Night of the SLOBS!
Report Date: January 4, 2006
I?d like to wish everyone a safe and happy New Year and may the fish gods smile upon all of us! With that said we definitely started this New Year with a bang! Every January 1st, we go fishing and hope to have a good day. Last year we had a good charter and went sailfishing and ended up catching 10 out of 13 sails in one day. This year we decided to go swordfishing. A client, who had gotten a gift certificate from his wife, booked the sword trip for Jan. 1st. He and his buddy got to the boat early and we headed out to the sword grounds. We set up and had a decent fish on a little after dark, but ended up pulling the hook. We tried to keep our spirits high, hoping that that wasn?t going to be our only bite. About 30 minutes later we had our middle jug go off and we were tight on a decent fish. After a good fight we boated a fat 67?? LJFL. The weight was right around 170 pounds. This was a great way to start off the year with a nice sword, but little did we know that we had more coming. We kept fishing and in short time the front tip rod bounced a few times, but never made a noise. Both my mate and I saw it and a few seconds later the rod bounced again but this time FISH ON! After a pretty good run and a tough fight we got this fish next to the boat. It was definitely a nice fish and I leadered him in as my mate stuck it with the ?Poon? harpoon. We then hoisted the sword into the boat and were a bit surprised at how big it really was. I have a 10 foot beam on my SeaVee and this fish was way longer than that. The sword taped out at 87? LJFL that combined with her girth put her somewhere between 300 ? 320 pounds. Everyone on board was extremely stoked, but the night was still young and the charter wanted to keep fishing. Not too long after that we got a scorching hit on the short jug and the line was melting off the reel. We started both motors and with all or gear still out, punched it in full reverse before we ran out of line. Even in full reverse, the fish didn?t even slow down one bit. I fish all 80 wides on my boat and at least half the spool was emptied within a few minutes. The fish was racing across the surface, but at a rate that I have only seen makos run. I really didn?t think it was a sword, but was pretty sure it was a big mako. Then the run stopped and my customer was frantically trying to get the line back on the reel. We thought we lost it and after reeling almost all the line back in, we were tight again. Now the fish was fighting up and down just like a sword would, but there was a lot of head shaking going on. After about 30 minutes of this up and down, the fish decided it wanted to only go down. I would have to swear that the fish hit the bottom, because it ran half the spool straight down. I know that you can get a belly in the line, but the line was straight up and down with close to 400 yards out. At that point we had to wrestle this fish back up to the surface one crank at a time. We finally got her to the boat and she came in backwards and dead. The sword was tail wrapped and had killed herself on her dive to the bottom. This was another big fish that taped out at 78 inches but was really fat. She was somewhere in the 250 pound range. She was also one of the brightest pumpkins I have ever seen.
Nights like this are very special and add to the fact that it was the first trip of the year, makes it even more special. We probably would have released the last fish, but she fought to her death as a valiant gladiator. No meat is going to go wasted as the charter took home plenty for all friends and family to enjoy fresh swordfish steaks for a while.
I would like to thank all of my customers who fished with me last year and for those that have chosen us for this year as well. As most of you who know me, I will work as hard as I can to make our trips as productive and enjoyable as I can. Fishing either day or night is a rewarding experience and I really enjoy helping clients catch fish. Good luck to everyone for the New Year and may we all catch slobs in 2006!
Capt. Dean Panos