Sunday, April 30, 2017

West Lake Park Fishing

Today I went fishing at West Lake Park for the first time. I have always wanted to fish there because I have heard good things about it. I went with my friends Sam and Ben and Ben’s grandfather. We used shrimp that was alive when we bought it but because the water wasn’t freshened, they died. First, we fished off of a dock next to the parking lot. At first, nothing was biting. I had a circle hook on my rod, so if a fish bit then it would be hooked as long as the shrimp was hooked on securely. Suddenly, I felt a tug and I reeled in. It was a small Lane Snapper! First fish of the day. I unhooked it and dropped it back to the water to let it keep on growing. I rebated my hook and let it go down to the bottom. I felt tugs, but then nothing. I brought it up to see if I had bait. The shrimp was still on, so I put it back in the water. Sure enough, another fish was on. I reeled in to find that it was a small Puffer. After that, nobody caught any fish for a while. Right before we were going to go to a pier, a small Mangrove Snapper bit Sam’s line. He reeled it in and caught it. He unhooked it and threw it back in. We packed up our rods and gear, and moved to the boardwalk/pier. One of the great things about fishing is learning about the environment and the ecosystem. The boardwalk took us through the mangroves and the mud flats. We saw birds, mosquitos (not surprising), and even small crabs in the branches as you can see in the pictures. We got to the end of the boardwalk and cast out our baited hooks. We had three rods with a hook and a piece of shrimp, and one line with a spoon that we had casted out near the mangroves. Ben’s grandfather talked about how that spoon was his favorite lure from where he went fishing, in New York. We took off the head and the tail of the shrimp and only used the body. We were catching nothing until Sam had a big tug on his line. He brought it in and I helped him bring it up and over the side of the pier. It was a Bluntnose Stingray! What an interesting catch! Ben’s grandfather and Sam unhooked the fish. A little while longer, a big Puffer was hooked on Ben’s line. I was trying to help Ben unhook the Puffer because they have big teeth that try to bite the hook off (which they can do) and sometimes swallow the hook. While I was getting the hook out, my rod bent. Sam got my rod set for me and he unhooked the puffer while I reeled in my fish. It was a nice blue runner! I unhooked it and let it back in the water. After that, we didn’t get anymore bites. It was nice to feel the breeze and enjoy nature while waiting. To finish the trip, we had a cool surprise. When I was reeling in my hook to go, I saw a yellow-orange figure where my hook should be. I reeled it up to find out that a blue crab had taken my bait! another species that we had caught and had a chance to learn about. It was so gentle with the bait and hook that the rod didn’t even bend when it was taking the bait. We carefully unhooked it and sent it back in the water. What a trip! Stay tuned, more trips coming soon. Tight Lines and Good Luck!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Miami Tarpon Fishing

