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Date posted February 26, 2017 11:04 PM
Posted by Jillybird
Report location Offshore > Li'l Jillybird Keeps Scoring Big off of Key Biscayne
Fishing method Boat
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I've been visiting my son who is at University of Miami every couple of weeks since August, and especially since we took delivery of the Li'l Jillybird on October 1. Flying down from NY to Miami to fish for a couple of days really cures the cabin fever.

Well, we've been learning the South Florida fishing game and are moving up the learning curve pretty well. It's a whole different game down here with live bait the real key to some nice scores. We've found our greenback herring spot and our pilchards spot and have been perfecting our kite fishing techniques. So we are now scoring nicely on the sails. My son has nailed three this week -- we went 1 for 3 earlier this week when I was down. We've caught plenty of kings, and some nice bottom fish.

On Friday afternoon, my son went out and caught what would have easily been the world record black grouper on 20 pound test. The world record is only 18 pounds, and his was easily over 20 pounds. But grouper are out of season right now, so he is out of luck. The big grouper was released in excellent health.

One of the sails we caught was a tagged fish. I called in the catch to the Billfish Foundation. The sail had been tagged off of Key Largo in early January when it was estimated to weigh around 25 pounds. A month and a half later we nailed it and it surely looked like a good 50 pounds to us. We'll be getting t-shirts as a reward.

On the inshore front, we've been nabbing some decent sea trout on the grass flats along with a nice pompano and some jacks.

The tarpon fishing is just getting started with the shrimp runs. Once my trolling motor is fixed, we'll be doing that dance at night in Government Cut and around the bridges.

We've been picking up some decent muttons and yellowtails on the patch reefs, and my son is having an absolute blast spear fishing off of Eliot Key.

Our 2017 Robalo Cayman 246 bay boat is absolutely extraordinary, going from the deep for swords to 18 inches of water for sea trout. This boat is a beast -- 9 foot beam -- and we've fished in sporty 4-6 foot seas comfortably.

There's certainly a lot to be said for spending lots of time in South Florida in the winter.

The L''il Jillybird - What a versatile little boat!

Tagged sailfish released off of Miami

Today''s solo sailfish

Definite world record black grouper released because grouper are out of season

Out of season red grouper released

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  Comments and Questions  
Author Message

Joined: 08/12/2012
Posts: 162
Location: Port Washington
 02/27/2017 10:05 AM  

Hi Bob,

great report, looks like you and your son are having a great time breaking in the new boat.

It won't be long, Family Matters will be back in the water, see you out there for the bass run.



Joined: 10/01/2001
Posts: 16532
Location: ><)))):> ~~ THE JAMAICA BAY TRIANGLE ~~ <:))))><
 02/27/2017 10:27 AM  

ShadesShadesShades,, hello jilly and son vessel looking good,, some nice fish there,, sonofjilly you have it all my friend Smile,, be good hit those books too Wink,, talk soon,,><((:> ~~~ ><(((:>


Joined: 12/07/2003
Posts: 254
Location: Albany NY
 02/27/2017 12:07 PM  

Nice job as always! Always look forward to all your reports. Be well...and out for sharks when spearfishing!

Frank J. Zima

Joined: 09/03/2001
Posts: 2249
Location: Mamaroneck
 02/27/2017 05:16 PM  

Frank, my son and his friends climbed aboard the boat a couple of weeks ago after shooting some hogfish and as they released the mooring buoy, a 10 foot long tiger shark circled the boat. Wonder how long she had been scoping them out?

Joined: 12/23/2006
Posts: 550
 02/27/2017 05:56 PM  

Nice report & kudos on the release.Congrats on the new boat,also very nice!up

"Don't worry,everything will be fine,you'll see"

Joined: 11/10/2010
Posts: 21
 02/27/2017 07:23 PM  

Nice grouper but is that a Black grouper or a Gag grouper? Either way a great accomplishment on 20 lb.test.

Joined: 09/03/2001
Posts: 2249
Location: Mamaroneck
 02/27/2017 10:20 PM  

It's definitely a black grouper. You can tell by the markings which are more rectangular on the black than the gag. Thanks for your comment. He had an awesome fight and couldn't believe he got it away from the rocks with only 20 pound mono.

Joined: 07/09/2003
Posts: 218
Location: city island
 02/28/2017 02:44 AM  

Wish I was in South Fl

Awesome report! I had hogfish for the first time last year in the Keys. Best fish I ever had.


Joined: 10/03/2012
Posts: 35
 02/28/2017 07:56 AM  


Great job on the catch and amazing job on the release. Must suck to just let a record go but congrats on that, maybe you'll be rewarded again later in the season!

Tight lines!

Joined: 12/10/2009
Posts: 5196
Location: A-team
 02/28/2017 08:38 PM  



Joined: 06/10/2008
Posts: 897
Location: E. Setauket, NY
 03/01/2017 12:38 PM  

Sounds like a blast Bob!

Joined: 11/26/2008
Posts: 7
 03/02/2017 11:38 PM  

great report
very cool you are able to enjoy those college years with your boy

Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 3
 03/06/2017 03:58 PM  


Thanks for your review on the Robalo. I am in Naples Florida for the winter and have been thinking about buying the same boat but wasn't sure how it would handle out in the gulf. You helped me make my decision . Thanks
  Comments and Questions  

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