After a week in Key West fishing the Final Sail Tournament its good to be back home. The fishing in Miami prior to the tournament was red hot for sailfish; unfortunately the sailfishing in Key West was very, very slow. The lead boat caught 11 sailfish in a full 3-day tournament, second place boat had 10, and there were a few boats with 6 to 8 fish. We had 6 releases in 3 days, which is pretty slow. We ended up out of the money but as luck would have it, the entire team won a fishing package including airfare, hotel and boat to Casa Vieja Lodge in Guatemala.
As I mentioned prior to the tourney, in Miami the sailfishing was on fire. I did have one of my most memorable days fishing that week. We started the day with a fuel issue but got that resolved pretty quickly and after catching a good amount of live bait we headed down to Key Biscayne and put out the kites. Not long into the fishing time, we had a 400-pound Bluefin tuna bust through the spread and come completely out of the water and ate our middle bait. The cool part was that everyone on the boat happened to be looking at the right spot and everyone saw this enormous fish completely out of the water. We hooked up with the tuna, but on 20 pound light tackle the fight was over in a few minutes. It wasnít long after that when we hooked a double header of sailfish, we then started consistently catching sailfish and soon we had 8 sails. The 9 fish ate our long boat and nobody got a clean look at it but after fighting it for some time I knew we had something different on. After 15 or so minutes and within 100 yards the fish jumped and it was a 100-pound white marlin. After another 10 minutes or so we got the big white marlin next to the boat, removed the hook, snapped some pictures and let that beauty go. By the time we were ready to go home we caught 18 out of 21 sailfish, a white marlin, hooked a huge Bluefin tuna and caught some mahis and kings as well. That is a day that I will remember for a very long time., Awesome Day!!!!
I drove the tournament boat back from Key West this past Sunday and was back to the grind on Monday. After not seeing many sails in Key West the first day back we saw 5 sailfish plus caught a big kingfish, some mahis and bonitos. The fishing was very good and I had one of my best and favorite customers with me, which made it even better. We havenít seen the big push of blackfin tunas yet but they are literally just days away from showing up. The bigger kingfish are here and there are nice size mahis on the edge, plus the sailfishing is great so the rest of this month and May are going to be on fire. I have already started booking some trips to Bimini for the summer and from what I hear, the big yellowfin tunas are already in Northwest Channel, so now is the time to look at the calendar and set aside some time and go fishing. So whether it sailfish and blackfin tunas in Miami, or snappers and yellowfin tunas in the Bahamas, lets get that trip booked and go fishing!!
Capt. Dean Panos