Spring Has Sprung
Report Date: April 25, 2016
We are in full swing of some of the best fishing of the year. Spring offers variety and quality and that is what we have. There are plenty of sailfish around, quite a few kingfish including some real big ones, lots of mahis and blackfin tunas. Practically every trip has been a banner trip, although we did have one trip that it was exceptionally slow and that was a shame because it was with one of my favorite customers (Frank and his son Michael). It was actually the first trip with them in over 15 years that we did not catch a billfish. The record was prone to break, but unfortunately I didn’t want to see it happen this year.
The sailfishing right now is more consistent and better than it has been all winter. We had another double-digit day catching 12 sailfish in one day and for the most part have been averaging 3 to 5 sailfish per trip. This is also the time of year you get those big spring time sailfish with some pushing over 80 pounds. Unlike their Pacific counterparts, the Atlantic sailfish put up a much greater fight especially on the 20-pound gear we target them with. Most of the sailfish we have caught have been on the kite baits but our tactics change slightly in the spring and we tend to use more flatlines and deeplines targeting the other species available, and thusly we are also catching more sailfish on spinning gear as well. The great sailfishing should continue well into May.
Besides sailfish, we are seeing a lot more kingfish and some real big ones as well. It is almost daily that you hear of a few 40 and 50 pounders caught. With most of the kings being caught on spinning tackle, it is quite the fight to catch one on the lighter gear. Make sure your drags are in good conditions, because these big smokers will test them to the extreme.
Last week we also had a great run of big mahis on the edge while kite fishing and also running and gunning under frigate birds. The great part about this mahi run was that all the fish were decent size and most were 10 to 25 pounds. The fishbox fills up quick when you have a dozen mahis in there and they are all that big.
We also are seeing blackfin tunas on a daily basis. These tunas are now in the 25 to 35 pound class and a lot bigger than the 5 to 15 pound fish we were seeing last month. Late afternoon and early morning are the best time to target these fish. These tunas are one of my favorite fish to catch.
We are also rapidly approaching summer and with summer will come hunting mahis in the Gulfstream. This is where we run offshore looking for birds and debris and find big schools of mahis. Although you do find the big 30 to 50 pound fish, for the most part its schoolie dolphin in big packs of 50 or more fish. This is a lot of fun on light spinning tackle and is a great family fishing trip. Besides the mahi fishing, we will also start doing more daytime swordfish trips and here you can expect anything from a 50-pound swordfish all the way to a 500-pound true monster. If that is not enough, summer also brings us to fishing in the Bahamas for yellowfin tuna, marlin, mahi and bottom fishing for snappers and groupers. The yellowfin tuna season is already in high gear and a lot of boats are coming back with their limit of 18 tunas. I am so ready for all these trips and have dates open in May June and July. Check your calendars make your plans and lets book those trips now!
Capt. Dean Panos