Report Date: December 20, 2021
The holidays are here and that means time for family and friends. It also means it is a super busy time for us. We are completely booked from now until mid-January and luckily the fishing has been very good. Our bread and butter this time of year is sailfishing and the sailfish are here. In the past two days of kite fishing on the edge we caught 10 sailfish. That is pretty good and hopefully with this next cold front things will get even better. We have had good conditions with blue water and north current and a bit of a breeze to keep the kites flying well. We also had the luck of netting some pilchards before our trips and were able to use the pilchards as live chum. Throwing out a netful of pilchards and then watching two or three sailfish show up eating the freebies is quite cool. Once we get them into the spread, we can usually get them to bite one or two of our kite baits. Besides sailfish, we also been catching some mahis, kingfish, and a surprising amount of blackfin tunas.
Another fishery going strong has been the daytime swordfishing. We only had a couple of those trips but have succeeded on all of the sword trips lately. There is one trip in particular trip worth talking about. I have a client, Chase, and he needed a swordfish to complete his Billfish Slam. So basically, he had caught every billfish species except for swordfish. We went out a few nights during the past few tears, but as luck would have it, we either puled them off or had no bites. After the last night trip, I convince Chase to give daytime swordfishing a try. The only issue was that this fish would have to be caught within IGFA guidelines for it to count in his Billfish Slam. That means no electric reels. We rigged up a Penn 50W international with 50 lb. braid. Using a breakaway lead that releases on the bottom, we were able to fulfill his quest. We had perfect conditions with light current and light wind. Our first drop we didn't get a bite. I repositioned and on our second drift we got tight. With Chase in the harness, he caught his first swordfish. After taking a bunch of pictures we released his fish. The conditions were so good we made another drop but this time with the Hooker Electric. A few minutes into the drop we got a massive bite, and we were tight again. After a very stubborn fight we got the swordfish close to the boat, removed the lead, but missed it with the dart. That was enough to piss off that swordfish, and she dove right back to the very bottom. I have not had many swordfish due that, but when she was close the first time, we could see the leader wrapped around her tail. After a brutal fight we finally got here back to the surface and were able to get a dart and a few gaffs in here. She taped out at 85 inches and was a bit over 300 pounds. Great fish followed by a great fight. So, Chase not only got his last billfish of his slam hand cranking, but also got ot see a truly big one as well.
As I mentioned earlier, we are slammed until mid-January and then things open up just a little bit. Now is the time to make your winter plans, escape the cold and come down to Florida and do some fishing. If you are already here, even better, book your trips now before all the dates are gone.
I hope everyone enjoys the Holidays and stay Safe and Happy!
Capt. Dean Panos