Report Date: October 21, 2020
Our Fall season is upon us and it has been an absolutely great start to fall fishing. Sailfish season is typically from November and lasts until May, but we sometimes get lucky and it starts a bit earlier. This year the sailfish bite not only started earlier but it started out real strong. We already had three trips catching 7 sailfish in one day and almost every trip on the edge has been with at least one sailfish. Seven sailfish in one day is considered a great day in the winter and even better during the fall. A lot of the sailfish we have been encountering have been relatively shallow in depth. Traditionally sailfish are found in 200 to 100 feet of water, but there have been so many ballyhoo in the shallow reef that we have been encountering both sailfish and mahis in 40 to 70 feet of water. It quite the sight to see sailfish eating ballyhoos on the reef. A lot of times when sailfish are in the ballyhoo schools, they turn their noses at almost anything you cast to them, except a live ballyhoo. Fortunately, that was not the case a few days ago when we were able to hook up on some sailfish by pitching herring to them. Besides sailfish, there have also been quite a few kingfish on the edge. Offshore the mahi bite has really slowed down but that is very typical for this time of year. Whatever mahis we find are usually live baiting on the edge, even though we did find some decent mahis offshore coming back from one of our swordfish trips.
Our next hot fishery has been the daytime swordfishing. We have caught a swordfish on every one of our past swordfish trips this past month with the exception of one trip. That one trip we did have a swordfish on, but unfortunately came off on the way up. We did catch a dozen nice mahis on the way back in though. The swordfish we have been getting have been 90 to 150 pounds but almost all of them have been pumpkins. A pumpkin swordfish has orange meat and is thought to have this color from its diet (mostly red royal shrimp). There have been a few fish upwards of 300 pounds and up to 450 pounds caught these past few weeks. We have a few more trips this month so hopefully we will be able to get one of these big girls to the boat. This is prime swordfish season and the season will go well into January if not longer.
One fishery we are missing out on is the wahoo fishing in the Bahamas. Although you are allowed to travel to the Bahamas, the restrictions due to Covid are pretty severe. The Bahamian restrictions are set to ease Nov 1st. You will then be required to have a negative Covid PCR test done with 7 days of travel and have a rapid antigen test done once you arrive in the Bahamas. The antigen test results will be available within 20 minutes and a negative test will allow you entry in the Bahamas. If you plan on staying longer that 5 days, you will need another antigen test every 5 days. Hopefully these new rules will get us back to wahoo fishing there. I have two wahoo trips set for November and I’m sure the wahoo fishing will be really good.
Now is the time to start looking at your calendars and if you plan on visiting or have friends and family come to town during the holiday weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas, now is the time to book your trips. With increased ventilation and enhanced cleaning air travel is very safe and once you get here being outside on the water is probably one of the safest things you can do. With that in mind, book your trips while dates are still open.
Capt. Dean Panos