Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Back To The Boatyard

The boatyard is one of my least favorite places on earth. Unfortunately it is part of the job and in order to keep the L&H as the cleanest, neatest, and best maintained boat on the dock this is one thing that must be done. While working for John Dudas we would take the L&H to the boatyard every fall and I have continued to haul the boat out EVERY year in either September or October. Over the years I have learned alot about the care and maintenance of the L&H from John and also on my own. Some years we spend more time in the yard than other years. This year our time will be only a couple weeks. We will paint the bottom (as always) do some painting in the cockpit and paint the transom. Over the coarse of the season the bills of the sailfish and swordfish scratch, gouge and impale the transom and to keep the L&H looking her best it is necessary to repaint it annually. There is also work to do on the rub rail, in the lazarett, and in the engine room. The crew on the L&H will do alot of the work themselves, but we will also call on help from others as needed. We work hard and long and do our best to get back in the water and fishing as soon as possible.

Bottomfish Biting

Henry Castellanos of Miami and Jim Smith, Danny Meinus, and Terry Harris all from Arkansas joined us on the day after one of the nastiest storms of the year. They timed the trip just right because the weather was beautiful and the bottomfish were biting like crazy! Henry had fished on the L&H before and had enjoyed success, so we wanted to keep him and his guests happy! Our plan was to fish on the bottom in deep water to try for action and boy did we get action. That day everything seemed to go our way and the fish were biting on all the spots. Everyone took turns pulling in fish and the boys did a great job keeping up. We seemed to have fish coming up and fresh baits going back down nearly the whole trip. By the end of the trip our fishbox was sporting the beautiful colors of silver snapper, red snapper, vermillion snapper, yellow-eye snapper, amberjacks, almaco jacks, kingfish and blackfin tuna. It was fun to see the fish biting like that and when we got back there was plenty of fish for everyone to share! Thanks alot guys and we look forward to seeing you again.

Big Mahi, Shallow Water

Bennett Hoke and some of his friends were here in Miami for a bachelor party and when they got to the boat in the morning we could tell they had a big night. There had been some nice mahi around along with a few skipjacks so our plan was to find the birds and then find the fish. After we got the bait we began to work our way to the edge. Wes spotted a couple frigate birds in shallow so we decided to check them out. As I was heading to the birds I could see ballyhoo showering and when I slowed the boat down I could see four big mahi. Wes hooked the first fish and the fish took off jumping to the south. I started backing up quickly to stay with the hooked fish and get Wes in position for another cast. He hooked another big fish and we kept backing into the sea to stay with the pack. After some great teamwork we had four mahi from 25lbs to 35lbs all hooked up and going different directions. We managed to avoid a ship coming out of the port and a few crossed lines, but everything worked out for the best. With the big fish in our icy hold we steered toward another diving frigate. This time it was a single big mahi and Wes made a great cast and this fish joined the others in the box. Our team added a couple skipjacks to the catch to end up with a great morning of fishing!