Iíve been saying that the great mahi fishing we had all summer was finally starting to slow down and it has but we still managed a few more great days in the past two weeks. We had one day with 37 fish and another with 40 fish and most of them were gaffers and some slammers up to 30 pounds. But the mahi fishing, at least in the Gulfstream, is finally tapering down. Soon we will be converting over to catching mahis on the edge with live bait and kites while we are sailfishing and there are days in the winter that you can catch 20 to 30 mahis doing just that, so for the people that love to catch and eat mahis, all is not lost.
The slow down in mahis is coming at a good time because we all know that the daytime swordfishing is best in the fall with September through November being the best months. As is sometimes the case, September can start slow for swords but usually picks up towards the end of the month and that is exactly what happened this year as well. This past weekend we saw a great swordfish bite and luckily we were able to capitalize on it. This past Saturday I had some repeat clients out. Last time we fished we limited out with 40 mahis and being that it was so calm we decided to try for mahis again. In the back of my mind I knew the mahi bite was slowing down, so I brought the sword gear and baits as well. We ran and looked around for almost 20 miles and I saw some mahis mostly swimming under the weed patches but they were really not interested in the trolled baits or the live baits. As is sometimes the case around the full moon, the mahis eat all night with the increase in visibility due to the full moon, they are not as ravenous during the day. With only one mahi in the box I was hoping we would find a hungry school. There was a handful of boats deep dropping for swords and that seemed slow as well. Around noontime though I got a call from a friend and he said he had just lost a 150-pound sword next to the boat and just hooked another one. That was all I needed to hear and we ran back in towards the sword grounds. My buddy was still hooked up and was fighting a 100-pound sword that they saw a few times and was up on the surface. I ran a bit south of him and dropped our bait. The bait was not down for more than three minutes when we all saw the tap tap on the rod tip. I teased the fish a bit and then finally got her to eat. The rod loaded up and the fight was on. The fish fought all the way up and that usually indicates a smaller fish that doesn't have the strength to swim the 10-pound lead up. Usually real big swords fight on the bottom then rapidly rise to the top with the rod being almost completely slack as they swim the weight straight to the top. This one though steadily fought us the whole way up so I was not expecting much. We got to the 150 ft. windon and took the lead off. At that point my angler kept steady pressure on her and we got our first look at the fish and it looked to be at least 175 pounds, which is a pleasant surprise. She saw the boat and decided she wanted nothing to do with the Double D and dove back at least 500 feet down. We got her up again but she dove again. We played this game for a bit but finally got her close enough for me to stick some gaffs in her. We then put her in the boat and realized she was a bit bigger and taped out at a LJFL of 75 inches which puts her right around 220 pounds. Everyone was extremely happy and it goes to show you that you have to keep your options open and sometimes take advantage of what Mother Nature is offering at the time. We ran back to the dock and offloaded the catch and filleted her for the customers to take home. The next day I had another sword trip and we did 4 drops and came tight on three of the 4 drops and caught another swordfish. So the swords are definitely here and if you ever wanted to catch one, now and for the next two months is definitely the time. Weekends are booking very quickly now that the word is out but I still have some openings during the week and limited openings on weekends in October and November. Book your trip now and lets go catch a sword monster!
Capt. Dean Panos