Bimini Bonanaza

Report Date: July 3, 2004

Welcome to July. Happy 4th . We had such a great last half of June that I have fallen behind in my reports. We had Stephen Bartholomew out with a friend of his and they both caught ?Gold Coast Grand Slams?. They released 5 dolphin, 2 sailfish and 4 tarpon on one trip. The dolphin were small, but the tarpon were 80 to 100 pounds. We caught a lot of tarpon and sailfish through the last couple weeks of June. We also had one trip with a dozen muttons and 3, 15 pound king mackerel.

We closed out June and opened July with the Lapnow family from Connecticut. We had Jeff, Rachel, 12 year old Cody and 10 year old Taylor. We went to Bimini in the Bahamas for 4 days. It was the best trip you could ask for.

The day we arrived we took a quick walk around town to show them the photos on the walls of the Complete Angler and the shops of the straw market. Then it was off to the hotel. We stayed at the Bimini Sands Beach Club. The rooms were cold and the the food was great. The marina was in very good condition. Just like the boys, we were ready to fish. We ran to a sunken barge off the north end of the island and anchored down. With the chum flowing out and lures on their lines, the boys started catching barracuda and blue runners. We filleted and hung a barracuda off the stern to draw sharks. The sharks arrived in minutes. The boys caught several sharks up to about 60 pounds while their dad caught a couple nice gray snapper. Cody had a big horse eye jack eat a pilchard and Rachel caught a bigger horse eye on a barracuda fillet. The action was red hot with jacks, sharks, cudas, grays and even a nice mutton snapper. When everyone?s arms were aching, we moved to a small airplane wreck, for a little snorkeling. Everyone dove down to look at the snappers inside the plane while visioning the last minutes of flight for this plane and crew. We do know that all aboard got off safely.

Day two was off to some other fishing hot spots. The first produced a bunch of barracuda and stories of the permit that got away. The second spot was just what the boys wanted. Lots of 30 pound sharks and 8 pound barracudas. Taylor wanted a grouper, and 5 or 6 he caught. All the anglers caught both black and Nassau groupers, big gray snappers and yellowtail snappers. My mate Ron and I could hardly rig rods and remove fish fast enough to keep up. After several hours we moved on to another spot where we caught much of the same plus, Jeff catching a big horse eye jack of 22 pounds. This spot got so thick with sharks, we had to move.

Jeff caught this 22 lb Horse eye jack

Our next move was to deeper waters. We anchored up and when we threw in the chum, the water turned yellow with yellowtail snappers. The boys caught a bunch of these fun game snappers on fly. They then used the snappers for bait. It is always exciting when the bait weighs a pound or more. The heavy tackle got hot, but the fish were getting away one after another. We hammered down the drag and warned everybody to be careful of the rod attacking them if the line parted, and dropped another bait. The next three baits produced a 100 pound shark, a 50 pound amberjack and the fish we were targeting. Jeff caught a 43 pound black grouper. There were high fives all around for this beauty. Cody took over the big rod. He tried to beat dad?s fish till we had to leave to get back to Bimini before dark. We told Cody, ?tomorrow is your day?.

The hotel cooked up our fish and we feasted on fresh snapper and grouper as we relived fish caught and lost. The boys went to bed with visions of fish to come.

Cody got the Big Black

Day three we did a snorkel stop and then hit the reef for the big guys. Cody wasted no time. He put a 53 pound black grouper in the boat less than 30 minutes after we started fishing. We also caught and released black grouper of 12 And 30 pounds. The yellowtail snappers provided plenty of action as did sharks and lost monsters of the deep. Our other major success story of the day, was the capture of the sneaky Bermuda chub.

Our final day was as great as every other. We caught a bunch of big gray snapper off another wreck. We snorkeled on a beautiful shallow reef full of colorful fish and corals and then finally we monster fished one last time. On this spot we caught and released 3 amberjack from 28 to 36 pounds. Taylor caught the biggest on the lightest tackle. Jeff caught and released another 25 to 30 pound black grouper and we released another horse eye jack before heading west for Miami.

It is time to enjoy the Bahamas, catch dolphin offshore, gray snapper and yellowtails off Florida reefs at night, sword fishing is very good, release snook in the inlets and plan your lobster hunts for the end of the month. Release some for the future, Bouncer

We will hold a swordfish seminar at Dusky Sport Center on July 27th at 6 PM. Call 945-922-8890 for details.

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

Phone: (305) 439-2475