The fishing over the past few weeks has slowed down a bit. We really havenít had decent conditions with current, wind and water clarity, and when the conditions improved, they only lasted a day or so. We are still managing one or two sailfish a day with our best day at four sailfish, but we also had a few days of no sailfish, which can make it tough. The key when the sailfish conditions are not right is to try to move on to another species and get better results. Sometimes that is possible but other times the customer wants to stick it out and go for that 1 or 2 sailfish.
When you can switch it up, the cobias are still in Hawks Channel and looking for rays is the way to go. If the water is clear and you can see bottom and there is light wind, you stand an excellent chance of finding a big ray with a ton of cobias on it.
You can also fish the wrecks and this time of year there are quite a few big amberjacks around. You can fish live bait for them but we have also been fishing vertical jigs on heavy spinning rods and have had a blast catching them on the lighter tackle. There is days that the vertical jigs are actually outperforming the live baits.
If you do decide to stay with the live bait fishing (kites and flatlines) there have been a few fays that the mahis were around and also some days that the kingfish were biting decent.
I havenít done a daytime swordfish trip these past few weeks, but I have had excellent reports that the bite has been good. A number of good friends have gotten 3 or 4 bites a day and catching at least one if not two swordfish per day with the average weight around 150 pounds. There was also a big 400 to 500 pound fish caught a week or so ago.
In addition to the swords, there are still quite a few wahoo in Bimini and the last trip we made we caught 7 wahoo in one day. I also heard of a boat there last week that was 12 for 14 on the wahoo and most of them were decent in size.
So as you see, if one fish is not biting, there are still plenty or other options you can pursue to make a slow day on the water into an exciting day of catching fish. Just as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, the sailfish conditions will improve and soon we will be back to catching 5 or so sailfish a day and have the possibility of double digit releases on any given day. They key is to be ready for almost anything and take advantage of what mother nature is offering.
Capt. Dean Panos