Lazaro Diaz is not only the mechanic on the L&H, but a great friend of mine. Whenever I have a problem no matter how big or small, he will come to help me and at any time, day or night. When the weather is good and the fish are biting I try and schedule a trip with Lazaro. Today he brought along his cousin, Hector Diaz and his assistant, Kenny Cruz. I was planning on a long day, so we took our time and got a lot of bait. With the baitwell full, we headed out to find some dolphin. After about an hour we came across a nice bunch of mahi and everyone worked together until we finished the schoool. Then we found another school and with the boys catching and Laurel (9) gaffing we had a well oiled machine. By late morning we came across a pallet and got some more nice mahi, a few wahoos and some tripletails. A few minutes later I saw a good sized cobia, a rare catch for the summer, and soon this fish had joined the others in the L&H's icy hold. Shortly after lunch we found another pallet and got a couple nice wahoos and tripletails. Then two big dolphin swam up and our all star crew quickly hooked both, the larger of the two would later weigh in at thirty-eight pounds. As the afternoon wore on we continued to catch mahi until we had our limit. We decided to try for a sword since it was still early. On the way we found yet another pallet and this time there was a very big triple tail lurking underneath. We threw out a bait and Laurel let the fish run for a long time. When she hooked the fish it made a long run on the surface. This feisty triple tail was no match for the young, talented, angler. She boated the fish in just over five minutes. We would later find out that the nine pound triple tail would be a pending IGFA womens small fry world record! The third record in less than a year for Laurel! When we reached the sword spot, Travis and James dropped the rig and in no time they were hooked up. The fish fought hard all the way to the boat. When we got the sword close enough our team set the gaffs and pulled the one hundred plus pounder over the rail. It was an amazing day of fishing! As we took photos at the Marina, Lazaro told me he has several pictures of a dock full of fish behind the L&H and when he goes to show them off people say it has to be the same photo. No way you could catch fish like this time and time again, they say. "Only on the L&H!" Lazaro tells them!!!
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Gabriel Gaber is a lucky fisherman. He has fished with us three times on the L&H this year and each time we seem to have outstanding fishing. Gabriel wanted to fish with us for two consecutive days this time, but unfortunately we were booked so he chartered another boat from the dock. All he could manage fishing on another boat was a few bonitos and one mahi. This set us up to look real good if we could manage another big day. First thing in the morning I found a piece of debris. We got eight mahi and were off to the start I was looking for. As we continued into the gulf stream we continued to pick at the mahi, with a few fish close to fifteen pounds. After lunch I spotted a pack of big dolphin. There were three big cows and a truly large bull swimming in the sea weed. The bull quickly broke away from the pack and I chose to follow him because it was the biggest dolphin I have seen in quite some time. The fish would not bite as James and Travis threw all types of live and dead baits at the fish. Finally we hooked the beast, but somehow the line got tangled around the reel and quickly broke off. As is occasionally the case, the big mahi stayed on the surface and I was able to follow it as the boys readied another rod. To the amazement of everyone on board we were able to hook the fish yet again. This time everything went smooth and the L&H chased after the frantic dolphin in hot pursuit! After a few minutes we nearly had the fish as Travis had the gaff just inches from a shot. After that the big bull went down. For the next hour we slowly inched the fish back to the surface. Finally we got it up and gaffed the fifty-one pound bull dolphin and put it in the boat. This was our biggest mahi in a long time and we were thrilled! When everything settled down we resumed our search and were again rewarded a short time later. We found a tree branch and it had a bunch of fish by it. After landing more mahi the L&H switched gears and started catching wahoo one after another. When the seventh wahoo of the day came over the side, Gabriel looked up and said he had enough and was ready to head in. It was a great day and another tremendous catch for Gabriel on the L&H!
Friday, August 5, 2011
Ed Grace has fished with us several times before. Ed and his wife Barbara are some of the nicest people we know and I enjoy fishing with them very much. Ed was in town for a few days and decided to do some fishing with a few of his friends. After getting some bait we ran offshore to see what we could find. About ten miles out we got a nice wahoo on a lure and we were off to a good start. A few minutes later I saw a couple of big splashes and a small mahi jumping out of the water. Then, about two hundred yards away a blue marlin jumped out of the water and grabbed the mahi in mid air! It was an incredible sight, and as we got to the spot where the marlin was feeding, we came upon a piece of small debris. At first we hooked three nice mahi and then more and more started showing up. For the next half hour, Ed and his crew stayed busy catching mahi of all sizes. After the action slowed we moved farther south and continued to pick away at nice sized fish. Late in the morning we pulled up to some birds and there was a few big fish there. We hooked three fish and the biggest one of the pack missed the bait and got foul hooked. The big bull put on a tough battle, but the angler did a great job. After nearly thirty minutes we were able to pull the thirty-seven pound bull dolphin into the boat. We got a few more good sized mahi as the afternoon wore on. Back at the marina we took some good photos and cut up mahi fillets for whoever wanted them. It was yet another great day of fishing with our friend Ed Grace!
Frank Koenig and a few of his friends booked us for an afternoon half day. The fishing was slow offshore and we decided to try our luck on the edge of the reef. After getting a good supply of bait we set up and began getting bonitas. Everyone was having fun with these fish when one of the bonitas came up bitten in half. A large shark followed it up and we quickly put out the bonita on the shark rig. Within seconds the shark took the bait and the fight was on. We battled the shark for a while and then pulled it along side of the L&H for some quick photos and then release. Later in the trip we moved up to fish by some rock piles and began pulling in snapper. Frank put on a big bait while his friends were busy with the snappers and he hooked something much larger. The fish took off on a long run and then went deep. Frank put good pressure on the fish and after a while we had nearly all the line back. As I looked into the clear, blue water I couldn't believe my eyes. It was a big, big kingfish and we did not have any wire leader. Somehow Frank managed to put just enough pressure to get the fish within gaffing range and we pulled the fifty-one pound kingfish in the boat! It was the biggest king we have caught in a long time and another great fish for our friend Frank.
Alec and Monika Weitzel went with us for a full day. Our plan was to go into the gulf stream and look for mahi. After loading up on bait we ran offshore and were greeted with beautiful weather. After a slow start I saw something very large off in the distance. As we got closer I could see that is was a big tiger shark over five hundred pounds. Travis quickly deployed the shark rig in hopes of hooking the shark for Alec. We tried and tried with everything we could think of, live and dead dolphin, a big jack, but the tiger was not interested in feeding. We stayed with the shark for a while and Monika was able to get some photos. From there we resumed our search for mahi. The fishing gradually improved throughout the day as Monika and Alec picked away at mahis. Then just after lunch Monika got a big skipjack and things were looking better. In the afternoon we found a nice piece of debris that was teeming with life. Our crew got some nice size mahi. We decided to try a deep bait and Alec was rewarded with a nice size wahoo. On the way home we hooked the two biggest mahi of the day. With fish over twenty pounds it was a great way to end a fun trip with our new friends!