5-25-2012 Boat load of Mahi Mahi and a Space Shuttle!

Wow.  What can I say?  The last few days of fishing in miami have been absolutely exceptional.  We usually do well for ourselves this time of year, but I guess we’ve had a run of better than usual luck! On May 30, 2012 – Todd and I were joined by Carlos Spencer and Carlos Defilipi for a day of epic dolphin fishing.

We stopped by the bug light briefly in the morning and loaded up on an pilchards before we made the run offshore.  Bait at bug light has been consistent but not too thick – you really have to work the sabikis or make a lucky net toss to get on them good. Expect about a dozen charter/rec boats all vying for position to stay on top of finicky baits.

The initial plan was to run offshore and make a few drops for swords.  We’ve been researching bottom contour with Google earth and i’m willing to bet i’ve found a few ledges and hills that will hold fish.  Time will tell as we switch gears from dolphin and kite fishing to deep dropping during the doldrums of summer. As we made the run offshore, Carlos Spencer spotted the first grass patch which held fish.  There were a few big fish but they were being finicky.  We did manage to put a few schoolies in the boat:


After leaving the smaller patches in about 800′ to head farther offshore, we encountered a floater. Couldn’t ask for much more than that.  Carlos Defilipi spotted the styrofoam box off the port side of the boat and upon arrival – everyone initially thought “square grouper”. The foam box was wrapped in a net and appeared to be dragging something.  As we idled closer, it became very apparent this was a makeshift mahi shelter that had been dropped a few weeks earlier.  A palm frond was tethered to the foam box which turned out to be packed with plastic bottles. It was covered up with small dolphin which ate readily but the triple tail tenants wanted nothing to do with our baits – even after switching leaders out to flourocarbon.

We departed the floater and headed east once again – this time encountering a grass patch the size of a large round swimming pool.  There were dolphin everywhere!  Carlos, Todd, and Carlos took turns bailing fish while I kept the Marauder in position to pick the school.  Carlos Defilipi was quick with a bait and managed to hook a nice Bull, which actually came in the boat faster than his smaller buddies.

By the end of the slaughter, we had boated 30 fish and could’ve kept going….but decided  we had enough to restock our freezers. We made the call to head back to Miami Beach marina for extra ice and gas before heading back out in the afternoon.  Much to our bewildered surprise, we encountered a space shuttle being towed on a barge!  Astoudned, we raced towards the barge for some close up shots!

Space shuttle off miami up close

We also couldn’t resist the perfect once in a lifetime photo opportunity holding up two dolphins caught off the grass patches!

After icing down the fish and loading up on fuel – we made another run offshore.  This time in search of swordfish. Upon arrival to the sword grounds, we dropped in 1900′ and waited for the rod tip to bounce. Unfortunately we didn’t get any bites, but a free jumping white marlin certainly added to the excitement. The fish went ballistic for about 20 seconds – tail walking and flying horizontally over the water. We didn’t even have a prayer of hooking the fish, but it was a thrilling sight to experience.

Dolphin fishing Miami, Florida

All in all – i’d say it was a pretty spectacular day fishing off Miami.  I’m really looking forward to more summertime dolphin fishing off key biscayne and fowey rocks.

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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