Welcome to the THERAPY-IV Deep Sea Fishing Blog. Captain Stan Saffan and his crew of deep sea sportfishing experts have been fishing the South Florida waters for over 40 years, providing private and shared deep sea and Biscayne Bay charter boat experiences of a lifetime to thousands of people that have had a chance to fish with them. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time fishing in Miami or you are a master big game monster catcher, you can count on the THERAPY-IV to make your day at sea a memorable one.

We would also love to hear from you! Whether your Deep Sea Fishing Experience was with us or on your own, tell us about it! This will be a place to discuss all things Sports Fishing! Everything from products to techniques, we want to hear it all! I look forward to hearing from all you avid Deep Sea Fishermen out there!

Go get 'em!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Miami Deep Sea Fishing with Live Bait

For anyone who takes fishing seriously, whether you fish for a living, are a weekend warrior or are looking to charter professionals, one of the most important aspects of Miami deep sea fishing takes place before you ever get on the boat or load the tackle.  Fishing with live bait vs. dead bait can completely make or break a trip. 

On Therapy 4, all the bait is caught fresh off shore and kept in live aeration tanks on board the fishing yacht.  Live aeration tanks are very complex and must contain several pertinent functions.  The two main considerations in a live aeration system are the gentleness and direction of the water and the size and amount of the air bubbles.

Certain baitfish are very sensitive to the forcefulness of the water in a live aeration tank and may not survive a full day of fishing if the flow of water is too fast.  Bubble size is also very important for live bait tanks.  The rule of thumb is the smaller the air bubbles the more of the tank can be aerated with less air needed to keep the bait alive. 

Live bait also must stay in pristine shape to attract the big game fishing.  Fish are very keen on how healthy other fish are and will not take the bait if it looks sickly.  The live aeration tanks on both Therapy 4 fishing yachts are state-of-the-art and will help you catch the big game fish like Miami Shark fishing, marlin fishing, sailfishing and more out of Haulover Marina.

Monday, March 26, 2012

USMC Goes Deep Sea Fishing with Capt. Stan

A recently returned 1st Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corp (USMC), went on a deep sea fishing excursion aboard the THERAPY IV.  The trip was taken with a group of friends in celebration of his also recent engagement - making this event a deep sea fishing bachelor party. Bachelor parties aboard the THERAPY IV are common but Captain Stan always likes to give parties containing US Serviceman extra attention and make sure they have the time of their life. Miami Shark Fishing is particularly popular as South Florida is known for its Hammerheads, Nurse sharks and more.

This particular Lieutenant, recently returned from Afghanistan after serving seven months, added catching a hammer head shark to his list of credentials. At 86 inches in length - this hammerhead shark was a formidable catch. Needless to say, the trip was a wild success and all participants enjoyed it thoroughly.  The highly decorated marine is currently stationed in Camp Lejune, North Carolina along with 150,000 other marines, servicemen and civilians stationed at this historic base.

Captain Stan has been very active with military servicemen and women both active and retired. He was recently featured on a show featured on the Sportsman Channel called "Coming Home with Greg Stube". The premise of the show is to raise awareness for troops coming home while exploring the great outdoors. Captain Stan has also donated a flag and flag pole to the Haulover Marina where his deep sea fishing yacht fleet is docked. He also renovated an American  flag mural that graces the Haulover Marina entrance. 

If you are currently serving or retired from the US Military and currently in Miami or Miami Beach - be sure to stop by the Haulover Marina to see the flag and mural donated by Captain Stan and also go on one of his famous Miami Beach deep sea fishing excursions. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity those who serve our country deserve to have.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ultra Music Festival Comes to Miami This Weekend!!!!

There seems to be an internationally recognized event happening in South Florida every weekend during Winter and Spring – never a dull moment down here. The last two months have featured the Miami International Boat Show, South Beach Wine and Food Festival, South Beach Comedy Festival, Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament (which is going on now) and this weekend Ultra Music Festival. This is one the largest electronic music festival in the World featuring top names in electronic and Pop Music.

