Miami / South Beach night tarpon Apr 07 2013

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by mbowers, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. My friend Bob and I drove down to Miami to fish with Capt Bob LeMay in Biscayne Bay for tarpon under the bridges. Capt LeMay was very friendly with lots of experience in the area. We got a touristy trivia tour around the Bay and hit a couple of docklights while waiting for the tide to start going out. The first bridge did not show any tarpon. The second bridge showed a couple of tarpon cruising but not eating shrimp. Bob used a live shrimp to prove that the fish far from the bridge busting in packs were in fact jacks. The third bridge (first bridge now on the outgoing) showed a couple of tarpon busting and Bob hooked one on live shrimp. A decent battle but it finally got into some bridge pilings and broke the 10lb test. We moved to the fourth bridge. The general drill was Capt LeMay would hold the boat in position just in the bridge shadows and we could look for the dark shape of a cruising tarpon. The tarpon would cruise across the tidal current from piling to piling with an eye out for an upstream shrimp. Throw the lure / bait / fly upstream of the fish and the tarpon would turn to take the real / fake shrimp. Fish were spotted immediately at the last stop. The first fish at which I threw the fly ate with the leader already in the guides. A few jumps and then the 30lb fish got into the pilings. I gave it some slack for a while and tried to work the fish back but it wore through the leader. Bob jumped another fish on shrimp and I got soaked from the waist down by hooking afish at my feet that spit the hook immediately on the first jump. Bob switched to a DOA shrimp (plastic, realistic looking shrimp lure) and jumped another tarpon from the front of the boat. I was blind casting from the back of the boat so I had a relatively huge 30 foot cast and hooked a well behaved fish that ran straight downstream before starting to jump. We battled it below the bridge and finally after 15 or so minutes got the fish to the boat. Estimated around 30lbs. A drag and quick release of the fish put Bob back on the front of the boat. Bob tried my flyrod with the very fly that had just landed a fish. Yet another tarpon was jumped but the shock leader popped almost immediately. While Capt LeMay was attaching another fly at the back of the boat, I grabbed the bridge piling and was spotting fish for Bob. Within a couple minutes another fish was at the bow and Bob made a short cast with the DOA shrimp. Another eat and the tarpon was cavorting on the other side of some pilings. Bob stayed attached until we got the boat moving and chased the fish for a good while on the upstream side. The fish turned at the boat and somehow spit the DOA immediately. Back to fly for Bob. He jumped two more tarpon in the next 10 minutes and stayed attached to one for a minute or two before the fly pulled on that fish. Capt LeMay called the end of the trip and we ran back to the ramp. I think we went 1 for 10 on the tarpon but all the action was within 2hrs. Definitely worth a repeat visit for the best non traditional sight fishing I've tried. This is an excellent little 1/2 day trip to work into a non fishing vacation. The action is all at night when the family is sleeping and the temperatures are just right in the summer time. [​IMG]
  2. Just a tad bigger than the one I caught with you. Excellent report!
  3. Seems blind-casting often gets as many results as when they are "daisy-chaining"...maybe more. I couldn't get any to take when they were feeding on top, but had two hook ups blind casting at 7 mile bridge letting the fly sweep, deep, past bridge abutments. Of course you were truly blind-casting (my fishing was daylight) so that adds bonus points! Best of all, you were far enough away from South Beach to really enjoy Miami ;).
  4. It was blind in that I couldn't see a particular fish, but I knew where the fish were looking for food. These fish were actively feeding unlike most of the tarpon I've ever fished over. I think every fish that we got a lure / fly / bait within 12" at least moved to it and almost every one ate.

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