Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Quad Before the Storm

Martin Penhaligon of Orlando and Trevor Millerberand of Winsted, Minnesota booked us for a full day of sailfishing, but there was a big storm coming so we would have to fish fast. Tornado warnings, gale force winds, and lightening were all forcasted for the afternoon, but it turned out that the storm was moving faster than expected. We decided to try anyway even though the skies were dark and the weather had already began to hit the folks north of us. We caught just a few baits and raced for the edge. Wes showed his experience by getting the kites up and baits out in a matter of seconds! With the weather closing in on us I was under alot of pressure to get these guys a bite. Less than five miniutes after we set out, a sail ate the left long and Trevor was on! Then another fish ate the left middle but broke off right away. All of the sudden a big blackfin tuna crashed on the right midddle, bit down on the hook and spit the bait out. Before we could react, Martin hooked a sail on the left short and we had the two fish we needed. As the guys were doing battle, two more sails ate the right side kite baits, Wes hooked em both and now we had a QUAD of sails with only two anglers! Wes faught one and left the other in the rod holder. Trevors fish was headed for the Bahamas and the other three fish swam together to the south. With the L&H in hot pursuit, we quickly got the release on Martins sail and things were looking good. A few minutes later Wes got the release on the second fish and Trevor had his fish coming. When he got the fish up we could see it was a trophy and Trevor decided to put it on his wall. We finally got the release on the fourth fish and high-tailed it for home. Unfortunately we did not beat the storm and were forced to plow through fifty knot winds and four foot seas in the bay. The L&H performed like a champ and got us back to the dock safely. What a rush! Four sails in only a matter of minutes and some of the nastiest weather I've seen in some time. We decided to finish the trip tomorrow and Trevor and Martin headed off to the hotel like drown rats.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

James Laurel and Debbi slay em

We have been very busy lately, fishing almost every day. With the long hours we work it seems that I never have enough time to spend with my wonderful family. With the moon getting bigger and the seas calm I figured it would be a great time for a family snapper trip. After a full day charter, my wife Debbi, daughter Laurel and son James met me at the dock and we loaded up with gear for a long night. We left Greg and Wes (the best mates on the dock) at the dock so they could get home for some much needed rest. James untied the lines and we made the long trip to the snapper grounds. When we got anchored up there was still a little daylight left. We put the kites up and started getting bites immediately. Several nice kings, then a double header sailfish, one of them Laurel caught all by herself. Just before dark a huge king jumped on a goggle-eye on the left middle and James was hooked up! There were a couple of other boats close by so I knew the odds were not in our favor. Soon we found ourselves with a big problem. Somehow James fish became tangled in another boats fishing line and they thought they had a big fish. For a few minutes James pulled against the big king and the other fisherman. I yelled over to them, in spanish, that James had a big fish and they were just tangled up. The angler on the other boat very kindly and released his line and James resumed the fight. A few minutes later I sunk the gaff in the forty-five pound fish. By now it was nearly dark and we had only one bait out. A big blackfin tuna exploded on the bait and Debbi was on. She did and outstanding job keeping the stubborn fish from getting under the boat or around the anchor and a short time later we put the thirty-one pound tuna in the box! It was our biggest so far this year. Once it got dark we enjoyed great snapper fishing and once we had our limit we headed for home. An exhausted James helped tie the boat up at nearly one in the morning. We had a terrific time, both fishing and spending time together as a family! It is memories like these that will live with me forever. I love you James, Laurel and Debbi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seguy Family Trip

We hosted the Seguy family from Grenoble France for an afternoon of fishing fun. Eric and his son Robin were going to do the fishing while Marlene and her daughter enjoyed the bright sun and calm seas from up on the flybridge. Our plan was to do some wreck fishing in hopes of finding something big for the father son team to pull on. When the L&H crossed over the reef edge into the deep we were greeted with beautiful cobalt blue water. Wes, Greg and I decided to troll for wahoo on our way south to the shipwreck. After the boys set the lines we got bit immediately! After a good battle Eric Seguy boated a beatiful twenty-five pound wahoo, much to the delight of his family. Less then fifteen minutes later another reel started screeming and now it was Robins turn to see if he could match his fathers catch. This fish took alot of line and put up a tougher battle. After a tough battle we had the fish to the boat and Wes and Greg did thier job perfectly and put the thirty pound wahoo in the boat. By now we reached the shipwreck and we were ready to try for sometheing bigger. The action was fast and furious for the next hour as Eric and his son were hooked up almost nonstop. The father and son landed many large amberjacks to seventy pounds including some on spinning tackle. With a little more time left in the trip, it was time to do some snapper fishing. Again the action was red hot! Every time the rig hit the bottom we got bites. We landed two dozen beautiful yellow eyes in short order and it was time to call it a day. I steered the L&H back home with a very satisfied and tired family.

