Tarpon Fishing South Florida – Miami

Posted on August 24th, 2013 by Mike

The wind blew very hard with the passing of the latest front through our area. If you had the stomach for it, the sailfishing was very good. Kings were mixed in when you got in shallower and dolphin have been cooperating also. Despite the windy weather we’ve managed to get in an offshore trip and several tarpon trips.

Thursday (4/6) evening, the tarpon didn’t turn on till late in the dusk period. Since we are in Daylight Savings Time, that isn’t until after 8:15 PM and will get later as we progress through the Spring and into the Summer. We had pleasant sea conditions with the wind from the SSE @ 8 – 11 knots. The first tarpon that Jim Lefevre caught and released was a 70# fish on the south side at Government. The second fish came an hour later on the north side and was a 50 # fish. We got one on a shrimp and the other on a crab. That made us 2 for 2 on tarpon. Throw in a jack crevalle and a miniature (10 inch) kingfish and we had a well rounded evening.

Sunday (4/9), the Gold Family was out for an afternoon/evening tarpon fishing trip. The wind came from all direction from 5 – 22 knots. During the afternoon portion of the trip, everyone helped with catching bait. The first strike we had came on the downrigger and Sandy (grandfather) caught a kingfish that posed for a quick picture before it was released. Next it was Jeff’s (dad) turn and he caught his first sailfish on a herring fished on a flatline. We tried to find a dolphin, however, we had no luck in that department. Moving inshore, it was time to tarpon fish. The first drift was uneventful. The second drift we had one fish on for 2 jumps before it gave us our hook back. Then it was dark and the wind died off to almost nothing. The shrimp ran and the tarpon were exploding on them all around the boat. We had to go to floats to keep our baits out of the bottom. We watched the tarpon roll around our baits and finally the rod tip would twitch. When we came tight on the fish, it would jump and throw the hook. We were 0 for 4 going into the last drift of the evening and FINALLY, we got a good solid hook up. Sandy started the fight. He passed the rod to his grandson, Jason, who fought the fish till his arms got tired. Next it was Emily’s (daughter) turn and she fought it till she got tired. Dad took over and the fish still didn’t want to come in till after a long knock down drag out battle in the deep water of the main channel. Jeff won in the end and the 100 pound tarpon was released after numerous pictures were taken at boat side.

Monday (4/10), Robert Rodriguez from Houston, Texas wanted to catch his first sailfish. While we were catching bait, we had a NE wind @ 7 knots for about a half hour. After that, it picked up and blew from the NNE/E @ up to 22 knots. In 120′ straight out from Government Cut, we hooked the sailfish Robert wanted. The fish fought very lazily for about the first 10 minutes until it finally figured out that something was wrong. Then it did what all sailfish normally do. The jumps, leaps, and tailwalking was a site to see. The fish then started heading offshore and then sounded. The seas got bigger as we chased the fish offshore. It would just not come up for about another 45 minutes. Finally, it came up to about 50 feet down and continued offshore. By now the waves were a steady 8 to 9 feet. We continued to apply pressure and as the fish came along side, I realized why the fight lasted so long. The fish was huge. Conservatively, it weighed in at about 80 pounds. The area right in front of the tail was so big that I could not touch my middle fingers and thumbs together as I tried to support the fish in the water. We took pictures and spent 10 minutes reviving the fish before sending it on its way. With the mission accomplished, we headed in for the calmer waters of the bay.

Tuesday (4/11) evening we were presented with wind conditions from the NE/ENE @ 27 – 28 knots. Hiding behind the south jetty at Government Cut gave us some protection. Unfortunately, one of the group started feeling the effects of the swells and it was decided to call it an evening after a couple of drifts.

Thursday (4/13) evening the wind calmed down to NE @ 15 – 23 knots. We started later in the evening to be able to get the right conditions to fish in the Bay. We stuck it out on the south side just long enough to get our first tarpon of the evening at 10:30 PM. Moving into the Bay, the fish were hanging out and in a feeding mood. The next fish ate a D.O.A. Shrimp and Jim Lefevre did a great job of keeping the fish away from numerous obstacles. The third fish of the evening was caught and released by Jim’s friend Bill. The fourth and final tarpon of the evening was a real surprise. The fish we find in the Bay are normally in the 15 to 50 pound range. This fish was a solid 90 pounds. It did its best to try and wrap us around numerous obstructions and every time, Jim answered by turnings its head the opposite way and getting the fish to swim away from the obstructions. That made us 4 for 4 on a less than ideal evening weather wise.

Friday (4/14) evening, Ken Hudson got to experience tarpon fishing Miami style. The wind had died down to a very gentle NE @ 10 – 13 knots which produced a terrific drift speed. From the time we arrived at Government Cut, the fish were rolling on every drift. We got our first strike about an hour later and it turned out to be a nice permit that ate a shrimp. This was Ken’s first permit and the second one I’ve caught at Government this season. The next action came after sunset. The shrimp produced again, however the fish came up with a tremendous jump after a very short run and the hook came out as soon as it hit the water. The shrimp produced again late in the dusk period and this time we got a successful release. There were a lot of boats tarpon fishing this evening and the area was getting very crowded. It was quite obvious that some of the boats had limited experience with night time fishing. One boat had no running lights on and another kept an overhead light on while maneuvering amongst all the boats to reset a drift. Keeping that light on basically kills your night vision and makes it very difficult to see the other boats. With the crowd of boats that were there and more arriving as the evening progressed, it was time to move to another location. It turned out to be the right choice as we made 2 drifts and caught 2 fish before calling it an evening. That made us 3 for 4 for the evening with fish in the 70 – 90 pound class.

Tarpon fishing has been excellent. Prior to the wind blowing, sailfishing offshore was very good. Kingfishing and dolphin fishing is well worth your while. It’s Springtime, so the fishing is great. Let’s get that date booked and get out and take advantage of the good weather and good fishing.

Captain Dave Kostyo
Knot Nancy Fishing Charters
305 620-5896 Charter
305 965-9454 Cell