Bjorn Stromsness and Adrienne Comeau arrived early in the AM, and were to fish with Martin Carranza in Biscayne Bay searching for bonefish. I was to pick up Matt and Davin around lunch time at the airport.
I arrive at Ft. Lauderdale Airport at 11:55 to pick up Matt Smythe and Davin Ebanks. I send a group text to both letting them know I was at the terminal awaiting them.
11:59 Davin: What airport? Miami or Ft. Lauderdale?
Me: Ft. Lauderdale, of course. Where are you?
Davin: Oh, I’m in Miami International Airport……….
Me: How long have you been there?
Davin: I don’t know, since about 10:30
Me: What? what the heck have you been doing?
Davin: It’s cool, just tying flies. What should I tie to target peacock bass?
Me: Something small, bright, and heavy.
12:03 Matt: I’m grabbing my bag, I’ll be right out.
Me: Davin says he’s in Miami, not Ft. Lauderdale Airport.
12:30 I-95 South Bound toward M.I.A….
Finally, we picked up Davin at Miami International Airport (about 3 minutes away from my house), and were on our way. We made a quick pit stop at my place to grab some flies. At this point, I didn’t know what to expect for the next five days. I picked up two fly fisherman at two different airports. One coming from New York, the other from Grand Cayman. Having not heard from the other two (Bjorn and Adrienne) we still went on our peacock mission, despite the terrible conditions. In order to give them the full peacock fishing experience, we made a stop at Chipotle for our burrito fix, then off we were to the grounds. We didn’t know how much actual fishing we’d be able to do, since it was raining almost non stop, all day long. We got to the grounds, soaked in our rain gear, for some reason, the rain gear didn’t actually keep us dry in the non stop rain. It just kept us moist, rather than drenched. But anyway, we were able to spot some fish hanging onto structure, around culverts and rock piles. I pointed them out to them and explained how to feed the fish, how to trigger a bite down deep on a ledge. Quickly, Davin hooked up into one and made quick work of his first peacock bass.
We made our way around, spotting more fish, seeing some carp, and the other characters in these waters (Mayan Cichlid, Blue Gill, Midas Cichlid, etc) and found more peacock bass. Quickly, Matt was hooked up into a nice one, but it spit the hook after a few jumps (see the photo in the header). I mentioned the importance to strip set rather than trout set these fish. Their mass will cause the rod to take the power out of the trout set, not driving in the hook. He adjusted and was good from that point on.
For the next 45 minutes, we spent walking the banks, spotting structure and looking for bodies. They made quick work of these fish, as to sometimes the hardest part of peacock fishing is finding fish, rather than actually catching them. Here’s a Mayan Cichlid that Davin caught.
Here’s Davin with a stud peacock bass.
Here’s a fiesty blue gill that Davin caught.
A nice peacock that Matt caught.
Davin hooked up
Matt hooked up.
Davin with a Midas Cichlid.
I had a blast putting these guys on these fish that they’re not used to catching. Seeing how surprised they were when they felt how hard the peacock bass and mayan cichlid pull as they peeled drag off their rods.
Once we were done, we finally got a hold of Bjorn. They made the most of their trip in Biscayne Bay with the conditions they were dealt. We met up at Lokal Burgers in Coconut Grove for some amazing burgers, and finally everyone meet in person for the first time. We spoke a lot about what to expect out of this short trip, and made our way down to paradise.
These are some of Bjorn’s photos from their experience with Martin Caranza and some treacherous weather in Biscayne Bay.