Today was definitely a fun day on my first charter fishing trip with my friends Sam and Davis. Davis fishes a lot and knows a ton about fish and marine life, just like me. Sam is an amazing fisherman and fishes the ocean in Miami and the Keys offshore all the time. He fishes in tournaments in Miami and the Keys. He knows very much about offshore fishing tips and tricks. The charter we went on was Fly Fish South Florida, and the guide, Taylor, was one of Sam's cousin's friends. Today we went out for Tarpon, but we'd also go out to see whatever else we could catch. Once we got to the secret spot, right behind Miami Seaquarium, not far from the Crandon Park Marina where we came out from on Key Biscayne, we threw out a frozen mullet, hooked through the lips. Sam and I were jigging with a white jig in the back too. It took a while before we had our first fish. On the jig, Sam and I had caught a blue runner! It was a small fish, but it was fun to start the day with a fish. Soon enough, we saw the rod tip with the mullet bend and a huge Tarpon jump. Fish on! We gave the rod to Sam and he fought the fish hard. We helped him fight the fish until the end. The fight lasted about a half an hour before we finally brought it along the side of the boat to cut the line. That was a huge fish and it put up an amazing fight. It was really fun to see the huge fish jump and to marvel at the fact that a monster was at the other side of the line. We went back to the spot, and it was Davis's turn to reel one in. It didn't take long before we heard the reel scream and a Tarpon jump five feet in the air. We gave Davis the rod and he held on tight. Tarpon are really smart and they will cut the line on whatever they can. In order to make it easier to reel, we drove the boat in the direction the Tarpon was going. Davis reeled in and got the leader to touch the rod and the Tarpon to come up next to the boat. We were 2 for 2 on Tarpon! The fish was still on and took us all the way over to the bridge where it wrapped around a piling and cut Davis's line. When we went back, it was my turn to reel one in. It took a long time waiting for a Tarpon to bite. In the meantime, I had caught two big Mangrove Snappers and we had also caught a cool jack with live shrimp along the seawall. But as we were about to bring the jack over the side of the boat, a Barracuda darted in and snatched the jack! It came as fast as a bullet! There is a reason why I have always wanted to catch one of these amazing fighters. Only the head of the stunned jack remained. We looked down on it, and we saw the ravenous Barracuda stalking the head right under it. It swam right up and ate the rest of the jack, cutting the line off, too. One day, I would want to catch one of those. After a bit more waiting, a big tug had bent Taylor's rod and he gave it to me. I pulled in as hard as I could, and it was hard as a rock. I kept the rod up high to keep the tension on, because if I gave the line slack then I would have lost the fish. I had caught for about a minute before the giant Tarpon ran and pulled like a fright train into the rocks on the bottom and snapped the line. I had caught a Tarpon once on the Mucho K at the dock, and today was a nice reminder of how well Tarpon or "Silver Kings" fight. It was a fun day fishing Inshore Miami for Tarpon and I would definitely like to fish with Sam and Davis again.

If the videos do not show up, go to

Friday, April 7, 2017

Peacock Bass Fishing

        Here in Miami and all over the world, there are different types of fisherman and fishing methods. Some people specialize in certain types, and fish in that location or way most often. I like to learn and fish every possible method and gamefish. This is a reason why I like to fish: everyone has their way.

        Today I went fishing with my math teacher, Mr. Muhlig. He normally fishes for Largemouth and Peacock Bass in the lakes and canals here in Miami and a bit farther north in Broward County. We both like to fish and I have always wanted to catch a peacock bass; it's on my fishing bucket list. Now is the best time to fish for them because they nest and lay eggs in Spring. When the Peacock Bass are breeding, they are very protective of their eggs. They will bite anything that comes close, even if it's not hungry.

        We went before school on the C-8 Canal. We woke up pretty early to have enough time, but as I like to say, "anything for the fish!" We went to the spot and tied on the lures. We used spinners and a light spinning gear. The spinner was a Mepps Comet 3. Once we got to the spot, we could see a big Peacock Bass guarding its nest.

        Mr. Muhlig told my sister and me to cast out and then reel in gently. We kept on doing this, and sometimes it would try to take the lure. But every time, it would stop just before. Sometimes, it even opened up its mouth. It just wouldn't take it.

        Peacock Bass are not actually bass. They are a type of big cichlid that lives in the Amazon, Hawaii, and South Florida's lakes and canals. They are very well adapted to the hot climate of these places. Peacock Bass are a fun fish to catch, and that is why it was on my list.

        Time was ticking and we only had so much time left to fish. We hadn't caught anything yet, but I had been paying attention to the way the fish worked. If I brought the lure right next to the Peacock Bass, even enough to touch it, the fish would go after it. I cast out with my plan in mind and started to reel in slowly. The spinner came in close to the fish and it went for it. The plan worked! The fish open up its mouth and picked up the spinner. I set the hook and the rod bent. Fish on!

        I kept it on the hook and reeled in at the right time. I hoped that the lure would not come off. I had to walk from one side to the other to keep the fish on. Finally, I brought it up. I caught it! My first Peacock Bass! I can now cross of "Peacock Bass" off of my list of fish I want to catch.

        The fishing trip today was really fun and it taught me a ton about peacock Bass and how to catch them. It was really cool to catch one for the first time! I really appreciate Mr. Muhlig's help and I would like to fish with him again sometime soon.

STAY TUNED! More fishing posts coming soon. Tight lines!