Sails, Swords and Tarpon

Report Date: February 18, 2004

Good bye Boat Show. This was probably the best boat show ever for me. Spent some quality time with the Browns, who own Dusky boats, the guys from Gladiator autopilots, Lowrance electronics, Eagle Claw, too many people to name from The Big Game Room, Darrell Keith from Hydro Glow and most importantly all the wonderful fishing people I have known from 5 minutes to 40 years. It was a great weekend.

Beyond that we had some nice fishing too. Wednesday we had some kings during the day and lost both a sailfish and a tarpon. I guess that got the bad luck out of the way, because fishing was pretty good after that. Wednesday evening the tarpon were fairly active. We fought a big one on the beach for a few minutes and then caught 2 out of 3 in the ship channel around low tide.

Thursday we had a couple from Illinois and their daughter out. They each caught a sailfish, several dolphin, a couple bonito and we were escorted by a big school of spotted dolphin which they had hoped to see before we left the dock.

After spending Friday at the show, it off to 1400 feet of water to try for swordfish. The radio reports were slow, but we got lucky. About 8 we had a strike on a squid at 100 feet. That fish came quickly to the boat, but about 30 feet away, the hook came out. When I pulled the hook and remaining 3 tentacles into the light of our Hydro Glow light a swordfish was in hot pursuit. Ron flipped the fish a live blue runner and the fish ate it without hesitation. This 75 pound fish put on a really good fight before a few photos and a good release. We tried for a while longer, but both the fish we hunted and the radio fish were done for the evening.

Saturday night the wind was up, so we targeted tarpon instead of swordfish. It was a good move. As soon as the sun set, the fish turned on. We were off South Beach, fishing with live shrimp and the fish were hot. We caught one around 110 pounds on a shrimp, jumped several and lost one after 20 minutes when he worn through the leader. As a bonus, one angler caught a tarpon about 90 pounds on a DOA Terroreze fished on 12 pound spin.

Sunday we were at the show all day, but the fish were waiting for us Monday. We caught 4 sailfish on live herring fished on flatlines and the kite in 120 to 140 feet of water plus a couple big amberjacks off a wreck. In the evening our primary angler was about 10 years old. He and his dad had a ball catching a couple tarpon of 50 and 80 pounds, plus jacks, macks and runners.

Over the next few weeks, look for good tarpon action using live shrimp along the beaches of Miami-Dade County. Plenty of sailfish will be caught from Government Cut south to Ocean Reef. Be ready for cobia wherever you fish in the ocean. And if all else fails, it is time for big amberjacks to dominate all the artificial reefs.

If you see us out there on Bouncer?s Dusky 33 say hello. Or we will see you at the kingfish and tuna catching seminar at Dusky Sport Center on March 23rd at 6 PM

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

Phone: (305) 439-2475