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Capt Bob LeMay

Biscayne nights on the fly, 27 February, 2018

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We fished nights this past weekend - on Saturday with Jonathan Wexler from Denver and on Sunday with James Warren from Bozeman, Montana - and it was on.... We only used fly fishing gear both nights, mostly a 9wt and our main targets were the baby tarpon that hold under bridges this time of year (fish average 20 to 40lbs). Just after dark we set up under one bridge - and didn't see the first fish (normally we're looking at every fish...) so it was time to make an adjustment. I had Jonathan start working the fly a bit slower and aiming for the seams in the tide flow where I thought there should be a fish or two... That tactic worked like we knew what we were doing and he was quickly fast to his first fish.... We went on to go four for seven on fish up to around 30lbs. Here's a few pics from that night....
hooked up and pulling hard to his first fish.... that 9wt getting a workout!

towards the end of the fight we finally get a good look at the fish (and only another ten minutes to go...)

still not done..

getting your hands on a good fish - even for just a moment - you won't forget that first one on fly...

After pulling on fish for a few hours we still weren't done and left the bridge with all the fish to do some looking around and went to another bridge... Once again not a fish in sight, but by now we had a rhythm... Jonathan laid the fly in exactly the right place and hooked up our last fish of the night. If we'd gotten a look at it first - we might have used a heavier rod (I keep 7 through 12wts on board for night trips....) since the fish just screamed away without a single jump. It took so much line that by the time I could fire up the motor we were almost spooled with 200 yards of backing gone.... Now we were working in the dark just trying not to get spooled until we finally got about half our line back on the reel (and still not a single jump from big mama...). At that point the fish reversed course and threw a huge belly in the line. When we finally came tight again we'd lost the fish, the fly line, and a good bit of backing... What a way to end the night... I figure that big girl was well north of 80lbs the way it behaved - and my angler with a very heavy drag couldn't slow it down a bit....

The next night, with James Warren aboard we were back after them. At first still no fish -then we began seeing them right at the surface where we expected -but it's tough for first timers to work the fly exactly where it needs to be for a bite so we were still trying when all our surface fish disappeared after an hour or so... As a result we were back to working blind for them - but the fish bit just as well as they did the night before and we were soon hooked up. That night the fish did all the releasing (and they schooled us every way possible..). James still had a ball and I think he'll be back for another shot at them. That night we hooked almost as many as the first night - our biggest fish clearly around forty pounds. I had him using the same rod we'd used the night before (after I'd reloaded the reel with new backing and another new fly line...). By the way - we hardly saw any shrimp on either night....

I expect this kind of action any night with a falling tide from now through April - but most of my bookings will be day trips back in the Everglades where the big tarpon will be our primary targets (along with everything else...). The only thing that will slow us down the next few months will be the weather... Just nothing like Biscayne nights and Everglades days...

Be a hero - take a kid fishing!

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