As is typical in South Florida, the charter business slows down a bit in the summer, but I still managed to get out 10 o the past 15 days, and overall the fishing has been very good. I did have a few half day trips that the fishing was a bit slow, but we did catch quality fish on every trip. Fishing on the edge has been producing some decent kings from 10 to 30 pounds. The majority of the kings have been in the high teens, which on 20 pound or 12 pound spinning tackle is an absolute blast. The initial first run and the second run they do when they see the boat are impressive. There have also been quite a few sailfish around as well. Our best day we caught 4 sailfish and have been averaging 1 or 2 per trip. In the winter sometimes we take sailfish for granted, but in the summertime they are a welcomed catch for sure!
There have also been some blackfin tunas around, mostly in the afternoons. The tunas have been from 25 to 35 pounds. With the tunas will also come lots of bonitas and I certainly will take some bonitas to fill in the time between the kings, sails and tunas.
Offshore there have been some dorados. I havenít done any mahi trips in the past few weeks, but speaking to some of the other captains, there have been some mahis offshore and mostly found on birds. The schools were decent in size, anywhere from 10 to 50 fish per school and large schoolies with some gaffers mixed in. I hope to get out mahi fishing at least one day this week. I know since I got the new boat with the tower, it has definitely helped with catching more mahis. I also have not done any swordfish trips either day or night, but typically June can be an excellent month for swords.
I did do one trip to Bimini this year and I wouldnít call it epic, but we did catch quite a few fish. The first day we crossed, cleared customs and then ran to the channel in hopes of finding yellowfin tunas. A few storms had rolled in and the channel was a solid 5 foot and very close together, which made it impossible to run and gun. Instead of heading deeper in the channel and facing a brutal ride back, we decide to head to the Gingerbread and do some yellowtail snapper fishing. We anchored up and the tails were there and they were huge. Average size was 3 pounds with lots of fish 4 pounds or better. The second day we went deep dropping and caught some mystic groupers and then went mutton fishing. The mutton fishing did not go well at all. The trigger fish were so thick that you could not keep bait on the hook for longer than 30 seconds. Without soaking bait on the bottom, it is next to impossible to catch muttons, so we had to give up on that idea. The last day we went back to the Gingerbreads and the tails were even bigger. There were also some amberjacks and sharks that we got to mess around with as well. We had a beautiful crossing to Bimini and a beautiful crossing going back and still managed to catch more than enough fish. Add good company to the mix and it turned out to be a great trip.
I am heading back to Bimini the end of the month and will try hard for the tunas as that is what this charter specifically wants to catch. I still have plenty of open dates this month and next. If you have been to Bimini before or would like to go for the first time, now is he time to set up the trip. Summer is definitely the best time to go over. Also swordfish and mahi fishing are very popular during the summer, so give me a call and letís set up the trip. Call for a Bimini trip and Iíll even offer a discount as long as you mention you saw it on my fishing report.
Capt. Dean Panos