Everyone who is anyone in the electronic music world will be there from David Guetta, KraftWerk, Justice to Armin Van Buuren and more. The event will be held March 23rd through March 25th which is this Friday through Sunday. The venue is Bayfront Park that will features around a dozen individual venues where music will be played from large tents and stages to more quaint and personal settings.

This festival is so popular that it’s actually already sold out for all three days. If you don’t have a ticket – don’t despair – one of the great parts about Ultra Music Festival is all the satellite events which surround the main music event. Both before and after the music festival which ends at midnight – there are events all over the city of Miami and Miami Beach to celebrate the much anticipated music festival .

If you happen to be in town all weekend and only have tickets to one day – you should consider spending a day Miami deep sea fishing with the crew of The THERAPY IV. This skilled crew is known for having amazing deep sea fishing excursions out of the Haulover Marina where they catch sailfish, barracuda, marlin, tarpon, grouper and even Miami shark fishing. This is a once-in-a-lifetime fishing experience to go with your once in a lifetime music experience.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tarpon – Mega-Fish for a Great Fishing Experience

Tarpon, or Megalops Atlanticus as they are referred to by Marine Biologists, are seriously large fish.  They can grow anywhere from 60 to 150 pounds and are known for being aggressive and difficult to bring in. Of course, the crew of the THERAPY IV are experts in finding and reeling these fish in – if you’re looking for a good Miami Tarpon Fishing experience, head over to the Haulover Marina and let Captain Stan take you out fishing.

During the 45 years THERAPY IV has been taking people out, some of the most exciting excursions have been in search of tarpon. Live bait, live shrimp, freshly cut bait either free-lined behind the boat or resting on or near the bottom make excellent bait for tarpon fishing. As soon as you have one of these fish on the line, it’s easy to tell. Imagine trying to reel in a fish that potentially weighs more than you do – that’s the kind of exhilarating experiences that happen every day on the THERAPY IV.

Tarpons grow to about 5–8 ft. long and are very heavy. They have distinct dorsal and anal fins and have a blue/green back coloring. Tarpons shiny silvery scales that cover most of their body except for their head have distinctive dark green lines. Tarpons have a prominent lower jaw and large eyes. Their lower jaw is one of the easiest ways to spot this fish, since its sticks out quite far away from its face.

Tarpon is really a lesser known fish in the world of sport fishing. Most people think of barracuda, Miami shark fishing, marlin fishing or sailfishing for really exciting experiences. The tarpon is equally exciting and makes for a great prize for any sport fisher. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sony Ericsson Tennis Tournament Kicks Off!!!!!!!!

With CBS, ESPN 2 and the Tennis Channel Broadcasting a total of 73.5 hours of US coverage of this huge tennis event – all eyes are on Miami, Florida where the Sony Ericsson will be hosted for the popular two-week tennis event. Despite the expansive TV coverage, the best seats in town are live at the beautiful Crandon Park on Key Biscayne.

This is a much anticipated tennis tournament as top ranked tennis players will face-off in Crandon Park’s beautiful tennis facilities. Top male ranked players competing in this tournament include: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and more. The woman’s division includes notable players such as: Victoria Azarenka, Petra Kvitova and Serena Williams. Winning this tournament is a huge priority for top tennis players, not only for the enormous prize but also for their overall rankings which will all change after the finals April 1st , 2012.

According to the Sony Ericsson Open website,

“The 27th edition of the Sony Ericsson Open is scheduled for March 21-April 3 and will once again feature the top players in the world competing at the Crandon Park Tennis Center for one of the most prestigious titles in tennis”.  

If you plan on venturing to South Florida for this amazing event, there will be more than just tennis you can celebrate. The weather is perfect and events will be happening throughout Miami in conjunction with the tournament. If you have always wanted a once-in-a-lifetime Miami Beach Deep Sea Fishing venture, go to Haulover Marina and take a trip with the fantastic crew of The THERAPYIV.    

This two-week long event is part of a string of events that have brought millions of tourists to South Florida the past two months. The main events in January and February were the Miami International Boat Show which was mainly held at the Miami Beach Convention Center with satellite events throughout Miami and Miami Beach. The other huge event was the South Beach Wine and Food Festival which was hosted throughout Miami Beach.

