Great fishing off Miami
Capt. Nick Gonzalez
September 26, 2012
Miami - Saltwater Fishing Report
We headed out with the intention of dropping for swordfish and catching some dolphin while out there. We made quick work of bait near bug and began the long trek out to the sword grounds. Upon arrival the conditions looked nice with a light east wind and manageable 3 knots of current.
After a couple drops and no action we were distracted by some mats of weed sliding toward us. We hooked into a decent dolphin on a livie we had off the rigger opposite from the sword rod. We began retrieving the sword bait and kept an eye on the weed. After getting the sword bait up we went into dolphin mode. We ended up catching about a dozen fish to 8 pounds and refocused on swordfishing. Unfortunately some pretty severe storms started sliding toward us and we called it a day earlier than planned. We get to really put the time in for a sword but we had no shortage of meat.
Final tally- 12 dolphin to 8 pounds.
We headed out with decent expectations. Some early sails had pushed through during the week and reports looked promising. Unfortunately, the northeast wind that accompanied those sailfish was long gone and replaced by an ESE breeze.
Bait was a bit spotty but we got some pilchards after some diligent sabikiing. We headed out and popped the kites up in about 120'. The edge had a greenish tint but there was still a knot of remnant north current and a bit of bait around. The first fish was a small shark which the customers definitely appreciated. Shortly after the right long came tight and a slob remora was brought to the boat. After the remora, a fun size hammerhead crashed the party but wouldn't take a bait. After a couple more minutes without too much action and working from 70' to 250', we finally came tight to another fish. This one had the tail beat of a bonito and was brought to the boat accordingly. This completed our trash fish grand slam. We boated a decent cero before putting away the kites.
Unimpressed by the early morning bite on the edge, we put out a spread and trolled southeast with intentions of trying to find a few dolphin. The trickle of current from the morning had died off and the ocean looked pretty dead. Talking on the radio confirmed miserable reports in terms of fish and current with a few boats who were chasing dolphin coming up empty handed. We felt like hotshots compared to the rest of the fleet after conquering the elusive remora, bonito, and shark.
We found a slight rip holding a bit of weed as we headed south. We caught a 5 pound dolphin and decided to drop on a wreck. The vertical jigs and live baits weren't producing much action... We hooked what was probably a mutton on a live pilchard just off the mark but it got sharked pretty quickly. We took another drop and got a decent hit on the vertical jig. This fish got sharked as well. Half of what would have been a healthy almaco was brought up. Right after that we hooked a nice dolphin on a flat line. We ended up boating the 8 pound fish after a nice aerial show. We finished the day with a lionfish on a live pilchard. The fishing was extremely slow but we managed to get by and the guests were pretty happy.
Final tally- 2 dolphin, a mackerel, a bonito, a small shark, a big remora, half an almaco jack, and a lionfish
Nighttime swordfishing 9/19/12
We headed out after a late start. We had high hopes given the moon condition and time of year. There were decent reports to the north from a week prior and we were pretty optimistic about our chances. The wind was light and variable which would end up being a bit of a curse but it certainly made for a tranquil night.
We got to the grounds and set our spread. At first the winds were out of the south but after setting the spread they switched to the west with a nearby storm. This blew us a bit off the numbers and after a long unproductive drift we reset a tad shallower.
Our next drift was a bit more interesting. We were lined up perfectly and got the spread oriented accordingly with the northeast wind. As we approached the numbers, the anticipation increased as we all knew the general rule of thumb while swordfishing. Sometimes the fish are there, sometimes they're not. Out of the silence, the 50' bait ripped off drag and went slack. We gave it a few more minutes and checked that bait. The bait was torn up and the line was billed up... We always sew up the baits but this time it didn't even matter. The fish hit aggressively enough were the bait wouldn't hold up regardless. A skirt might have helped but they make for less natural presentation at night. It's easy to have a short memory sometimes while fishing because 5 minutes further into the drift, the 150' buoy knocked over. We came tight and were hooked up.
This fish took off on a small run after the initial hookup which usually suggests that it's not a tiny pup. We cleared the lines and worked him to the boat. He was relatively cooperative and took one last run after seeing the boat. We finally saw color and confirmed the species. We eased him toward the gaff and got him in the boat.
The picture quality wasn't too hot (iphones are mediocre at night) but it was about 70 pound fish and measured 55'' ljfl. Not a biggie but about average for nighttiming. We were pretty happy with our results and called it an early night. We were fairly confident we could have produced another fish if we repeated the drift but unfortunately we had plans to go daytime swordfishing the following day.
Final tally- 1 sword around 70 pounds.
Daytime sword 9/20/12
We were pretty pumped to be back out after a solid 0 minutes of sleep. We had new guests for this outing and we were once again optimistic about the sword bite. Catching a fish the night prior definitely helped morale despite the sleep deprivation.
We trolled from the edge to about 500' and caught 2 football blackfin in the process. Already content with a bit of tablefare and the skunk off the boat, we ran the rest of the way to the grounds. The winds were picking up out of the ENE and what started off as a 2 foot sea quickly built to a 2-4 foot sea. The winds definitely make daytiming more difficult especially when they run perpendicular to the contour. Crosswinds means more resetting and less time in the strikezone. The importance of setting up the right drift and getting up and down quickly is key.
Our first drift emphasized that very importance. Slight overcompensation for the wind had me situated a little too deep but we we still got down and soaked for a little while. I assessed our drift and was certain we'd spank the numbers on the next drop. We retrieved the bait and reset.
We dropped the bait and the waiting game began.. Nothing beats that gut feeling that you're in the right area. I had a close eye on the sounder and I liked the drift. About 10 minutes into the drift, we got our nibble. We took some cranks and we were tight. We now had 1700' of manual cranking with an angry fish on the end.
We kept him coming and it became pretty clear we had a decent fish on the end. He had a couple decent runs and didn't want to stray far from the thermocline. After about an hour and a half we got him to the wind on and took off the weight.
He didn't like the boat or the ugly dude on the reel so he took off. Not many fish off Miami can rip drag off an 80w quite like these fish. After 10 more minutes we got him up, stuck him with 2 gaffs. We sliid a tail rope on him and pulled the fish through the tuna door. Definitely a solid fish.
We headed in after boating this fish.
Final tally- 1 swordfish and 2 blackfin
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Miami Fishing Forecast:
The fishing is only going to get better off Miami as Fall continues to set in. Right now the swordfishing is excellent both day and night. It should continue to improve and peak during the months of October and November as the fish migrate south. Sailfish are moving through already and when the conditions are right expect 3 or more fish to be standard. Dolphin are thinning out a bit but they are definitely still around. There is decent kingfish action as well which should improve soon. Mutton snapper and amberjack's are on the wrecks. Book a charter and you'll have plenty of fish to keep you busy
swordfish, sailfish, dolphin, blackfin tuna, snapper, wahoo, amberjack, kingfish, and more
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