Thursday, November 28, 2013

Josu Gaubeka Has A Great Half Day Of Miami Charter Fishing

Our friend Josu, who has fished with us on Miami's best charter boat, the L&H, several times before was back out to do it again.  Josu often fishes with his family, but today he was joined by some business associates.  After catching some live bait we decided to start the day off doing some kite fishing.  Only a few miles off Key Biscayne, there was nice blue water and a light current.  While we were setting out the baits, a hungry sailfish came and ate the right middle kite bait, then two nice sized dolphin engulfed the two other live baits dangling from our fishing kite!  While all of this was happening, another feisty Atlantic sailfish attacked the left middle kite bait and just seconds later a large dolphin rushed in to devour the only bait left in the water!  Just like that, our group of four fishermen were hooked up to five big fish, all at the same time!  I maneuvered the L&H over to the first big mahi and Jim gaffed the colorful fish and put it in the fish box.  Then minutes later the second mahi came over the rail and shortly after that the third mahi joined his companions in our icy hold!  Now it was time to concentrate on the sailfish.  I backed our charter boat toward the frisky billfish and before long both fish were released unharmed to fight another day!   It was a terrific start to Josu's day of charter fishing and the L&H was just getting warmed up!  Jim quickly reset the kite baits and almost as fast as the baits were going out, they were getting eaten by hungry gamefish!  Two more sailfish were released and a few more good sized mahi were brought aboard.  Then Josu got a big bite on the deep line and everyone knew that this was going to be something different!  After a good fight, our angler hauled a beautiful twelve pound mutton snapper into the boat!  It was beginning to feel like one of those days where we could do nothing wrong.  Another multiple hook up yielded a few nice size tuna to our growing catch and as Jim put the last stubborn, sushi quality tuna in the box some more mahi mahi swam up.  The customers quickly started casting out live baits on our custom leeward rods with fin-nor spinning reels and in the blink of an eye there were mahis jumping everywhere.  We were able to catch most of the fish in the school and now it was almost time to head back to Crandon Park Marina.  We agreed to reset the baits one last time and give it a few more minutes.  As luck would have it, we found ourselves hooked up to another triple header.  This time our group of fishermen found themselves battling three different species.  Another nice mahi came aboard, the fifth sailfish of the day was successfully released and our friend Josu put the icing on the cake when he reeled in a gorgeous grouper that had taken a live bait suspended just off the bottom!  I continued to ride the tower on the way home searching for just one more fish.  Just seconds before turning the L&H west and heading for home I spotted two big mahi swimming in only forty feet of water.  Like clockwork, two baits went out and both fish were hooked up!  After some acrobatic jumps by the wonderful mahi, both fish were gaffed and added to our nearly full fish box!  Everyone onboard enjoyed the smooth, calm ride back to the marina.  When we arrived at the dock, with sailfish release flags flying high, Jim and I took some photos of our guests with the days catch.  After that we cleaned and packaged a bunch of fish for our guests to take with them!  I was truly a great half day of Miami charter fishing for Josu and friends and just another example of why the L&H is Miami's best charter boat!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Good Day With Danny And Daniel Huebsch

Danny had been fishing on the L&H for a very long time.  Today he was joined by his son Daniel and I was very excited about having the next generation along with us.  We got a very early start and were the first ones to leave the marina.  After leaving the marina we went north, but today the bait were very tough to catch and it took a long time to get what we needed.  At first, fishing with the kites, our team started strait out front.  The water was a greenish blue and there was not much current, but it was worth a try.  After a while with no bites and reports of better conditions farther to the south it was time to reel in the lines and make the move.  After running south almost twenty miles it was like we were in a different ocean!  Beautiful blue water was all the way in to the reef and there was a very strong north current.  We put the baits back out and got a few nice mahis right off the bat.  A short time later I saw a sailfish tailing down sea way inshore of us.  I maneuvered the boat close to the sail and it grabbed the first bait he saw and Danny was hooked up.  The sailfish was very strong and full of energy.  As Danny continued to fight the sailfish out in the deep, another fish ate one of the kite baits off the bow and we now had a father and son double header!  Danny and his son did great fighting the sailfish and we were able to release both fish successfully.  After adding a couple more mahis to the fish box, it was time to make another run back south.  As soon as the baits went back out, Daniel hooked a nice fish on the deep line.  After a good battle, our angler hauled up a nice grouper.  It was shaping up to be a good day.  Not long after boating that fish, our guys hooked two more sails on the kite.  Again it was a father and son double header!  As before, the father son duo did great and were able to get both fish to the boat and release each fish unharmed.  Daniel had a flight to catch so the L&H headed back in a little early to make sure he did not miss his plane.  All of us onboard had a great time and we are looking forward to getting back out there with the Huebsch family soon!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Juan Fabini Stays Busy With A Variety Of Fish

