10-20-2012 - Port Saint Lucie Offshore Fishing Report - Swordy Trip
We finally went over to the Dark Side except someone left the light on :grin Today we made our maiden voyage for Daytime Sword Fishing. This trip has been in the planning stages since last year and really kicked into gear August when we set this date. Part of my original crew had a death in the family and our :angel prayers are with him and his family.
Cal brought one of his buddies Derreck to help fill the slot. Once again I let the crew do the netting duties this morning so not to effect the Pelican Population :grin while I readied the boat for our 2 hour tour down off Palm Beach.
Unfortunately the mullet didn’t cooperate this morning so we decided to make a quick stop at Bullshark to see if we can scare up a few baits before heading south.
Marked some baits @ Bullshark but the water was so dirty the light probably only penetrated the water 3ft down :grin We dialed in our numbers down off of Palm Beach to the Swordy Grounds, pointed the boat south and began our 2 hour tour…
We arrived just at day light around 6:45am.
The ride down was perfect as we ran about 21 mph the whole way down. As soon as we shut down the throttle the winds were felt and we knew we were in for a rough trip back north…
We checked our fuel consumption and we burned 21 gallons from my 60 gallon tank on the 43 mile run from the pocket so we will be monitoring this throughout the day.
Once there we determined our drift line direction ny drifting for 5 minutes or so then the plan is to run south a mile & ˝ further to allow us enough time to get the bait down to the bottom in the 1400+ ft depth we were fishing in.
We rigged up our bait & light of choice and began our mile & ˝ track south. Let out the 100ft of leader to the wax loop, connected the 12lbs of rebar with a Longline clip to it and sent it down into the deep blue…
When the line counter hit 1400ft we slowly backed down the boat and started to get the line vertical when Cal spots a big bull fin swimming right by the boat. He grabs a spinner and I grab a menhaden we had in the cooler and tossed it out and FISH ON…. Who needs live bait :grin
Cal did a masterful job on keeping this large fin away from our Swordy line
Derreck sinks the gaff and into the box it goes… You gotta love this paradise we all live in… 7:30am and 20 pounds of mahi mahi in the box :grin
Now back to the reason we made this 43 mile run south. Sword fishing… We finally get the line vertical and slowly drop the weight to the bottom then crank it up 15-20 turns and start our slow 2.5 knot drift northward.
We were expecting 4+ knots so this was nice. Still had to keep the motor running, bumping in and out gear keeping the line vertical. I was surprised that we only seen one boat when we got here and they were leaving when we arrived… If you’re a forum member and read this report, let us know if you caught one…
We drifted about six miles so far without a bite but still had a lot of good spots in our drift line to hopefully get hooked up. We dropped the weight again till we connected with bottom then cranked it up to clear bottom. Derreck decided to take a shuteye while Cal and I keep an eye on the rod tip…
15 minutes go by then all the sudden the clicker starts going off… FISH ON
That sounds quickly wakes Derreck up and he hops on the wheel as I ready the Harpoon and other items…
After some give and take on gaining and losing line we realize we are in for a long fight. We decided not to use the stand-up fighting harness and fight this fish from the gunwale…
We are into the fight about 30 minutes or so then all the sudden the line snaps right at the reel… The excitement was gone but we knew we would be back another day to try again. This proves (possibly life saving) to actually be a good thing to happen to us as you will read later in this report.
With that broken line now and the seas still building we dialed in SLI and we have a 32 mile run to make with 36 gallons remaining in the tank. We hit 1000ft and I spot a milk crate so we deployed my chum marker. Menhaden oil and milk…
I didn’t have any chunk baits ready :banghead so we just pulled away, rigged a couple hoos and made a quick pass and immediately hook up a fin….
