Report Date: December 27, 2012
Hopefully everyone had a great Christmas and I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year.!
The fishing in Miami has been OK. There have been a few days where the sailfish bite was decent and other days when the sails were not biting. Luckily during those days we were able to catch other quality fish. We have been averaging 2 to 5 sailfish per trip, although we did have one half day trip where we did not catch any and also had a full day trip where the sailfish were hard to find. As most of you know, I strongly recommend the full day trips for a number of reasons. Primarily it allows me to travel wherever I need to go to find the bite. Also, according to the conditions, sometimes there is a morning bite and sometimes an afternoon bite. Hopefully it is an all day bite! The half day trip (morning) where we did not catch a sailfish, we ended up catching 3 sailfish in the afternoon trip. You quite never know when they might bite so it is always a safer bet to book the whole day. Besides the sails, there have also been quiet a few large 20 to 30 pound mahi around. They have been mixed in with smaller gaffer size fish that have been eating the kite baits on the edge. We also caught a couple of wahoo in the past two weeks as well as some small blackfin tunas.
The one fish that we caught that stands out is a big yellowfin tuna we caught yesterday. I have been lucky enough to catch a few yellowfins in Miami over the years, and we used to average a few every year. The past 5 years or so the yellowfin tuna have been very scarce in the waters off Miami. We catch plenty of them in the Bahamas during the summer but donít get many shots here in Miami. Another obstacle we face is that when we usually get a yellowfin to eat one of our baits, it is usually on 20 pound test line that we use to target sailfish. A big yellowfin can spool you on light line. That is exactly what happened about a week and a half ago. We had both kites out and I saw a huge tuna explode on the right middle bait. After we got hooked up and the lady angler was in the harness, I was racing forward at almost 10 knots trying to keep up with the tuna, but the line on the reel was quickly disappearing. With over 600 yards of line out and us frantically trying to get it back, the line parted and we lost the fish. Although everyone was a bit disappointed, we were simply outmatched tackle wise. Fast forward to yesterday and this time the left long (goggle eye) got eaten and again we were off to the races. In just a few minutes the fish took us from 180 feet of depth to over 500 feet. Luckily this fish sounded more than swimming straight out. With about 500 yards gone from the reel, we started methodically gaining back line. Everyone knew it was a yellowfin tuna, and I really thought we had a chance of catching this fish. Just the night before, I had put brand new Sufix 20 pound line on all the reels. I know the line well and it definitely did its job. My concern was that the 40 pound fluorocarbon leader would hold as well as the small circle hook (Eagle Claw Poseidon size 6/0). Both the leader and hook held. We had a total of 5 angler changes but after an hour and a half, we finally got to look at our fish. With the fish in sight and since we had such a light leader I didnít want to take any chances and got my mate Leo to throw the dart at the fish. One quick shot with the harpoon and it was game over. With the fish on board, we bled her out, took some pictures and stuffed her in the fish bag. The rest of the day wasnít bad either, as we caught 3 out 5 sailfish including a quad hook up (4 sailfish at once) towards the end of the day. Back at the marina, we put the tuna on the scale where she weighed in at 105 pounds. Definitely a nice fish and even better catch considering how rare they are in Miami and also that it was caught on 20 pound test line.
Although catches like that donít occur everyday, you canít catch them on the couch. So go ahead and book your trip with us and letís see if we can make it happen!
Capt. Dean Panos