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I woke up this morning around 6:45 am, grabbed my cup of coffee, and headed out the door. I picked up Sheldon Hubbard and we headed to Haulover Marina. Once we arrived, I knew we had some fresh ballyhoo leftover from the day before so we went live baiting at the north boil.
After catching a few yellowtail snapper, I noticed a heard of ballyhoo come into our chum slick. I went down into the salon and grabbed my 15 foot cast net. All I needed was one throw and I had over 10 dozen live ballyhoo. We now had plenty of trolling baits for the morning.
The day was looking really nice. The wind was southeast around 5 to 10 and the seas were less than 2 feet. We loaded the icebox and drink coolers and before I knew it, Randy and his crew were here. We normally take six persons but I told Randy right now Miami Dade county is only permitting four persons on a charter. It was no problem since Randy only had three people in his group. We continued loading-up the SeaCross and soon headed out of Haulover Inlet.
Sheldon reminds me we have an outgoing tide. I told him great, we also are a little overcast today we should hook up with some nice blackfins. Days like this are ideal for blackfin tuna. They very good eyesight and on overcast days they seem to bite more aggressively.
Not long after lines go in the water, I noticed the planer trips. “Fish on!” - Sheldon tells me. Randy reels in a nice kingfish over 15 pounds on the drone spoon.
After the action slows, we head south for about an hour. I then turn east and head offshore to about 600’ feet and make a drop in search of some tilefish. Now and then, its possible to hook-up a snowy grouper I this area. But we didn’t have much luck on the tilefish drops and so we went ahead put the spread back out and started trolling.
It wasn’t too long before we hooked-up a few really nice blackfin tuna. All fish were over 20 pounds.
Deep sea fishing off Miami Beach this time of year is excellent. Especially now in the beginning of the spring and into the early summer and the quality and variety of fish is as good as it gets all year. Live baiting, trolling or deep dropping can all produce quality fish this time of year.
Looking ahead, nighttime mutton snapper fishing will start picking up. On the next full moon, find yourself some good bottom, anchor up, make sure you have a good current and you should be in good shape. Fresh cut is my bait of choice. Goggle eye heads are one of my favorites. Make sure that you always squish your head before dropping. And remember, relax. Let your bait lay on the bottom. It shouldn’t take too long before you have one of those tasty little treats on the end of your line.
Hopefully, as we all start getting life back to normal after this COVID-19 and anglers will soon start getting back on the water.
On the SeaCross we are ready for you and taking all necessary precautions. Give Captain Ralph a ring he will be more than happy to get your group on the water.
Tight lines and stay safe.
“Only on the Sea Cross”