5-26-2012 Miami Fishing – 3/3 on sailfish

We were privileged today to have the Tounjian family join us for a 1/2 day fishing charter. Alfie, Tommie, and Devon were joined by family friend Jon in search of some dolphin, blackfin tuna, and sailfish. We departed the dock at 2:30p.m. to catch the afternoon bite and headed offshore in search of dolphin.  Crossing into the bluewater off Fowey rocks was especially beautiful – a super clean edge had formed around 130′ – providing a stunning color contrast against the afternoon sky. In favor of dolphin, we headed offshore to about 900′ and spotted a frigate circling pretty low to the surface.  We approached cautiously and deployed live baits along with a few chummers – sadly no takers.  Although I always get excited when I see a frigate circling around, you can never be too sure what it’s circling.  Could be a giant bull dolphin, could be a school of skipjacks.  Hard to tell.  We came up empty and deployed the feathers – trolling back towards the edge.

The ride back was uneventful, but we spotted the L&H and Bouncer’s Dusky working the edge south of Ledbury reef.  We set up to the north where the current seemed strong and consistent.  Normally, we deploy two kites – in low wind conditions we only fly one suspended by a helium balloon and fish flat lines. With hardly a breath of air from the south east – we lofted a kite and deployed three baits.  Todd set the flat lines down and we waited patiently. A sail erupted behind Bouncer’s dusky to the south and then another beneath the L&H’s spread.  Both fish seemed to come unglued after a short battle.  Just 15 minutes later, both deep lines went off screaming and we were on!  Devon and Alfie stepped up the rods first and the battle commenced.  Alfie fought his sail from the bow while Devon stayed near the stern.  Double header sailfish action speaks for itself!

During the fight, our kite line mysteriously snapped and began floating away.  We were extremely lucky that Capt Jimmy on the L&H was able to grab the kite line as it floated past his tower and wrap it up for us while we finished our battle. His generosity was much appreciated as SFE kites are expensive!  The L&H runs fishing charters out of Key Biscayne and is a legendary charter boat in Miami – we are fortunate to fish among such a tremendously impressive fleet!

Todd was quick with the camera and grabbed some amazing photos of the sailfish acrobatics:

Once the aerial mayhem wound down on the first two fish, we gently brought the fish to the boat for a quick picture. The ONLY time we take a sail out of the water is when it’s the angler’s first ever sailfish.

Devon Tounjian First Sailfish

Devon Tounjian's First Sailfish

Alfie’s fish was leadered at the boat and made one final flip which snapped the leader. Alfie’s fish is featured in the tailwalking shot above.

High fives all around and then back to work! With our kite reel out of commission, we went back to flat lining since the sail bite seemed to be slightly deeper than usual.  We redeployed the spread and drifted for another 30 minutes when another frisky sail grabbed the port flat line! Fish on!  This time Tommie was up for the challenge and after a 30 minute fight, she wrestled the sail to the boat to earn her first Miami Sailfish release!

Tommie Tounjian's First Sailfish

We quickly revived and released Tommie’s sailfish to fight another day. As the sun began to get low, we deployed the spread once more and began chumming the rest of our live pilchards in hopes of drawing a tuna bite off Brewster reef.  We drifted all the way north to Fowey rocks where the edge began to break up – without a bite.  As the light began to fade, we called it quits and headed back to the marina.

Although we didn’t catch anything to eat for the Tounjian family, we had a few whole dolphin left over from the day before.  We gave everyone a few bags of fresh dolphin and called it a day!

The dog days of summer are upon us – and as the sailfish begin to thin out…the swordfishing and dolphin fishing is picking up. Give us a call to see what we’re catching or visit our what’s biting page for more information.

Tight Lines,


Capt. Charlie Ellis

Capt. Charlie Ellis

Captain at Miami Fishing Charters LLC
Capt. Charlie Ellis of Miami, FL has 25 years experience fishing for big game species like Bluefin Tuna, Sailfish, Swordfish, and Sharks. Capt. Charlie is also an avid scuba diver, world traveler, writer, and entrepreneur.
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