4-14-15 Fishing Report Jack H

Jack Hexter and Gary Anderson made our annual trip to Miami to fish with Capt Bouncer Smith.  This is the 9th year we have made this trip.  This year we were accompanied by Bob Sherley and a friend from Riverview, Tom Kemp.  We drove to Miami on Sunday 4/12 and after checking into the Clarion Motel, went to dinner at Havana Harry’s in Coral Gables.  We left dinner completely stuffed with Cuban food, carrying some outstanding Cuban sandwiches for lunch the next day and went back to the motel for a good night’s sleep.  We woke at 5:30 and after breakfast, drove to the Miami Beach Marina where we met Capt Bouncer and his mate, Billy.  Gear & ice loaded on Bouncer’s brand new 33” Dusky, bait was purchased (bait has been hard to catch around Miami this year due to dredging of the harbor and Government Cut channel) we took off for the area of the artificial reefs off of Key Biscayne in 200’ of water.  It was very sloppy and choppy due to a South current and south wind, making for a wet ride for the 10 miles we traveled.  On arrival, Billy set out a flat line with a live ballyhoo.  Last week a client had caught a white marlin on this type bait. He then went about the task of getting the fishing kites in the air with fishing lines suspended from the release clips.  Baits were pilchards, threadfin herring and small blue runners.  Bob was up first and we saw a couple of hammerhead sharks circling the baits.  One finally caught a bait and we got Bob strapped into his harness to fight the fish.  This fight lasted about 5 minutes when the wire trace was bitten through.  We settled back down and got the baits redeployed when a sailfish ate a pilchard.  This was a  small sail, about 6’8” and 25 pounds but jumped a lot.  Bob had it to the boat in about 10 minutes on the 20# tackle and after a quick photo (while still in the water – don’t bring a sail out of the water even for a quick picture) it was tagged and released.  As the day wore on we got some bites from bonito, ocean tally and one unknown bottom fish that Tom had coming off the bottom, but it had other ideas and ran him back into a wreck and cut him off.  Mid-afternoon, we made a move and ran north to the Miami Sea buoy and again deployed the kites and baits.  It was Tom’s turn on the rods and about 3:00, a sailfish came up and ate.  Tom was fighting this fish and Jack was holding on to his belt to brace him when Billy shoved a rod into Jacks hand and told him to crank.  He had seen a dolphin eat one of the baits during Tom’s fight.  Tom finally got his sail to the boat, but the wire trace broke as the mate was pulling the leader and reaching for the bill, so this fish was not photographed nor tagged.   Jack shortly thereafter got his 12# dolphin to the boat where it was gaffed and put on ice.  Things settled back down as the day wore on  and we started to clear the lines.  As Jack wound in the last line, another sailfish tried to eat the bait, but eventually decided it did not want it and left the area unhooked.  A short run back to the marina ended the fishing.  That evening we all enjoyed another great dinner, this time at the 94th Aero Squadron Restaurant.  After a hard day of fishing, we slept late on Tuesday, had some breakfast and drove home.