

October's book close with some tough fishing. On the 23rd we spent a day hunting swordfish with no luck. The 24th we had a tarpon trip that took us all over our favorite tarpon spots with no success till the very end of the evening, when one tarpon pleased us with a good fight and a positive end to the night.

On the 28th we fished with the Arostegui family and our main angler was Roberta and her hunt for IWFA angler of the year. The day started slow, then we did a little deep dropping and caught a few snapper for dinner. With 3 pounds of lead and a couple chunks of squid for bait, we were all shocked when we hooked a sailfish 400 feet down in the depths.

The day ended on a very high note when Roberta ran up over 4000 points in her tournament quest by ending the day catching and releasing 24 red groupers in 45 feet of water.

We ended the month of October with the Morris family from southern California. We spent two days swordfishing. Day one we caught a sailfish on the swordfish bait just as it slipped below the surface, pulled the hook on a swordfish down in the depths and caught a 200 pound hammerhead shark during the evening drift.

Day two we fought an estimated 400 pound swordfish for over 2 hours before pulling the hooks. Ken fought that fish on stand-up tackle from 1600 feet down up to the surface. He had the fish just 50 feet from the boat and then it was back down 1600 feet. He had fought it back to only 25 feet from the boat and then the swordfish took control of the fight as it pulled 100 feet of line from the reel and then charged the boat with a death wish. This big blue monster repeated the 100 foot run and then charge tactic 7 or 8 times before returning down into the depths. After over 2 hours the hooks pulled from the swordfish. What a downer.

We had a great time at the boat show on Saturday and Sunday. We always get to see so many friends during these events.

November 2nd we fished with some British engineers from Raymarine. They got to watch their equipment in action as we caught a bunch of snapper and grouper, barracuda, jacks and a bonito.

Massimo got his swordfish

Massimo and Piedro came from Italy to try for swordfish on November 3 and 4. The 3rd was a bust with 7 drifts and one failed bite. The 4th Massimo caught a swordfish on stand-up gear that was 150 pounds and 109 inches long. We fished into the evening and lost one swordfish after a brief fight.

Mike and his son Mike fished with us on the 5th. They caught 10 spanish mackerel to 7 pounds, 6 skipjack tuna to 12 pounds, a quick sailfish, a mutton snapper, a kingfish and a cuda.

Tom and his son Peter fought very rough seas on the 6th to capture a terrific day with a sailfish, dolphin, 25 pound kingfish, 9 pound spanish mackerel, 3 bonito, 4 skipjack tuna and 4 mutton snappers. Then we moved inshore to the even rougher mouth of the inlet where they caught 3 snook, 2 tarpon, 3 big jacks and 10 bluefish. Over the course of the day, Peter scored his first "Gold Coast Grand Slam" consisting of a sailfish, a dolphin and a tarpon.

Tom Kane with his big King

We had some anglers from Spain on the 11th. They caught a 15 pound dolphin, came within inches of catching a sailfish, 3 kingfish, 2 mutton snappers and 7 sharks.

Lee, Berri and Mclean caught 6 mutton snappers, 4 kingfish, 8 sharks, 1 sailfish, and 2 dolphin on November 12th.

It was rough again on Friday the 13th, but it was a good rough as it was the result of a cold front's north wind and a strong north current. Bob and Dan caught 4 sailfish, 2 dolphin, 2 bonito, a shark and a barracuda.

Our Saturday charter caught plenty of sailfish on Friday and wanted calm seas for their second day of fishing. We searched the bay for hours and caught one grouper while boats offshore caught as many as 21 sailfish each. Our guest enjoyed the scenes around the bay and the quiet waters, and their enjoyment is our job.

Sunday the 15th, we fished a few hours in the afternoon and caught 2 sailfish, a dolphin, a skipjack tuna, a bonito and a kingfish.

On the 16th we prepared for the Sailfish Cup with Brooke, Joe and David. We caught 2 sailfish, a bonito, 2 kings, 2 skipjacks and a 30 pound amberjack on the kite.

The over 2 days of tournament fishing we had almost no wind or current. This resulted in a 2 day total of 2 sailfish, 2 kings and a bonito.

Friday the 20th was a good example of how a day can change. We fished with Bill in the morning and caught a dolphin and a small amberjack. Then in the afternoon we fished with Sean, John and Jorge and caught 2 black groupers, 2 yelloweye snappers, a amberjack, a shark, a big scamp grouper and a mutton snapper.

The boats that went for swordfish on Friday had very good action, with numerous hook-ups per boat. So, Saturday all the boats in the swordfish tournament knew they would have a great day, ourselves included. Badf new, 21 boats caught a total of 1 swordfish. We had one bite in 8 hours and it was not a swordfish.

Sunday we caught a sailfish, 3 kings and a mutton snapper. And then the big news of the month took place. We had our first evening tarpon trip of the season. Glenn, Bob and Duman caught 3 tarpon, a big spanish mackerel and a ladyfish. The night ended with Duman fighting an estimated 120 pound tarpon for over 40 minutes before the hook pulled.

Monday night Glenn and the guys were out again and they caught 5 tarpon up to 100 pounds and jumped 3 more. It is sure fun when those silver kings come to town.

Gil and Mary fished during the day on Monday. Mary is another IWFA woman angler. She is after the most weighed fish points for the year. Mary scored over 2500 points for the day with 20 red grouper, 3 kings and a barracuda.

We want to remind everybody that we will be having a seminar at Dusky Sport Center on December 3rd at 6 PM. The topic will be 'How we fish the edge".

I want to Thank all of my friends for another year of sharing life and fishing. Happy Holidays to ALL.

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

Phone: (305) 439-2475