January / February Offshore Miami Fishing Report

Rebuilding Yamaha 225 EnginesAfter several months of spending our evenings and weekends helping to rebuild outboard engines, it felt pretty great to get back on the water, and enjoy some kitefishing.  Big thanks to Capt. Scott Virgin for helping team Marauder keep the dream alive.  We wake up early and stay late to log hours catching big fish.

The boat was back in action just after testing in the final weeks of December, and the first part of January.  We dusted off the gear, and got back to business, catching some sailfish, mahi, kingfish, and snapper in our first few trips back on the water.

The first few weeks of January were a bit slow with lots of sharks, some kingfish, and mahi, but only a few missed shots at lazy biting sailfish.  On a private charter out of haulover inlet, we did get a sail for a friendly vacationing snowbird, and a small blackfin.


The passed 2 weekends in January started to pickup, and we ran some trips, and started putting up some sailfish releases.  The surface bite has been picking up as the temperatures start to finally drop.  With a day on our hands, and a lot of live bait, we have managed to log the hours it takes to get a couple sails per day on the kites.

blackfin-tuna.jpg  Always feels nice to get a little sushi off the kites, and see a billfish dance across the surface after spending an afternoon waiting for the show.

The last week of January, the bite has started to pick up.  Live bait fishing has been better, with pilchards becoming more accessible, and pelagics being reported in much greater numbers.

I fished aboard the Top Gun with Capt. Nel, and Capt. Danny, and caught a few nice big sailfish off the kites for a 40th birthday party.  The crew stuck out some tough seas to see the sailfish sprint across the surface with a speed that reminds you why it’s called sportfishing.  Definitely a great day to spend a surprise birthday party.  It never gets old seeing the thrill of seeing someone fight a trophy fish. Despite fighting some tough seas and a sea sick angler, we got a few nice video shots of the second fish.  I had to remind him that I do this often – I’m a professional.

Jumping Atlantic Sailfish aboard the Top Gun Miami


Capt Danny Sailfish ReleaseCapt. Danny fishes offshore with the Top Gun, and runs some inshore fishing charters in Miami as well.  Danny and I decided to get together with Capt. Charlie to do some tarpon fishing inshore near downtown Miami, and caught a half dozen mangrove snappers and went 3 for 3 on tarpon in just a few hours after dark.  Danny is available for nearshore trips at Salty Adrenaline charters on his pathfinder.

night-time-tarpon-capt-danny capt-danny-boats-tarpon-miamiThis passed week or so, there has been some fantastic sailfish reports.  Lots of nice schools came through with the cold fronts, and cooler weather.  The rough and the cold seemed to yield strong results for those who donned raingear and braved the 15-20 knot winds.

I decided to take advantage of some very fishy type conditions  (ne winds 10-20knots, and ne seas) and pack a few friends I promised a day of fishing onto the Marauder.  I was privileged to help them both catch their first sailfish, and I can say that the experience never ceases to be exciting.


We spent a slow afternoon off government cut with very little current after catching some live pilchards and herring on sabiki.   We weren’t really moving, so our general kite routine didn’t fit the bill.  We hit a few wrecks with little luck, and only a small shark was caught on the first two spreads between 100′ – 300′ of water.

We decided to fuel up, and head down to the south.  We set a drift just passed fowey lighthouse, and unfortunately there was still very little drift to our drifting.  We realized we weren’t yet moving – so we decided to move.

Pushing further to the south, I figured maybe we could pick up a few snapper for dinner, bottom fishing while we had the kites out.  The wind was perfect, but the water color was still murky and green.  We hit two more shipwrecks to no avail, and proceeded to the final southern destination for the day.

The first drift provided a few bottom bites and cutoffs, and the second gave us the first real action for the day.  The line shot off the reel, and grabbed the rod as our new angler had kept the kite baits in excellent position.  The sail shot across the water and took off to sea.  We cleared all the gear and chased him down.  It always feels good to grab that leader, and even better when you get to grab the bill.

Gotcha. Revived and released. #2fortuesday #sailfish #uafishing #miamifishing #marauder #poppingsailfishcherries #kiteishing

A video posted by Capt Todd (@miamifishingcharters) on


It was getting late, but I couldn’t stand to have one of our anglers catch a fish, and the other have to just watch, so we did two final drifts, emptying our livewells of live bait in a nice little pilchard chum slick.  We saw the second fish take off with a bait and screaming drag, providing that rush of adrenaline you only get catching that fish that can run a hundred yards faster than most humans.

sunrise-dinner-key-marina-miami-florida.jpgIt was a long day that started early, and ended late, but made for a great trip, and some happy customers.  It’s great to be back on the water running trips, and catching fish.  Our late winter, and spring weekends are definitely filling up.  If you have a chance to get out on the water and join us, please feel free to give us a call.




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