Groupers are Making a Come Back!
Capt. Wayne Conn
May 21, 2013
Miami - Saltwater Fishing Report
The past few weeks fishing has reflected typical late spring action off the Miami Dade coastline. Sailfishing has improved as we have caught or hooked them on nearly every trip on either live or dead bait. The appearance of BFT's (Blackfin Tuna) is also a welcome daily occurrence, with fish up to and over 30 lbs being caught as well. These fish usually bite better late in the afternoon, responding to heavy live bait or chunk chumming and fishing.
Night fishing is also revving up with yellowtails the main target, and mangrove snappers just starting to gang up for the summer run. These fish can be caught nearly anywhere on the outside reefline from 50 to 80 feet of water by anchoring and chumming with block chum as well as small chunks of sardines. The last few seasons we've also started using fresh water smelts for night fishing. They are much more expensive than standard bait, but since we can cut them in three usable pieces there is no waste, and the fish love them! We use only small, 2/0 to 3/0 circle hooks on 20lb leaders for our night fishing. Using light gear like this will result in losing some big fish, but will catch the target species and size effectively.
We all hear a lot of negative chatter regarding rules and regulations being handed down by the FWC. I for one think the job of accurate data collection and subsequent judgments is ridiculously difficult, all factors considered. There may be some errors, but there are wonderful success stories as well. The last 2 years we've had a closure of shallow water groupers, notably black, and gag. I will tell you that this has resulted in seeing more small gags and blacks than I can recall in 40 years. They have come back so strong that I've recently targeted them trolling off the Miami Dade reefs with great success. I would say that we've caught a gag or black grouper every 30 minutes or so of trolling Rapala plugs. Many of these are barely legal or undersized. In years past we never saw anything like this, especially deep into the springtime. Thank you FWC for making this happen!
Check out our web site www.fishingmiami.com and Facebook page Reward Fishing Fleet for upcoming special trips and events. We also are hosting a daily Summer Camp out of Miami Beach Marina, and a 5 day educational summer fishing camp out of Bayside Marketplace as well. Sign up your kids now!
Captain Wayne Conn
Reward Fishing Fleet
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