Saturday, December 24, 2016

Exotic Fish on the Dania Pier

This fishing trip was definitely one to remember. I went with Danielle and Zaide to Dania Pier from about 4:30 to about 6:00 in the evening. Once we came in, we checked out the bait shop on the pier right before the entrance. I had sabiki rig, a Japanese rig with small hooks on small colorful lures that are attached to one line. I was going to use that, but I figured that some frozen shrimp wouldn't hurt. After all, I had two rods and only one of them had the sabiki rig on. We walked on the pier to the place that we wanted to fish. Not the very end, but where the the sand ends and the seagrass/reef starts. You can see this by looking at the water seeing when it starts to turn darker. We cut the shrimp into very small pieces and put them on the hook. I put the pieces of shrimp on the hook, but it wasn't working too much, and the line was tangled. Things were not looking very good. The sabiki rig was not working, and the lines were tangled and it took us about a half an hour to finally get settled. Dani then came up with an idea. The sabiki rig is meant to be just put in the water with no bait on the hooks and to be pulled up and down very slowly. Dani thought that if the the fish aren't biting it, then we should try to put small pieces of shrimp on the hooks and seeing if that works. I agreed, put the shrimp on, and dropped the rig in the water. Just then, birds came to steal the shrimp. I gave the pole to Dani and I shooed away the birds. Since Dani was holding two rods, she had to give the rod with the sabiki rig to me because a fish was on! She put her rod aside and helped me reel it in. Soon we saw a big, white thing on the rig. It was a fish! We got it higher and onto the pier! It was a Redband Parrotfish! A very good sized parrotfish on the sabiki rig with shrimp to start the day! I unhooked the fish and threw it back. The line was tangled, so Zaide worked on the line. Soon enough, he untangled the line and I put bait on the hooks. I dropped it again and waited for a bite. Soon enough I felt nibbles, then the rod tip dropped and the line was moving. Fish on! I reeled it in and I caught a Smooth Trunkfish! A Trunkfish is an exotic fish in the shape of a box (also called boxfish). What an interesting catch! I rebated the hooks on the sabiki rig and dropped it down again. I felt a tug, so I reeled in. The line was somehow stuck on the piling of the pier. I tugged at the line and it became free from the piling. But, I still felt a bite. I reeled in, and sure enough, I caught a Black Margate. A Black Margate is a type of reef fish found in South Florida, and this was my first one. An exciting catch. Because my hooks were stuck on the piling, it took off the sinker. Zaide and I went back to the store and bought two pyramid sinkers and two bank sinkers, both 2 OZ. I tied on another pyramid sinker and dropped the rig down. The sun was starting to set and you could see the cruise ships leaving the Port of Miami. This was an awesome day on the water, but it was not done yet. Just then, I felt a tug on the shrimp on my other rod with the egg sinker and hook, and the fish was on. I reeled in, and caught the last fish of the day. It was a Doctorfish, a type of Tang! What a great way to end a great day full of exotic fish, milestones, and Miami ocean and sunset scenery.

Tips and Tricks that I have learned:

  • Sabiki rigs work, and if not, try putting small pieces of bait on it.

  • The Dania pier is a nice place in Miami to catch cool, exotic fish on the ocean to get a nice breeze with awesome views.

Stay tuned, new fishing tips, tricks, and trips coming soon!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Tough Tilapia Luck

Today, I went fishing in the C-8 Canal in Miami again. This time, it was with Ben and my friend, Thomas. We went to the ledge and looked down. A whole school of tilapia and Cichlids were passing by. I put a piece of bread on the hook, and we dropped the lines down. Once we dropped it down, the fish started to nibble. Then, a big Tilapia came and opened its big mouth and sucked the whole piece of bread in one bite. I realized that my hook was in that piece, and started to slowly reel and pull up. Then, the rod started to bend and the fish went crazy. FISH ON!!! It started to take the line off of reel and made that beautiful fishing sound, EERRRREERERRRERERRR! I managed to reel it up to the ledge, and I was about to puck the fish up. But, just then, the line got caught in the wood and when the fish turned it snapped the line. Remember, according to the IGFA fishing rules, if the fish comes close enough to the structure that you are fishing off of, it is a catch. But, nothing feels better when you get to bring the fish up and truly win the battle. I tied on a new hook, put another slip shot sinker on, put the bread on, and dropped my hook in the school again. The fish came in and were nibbling at it. This time, a Cichlid came and gulped up my bait. Instantly, the reel started screaming and the line ran off the reel with the drag. The strong fish swam franticly and made it hard to reel in. Finally, I tried to reel it in and get it up, and the line broke. I lost the fish. I have yet to bring up a cichlid or a tilapia from the canal. I will soon, I hope.

What I learned from this trip:

  • As pressuring as it is to finally bring up the fish at the end of a fight, you need to keep calm and be wary of what your doing and be patient, or you will make mistakes.

  • Cichlid and Tilapia are very feisty and put up a fight. Be sure to tie on your hook very tight and maybe have a bigger line pound test. Come prepared when fishing a canal here in Miami.

Stay tuned! More fishing tips, tricks, and trips soon.