The first 2 weeks in February have seen some better fishing. We had some good days and the bad days were better. The Sail fishing is still going on but is a far cry from last year. We still have good numbers but I think we got spoiled last year. The King Mackerel bite has slowed down considerably but the Mutton Snapper were doing well.
We fished Anthony and his 2 buddies for 2 days and let me tell you, we had a ball. My mate, Devon, and I never laughed so hard,all day long, as we did with this bunch. Friday we started off with a good hit on the bait patch. These guys caught bait as if they had been doing it their whole lives. I threw the net 1 time just to get some bait for live chum because they had the one well full of lively "hookers", plenty enough for the entire day. We fished hard and tried various methods and the first day came to a conclusion going 1 for 2 on Sails, 4 Kingfish, 4 Dolphin, 4 Bonito, and a Barracuda. We had a good day, buckets of belly laughs, and a first time catch on a very large Barracuda for these guys, as requested.
Day 2 started off NO different. This bunch had us laughing before we ever cast off the first line. The bait was a bit more difficult and we had to move to a second bait patch to find them. Once we found them, getting them into feeding mode was tough. We made our bait but it took us a little longer than the day before. We blasted offshore again and with the 6 baits in the water the jokes started flying again. We caught 3 Cero Mackerel, 1 Kingfish, 1 Bonito, 1 Dolphin, and an Ocean Tally when the day started drawing to a close. Since Anthony brought his 2 friends to catch their first Sailfish and to this point only one had succeeded the day before, we opted to extend their time a little longer. It paid off. As a last shebang we dumped the livewells, flooding the area with free swimming ballyhoo. 2 minutes later we spotted a fish 100' off our far rigger chasing a "freebie". Before I could make an adjustment to come about on him, our rigger baits were skittering toward the boat. A second later we had the center rigger and flat line baits trying to escape the dark silhouettes rising beneath them. I know you are figuring out my next line. A pod of 5 Sailfish have risen on my 5 bait and each one had sighted in on a snack. Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop, all lines release from their clips and the proverbial Chinese fire drill commences. 2 of the Sailfish, made an immediate escape, while #3 was hooked up for a few seconds but we managed to keep 2 pinned to the hook and the guys were ON. To make a long story short, David almost got spooled because the fish had split the boat and I was helpless to assist either angler with a boat maneuver. David managed to get his fish close and "semi" under control and after about 10 minutes the hook came unbuttoned. He caught his first Sail the day before so we didn't spend much time consoling him since Mike was hooked up on his first ever Sail. We managed to get Mikes fish to the boat for a leader touch and his first Sailfish catch. We cut the leader after a quick in the water shot. Yes, in the water photo, We are trying to educate our anglers that the traditional "pull 'em in and hold 'em" pose is extremely harmful to these fish and compromise a clean and healthy release.
These 3 guys were extremely happy breaking 2 of the guys Sailfish virginity and also catching 8 different species of fish here in Miami. They kept us in stitches the entire 2 days. Off shore fishing CAN be many hours of boredom followed by minutes of organized chaos. With these crazy Dudes there was NO boredom. I can honestly say I have had many, many, charters that turned out to be more of a friends fishing with friends type trip but this one took the cake. Devon and I are still remarking about this "off the wall" bunch. Our faces and bellies hurt for 2 days from laughing so hard.
We also took Paul and his group out fishing but the day was slow. We did it all. We spent some time fishing the surface waters and running a downrigger for Sailfish, Dolphin and the Mackerel species. We dropped baits on the wrecks for Mutton Snapper. We trolled lipped plugs on the patches for Grouper. Paul brought 2 of his own rods readied with 50# Power Pro and Butterfly jigs and we hit another wreck and got him hooked up to something, which looked like it was going to pull him over the side, but we never saw it before it got cut off. Our catch on Paul's day was 1 for 2 on Sails, 4 Kingfish, 4 Bonito, and 1 Barracuda.
Yesterday, my trip canceled because all the flights from the NE were canceled due to icy conditions. I took advantage of this to break in another mate and teach him my way of fishing. I took my son with me and the fishing was not good. We had an extremely hard time finding bait but once we did we caught them up quickly. I took this opportunity of slower fishing to get Alex tuned up to my methods. We did most of the various types of fishing I do while I was showing him the way I do it and the knots I like to use when rigging. We caught 1 Kingfish, and then decided to try for some Muttons. We had several really good bites but the "guard dogs" once again wouldn't let us get them to the boat. They preempted our thoughts of dinner by eating everything we tried to bring up. We finished this trial day, missing one Sailfish bite and weathering a blitzkrieg attack of decent sized Dolphin, putting 1 in the fish box beside the Kingfish, to take home for dinner.
We don't always have banner days and I never mind telling people about the slow days. This way they don't get an unrealistic picture painted of what the day will be. We work hard to produce the best day possible but fishing is what it is! One day it might be slow all day and the next day it is non stop chaos. Those chaotic days are what makes us and everyone else, keep on fishing.