The past week the sailfishing has continued to improve. We have been averaging 3 to 6 sailfish per day, which is pretty much the norm for this time of year. We are still missing the big days, but those are coming for sure. The previous week the sailfishing had slowed down again and we were getting only one or two per day and even had one trip that we did not manage to catch a sailfish. I truly felt bad for the guys on that trip since they definitely deserved a few fish. We started that day by running all the way to Triumph Reef and were greeted by great conditions. After getting the first kite and baits out and while setting up the second kite, the long bait (goggle eye) gets eaten and we have a sailfish tail walking straight to the boat. Unfortunately the sailfish got off. The charter was pretty stoked as we had gotten our first sailfish bite within mere minutes of setting up, but knowing how slow the fishing was that week, I was hoping that that was not our only shot. Unfortunately it was despite moving around, constantly changing baits, etc. Luckily like I mentioned, the sailfishing has improved this week and with the passing of a strong front this past weekend, should keep it good.
Besides sailfish, we are starting to see more mahis and yesterday we caught 8 decent mahis between 5 and 15 pounds. Along with the mahis have been some bonitos, and although not good table fare, they do fight hard and help keep the rods bent in between the sailfish bites. There have also been some kingfish and plenty of spanish mackerel inshore. The water has been a bit dirty inshore so not many people have been cobia fishing.
I have also done a few tarpon trips at night and we caught tarpon on all our trips but one. That one trip, the charter had some taxi issues and ended up showing up late. We ran down to Gov�t Cut and fished for about one hour when the threat of rain was pretty much imminent. They decided to hed back in, and one the way back up to Haulover we got the rain all right. Luckily we were just minutes from the marina. The other trips we had the pleasure of catching some truly big tarpon. On each trip we caught a tarpon between 130 and 140 pounds. Big tarpon definitely fight hard and are a real challenge on 20-pound test.
One thing that I do have to mention, is that I have been using a new Eagle Claw circle hook, a 2011P size 7/0, this season This hook has been unbelievable as we have missed very few sailfish and have had tremendous luck on mahis, kings etc. It is a new design and although limited on the market right now, soon they will be readily available. Check your local tackle stores and ask for this hook.
February is almost gone, but I still have some opening next week. March is almost completely booked but I still have a handful of dates open. I may also be planning on going back to Andros in the Bahamas this year, so if you are interested in doing some great yellowfin tuna fishing along the Auetec Buoys, give me a call so I can start putting together a list of clients and get some dates set in stone. Remember you can�t catch them on the couch, so give me a call and lets set up that trip!
Capt. Dean Panos