Grouper save the day

Report Date: December 13, 2004

Grouper has been our key word lately. We can tell you that the sailfish have not liked our pilchards this week. We were anchor fishing with live pilchards on the surface, while chumming heavily with them as well. We saw several sailfish in our chum, but they would not eat them. They were chasing ballyhoo, and had a one track mind. The bottom fish were keeping us in the game. Friday we caught 2 nice black grouper, a big bonito and a king. Saturday we got a nice gray grouper, a nice mutton snapper, yellowtail, yellow jack and a kingfish. Sunday we fished with John and Ben Cotrone from North Miami. They wanted grouper, grouper and grouper. The bigger the better. We started the morning trolling the shallow reefs for grouper, but they were not biting our big plugs. After about an hour, I recommended that we switch to live bait. The first pinfish we dropped to the bottom was greeted by a gray grouper as soon as it hit the bottom. This was the second largest gray grouper ever the grace Bouncer?s Dusky with it?s presents. John had captured a real beauty at 35 pounds. Ten minutes later a 12 pound gray grouper joined the first in the fish box. With no more action at this wreck, we moved to a second. It produced no bottom action, but it did offer quite a show. At least a dozen sailfish attacked free roaming ballyhoo all around the boat. Sailfish with their dorsal fins blowing in the breeze raced all around the boat slashing their bills at the fleeing bait fish. Only one sailfish decided to taste our pilchard. He spit it out the first chance he got. The third wreck produced a 6 pound almaco jack, a 12 pound gray grouper and a 10 pound black grouper, plus a couple that got away.

Big grouper and Big smiles

There is a sad part to this story. Gray grouper are great eating. We all looked forward to some fabulous dinners with this catch of grouper. In June we caught a 38 pound gray grouper and found the meat to be terrible eating. It was tough as rubber and nasty to the palate. The big grouper yesterday had dark gray blotches throughout the meat. I think in the future our big gray groupers will be on the release them for the future program. It is a shame to harvest a beautiful fish like that and then find it unfit to eat.

With the fish box full of grouper we speed trolled for wahoo for 2 hours without a bite and went home early.

Sunday evening we headed out with Mike Elliot, from Denver Colorado in pursuit of his first tarpon. We fished live shrimp along the beach and action was good. Things started a little rough with the first two tarpon spitting the hook on the first jump. Thing got better after dark. Mike caught photographed and released tarpon of 100 and 75 pounds. There were lots of jumps and smiles with that action. Tarpon action should be good all winter and spring. It is a lot of fun and only five minutes from the dock.

We are in the sailfish tournament season. For the first time in years we have openings to take on new teams to fish these events. Cocoplum Sailfish is January 14-16. The Mayor?s Cup is January 29 and 30. Bob Lewis Billfish Challenge is March 5 and 6. Billfish Masters is March 19 and 20. And the Yamaha/-Contender Miami Billfish Tournament is April 8-10. Most of these dates are still available on Bouncer?s Dusky 33. If any of these appeal to you, let us know and we will give you all the details.

December means the sails are here along with African pompano, big jacks, groupers, tarpon and a lot of others. So give us a call at 305-945-5114 or e-mail to make a reservation. Let?s go catch some fish!

Happy Holidays
From all of us to all of you

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

Phone: (305) 439-2475