We boxed this fin and opted to chunk up some baits to see if we can get more fins to come up from the deep. We get back to the flag and the milk crate has drifted away… Note to self. Attach flag to debris :grin
We decided to continue home and keep a lookout for some more debris along the way. I start monitoring the miles to the inlet and the fuel consumption and it puts us at the SLI with only 5 gallons of fuel left and we know it is 3 miles to ramp from SLI… :hairraiser
We could only go about 10 mph so that puts us at the SLI around 3pm at that speed. At 8 to 9 tenths of a gallon per 1 mile of distance traveled due to not being able to get up on plane, I knew it was going to be close. It was a long wet ride with no signs of debris along the way…
When we get 5 miles out the fuel gage starts blinking which signifies 10 gallons of fuel left. :hairraiser My main concern is getting through the inlet without running out of fuel and drifting into the rocks…
Luckily the seas started laying down some and we were able to get up on plane and get better fuel mileage. As we approach the SLI there was a huge Hammerhead tearing up on some baits. I would normally stop and take some pics but safety at this point took priority.
We safely break through the SLI right at 3pm and make way to the docks. The crew helps clean up the boat and we are out of there by 3:30pm.
I had a great time even though we lost our first Sword fish. That ride back from Palm Beach was fun. Derreck, you need to be a stand-up comedian … I would pay to come watch for sure :grin…
You both are welcome again anytime.
How did you all do today?
Tips of the day
Because I am new to this type of fishery you won’t get any tips from me regarding trying to catch these fish but here are something’s I built that I can share with you all.
Weight holders to protect your boat
Just some PVC pipe with a cap on one end and screw on cap on the other helps protect these large 12lb & smaller size weights from marring up your boat and protecting them from getting rust on the boat if the coating on the rebar becomes chipped.
Note that you must make the pipe approx 6 inches longer to allow you to store the 9-10ft of mono and the Longline clip.
Bent Butt rod holder
The handsome guy in this picture is my youngest son Tyler who helped me build all these items noted here today. Thanks a bunch Ty for all your help… Love you man… :applause
Pretty simple PVC concept with one main ingredient. A bolt to keep the rod into position then some spray paint to keep the wife happy while this stands in the corner of our bedroom :grin.
Wasn’t able to try this out today so the jury is still out as to whether it will work or not.
The rubber band keeps the loop in tack until you get it around the tail. When you pull to close the loop the rubber band breaks. I tried out the rubber band and it breaks but the true test will have to wait till we get that first Swordy up to the boat. The cable is attached with SS shackles so it should last and the best thing it only cost me about $20 to make.
Special Thanks go to the following and many more who helped me over the course of the past 3 months of planning
George Poveromo Thank You George for all your emails with tips to all the questions I asked. You’re knowledge and willingness to help others is an asset to our fishing community… http://georgepoveromo.com/
Rays Offshore Tackle TJ, you’re the man. What else can I say. Thanks for selling and putting together my Sword fishing rod & reel. After getting that tip from George regarding the need for a short bent butt instead of the long bent butt you swapped out the butt with no questions ask. Your tips on bait of choice proved spot on. http://www.raysoffshore.com/
Jarred Thanks Jarred for those Swordy weights. Anyone looking for some cheap Swordy weights that are coated, shoot Jarred an email. We picked up 3 12lbs weights, a 10 and 8 lb weight as well for only $80… Can’t beat that price and he is a fellow forum member… email@example.com
John Nielsen Thanks for all the emails and tips. John is a fellow forum member who emailed my last month to fish with him out of Sebastian on a tourney but I wasn’t able to go due to previous booked trips on my boat. I really appreciate all the Swordy tips you gave me John and look forward to :fishing with you soon.
There are many others who helped along the way. Thanks to all :applause
Notes from the trip
Well I learned a few things that came out of this trip. One is my 60 gallon gas tank is not big enough to make the run down south from SLI. I know if the sea conditions were better we would not have a problem.
If we were able to fight that fish to the boat we would not of had enough fuel to make it home so we would have had to run into Palm Beach to refuel and make the long track back north.
I will have to do some work on the trailer before our next outing so I can trailer the boat down to Palm Beach and fish out of there. That will bring a whole bunch of new questions to ask about the areas to put in at, inlet navigation etc… But those questions will wait until I am ready to go again.
I do know there are guys who fish out of FPI that run out to 1700ft off SLI and drift north back to FPI and catch Sword fish so that is an option. I don’t have any numbers or areas to fish that area but will work on it.
Next is this fishery is expensive. It will cost me $370 + for some more Jerry Brown 60lb Hollow Core braid and windon leader before another trip can be made. :hairraiser. Sorry Adam but it looks like out Nov. 3rd trip will be canceled for the time being.