For more information on the tournament, visit www.SonyEricssonOpen.com 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Three Popular Misconceptions About Sharks and Shark Fishing

Yes sharks are fearsome, yes they can be aggressive and yes they are apex predators – but the popularly held belief that they are an imminent danger to humans should be dispelled. It is true that one should not go out of there way to antagonize a shark for obvious reasons.

A lot of their bad publicity has come thanks to overly imaginative portrayals of man-eating sharks in Hollywood and folklore.  The most popular portrayal of a “Man-Eating Shark” was in the famous 1975 movie “Jaws”. In the movie a huge Great White Shark goes on a killing spree and is eventually taken down with high explosives. Obviously sharks do not require explosives to catch, you can ask the crew of the THERAPY IV, a Miami Deep Sea Fishing Yacht, which does its fair share of responsible Shark Fishing.

#1 – All Sharks are Dangerous to Humans:
There are over 400 species of shark with only ten that are considered “Dangerous to Humans”.
“Dangerous” to humans is a bit of an overstatement considering the miniscule chances of actually getting attacked by a shark. In fact, world-wide there are only ten fatalities related to shark attacks annually.

#2 – Sharks are Large Predators
Sharks can be large, but a majority of them are significantly smaller than a human. Most sharks grow to only three feet in length and weigh far less than a human. When people think of sharks, they typically consider the Great White Shark, Hammerhead or some other large sub-species which is abnormally large in the world of sharks.

#3 – Shark Fishing is Dangerous
While slightly more dangerous than other types of fishing, shark fishing is an incredibly safe practice when done with trained professionals. The THERAPY IV is a deep sea fishing yacht that specializes in Miami Shark Fishing. Going out an catching sharks on the deep sea fishing yacht is a safe practice – they are known to catch hammerhead sharks, nurse sharks, tiger sharks and more.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Top Three Billfish Fishing Experiences

There are many different kinds of billfish. They are characterized by their large size and long pointy bills – though they have many more subtle similarities. Many fishermen have trouble telling the difference between billfish. They actually have distinctive characteristics when observed closely. Their dorsal fin, pectoral fin, pelvic fin, scale pattern/design and bill are all total giveaways as to which fish you have on the line. Here are the top three billfish you can catch during your Miami Deep Sea fishing excursion.
Note: Be sure to stop by the Haulover Marina to learn more about these amazing creatures and go on a once-in-a-lifetime deep sea fishing trip.   

#1 – Sailfish

The sailfish is not the largest billfish, nor the most aggressive, but what it lacks in power it makes up for in beauty and speed. This fish has an amazing dorsal fin – unlike any other bill fish – which is made up of pleats that are a lot like feathers. They also have a relatively long bill, flashy fins and a beautiful color. This is also one of the fastest fish in the ocean. If you see it swim by your boat or get one on your line – you’ll see just how fast they are – Miami Sailfishing is one of the most exciting fisher experiences you can have period.

#2 – Marlin

The Marlin or Atlantic Blue Marlin is an iconic fish in South Florida (and not just because we named our two-time World Champion baseball team after them).  This is an incredibly large billfish that is extremely powerful; getting a Marlin on your line is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This was Ernest Hemingway’s favorite fish, he used to fish for it in both South Florida and the Caribbean and included a Blue Marlin in his novella The Old Man and the Sea.  Miami marlin fishing is extremely popular, especially out of Haulover Marina.

#3 - Swordfish

This is a characteristically deep sea fish that can grow to immense sizes. It’s not common to find it during a deep sea fishing excursion but if you do – it will be a truly moving experience. This fish is incredibly large and has a very long pointy bill where it gets its namesake. This fish is known to swim at depths of 300 to 500 feet which make it incredibly difficult to catch – but not impossible.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Top Three Miami Beach Spring Break Locations

Spring break is beginning all over the country for students four-years-old to twenty-two. Students get anywhere from one-to-two weeks off to travel, enjoy the Spring weather and take a break from hitting the books. Florida has many popular locations for Spring Breakers as the sub-tropical weather is warming there anywhere else in the continental United States. Florida also has the largest coastal area of beaches in the country and one of the longest in the world. Spring break never fails to draw tens of thousands of students from all over the country to Miami Beach. Below are the top three locations for Miami Beach spring breakers.

