We are back on track and since my last report I have been averaging 5 or so trips per week. We have done a variety of trips from evening snook fishing, trip to Bimini for a few days, some daytime swordfish trips and fishing on the edge. Our trip to Bimini was a lot of fun and quite productive. We were blessed with flat calm seas going across and quickly made it to Bimini to clear customs and check in to the hotel. With flat calm weather we raced across the Bahama Bank and started fishing at the Gingerbreads for flag yellowtail. Our first spot produced 8 or so big yellowtails but then mysteriously turned completely off. We ran a few miles and reset. We caught 6 absolutely huge yellowtails but then the sharks found us and it was game over. We reset for the third time and as they say the third time is the charm. We found the yellowtails and although they werenít monster size, they were thick and plentiful and still 2 to 4 pounds each. The second day we dedicated the day to deep dropping and did well with yelloweye snappers and some small mystic groupers. The third day we headed back home. It was fun to get back to Bimini with good company and enjoy the island life for a few days.
Back on this side, we have done a few days on the edge and although the fishing is not red hot, there are quite a few bonitos around, just a few mahis offshore, and some blackfin tunas and kingfish on the edge. The past few trips we have either caught a sailfish or at least hooked one. The blackfins we are seeing are typical of the fall blackfin run and are only from a few pounds to 15 pounds or so. We rarely get the bigger blackfins that we see in the spring this time of year. There have been some kingfish, but the bite should pick up now that we are in September. It is not uncommon to find the kings in the fall in deeper water of up to 250 feet.
The daytime swordfishing has started slow, but is definitely picking up. The last trip we had we hooked and got to the leader a huge thresher shark. The fish was easily over 600 pounds. Right from the bite, you can tell it is a thresher shark because they literally fight you all the way up, one inch at a time. A big sword fights as well but the big ones do rise and usually swim up. They may dive back down but they almost all swim up as well. The threshers dig down the whole time and you can barely gain any line with them. The good news is that from what I have seen in years past, once the threshers show up, the main body of swords is usually two weeks away. That's good news since that thresher was a week ago, so by the end of this week it should go off. We have also had at least one swordfish bite on each trip, but failed to stay connected. As more fish come into the area, the competiveness for food increases and the swords get more aggressive resulting in a better hook up ratio.
Things are only looking up as we get into fall and soon winter. This month we should see the sword bite explode, more kings and more sails on the edge and by the end of the month the wahoo in Bimini should start biting. I canít wait to do some high speed trolling for hoos and already have a few trips set up. September and October are very quickly booking up, so now is the time to book your trip. Remember, Sept through November is absolute prime time for daytime and nighttime swords.
Capt. Dean Panos