We met Dax at 7 AM and he brought along his mate, Olli. They came all the way from the UK to try some of our S. Florida fishing. We blasted off on our ĺ day trip, heading for the bait patches. The Hardtails were sort of slow but the Ballyhoo were worse. We finally got enough bait for the day and headed out.
We fished the surface and 1 down rod for a while and caught 3 big Barracuda and a Silky Shark, all of them coming on the baits down in the water column. We managed to hook up and jump off a Sailfish. A little while later we caught yet another snaggle-toothed Cuda. Things slowed down and we decided to hit the Wrecks. We kept Dax and Olli very busy catching several AJís up to the 50 pound mark.
The guys had enough after several of those back breaking fish and we decided to get back after the Sails. The top bite was slow and as the time was winding down it was looking grim. We started chumming out what was left of our baits and, Here we go. Sailfish on the left rigger, Sailfish on the right rigger, Baboom, Sailfish on the right flat. I took the last fish and kept him pinned on while trying to maneuver the boat. One down and gone. I handed my rod off to those empty hands. Fish #2 turns loose a few minutes later. Down to 1 fish now and this fish makes an aerial assault and charges toward the boat. Reel! Reel! Gone! That slack line will kill a catch every time.
No time and no bait left, so we called it a day. They were a couple of good chaps and we tried to show them a good time on a short day. Devon and I hope to see them again next year for a rematch on those Snooters.
Our next trip was a ĺ day again, with Amber, David, Suzanne, and Frank. This was a beautiful pre-front day. A great day for a boat ride and not too much for fishing. The winds were out of the SW and light. Devon and I try to make the best of it but the barometer was unsteady.
We got our bait and it was a bit easier than the last trip but we did have to hit 2 different spots. We made the run out and set up. Wow, Iíve had slow days but the time was ticking away and nothing was working. Ok... Letís get some action on the wreck since the fish have already moved in for spring. We got started and each drop resulted in a bite. The only thing wrong is that the bites resulted in cut off. Over and over again we were getting killed by either a Cuda or Shark bite or a shark eating the AJ. We even tried to put some wire on and catch the sharks but they were almost immovable and wrecked us up every time. We did manage to catch several smaller AJís that we horsed to the boat before they got tagged. Our biggest fish was about 35 pounds.
We finally gave up when we toasted the 2 reels. The gears locked up on them trying to get those big sharks! Iíll have to up the ante next time and break out the big guns.
We made another valiant attempt to get some good action going on the topside. We did raise 2 Sails. The first figured out how to eat the bait but spit it out on the first jump. The second came later but once again we didnít complete the task. At least that one stayed on the hook a lot longer. The winds had changed to the NW, the clouds moved in, and the seas were starting to get choppy. It was later in the afternoon when we hooked up something on the down rod. This was a mystery fish with some shoulders. Devon had put down a large bait and my guess is we had a Hammerhead hooked up. When they tilt that wide head down, you are not going to pull him up with 30 # tackle. A good while later the leader finally gave out. Devon reset the lines for one last hoorah. Devon began tossing out the leftover baits in hopes of raising some fish. Instead of fish we had an unexpected guest that dove into the freebies and grabbed the wrong fish.
A little bit of work but we got the Gannet to the boat and Devon grabbed him behind the head to keep the business end of the bird under control. He was hooked lightly and the guys removed the hook, releasing him unharmed. That was the omen that told us to call it a day.
What a difference a day can make, right? The front had moved through, the sky was bright, and the winds were light from the N/NE. The barometric pressure was high and steady. Looking good! Andre, Thierry, Conner, Zach, and Wade joined us for a full day on this run.
We collected our baits but once again we had to hit a couple of spots and leave with less than we like. Off we go to the blue water. Devon couldnít finish setting the spread when...BAM! A cow Dolphin! Bam Bam, Thereís the Bull. Nice fish! The big cow came loose and Devon sees another fish shadowing the Bull and pitches a bait... Bam! Weíre on! The guys worked the fish to the boat and Devon boxed the 12# Cow and 33# Bull. Good start!
Devon reset the spread and less than 10 minutes passed when we hooked up a Sailfish. The fish broke off after the 6th jump. The action slowed down quite a bit right after that so we hit the wrecks and managed to let the guys have some fun tugging on the deep water brutes. We realized the last time that there were too many toothy critters on the wrecks now, so we used a piece of wire and caught 3 jumbo Cuda.
After blowing up 2 smaller reels on the last trip we re-powered our wreck rods with a couple of fish winches. The boys caught those Wreck Donkeys up to 45 # until their arms almost fell off.
We worked the rest of the afternoon on the surface. We were hoping for some more Dolphin or another Sailfish. We got our wish as Andre managed to hook up and leader his Sailfish making it a good catch. However, the leader broke as Devon was trying to muscle it over for a picture. We had another shot at a Sail but jumped him off. The guys had a good time but called the trip a bit early since we had so many fish to clean.
When fighting these Snooters, slack line is your worst enemy and it's often impossible to keep the line tight. Sailfish can swim at 70 mph then change direction on a dime and give you 9 cents change. They are the masters at creating slack and experts at tossing the loose hook.