Note: While enjoying the sun and fun of a typical Miami Beach Spring Break - stop by the Haulover Marina for a quality Miami deep sea fishing excursion. 

#1 – Lincoln Road

Lincoln Road has been a popular location in Miami Beach for decades. Lincoln Road’s beautiful pedestrian friendly walkway, high-end shops, restaurants and bars make it one of the hottest tourist destinations in Miami Beach. More recently Lincoln Road has become a place you can enjoy the amazing Miami Beach weather while shopping and dining. It’s also a popular location for celebrities which adds to the excitement of this world-famous South Beach location.

#2 – Collins Avenue

Collins Avenue stretches all the way up the east coast of Miami Beach, but from 16th street and south is world-famous coastline of South Beach. This coastal area is lined with bars, fancy restaurants and souvenir shops. There is always something to do in this part of South Beach, whether it’s 1 PM or 1 AM, South Beach is always alive with activities and people enjoying themselves.

#3 – Mid-Beach

Miami Beach’s mid-beach is a lesser known area that has mostly hotels and condos, but the beach area is particularly nice if you’re looking for something a little more relaxed and quiet. Mid-Beach offers the beautiful white sands of Miami Beach without the large amount of people who visit this time of year. This location has begun springing up restaurants and bars making it convenient to go to the beach, eat and drink all within walking distance of Mid-Beach.

Enjoy your Spring Break and don’t forget to stop by Haulover Marina and visit Captain Stan and the whole crew of the THERAPY IV.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Three Sharks with a Meanest Bite

Sharks are known for being fierce predators with a strong bite – and behind that bite are razor sharp teeth. As apex predators – sharks have serrated teeth designed to catch predators and hold on with massively strong jaws. Their skill as predators and impressive set of built-in weapons has made them the source of fear and awe for humans. Despite their deadly reputation, they are mostly harmless for humans – shark attacks onhumans are rare. That being said, they demand the respect of human and fish alike.  Here are the three sharks with the meanest bite.

Note: If you’re interested in Miami Shark Fishing, you can do it safely and learn a lot about these incredible creates on Miami Deep Sea Fishing outings on The THERAPY IV.

#1 – Great White Shark
I’m sure you could have guessed that this mega-predator, who was the inspiration for the movie “Jaws”, would make it on the list. They are the Tyrannosaurus Rex of the ocean, with a bite force that has unofficially observed at 4,000 lbs of strength. They also have large serrated teeth and are known for being aggressive. The good news is these sharks are popular in the waters of South Africa and Australia giving us Floridians a little reprieve.

#2 – Tiger Shark
This shark is not quite as large as the Great White, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in ferocity. This shark is known for having the sharpest teeth of any in the ocean.  The Tiger Shark can also get to sizes well over ten-feet long and 800 lbs. This shark’s mean stare and formidable jaws have made it one of the most feared sharks in the ocean and revered as a deity by some cultures including Hawaiian Mythology.

#3 – Bull Shark
The smallest and weakest bite of the three on this list would make you wonder why this shark is on the list. Well, the Bull Shark has a very hot temper, and is known to use its bite more often than any shark. The Bull Shark is not a shark to be taken lightly.  They live in shallow warm water around the globe and have a tolerance for fresh water since many shallow water areas are estuaries.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Three Kinds of Mackerel in South Florida – All Caught on One THERAPY IV Trip

There are three different kinds of Mackerel popularly caught on Miami Deep Sea Fishing excursions. However, catching all three in one trip is defies the odds. That’s exactly what happened last week on a Friday afternoon Therapy IV deep sea fishing trip.

There are many different kinds of Mackerel with only few indigenous to the deep sea waters of South Florida. They typically have slim, cylindrical bodies with numerous finlets near their dorsal and pectoral fins. Sub-species of Mackerel are spotted throughout the waters off the coast of (caught mostly during Reef Fishing Miami trips) and have some subtle and not so subtle difference. Here are the three Mackerel that were caught Friday and their unique adaptations. 

Cero Mackerel

The Cero Mackerel isn’t the biggest Mackerel of the bunch but has very unique characteristics that make it both easy to spot and aesthetically pleasing. The Cero has a beautiful spotted design that forms lines on its body. The fish is generally five pounds in weight but has a record-size of fifteen pounds.  

