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Sails Already

Report Date: October 29, 2009

Sailfish are already appearing off of South Florida. It doesn’t take long but soon after our first cold front of the year, sailfish have already made their way into the waters of South Florida. As is typical this time of year, the best bite was farther north, but after we get a few more cold fronts, those fish will move right into the Miami waters. Some boats were getting 10 to 12 fish a day and that is very impressive for this early in the season. That is a good indication of a great season coming up. Typically sailfish season starts in November and lasts until May, but it looks like we got an early start.

The trips I have had on the edge have consisted of catches of sailfish, dolphin, kingfish and a few tunas (skipjack and bonitas). We have complained most of the summer about the lack of dolphin, and all it took was a few days with the wind blowing hard out of the east and northeast which pushed all the dolphin to the edge. This is definitely the time of year to break out the kites. Kite fishing is probably my favorite way to fish on the edge. Flying two kites from the stern of the boat with three baits on each kite and either power drifting or drifting with the big sea anchor from the bow is not only productive but also very exciting. You can see practically every strike before it happens as kite fishing is extremely visual. Right before the strike you may see the sailfish or any other predator come up to the bait, or you will see the bait get nervous and you know it is only a matter of seconds before it is game on. Soon when the sailfish are thick, double and tripleheaders will be common. That’s when it really gets fun as you have 2, 3 or even 4 sailfish dancing all over the ocean at the same time.

In the past two weeks we have also managed a few daytime swordfish trips. Swordfishing still remains slow, but there are some fish being caught farther north which means the swords are also on there way, albeit about two months late. The last three trips we have gotten at least one bite on each trip and on two of them we got the swordfish all the way from the bottom to the boat only to watch them pull off. The first fish we pulled off was a smaller fish of about 150 pounds, but the one we got to the leader and pulled off yesterday was in excess of 300 pounds. It is so frustrating to get a fish from 1700 ft of water with over 2500 feet of line out, all the way to the boat and watch them get off. Both the fish we “released” where bill wrapped. Swordfish can be clumsy eaters and also hit the bait with such ferocity, that they often get their bills wrapped up on the leader. Instead of having a hook in their mouths, they only have the leader wrapped around the bill a few times. Although we have caught swords that were only bill wrapped, the odds are definitely in their favor. As I mentioned earlier, I really think that the swordfishing is going to bust wide open in the next few weeks. The fish are way too late and when it starts it’s going to be on fire. When that happens, you know I’ll be out there!

Now is the time of year to book for the upcoming winter season. We already have charters booked but still have plenty of dates. Give me a call and let’s set it up.

Tight Lines,
Capt. Dean Panos

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