On Saturday my good friend Jose and I went fishing aboard the Rhum Brave. A combination of light SE winds, 2 feet or less chop and cooperative wives made for comfortable conditions. We set out early from Matheson Hammock http://www.miamidade.gov/parks/Parks/matheson_marina.asp and headed out through Stiltsville to Bug Light where we picked up some live bait from Capt. Jimmy Lewis www.lewissportfishing.com. He's a multi-generational local fisherman (his father was Bob Lewis and the inventor of kite fishing) who seems to have the patience of Job whenever I try to bring my boat along side his when buying bait (usually is a washing machine like 2-3 foot chop). He's happy to provide the latest fishing report. I always say "It's $20 bucks for the report and the bait's free".
We headed offshore looking for the edge of the Gulfstream where it meets the local green water. Imagine a wall of purple-blue water as it pushes right up against another green wall of water. Sometimes it looks like water and oil. Along this wall is where all the local fish meet up with the pelagic predatures of the open ocean searching for an easy meal. We drifted along the wall with live bait both down deep and along the top water. Every 1/2 hour we would pick up and move further down the wall. We ended up as far north as the Blue and Green Diamonds (two condo towers midway up Miami Beach). On the return we trolled rigged ballyhoo and artificials lures. Overall we caught small mahi-mahi, several large remoras, 3 foot barracuda (all released) and a keeper bonita (aka skipjack tuna, katsuwonus pelamis). Returning to Matheson we came across a fully grown hawksbill turtle (eretmochelys imbricata). He was casually floating along with his head down likely searching for something to eat. These are still on the endangered list so it's a treat when you can still see one in the wild. If you want to learn more about endangered sea turtles visit the Sea Turtle Conservancy http://www.conserveturtles.org/stctmp.php.
Here's a photo of the bonita taken on his iphone.
Overall it was great to get out on the water again. It had been a while since Jose and I had gone out fishing and I think he enjoyed the opportunity to run the boat for half the day. He even made a good job of docking the boat considering some rough conditions encountered at the ramp. His wife should be impressed and ready to approve the purchase of his own boat (hint, hint). Jose is working on preparing the bonita for some type dinner on Monday night. I'm not sure what he has in mind but he's a natural in the kitchen so I'm looking forward to whatever he prepares.