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Report Date: September 25, 2004

I?m supposed to be getting ready for tonight?s Dark Side of the Moon II swordfish tournament, but instead, I have just finished putting up the hurricane shutters and getting the boat secured for Hurricane Jeanne. I?ll tell you, enough is enough already. Sadly, all these hurricanes and hurricane threats have really hurt the charter business. In this entire month I have only fished a few days and nights. We need these things to end so we can get back on our feet. The last day I fished was yesterday, and the fishing was decent. We ended up catching a few sails and it seems that so far this month, the sailfishing has been both consistent and good. Running down the beach, we saw a ton of bait, mostly mullet. It is impressive to see a dark cloud in the water and get on top of it and see a ton of mullet cruising south. With the mullet are predators. We mostly saw bluefish harassing the mullet and if we had stuck around I?m sure we would of seen tarpon, jacks and many other predators enjoying an easy meal. It?s been a while since I have seen so many mullet schools and big schools as well.

Last week, some friends and myself went up to Cape Cod to fish with a charter captain up there that comes down and swordfishes with me in the winter. We went canyon fishing for tunas on his boat the Castafari. We think we have long runs to get to the Bahamas, but this trip was 100 plus miles just to get to where you start fishing. It started out slow, but we ended up catching a few yellowfins, a bigeye tuna and some dolphin during Day 1. We anchored up for the night bite (chunking butterfish for yellowfins). We did catch some yellowfin tunas doing that. I rigged up a squid South Florida swordfish style, and one of the guys dropped it down. On the dropped I noticed it getting bumped, so I reeled tight and was hooked to a decent fish. At first we thought it was a good size bigeye tuna. After about 45 minutes we all started to think it could be a big tiger shark, since they were catching a few tigers in the canyons at night. Over an hour past and the fish started to rise. I was a bit worried, since he started heading to the bow. Since we are anchored this whole time, it would not take much for this fish to cut us off on the anchor line. Luckily he headed back towards the stern. Fighting a fish this big from an anchored sportfisherman is not that easy. With all the running gear and props below as well as the anchor line, it was a miracle we didn?t get busted off. After an hour and a half, up off the starboard rear quarter emerge a beautiful swordfish. Although I really didn?t want to catch a swordfish while on vacation, since we can catch them back in South Florida, this fish was impressive. Not only was it a swordfish, which are not caught that consistently in the canyons, but this swordfish was a solid 300 pounds plus. On top of it all, he was hooked in the dorsal fin. The swordfish was pretty much spent, and it didn?t take long for the South Florida boys to get a few gaffs in her and haul her over the side. I also caught a small mako shark to finish off the night. The next day we caught some more yellowfin tunas, and then made the long trip back to the dock.
It was good to get away from all these hurricanes for a while, but now is time to get ready to start our sailfish season here. With the amount of sails we have seen, it should be a good season. I?m also looking forward to some good swordfish action in our waters. We have the Miami Swordfish Tournament this next weekend and the Dark Side of the Moon II swordfish tournament has been rescheduled for Oct 23rd. I am booked for both these tournaments, but have plenty of days and evenings open in October. It?s time to get rid of all these hurricanes and get back to what we do best ? FISHING! Give me call and lets set up that trip.

Tight Lines and Good Fishing,
Capt. Dean Panos

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