The last time the Diaz family (Jennifer, Erica, DJ, and Dave) fished with us, Erica got a sailfish even though it wasn't the time when we normally find them. This time older brother DJ wanted one for himself. With high expectations, Jim, Trav, and I went the day before and caught bait so we could get an early start. The Diaz gang got to the L&H early in the morning and we were off. As Jim and I rode the tower on the way south the conditions looked great and we were excited about what the day had in store for us. Before long I saw two sailfish tailing down sea. Trav threw out two baits and we hooked both fish. DJ got one and Dave got the other. Now that DJ had his fish the pressure was off! We ran down a few more miles, put the kites out, and started getting bites immediately. For the first few hours as fast as the baits went out they were eaten by sailfish or mahi. Just before lunch, the wind switched more from the west and the sails stopped tailing, but we were still getting bites on the kites. By noon we had already released twelve sailfish, caught two kings, twenty mahi, a grouper and a nice wahoo! More and more boats started coming down to where we had been fishing to try and get in on the action. As the afternoon wore on , our team continued to catch fish. DJ and his father stayed on the rods all day and their extra effort played an important role in our success. By 4:00pm we were up to nineteen sailfish releases and Jim came up to the tower with his phone. Our friend Captain Paul Ross had called to congratulate us on the great day we were having. As I talked with Paul, another sail came up. LEFT SHORT!!! I yelled nearly blowing out Captain Paul's eardrums! This fish was very important to me as it would make sailfish number twenty for the day. In my years on the L&H I have caught twenty or more (As either captain or mate) five different times and no other boat at our marina has ever reached this magic number. It is something we are very proud of! DJ caught sailfish number twenty and he and his dad caught another double to finish the day with twenty-two sailfish releases!!!!!! It was even more special to have such a great day with a family like the Diaz's, because family is so very important to me!
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Our friends Max, Sheldon, and Alex joined us for a busy day of fishing on the L&H. The bait came easy and we ran out to the edge. Today the edge was out a lot farther than it had been, but when we got there we found good fishing for the mahi. Some of the fish were under birds, but for the most part I would see them swimming from the tower and the boys would cast live baits to them. For some reason the dolphin were not biting very well. We would see six or eight fish in a group and only half of them would bite. As we got further to the south, I started seeing more and more mahi, but the results were the same, catching half of the fish we baited. After a while our team decided to do some bottom fishing. As soon as the first bait got to the bottom, we began hooking up. Amberjacks and almacos were biting fast and furious and before long we had ten of these fish in the box. Pulling up these strong fighters from the depths really wore out our anglers! On the way home the guys got some more mahi. With over forty mahi, all of the amberjacks and almacos, we headed for home to clean fish for everyone. It was a fun day with a lot of action for our friends!
Larry Puyanic is a fun loving, outgoing person who we enjoy having on the boat. Today, Larry had some clients with him and wanted to try for a sailfish. We got some bait and ran offshore to try our luck. Soon after setting up the kites, we hooked a big mahi that was jumping all over. After the fish settled down we were able to get close. Travis grabbed the leader and Jim gaffed the thirty pound fish and put it in the boat. For the next hour we had steady action with the dolphin on the kites, with some of them over twenty pounds. From my perch in the tower, I saw a bunch of flying fish getting chased inshore. I backed the L&H in shallow and as soon as we got to where the bait was, we raised three sailfish, all on the same bait. Trav hooked one of them and Jim quickly cast out a bait and hooked another. The third fish came to one of the kite baits and just like that we were hooked up to three sails. As we were fighting the sails, Jim hooked another one on the kite and we were now fighting a quad. After a lot of over and under by the anglers, laughter from everyone, and a few jokes thrown in from Larry we were able to successfully release all four sailfish. With a sailfish release for each of his clients and plenty of mahi for dinner, Larry decided to call it a day.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
On the fourth day with Tom the conditions were good for sailfish with a hard north wind and a strong current. We went north for bait and took our time to catch plenty because I knew the dolphin would be solid. When we were done with bait I ran out to the edge of the gulf stream where the dolphin were big and hungry we caught 15 nice ones but then a cloud came and I could not see them any more. That is when I ran south a ways to where the edge cut in to 115 feet. Once the sun came out I saw a tailing sailfish. Jim presented the bait perfectly and the sail engulfed the bait, then the chase was on with the big sail jumping away we got the release in 2 minutes. When we set up the kite it was as fast as you could go with nice dolphin and sailfish biting all baits. This continued all day until we hooked a sail in the late afternoon that took us right into a rainstorm but with some luck and help from Jim we got him. After that we made the long ride back home. Final count: 7 sails, 45 dolphin, 1 kingfish, 1 mackerel, 1 bonita, and one snapper.
Friday, December 16, 2011
On day three the conditions were bad for fishing on the edge because there was a light wind and dirty green water so I decided if we were going to try for a sword today would be the day as we just got past the color change James spotter a big floater but we only got one dolphin. When we got out there the first drop we had a bite. The second drop no bite. On the third drop we had one on for a little while. On the fourth drop we had a bite. After we reeled up the fourth drop we were running to another spot when James spotter a Frigate bird. As we got closer I saw that it was tunas. But not just little skipjacks there were big ones mixed in. With some bad luck we only managed to get two but it was really neat to see both the tunas and the bird chasing the flying fish. On the fifth drop we had a few big dolphin swim up but with some more bad luck we could only get one out of the three. Then we hooked a sword we got him all the way up, took the lead off and then he jumped and tail walked for a minute. When we got him to the boat we realized he was not as big as we had thought but he was a keeper and a great one for Toms first sword. Final count 3 dolphin 1 schoolie, 1 -20 lber, 1- 35 lber, 2 -10 lb. tunas, and 1 nice sword.
We have fished with Tom many days and we have had some great luck. When I saw he had chartered us for five days in early December I knew we had plenty good to come. On day one we went south to try for bait. Where we had been going and catching plenty good baits. When we got to the first spot the conditions were good but we could only seem to catch blue runners and a few small pilchards. After trying for what seemed like hours we went to a different spot that only got blue runners. After that I decided to just go with what we had. When we were running down the edge I saw plenty of dolphin and we caught our fair share. When we first set up the dolphin were coming through thick. As the day progressed the dolphin slowed. So we went to a wreck where we had great fishing earlier this year with great success. This time our results were one small almaco. Then when we were going to a different wreck I was driving over a sand strip when I saw a 500 pound bluefin tuna. That was super cool to see. When we were coming out to the deeper water I saw some dolphin and we started to see them again. Finally we got to the wreck, on the first drop we got a big amberjack. on the next drop we got a big black grouper, on the next drop we got a big african pompano, and on the last drop we got a big mutton snapper. After catching some more dolphin we called it a day and went home. Final count, 25 dolphin, 1 -35 pound grouper, 1 -35 pound african pompano, 1 -40 pound amberjack, 1 -15 pound almaco, and 1 -15 pound mutton snapper. That is what I call a wreck slam.