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Some Miami History

Watched an episode of Miami Vice today and found this scene filmed on the Miami River.  Brought back so many memories, including one having to do with swordfish.  If you look at the photo just above right from Don Johnson you will see a building with "Dawson Marine" on it.  This was located on the south bank of the Miami River just inside the S. Miami Ave. bridge and just east of where the Metrorail crosses today.  I remember coming in with a boat load of swordfish in the spring of 1976 and pulling into Dawson Marine so my dad could get a cup of coffee and some cigarettes.  Below is a photo of one morning I remember well.  The guy working at Dawson Marine took one look at our boat and he ran across the street to Commercial Fishing Supply, and then two guys came over and started asking me 50 questions about the catch since I was the only one onboard that could speak English.  "Where did you catch those? What bait?  How deep". etc.  My attitude was "we catch these all the time, no big whoop.".  But apparently a boat load of swordfish was a huge deal in 1976 as I later found out.  A little over a month later, on July 5, the charter boat Sea Boots caught the first two rod-and-reel swordfish off Miami, weighing 348 and 368 lbs.  Did the encounter at Dawson Marine have anything to do with it?  I don't know.  Sure seems like coincidence, don't it?


  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,770 Captain
    And a year or two later.... it was all over... 

    I still have a photo or two of me wearing t-shirts from both Commercial and Dude & Harry's... in 1973 when I was mating out of the old Castaways docks...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • catchemupcatchemup Posts: 490 Deckhand
    ..and back in the 50's anglers got heir bait...50 cents a dozen for live shrimp  or a dozen bally [I think]..... from the iconic Juniors bait and tackle on Miami Beach next to the McArthur Causeway. Further north on 79th St was Reef Tackle that serviced the fleet at Haulover.

  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,770 Captain
    Reef was the first shop I worked for - starting winter of 1972.  Learned a good bit there before getting my first job on
    a charter boat  in1973…. That was a time!
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,704 Captain
    i bought my first decent spinning reel from Commercisl Fishing Supply around 1957 or 1958. it was a Orvis 100 and i still have it and It's in perfect codition. It cost me $12.50 of paper route earnings. I have caught some 30 lb plus fish on that reel. 
  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,704 Captain
    edited October 2021 #6
    I was chosen to be a boat phtographer on the first showfish tounament out of Pier 5 by the Dade County Tourism Agency. The was around the mid 70;s. Back then having a photog on a boat was considered back luck, so they drew names out of a hat to pick the unlucky boat that i was assigned too. That boat turned out to be the Milttown. Nobody would talk to me on the boat, so i just went into the cablin and half slept. In the middle of the night i heard screaming and then cursing when the hook pulled on a large fish. Of couse the reson they lost the fish was my fault for just being on the boat.
  • xeniaxenia Posts: 1,164 Officer
    edited October 2021 #7
    The first Miami Swordfish Tournament was held in 1977.  Several nice fish were caught in 1976, including a 453# which was the 50 lb world record at the time.  The recreational sector was not aware of the presence of swordfish in 1974 and 75.  The average size of fish in the tournament was 195 lbs, BTW.

  • bowhunter4lifebowhunter4life Posts: 2,193 Captain
    Great pictures Xenia, thanks for sharing.👌👍
  • 18Egret18Egret Posts: 47 Deckhand
    Xenia, My dad kept his boat at Nuta's. I can remember stopping at Dawson Marine to pick up blocks of ice as we headed out! Thanks for Sharing... Pete 
  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 1,793 Captain
    It was definitely a different time. Thanks for sharing.

  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 4,123 Captain
    Great nostalgic records, Thanks.
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