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Capt Bob LeMay

Jupiter night scene

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Been doing a bit of exploring and I'm now ready to add Jupiter to my night charters (for many years all of my night trips have been in the Miami / Miami Beach area).  I was particularly interested in Jupiter, although it's 77 miles from my house north to the boat ramp, since it fishes well on higher tide stages.  The Miami, Biscayne Bay, area only fishes well at night on a falling tide if you're working bridge shadows and docklights... The two areas are quite different in one other aspect - Biscayne Bay has a substantial population of small to medium sized tarpon (20 to 40 lbs, and occasionally bigger...), Jupiter is all about the snook - and they're in every docklight... Mostly sight-fishing in each location, but the fish in Jupiter are not as boat sensitive as the ones down in Miami so it should make for an easier trip for those just making the jump from fresh to saltwaters since we'll be able to work closer to each spot...   Last night the fish were equally biting on flies and lures - when I'm exploring by myself I like to vary the gear at each spot to find out if one or the other gets more action... just part of being a guide for me..


Last night I brought four fly rods with me - but only used the 9wt - a 7wt would have been just fine for the size #1 clouser I was working.  Backing up the fly rods - the usual assortment of spinning gear - but the only rod that was effective was the lightest one, set up with 10lb braid, a 30lb fluoro leader, and a 1/8oz leadhead with a plastic tail... Spin or fly - the fish were chewing.  I was able to catch and release a dozen fish up to around 24" long (never saw a hint of bigger fish) - but Jupiter is famous for really big snook - maybe next time... Here's one that came to the fly... 


The rod, a TicrX by TFO... the reel - an old favorite, a Billy Pate Bonefish model (one of two Pate's that will be in my arsenal until the day I'm no longer around... )

Very aggressive fish - after half a dozen on the same fly - the last one broke the hook...  The fly I was using was a very simple clouser variation with a polar bear wing... I'll have to tie up a few more and post a pic or two for anyone wanting a very effective night time docklight offering... Not to be outdone the fish eating lures took the leadhead I'd been using as well - so each rod, fly or spin,  came home without a hook at the terminal end... Hungry fish!


My next planned exploration - will be for our local peacock bass down to the south  of Miami in freshwater.  I'm hoping to add peacocks to my daytime trip menu... In my area there's literally more fishing than you can choose from - so peacocks have always taken a back seat to everything else going on... First though, it's a tarpon trip into the backcountry out of Flamingo for an angler who got a gift certificate from his wife... Just nothing like the 'glades... 


"Be a hero... take a kid fishing"

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Here's a quick pic of the pattern those snook were all over in docklights where they could be sight-fished.. I did a quick run to make sure I had them for my next night scene... Very simple clouser style baitfish pattern on a Mustad 34007, 1/0 hook.... Bead chain eyes tied in on Danville's flat waxed nylon - fire orange, then a tiny bit of pearl Flashabou, then a simple polar bear wing on the pointy side of the hook to complete the pattern with the hook shank left bare and only Krazy Glue instead of any head cement... The fly on the right is what was saved from the original pattern that had lead eyes and a #1 hook.  Had a lot of strikes that I missed and suspect one size larger hook might change that situation a bit - and also wanted to get away from lead eyes for the additional flies since lead eyes don't survive multiple hits while beadchain will.  I'm hoping that the size larger hooks might also aid in sinking the pattern in use since I'm doing without the lead eyes now...


Note:  all of the flies that I use personally have the barbs mashed down and the hookpoints sharpened with a 4" mill bastard file... 


An additional note about the bear hair in use.... It's quite old so it's yellowed a bit - I've had it for nearly 45 years now... Back when it couldn't be imported, enterprising souls would buy old polar bear rugs in poor condition - then cut them up and sell them piece by piece (this was at at time when a few anglers were still using polar bear on jigs ... instead of bucktail). I very carefully never tied with polar bear during all the years I was commercial tying but now that I've been quit from that for a few years this bear hair is coming back into use for a few patterns (while it's still usable...).

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