...my barbaric YAWP...
                                                                   "Song of Myself" Leaves of Grass
                                                Walt Whitman  
The Fish Box 
[yellowtails, blue runners, hogfish] [false albacore(bonito), mutton snapper, cero mackeral, triggerfish, grunt, blue runner, ...]
(left) 6 yellowtail snappers, a hogfish, and a couple of blue runner jacks
(right) false albacore tuna (called bonito locally), cero mackeral, mutton snapper, runner, trigger fish, common grunt, and others

[speckled seatrout] [skipjack tuna, little tunney tuna, kingfish,...]
(left) Speckled Seatrout (right) skipjack and little tunney tunas, spanish and king (kingfish) mackerals, jack

A Voyage of Que Linda I
[big catch - spanish mackeral, dolphin, blue runner jacks]

One of my best days (in a November) - I caught a juvenile kingfish in a fish boil 20 feet off the ramp, near the Venetian Causeway, south west part of Miami Beach (#2 Clark spoon). The day only got better from there! Before getting past the Coast Guard station I had already caught half a dozen fish: a kingfish, a spanish mackeral, and blue runners. I was using a black and red feather trolled while on way to the outside and real fishing.

On the outside (east of Miami Beach, Virginia Key, Key Biscayne) boats were running furiously to the reef edge for deep water trolling when most of the action was in the shallows (12 to 24 feet). The birds told me the action was within a mile of the coast near the closest channel ranging marker (used by the frieghters and cruise ships to align with the angled channel when coming into port). Three flocks of birds, at three locations, were hitting roiled, splashing water from all directions. The mackeral were underneath. Other boats kept heading for deep water.

The closest flock is where I headed, big boats racing in a different direction. Everytime I approached the action, snap! snap! whrrrr whrrr , two flat lines, two, off the rod tips, in the back frame, four simultaneous knockdowns - all 8 pound test. It varied from four spanish mackerals to four blue runners with every combination in between. They hit anything moving fast.

I didn't, at the time, keep bungee (elastic) cords over the top of my cooler. As I put fish in the box, the fish would struggle violently, literally swim out of the box, (especially the long spanish mackeral,) onto the side of the boat, and into the water. I couldn't stop laughing. Finally got tired and only trolled one line at a time. Then I stopped and had even more fun with a weighted spoon. the faster I retreived it, the bigger the mackeral. Limit was 4 mackerals at the time. I'm sure I had put more than a dozen into the box to finish with the four. Well over 50 blue runners were also caught with the heaviest pushing 7 pounds - great fighters! (Everyone at work feasted.)

I think this was the day I caught a sailfish (released) with live blue runner bait rather than trolling feather, spoon, or rigged ballyhoo.

Later near Fowey Light I ran into a large raft of seaweed, and hooked a small dolphin (mahi-mahi, dorado, the fish not the mammal). Along came a great cloud of flashing green and gold under the water. I immediately caught a few, but they were small, so I stopped.        !! I threw handfulls of chum and cut fish into the water, grabbed my mask and climbed over the side - there were thousands. Flashing, streaking, I couldn't see blue water past them, they were so thick. Waves of compresion and movement in parts of the school were the response to my swimming about. Suddenly the fish aligned like iron shavings do when a strong magnet appraoches. Just as suddenly they all disappeared. I thought a moment - predator - and climbed back into the boat.
So I swam with the "dolphins".
A good day.

Bull Dolphin
[blackfin tuna, spanish mackeral, jack,...]
Spanish mackrals, blackfin tuna, bonito, jack
[african pompano, false albacore, dolphin]
African Pompano, tunas, dolphins

The thrill in fishing off the coast of South Florida is never knowing what fish may actually hit. One year I recorded 143 different species. After catching the 40 pound African Pompano in the last picture, I went and bought the 94 quart cooler. The cut marks in the tail show the size of the 52 quart cooler - it would had been disqualified for a world's record for mutilation, but I knew the record at the time was 42 pounds .

[Button link to dinosaurs site section - profile of STAN T. rex]  
Dinosaurs & 
[Button link to fish site section - gyotaku fish print of bluerunner] 
[Button link to parasites and microscopic site section - Amblyomma nymphs - ticks] 
[Button link to stamps site section - pen cancelled envelope from ARK] 
[Button link to Court of Bambiraptor - profile of Bambiraptor] 

All images and stories ©Michael Patrick Corriss
August 9,2001

Images photographed with Olympus OM-1 35-mm camera, Olympus KHC microscope,
Ricoh RDC-300Z digital camera, scanned by Nikon LS-2000 and
manipulated with PhotoShopLE.
Contact me.