Painters Have Big Haul

I have been working on the L&H for fifteen years and as long as I have been there, Virgil and Answorth have handled the paint work. They are great guys, from the islands, and over the years have become very good friends. With the fishing being so good lately I figured it was time to show my appreciation for their hard work in keeping the L&H looking like new. They put a few of their friends together and met at the boat early one morning. These guys love to eat fish so our goal for the day was to send them home with alot. Our first stop was deep water snappers and in no time we had a good variety of the tasty fish. Next we were after almacos and they were biting as well. After we added a few of these to the fish box it was time to find something that really pulled hard for the guys. Wes and Greg dropped down big live baits as I positioned the L&H over one of the many wrecks off Key Biscayne. For the rest of the trip Virgil, Answorth and thier friends stayed very busy pulling up amberjacks to almost eighty pounds, big barracuda and even a tuna from the bottom. In only a few hours we had managed to put several hundred pounds of fish in the fishbox. It was a great day with alot of joking around, alot of smiles and most imprtantly ALOT of fish for our friends to take home! Thanks alot you guys for everything you do to keep the L&H looking like a brand new boat!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ashley's Suprise

Jack Wilson has fished on the L&H about fifteen times and knows are operation well. This time he gave his daughter Ashley a suprise trip and wanted her to have a memorable day. Bait came easy
and we were headed to the edge in no time. We put the kites out and before all the baits were in the water Ashley was hooked up to a sailfish! What a start! The L&H turned and chased the wild fish and Ashley got the fish to the boat in a couple minutes then Greg and Wes released Ashleys first sailfish. We put the baits back out and immediately started getting kings and bonitas. There was a good north current so I knew it would only be a matter of time before we would raise another sail. Less than an hour after setting up, a sailfish was chasing a live gogle-eye on the right long and the L&H hooked up again. Our lady angler did great and we soon had our second release of the day. Only a few minutes after we reset a big king jumped all the way out of the water on the left middle. Jack watched as only a proud father can, as his daughter again battled a big fish. After a tough battle Greg grabbed the leader and Wes gaffed the thirty-eight pound kingfish. After Jack and Ashley added a few more kings we had our limit and moved out deeper. Our team caught three nice blackfin tunas one after another, a nice dolphin and another sailfish and it was shaping out to be another great day. When the action finally slowed I decided to try fishing by a shipwreck. Ashley and Jack soon found themselves tied into a double header amberjack. After they boated the twin forty pound fish we set up again and were rewarded with another double. We needed one more to have our limit and it was Ashley who was up to the challenge. This fish proved to be tougher, but after fifteen minutes she had the seventy-five pounder in the boat. By now everyone was worn out and the L&H headed for home with a box full of fish and three sailfish flags flying! Thanks Jack and Ashley for a great day and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Father Daughter Day

Dr. Craig Capovilla and I have fished together several times for swordfish and enjoyed great success. When he came to Miami on vacation he booked the L&H for two days. The first trip the entire family came to catch eating fish to enjoy on their week long vacation. With a cooler full of filets the trip was a great success and Craig was eager to try sailfishing with his daughter Madison. The sailfish had been in shallow, but when we put the kites out we were greeted by a relentless school of kingfish. Although the kings were fun and the action nonstop Craig wanted a sailfish. After we got our limit of kings we were forced to move to deeper water. I hoped this would not take us out of the game. As we soaked our baits in the blue waters off Key Biscayne the kingfish finally left us alone. Were we too deep to find sails? As I stood alone in the tower wondering where we should be, a big sail crashed the left short kitebait and Madison was hooked up! Then another sail attacked the middle bait and we now had a father/daughter double header! Both fish jumped all over the ocean as Craig and Madison struggled to keep the line tight and avoid getting the sails tangled up. In the middle of the chaos a big dolphin swam up to the boat and Wes, being the only one left without a fish, presented the bait and hooked up immediately. Now with only three hands on deck we had a triple header! Our team worked together and nothing got crossed up or broken off. Wes did great with the dolphin and had to catch it and gaff it by himself. Craig got his sail up first and we released it to fight again. By now Madisons fish had a lot of line out and she did terrific putting it all back on the reel as the L&H maneuvered closer. A short time later Maddy had the fish to the boat and it too was released. What a great feeling! We put the baits back out and Madison caught yet another sailfish just before it was time to head in. Anyone who knows me knows that family is the most important thing in my life and I would like to thank Craig and his wife and their three daughters for taking time to spend some quality time on the L&H!

