The weather and the fishing have gotten a lot better in the past two weeks. The weather is more what we expect this time of year with flat calm seas, sunny skies and an occasional afternoon thunderstorm. Taking advantage of the calm weather, we have been venturing out into the Gulfstream in search of schools of mahis. This past week the mahi fishing has been good, but the week prior the mahi fishing was really good. We had large schools of fish of 50 or more fish and for the most part the all the fish were decent size and super aggressive. Even without live bait one day, we still managed to catch our limit of 50 fish, all with jigs and cut bait. With 12-pound tackle and 20-pound tackle, these fish are a lot of fun. It is quite the sight to look down in the water and see 50 or more neon blue and green fish swimming alongside the boat. The key has been to find floating debris or birds diving on the school. As everyone already knows, when you hook the first fish, keep them hooked up in the water close to the boat so the rest of the school stays near by. As you hook and catch more mahis, keep the newest hooked fish in the water and rotate out the fish that was kept in the water. This will ensure that a fresh fish is kept on the line at all times to keep the rest of the school nearby.
While offshore we also did a few drops for swordfish, but unfortunately did not get one. We did have a few hookups but they were only for a short amount of time before the hook pulled. Not to fret though, as we are getting in the absolute prime time for day and night swordfishing from now to the end of fall. I will say it has been interesting to see the lack of evening swordfish trips. Almost all of the swordfish trips are now daytime trips, but being out on the water on a calm night with the moon and starts and hopefully some hard charging swords is something I have always enjoyed. We did have a 12 hour trip that we fished for mahis first (we caught our limit) and then did a few deep drops for swords, and as night was approaching the guys wanted to hed back in as we already had a cooler full of fish and they had early morning seminars to attend the next day. It was a little bit disappointed as I was looking forward to the night part of the trip.
We have also fished on the edge, mostly on our half-day trips. All but one trip have been quite productive, and the one trip that was slow we did hook a few kings, a sailfish, shark etc., but luck was not with us that day. The other trips though have been very good with a few blackfin tunas, shots at sailfish on every trip and quite a few kingfish.
August is a great month for day and evening swordfish trips as well as hunting for mahis. If the past few years are any indication, the mahi fishing has been better in August and September than June and July, so I look forward to lots of fish this month.
Capt. Dean Panos