Juan Fabini has fished with us on the L&H before and we were excited to have him back out with us!  The fishing had been good lately so we were excited about what the day had to offer.  After catching bait we decided to start out kite fishing, but with very little current we did not get any bites.  Off in the distance I could see some birds so we pulled the kites in and headed toward the flock of diving sea gulls.  As we got closer, everyone watched as nice size tuna tore up the surface of the water.  Within seconds we were hooked up and line melted off our fin-nor reels!  These fish fought hard and the crew worked together to put several nice fish in our icy hold.  It wasn't long before we found another hungry tuna school and as we fished the school it seemed as of more and more fish started showing up.  Our lines were getting bit as soon as they hit the water and it didn't seem to matter what we put out, the fish would eat it.  Before long the two couples fishing with us that day had landed almost thirty of the mixed sized tunas.  Out of nowhere, we caught a nice mahi mahi and added that to our collection of fish.  With a light current, it seemed like a good time to try some deep water bottom fishing.  We trolled out to a spot in over one-thousand feet of water and sent down several circle hooks with a large lead baited with cut bait.  We started getting bites almost as soon as we hit the bottom, and Juan and his guests started catching rosefish one after the other.  Although we did not get any big bites our team landed almost forty of the colorful rosefish in short order!  It was time to start heading back in, but I stayed in the tuna tower and continued to search hoping to find something on the way home.  Just north of the inlet I spotted a pack of four sailfish swimming on the surface.  The fish were hungry, but unfortunately luck was not on our side!  We hooked all four sails, but were only able to get one of them alongside the L&H for a successful release!  The other three sailfish got away for a variety of reasons.  Nonetheless, Juan was very happy with the sailfish release as this was the first he had ever seen!  We headed back to the dock and took some photos and cut up some fish for our friends.  It was another fun day on the L&H and we kept Juan and his guests busy with a variety of good eating and strong fighting fish!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Kai Has Good Half Day

Kai is from the northeast and came down to fish a half day with us on the L&H!  The wind was out of the east at about fifteen knots and the seas were running two to four feet.  We decided to head offshore to the gulf stream and look for mahi and tuna.  At first the action was slow, but then I saw some birds off in the distance.  As I got closer to the diving gannets, we could see nice size tuna feeding underneath!  Our first pass yielded a triple hook up and things were starting to look better.  I stayed with the birds (and feeding tuna) as they traveled north with the gulf stream current.  Kai (our star angler for the day) continued to catch nice size tuna one after the other.  Finally after a couple hours we had to leave the school as we were getting pretty far north and had to fight the current to get home.  I steered the L&H down the same line that we followed the tuna school earlier and we still managed to catch a few more of the hard fighting fish.  Just before it was time to start heading for the marina, we spotted a frigate bird and decided to check him out.  As the L&H motored close to the diving frigate, a couple of nice dolphin raced in and got hooked up.  Then a big dolphin appeared and Kai hooked this fish on light tackle!  Again, Kai showed us his superb angling skills as he battled the stubborn mahi all the way to gaff!  Jim reached out and sank the gaff in the mahi and pulled the fish over the rail!  By now we were running late for our afternoon charter and our team raced for the dock!  Kai decided to get his trophy mahi mounted and we cut up some nice tuna fillets for dinner.  It was a great half day of fishing and we are looking forward to fishing with our pal Kai again soon!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Great Family Fishing With The Kids

