When it comes to fishing, there are only a few places in the world that we’d rather travel than South Florida. Think Key Largo, Flamingo, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Palm trees, warm water, and endless sandy beaches. There’s tuna fishing in Port Everglades, tarpon beach fishing along the Gulf, and, if you’re lucky, hauling in a big black drum on a rod and reel.
To make your experience even better, we’ve tracked down ace fisherman, George Poveromo. You’ve probably watched him on the popular George Poveromo’s World of Salt Water Fishing. He’s a legend in the fishing world for good reason. He burst onto the fishing scene some 30 years ago, at the age of 23, when he was dubbed one of the country’s top anglers.
He’s written articles, given lectures, and taken us on all sorts of TV fishing adventures, but the bottom line is this man not only loves to fish, he has a passion and knack for the sport that in undeniable. You might be luck enough to catch his National Seminar Series for the saltwater sport fishing community; he visits eight cities to share his expertise with anglers of all ages and level of ability.
We were lucky enough to talk with George about his love for the sport, how he got started, and of course, so tips to improve our luck on our next fishing day.
Tell us a bit about your background. Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. I’m a native South-Floridian who has been residing in northern Broward County (City of Parkland) for the past 22 years.
What is your educational/professional background?
I’m a graduate of the University of Miami, with a major in Broadcast/Journalism.
When did you first get interested in fishing? What was the first fish you ever caught?
My father was a dentist on Bay Harbor Island (Miami Beach) and loved to saltwater fish. My first fish was a small snapper I caught with him off a sea wall by his office when I was about five years old.
Do you have an early story about a fishing experience, trip you can share?
Probably my most memorable earliest fishing experience was when I was about six years old and on a family vacation to Marathon, in the Florida Keys. Before we arrived, my dad bought me a plastic kiddie rod and reel from a local department store. At the dock later that day, I saw these mangrove snapper swimming around.
My dad tied a hook to the outfit’s string line and baited it with a shrimp. I hooked one of those snapper (about half a pound) and caught it. The struggle I was having to catch it and the vibrations telegraphing through that string line and plastic pole from the fish struggling at the other end hooked me for life.
What are three things a beginning angler needs to know?
- Safety – Know how to swim, keep handy or wear life jackets.
- The habits of the fish they’re seeking to catch.
- How to be patient; fishing is a learning experience. You don’t always catch fish. Keep experimenting when fishing is slow – you just might find the combination that turns a slow day into a very memorable one.
What is the biggest fish tale you’ve heard/told?
I don’t spin fish “tales”; all the fish I catch or the ones I talk about are the real deal. No fiction spinning here. As far as others spinning tall tales, I’m usually gone before I have to put on boots.
What’s the biggest one that got away?
Probably a 60 or 70 pound dolphin (Mahi) that ate a large mackerel bait I was trolling to catch a blue marlin off Walker’s Cay, Bahamas. The dolphin grabbed the mackerel bait, and I went into free spool to feed line to the fish so it could totally consume it. When I engaged the reel’s drag and came tight to the fish, it ran and leapt clear of the water, throwing the hook in the process. As it turned out, I didn’t let it have the bait long enough. I wish I could have a re do on that fish.
Do you fish competitively? If so, what do you like about it?
I used to fish competitively in my late teens through my 20s. That changed when I began writing for Salt Water Sportsman magazine. Then Publisher Rip Cunningham explained to me that now I’m in a position to help our readers catch more fish, and how I shouldn’t be competing with them. I’m now at another level. It made perfectly good sense, and my competitive fishing days ended when I joined the masthead of the publication.
What is your dream fishing day?
I’ve enjoyed the good fortune of fishing salt waters over a lot of the globe. Yet, my ideal fishing day is heading off of South Florida with my closest friends for a fun day of chasing dolphin; no TV cameras, commitments, etc. – just good old fashion fun fishing in my own backyard.
If you had all the money and time in the world, where would you go fishing?
Fortunately, the two places I enjoy fishing the most are within easy reach of where I live, and I continue to fish these spots at least once a year. They are: Bimini, Bahamas – a 50-mile run across from Miami. Here, I troll for blue marlin, chase yellowfin tuna in nearby Northwest Providence Channel, reef fish for snappers and groupers, and live bait fish for big king and Cero mackerel. My other favorite spot is an atoll some 25 miles west of Key West called the Marquesas. Here, I fish the shallow Gulf of Mexico rock piles for groupers and snappers.
Why is fishing in Southern Florida interesting? Challenging?
For saltwater fishing, South Florida is the place to be, primarily because of the diversity of species we have here. Inshore in salt and brackish waters (inlets included), we have top tier game fish the likes of tarpon, snook, sea trout and gag groupers; near shore, the list includes Spanish and king mackerel, sailfish, groupers, snappers, cobia and sharks; offshore waters see migrations of wahoo, dolphin, tuna, swordfish and marlin.
What do you like/love about fishing?
It’s being encompassed by the beauty and nature of the ocean and its life. And, probably at the top of the list – the anticipation that the very next strike could turn out to be the fish of your dreams. And once you catch a couple dream fish, your passion doesn’t wane. In fact, it only gets stronger. That’s why I’m out here at every opportunity I can get.
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