Great Start To Sailfish Season
Report Date: November 13, 2023
Sailfish season is here, and we have had a great start. We are seeing sailfish daily and are catching anywhere from 1 to 6 sailfish per day. That is pretty good for it only being beginning of November. Our season is typically November through April. Last year was a good year for sailfish but the years prior to that (say 2 �“ 4 years ago) the sailfishing was sub-par. With the great start that we have gotten so far this year, I am anticipating this year to be a very good year. We have also not had a lot of current lately but are still catching sailfish, so when the current shows up, the fishing will only get better. We haven’t seen a lot of multiples (catching more than one sailfish at a time) which indicates that the bigger packs of sailfish are not yet here and when they do show up it will be even better. Everything is pointing to a banner season.
Along with sailfish, there have been quite a few mahi- mahi showing up on the edge and on the reef. For a week or so, you had the mahis chasing ballyhoo in the shallow reefs which are typically 20 to 60 feet in depth. We are accustomed to seeing mahis out in the deep Gulfstream, so to see them in this shallow is quite interesting. When the mahis are chasing ballyhoo, just like sailfish, they are very finicky to eat anything else, so if you don’t have live ballyhoo with you, it will take the perfect cast and perfect twitch of the rod tip to get the mahi to bite. We have also had the mahis eating the kite baits while we are sailfishing.
There have also been some swordfish around. Last week I had my longtime customer Justin, charter us to get him a daytime swordfish without an electric reel. We have done this in the past quite a few times, so we had a good shot of getting this done. Once we reached the sword grounds we were greeted by a very difficult current. Instead of the current flowing south to north, we must have had some weird eddy, and we were literally pushing from SE to NW. Despite the weird current we deployed a 50 Penn reel loaded with 50-pound braid and rigged with a sacrificial piece of steel that falls off once the bait hits bottom. We have a 4-pound lead attached to keep the bait down. We also have the Hooker/Penn electric reels with the detachable drive, so when you get a bite, you can pull of the electric motor and simply use the Penn reel as a typical conventional reel. After two drops, with no bites we finally got a bite on the bouy rod with the Hooker detachable drive. We took the electric drive off and Justin went to work. After close to an hour Justin got his swordfish to the surface and since the fish was on the smaller side, Justin decided to release it. After some pictures and a quick tow to revive the swordfish, the fish swam away healthy and headed back to the bottom. Quite an accomplishment for Justin and that’s what makes our job rewarding.
It has been a very slow fall season booking wise but thankfully we are starting to see an increase in bookings. We have holidays coming up for this Thanksgiving week we still have a few openings. The week between Christmas and New Year’s is almost entirely booked with only a few days open. If you are coming to town or have relatives and friends coming, please give us a call as these days will be booked soon. It’s also not too early for Christmas gift ideas and we offer gift certificates for half day, full day or � day trips on the Double D. There may not be a better gift than a fishing trip for that someone special in your life.
Now is the time to book you r winter trips and let’s go out there and catch some fish!
Capt. Dean Panos