Crippled By the Cold
Capt. Carl Ball
January 28, 2009
Biscayne Bay - Saltwater Fishing Report
Fishing for the first part of the year was a little on the tough side in Biscayne Bay. There were some good days in the middle of January when the water temperatures were moderate. The tarpon and the bonefish were doing there thing. Then in the third week of the month we experienced one of those record breaking cold fronts. The water temperatures fell quickly and have taken several days to begin to rise. As long as we only get a few mild cold fronts fishing should remain productive to red hot.
Gene Conroy fished in Miami's Government Cut with me on one of those freezing cold days. He was determined to catch one of the tarpon we saw rolling in the inlet. However, we could not rise to the occasion. The tarpon refused our jumbo shrimp, but the snappers and groupers loved them.
Carl Ball, from Labelle Fl. cashed in on the gift certificate his daughter got him last year. He fish with his son-in-law Curt Kauffman on my boat and there wives, Edna and Donna, fishing with Doug Lillard, challenged us to a little fishing competition. I'm sure the lady's caught more than the men. Carl and Curt spent a little time in the inlet fishing for tarpon but were unsuccessful. After catching a few grouper and snapper we headed south for some rod bending where we joined there wives. For the next two hours they caught ladyfish, bluefish and blue runners on live shrimp.
The next two days I spent some time looking for bonefish and tarpon, but didn't have much luck with them and wound up fishing for ladyfish and bluefish to end the day on a successful note. While the air temperatures were up the water remained a little chilly. The days were beautiful and my customers were really just glad to be on the water with highs in the mid 70's.
Monday, Will Campbell fished Biscayne Bay with me to find the bonefish were moving into the bay. He tagged and released two that weighted in at 5 and 7 lbs. We had several shots and there was a noticeable improvement in the numbers we saw compared with the previous days.
Now that we have had a big cold front and the water has cooled a good bit, the fish should be acclimated to it. As long as we don't have an extended period of warmer than usual weather followed by a major cold front bonefish and tarpon should continue to remain in their winter pattern. February tends to be a better month in general for all South Florida fishing as temperatures gradually warm.
Biscayne Bay Fishing Forecast:
Traditionally, the flats fishing in Miami's Biscayne Bay really begins to take off in February when day time temperatures start there steady assent. By this time the bonefish, tarpon and permit have become used to the temperatures and will not be affected by any moderate cold fronts. Shark fishing will also continue to improve as time goes on.
Bonefish, permit, tarpon, sharks
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