Offshore was a no-go for days. Not many fishermen ventured forth into that slop! I didn’t have any trips scheduled and for once I was glad of it. There’s just something wrong about having to fish in South Florida in a snow mobile suit. Besides that visual, imagine 30 knot winds with gusts to 40knots with short interval seas at 8-10 feet nearshore. It would’ve been a mission, even on my 33 WorldCat. As the week progressed we began planning a trip for the weekend as we were already itching to see if this front had pushed the Sailfish into our area. Saturday was looking iffy but I saw we might have a comfortable day on Sunday, for a “fun” trip. NOAA was calling for E winds at 10-15 knots and 2-4’ seas, so we made it happen.
Tom, Amy, Devon, and I met at the dock at 10 AM. I said it was a fun trip, didn’t I? After a few jokes and a few comments about the light winds, we shoved off. The bait on our Blue Runner spot was gone. When I say gone, I mean GONE, not a single fish. The cold front had run them out of there. Feeling a little pressure to make bait we headed for our best bait patch. It didn’t fail us! We dropped over a chum bag and in minutes the slick was forming and we began to see bait about 100 feet back. As they got closer I made a long cast and got one hooked up. Boy, that sparked them up! They were racing towards the boat, right behind the hooked fish. These baits were hungry, ravenous, eating everything in sight. In 15 minutes, we dropped about 2 dozen in the wells. They must’ve had a rough time in that weather, obviously they hadn’t fed too well. They grew more reckless by the minute and finally reached the point of stupidity! Oblivious to the guy standing in that big white thing, with his 10’ net loaded and ready, they made a mass mistake. Bada Bing Bada Boom! I covered them up with the throw. Devon helped me pull up the net and we quickly unloaded them into the wells. One more throw for good measure. A little more wary now, they didn’t mass up as before but I got plenty. We had sufficient baits for the remaining 4 ˝ hours of fishing, or did we?
This day was turning out to be beautiful, Winds about 10 knots, seas 2 feet with maybe an occasional 3, and a gorgeous blue sky. We headed to The Spot and began putting out lines. 2 rigger, 2 flats, 1 downrigger, Amy speed jigging and Devon playing with a bucktail/ballyhoo combination. A few short minutes and I saw the bait on the right flat doing the jig. A bill appears and then the Sail breaks the water as it turns on the bait. Devon and I scream “Sailfish!” at the same time and Tom jumps on the rod. The line tightens up and the Sailfish spits the bait. In a millisecond the long rigger bait starts skittering across the surface and the line pops out of the pin. Once again We shove the rod into Tom’s hands and once again the line comes tight and the fish spits. Dang! 0 for 2!
We had better luck through the rest of the day. We stayed busy with very little time to eat our lunch. We ran the downrigger a bit deeper than usual and it was doing its job producing respectable sized Kingfish. Our surface lines were being marauded by nice school Dolphin about every half hour. There were also some Blackfin Tuna in our area.
Our afternoon “fun” trip ended up with a tired crew of 4. We used almost all of the bait and the fish box was almost full (very large fish box). Although we never had another shot at our intended target, the Sailfish, we had plenty of fresh fish for the 3 families. On the ride back to the barn, we spoke enthusiastically about the day. 0 for 2 on Sailfish and the fish box held 15 Dolphin, 3 Kingfish, and 2 Blackfin Tuna. We released a few Kingfish and a half dozen or more Dolphin. Devon and Tom cleaned fish and Amy and I cleaned the boat. We were all smiling and calling dibs on the Tuna. Tom said his wife was waiting at the door with a toasted bun for a fresh Dolphin Sandwich, Devon ate fresh Tuna for dinner Sunday night, and I ate some of my Tuna for dinner Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and tonight. Life is good!