We went out on a family fishing trip with my wife Debbi, our three children, my dad, brother Freddie and his two kids (Jody and Hayden) along with our long time friend Jim Hendrix and boy did we have a good time!  After getting an early start, the L&H headed offshore.  Before the sun even broke the horizon, Debbi spotted a frigate bird off in the distance and as we got closer everyone could see hungry tuna feeding under the diving frigate!  Excitement mounted as we approached the school of fish and when we got into position, lines started popping out of the outrigger clips, rods began bending over, and reels and children started screaming from the pull of the fast moving tuna!  Five tuna pulled for all they were worth, but they were no match for the five eager children who battled the strong fish to the boat!  Before long, blackfin and skipjack tuna were coming over the rail and landing in the fish box!  Jim and Freddie stayed in the tower and kept up with the rapidly moving tuna school.  Multiple hook ups were the rule rather than the exception and Debbi and I worked feverishly to keep getting the lines out!  Before most people were even out of bed that morning, our crew of kids (most of whom were under the age of 10) had boated over twenty nice tuna to about fifteen pounds!  Everyone was having a blast!  As the sun continued to climb, the tuna became more difficult to catch so we decided to head further out!  Several miles offshore, I was watching the bottom machine when I watched the water depth plummet from 1000 feet to over 1200 feet in less than one hundred yards!  We had found a deep hole in the ocean floor out in the middle of nowhere!!  Freddie and Jim quickly spun the boat around to the spot I had now marked on our gps!  James readied a rig and we baited several hooks and sent them to the bottom with a large lead.  The instant our rig hit the bottom, we began getting bites!  The kids started taking up the fish with the help of an electric reel.  As everyone peered over the side, anxious to see what we had, we were delighted to see a full string of nice sized rose fish!  There was one on every hook!  We sent the rig down again, and this time with even better results!  Although I didn't think it was possible, we had a fish on every hook, but this time one of the hooks had two fish on it!!!  It was amazing!  We made a few more drops with great success and then decided to call it a day.  We headed back to the marina where we had pizzas delivered and took a bunch of photos with the kids and cut up lots of great eating fish for my brother, dad and family!!!!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Good Fall Dolphin Fishing

We had Silveo Leon aboard the L&H for what would be a great day of fishing!  Silveo was entertaining clients and told us he was happy to try anything as long as his customers were happy at the end of the trip!  After catching bait, our plan was to head to the gulf stream and see what we could find.  Before long, Jim found some birds and we headed that way.  When reaching the birds, there was a bunch of dolphin but all to small to keep.  The L&H headed further offshore and before long came across a nice current edge.  Only a few minutes after riding down the edge, two nice mahi came racing in on our teasers!  Jim got two baits out right away and hooked up both fish!  We now were hooked up to a pair of twenty plus pound dolphin!  I maneuvered the L&H close to the stubborn mahi and Jim made two perfect gaff shots and put the fish in our icy hold!  As soon as I started going again, I saw something busting in the sea weed several hundred yards away.  When we got to the area, there was a nice school of mahi slowly swimming to the south.  Jim did a great job getting the customers in a rhythm  and before long they were all hooking fish as fast as the line went out!  The fish were cooperating and in short order our team had boated thirty keepers!  Everyone was very happy and went in the cabin to refresh in the cold air conditioning!  Knowing that we needed less than twenty fish to reach our limit, I continued down the mahi highway.  Less than a mile away, I spotted another big school of nice sized dolphin and they were hungry!  By now, our team had the drill down and they secured the rest of the fish we needed to get our limit in no time at all!!  All of the guys were happy with our success and were happy to call it a day!  Back at the dock we took a few photos and cut up a bunch of fish for everyone!  It was another great day on the L&H with a happy crew and happy customers!!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Fantastic Fall Fishing