Spanish Mackerel

The Spanish Mackerel is similar in size to the Cero but has more distinctive spotted design. The fish exhibits a green back; its sides are silvery marked with about three rows of round to elliptical yellow spots.

King Mackerel

This is the largest of the three. It ranges from five-to-thirty pounds. This fish is certainly the most difficult to catch and reel in. Coloration is olive on the back, fading to silver with a rosy iridescence on the sides, fading to white on the belly.

These fish can be found in the Gulf of Mexico and Southeast Florida and up the Gulf Stream. If you’re interested in learning more or catching any of these fish, visit the Haulover Marina and take an afternoon trip o n The THERAPY IV, you may just catch all three types of Mackerel (It has happened before).

Friday, March 2, 2012

Top 3 Comedians for the South Beach Comedy Festival

This weekend caps off three straight weekends of events for South Beach starting with the International Boat Show two weeks ago and the Wine and Food Festival last weekend. This final big winter event in South Beach will be full of laughs as top comedians from around the country perform and a variety of venues in South Beach. If you are in town for the comedy festival, sponsored by Comedy Central, be sure to stop by the Haulover Marina for a half-day Miami Beach Deep Sea Fishing excursion.

#1- Lewis Black:
From his continued work with Comedy Central in specials, on the Daily Show and more – Lewis Black is probably the most well-known comedian in this entire festival. He’s worked with some of the greatest comedians of all time and has remained popular for over twenty years with his spastic comedy routines that often go into tirades about….just about anything.

#2 - Azis Ansari:
An up-and-coming comedian and Comedy Central Star, this young comedian adds a nice touch of modernity to this festival. He co-stars along Amy Pohler in the hit show Parks and Recreations and has a series of movies lined up. This is the kind of comedian you see before he starts selling out shows like Chris Rock, Robin Williams or the late George Carlin.

Note: Azis is rumored to be a fishing enthusiast and may just go for a Miami Shark Fishing excursion while in town. 

#3 - Pair of Nuts:

This Emmy award-winning duo Yamil Piedra and Johnny Trabanco have been performing together since 1998 when they met at Florida International University (FIU). Yes, they are locals – so we should all go out and support them. This pair of crude comics is developing a huge following after their success on YouTube and appearances on Last Call with Carson Daly, Tosh.0, VH1, Discovery Channel, BET, and MegaTV.

This event should be one to remember, but also closes the tourist mega-surge that happens every late February, early March in South Beach. We’d like to thank everyone who has come down for these events enjoying, boating, wine, food, comedy and more. Click here for more info on the festival.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

What's the Difference Between Marlin and Sailfish?

This is one of the more popular questions asked to fishing experts. The reason most people get confused about these two fish is that they are both members of the billfish family giving them their distinct pointy snouts. Both fish also have streamlined bodies which give them their amazing speed in the water. When catching a Marlin or Sailfish during a Miami Deep Sea Fishing excursion, it may not be apparent whether it's a Marlin or Sailfish as they both have characteristic leaps out of the water and are both lightning fast. Here are the differences between the two fish.

Dorsal Fin

The sailfish has a signature sailing dorsal fin. It opens when the sailfish feels threatened or needs to be particularly agile. The Marlin has a less pronounced dorsal fin - but it still used for similar reasons. The Marlin's dorsal fin is actually one connected fin whereas the Sailfish dorsal fin is a series of fins connected together a bit like feathers (they are called pleats). When Marlin Fishing Miami, a smaller dorsal fin is certainly an easy thing to spot.

Pectoral Fin

The pectoral fins of a Sailfish are significantly larger than that  of a Marlin. They are also used for show and agility when a Sailfish or Marlin are in the water.  When Miami Sailfishing, a larger pectoral fin is indicative of a sailfish.


The Sailfish also has a larger bill than a Marlin. Both bills are very sword-like but the Marlin's bill is more like a broadsword and the Sailfish is more like a rapier. Either way, catching a Marlin or Sailfish on a fishing trip is a once-in-a-lifetime experience - we hope this helps you determine which you have on the line.