Holcombe's Catch Variety

Greg Holcombe and his family are great friends of ours and have been fishing with us on the L&H for a number of years, always with great success. Greg and his daughters Annie and Katie joined my mates Greg and Wes, my daughter Laurel and I for another action packed, variety filled day of fishing on the L&H. We started off kite fishing and kingfish were eating our baits as fast as we could get em out. In short order we had our limit including a thirty-five pounder that seven year old Laurel caught all by herself. Just before we finished with the kings Katie landed a monster sailfish over eighty pounds. We then moved to a deep shipwreck and quickly caught our limit of amberjacks to fifty pounds and a big barracuda. After that I steered the L&H north to another shipwreck where we had almost nonstop action with nice almacos, including several double headers! With a little bit of time left in the trip it was time to try for some snappers. The L&H stopped over a rockpile and soon we had several tasty yellow-eye's in the box. Just before we headed for home Katie and Annie hooked sometheing much larger than the snappers we had been catching. After a tough battle the girls got a beautiful golden hammerhead up to the boat wich we quickly photographed and released to fight another day! I would like to thank Greg Holcombe and his family for being some of our best customers and friends! I can't wait to see what the next trip on the L&H will bring!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Francesca gets her sail and much more

Barry Fine and his daughter were referred to us by a good friend and they wanted a sailfish bad. Barry and his daughter Francesca along with friends Laura and Ben definately had good timing. A couple of boats saw sails in the morning and with good conditions I felt confident we would have a good afternoon. After catching bait, we crossed the edge and were greeted with beautiful water and good north current. Wes quickly got the baits out and from my perch in the tower I spotted a nice school of mahi. Delight soon turned into frustration as the school of about twenty-five keepers would not bite and we managed to only get three of them. Now it was back to our goal for the day, a sailfish for Francesca. In a span of fifteen miniutes we raised three sails and none of them would bite, I began to wonder what was going on. I did not have to wonder for long. A hungry sail grabbed the right short kite bait and Fran had her fish! Laura then hooked one on the middle and both girls caught and released nice sails. As soon as we set back out we got bit again, and over and over! For the next two hours it was nonstop action, fighting fish and alot of smiles. In a little less than three hours the L&H and its team went twelve for twelve on sailfish, three mahi, two big kings and ten mackeral. It was by far the best sailfish bite of the year for us and with a good east wind we are looking forward to more of the same for the next few months.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Chucks Busy Day

Chuck Wagner of Chaska, MN fished with me on the L&H eight years ago and we had a great day. So I was very excited when he booked us to try his luck again. Chuck ended up coming by himself and with beautiful weather I knew it would be an awsome day. The bait came easy and we anchored on a shallow wreck. Before we could get all the lines out Chuck was hooked up. For the next hour Wes and I worked fast and furious to keep baits in the water as our angler enjoyed bent rods (often several at a time)! When we left the spot we had our limit of kingfish up to 25lbs, released several others, and Chuck did a great job catching and releasing a big sailfish on twelve pound test! Now it was time to look for bigger game. While Wes got everying reorganized and regrouped I steered the L&H toward a deep shipwreck. Once again Mr. Wagner did a great job muscling up big amberjacks (to sixty pounds) from the deep, with heavy tackle, until we had our limit. With a little more time left in the half day trip, I suggested we try one more spot to see if we could find something different. It was our day! As fast as Wes could get a bait down, we got bit. We added a half dozen almacos, a beautiful twelve pound snapper, and a nice tuna to the now full fishbox! It was one of those days where everything goes right and the Wes/Chuck team performed like a well oiled machine! Thanks again you guys for all the hard work. I hope Chuck will be back with us on the L&H before another eight years go by!