Our good friend and long time customer, Leo Rodriguez, joined us for what would be a fantastic day of fishing.  Leo was accompanied by a couple co-workers and they were looking forward to getting some action as well as bringing home some fresh fish for dinner.  The bait fishing was very good and before long the L&H was headed offshore to see what we could find.  Right away, the guys caught a couple nice blackfin tuna on artificial lures and I knew we were headed in the right direction.  A short time later, Travis spotted a frigate bird a few miles away and I sped up a little bit to close the gap between us and the bird.  As we approached the frigate, we got attacked!  Every line we had out got bit and we now had more fish on than we had anglers (always a good problem to have)!  Minutes later, nice size tuna were coming over the rail!  We had found a big school of tuna, but at the time I did not know how big the school would turn out to be!  After boating all the fish we had on, I pushed the throttles up and tried to catch back up to the school.  Jim and Trav quickly reset the lines and before we got to the heart of the school, every rod was hooked up again!  This time, I left my perch in the tower and climbed down the ladder to the cockpit to join the fun.  I grabbed a live bait and tossed it out to the side and in seconds a tuna ate it.  Jim and Trav followed suit and we began hooking tuna (a mix of blackfin and skipjack) as fast as the bait hit the water!  The fish we literally swimming all around the boat!  We caught them on everything we used and Leo went to the bow and began hooking up on his fly rod!  For what seemed like an eternity, the school of hungry tuna stayed with the L&H as we drifted along with the current.  Finally, by looking at the amount of fish in our icy hold I knew we had more than enough fish for everyone and we had to stop catching them!  We caught so many tuna in such a short period of time that I decided to break the cardinal rule in fishing...never leave fish to find fish!  This, however, was an exception because we had A LOT of tuna and Leo wanted to try for some mahi!  Several miles further offshore I spotted a nice weed line.  Only minutes after reaching the possible mahi highway we found a nice school of fish!  By now the guys had recovered from the tuna blitz and were rested up enough to go back to work on the mahis!   They were nice size mahi mahi and again we had more fish hooked up than we had anglers to reel them in.  Everyone did great and now the fishbox was reaching capacity.  After finishing the mahi mahi school we resumed our hunt and continued to pick away at fish all afternoon!  Everybody agreed to head in a little early and when we reached the dock, one of the other charter boats had just finished unloading their catch.  With only a few fish for the entire day, Leo told me he did not want to embarrass the other boat, but I told him not to worry and that he should be proud of his catch!!  The boys started throwing the fish on the dock and they just kept coming and coming and coming and coming...  With great teamwork, the best crew around and being ready and prepared for anything, the L&H ended up with fifty-one (51) blackfin and skipjack tuna and a nice bunch of mahi mahi!  We cut up a lot of fish for Leo and his guys and he even took a bunch of tuna to give away to friends!  The fish that were left, my wife canned for us and not a single fish went to waste!  It was a great day for Leo and everyone on the L&H!!!

Max Has His Best Day Ever!!!! 25 Sailfish

Our long time friend, Max Puyanic, has been fishing with me on the L&H for the last fifteen years.  Some years he fishes once a month and some years more than that, so needless to say Max and I have caught A LOT of fish together!  On this day, everything went our way, starting with the bait fishing.  I found a big school of bait and when Jim threw the net, it was so full he could hardly get it in the boat.  There was a small boat fishing and he was not catching any bait, so I pulled over to him and the boys gave him two buckets full of live bait and we were on our way.  The L&H crew always tries to be nice and help others whenever we can as we would like others to treat us the same!  After our good deed for the day we started running to the south.  The conditions were perfect and I was very excited about our chances.  As soon as the very first bait went out it was eaten!  There was a school of ravenous kingfish behind the L&H and in seconds everyone was hooked up.  There were rods bending all over and we had more fish on than fishermen.  Max got the biggest one, a forty pounder and as we were pulling in the last one (to give us our limit) I saw a sailfish free jumping several hundred yards away.  "Back the drag off!!!!" I yelled as I raced the L&H toward the free jumping sail.  When I got close to the spot where the sail last jumped I could not believe what I was looking at.  A pack of at least ten sailfish were tailing down sea!  I was so excited, I started screaming "Ten Fish, Ten Fish!!!"  and Jim and Trav started casting baits!  Seconds later we had eight fish on and even though I could see more sails I had to tell the boys not to hook any more.  With only two anglers and two mates, eight fish was more than we could handle.  Some sails got away and we released a few and a couple fish turned out to be those pesky kings that had beat the sail to the bait.  Nevertheless it was very early in the day and we had already secured our limit of kingfish and a few sail releases.  I ran to the south and put the baits back out and we got three nice dolphin.  I was fishing out deeper because I didn't want to waste all our baits on those kings.  After a while with no bites, I knew the sails were in shallow and that is where we needed to be.  Right away we started getting some sails and kings.  Everyone stayed busy releasing sails and kings and finally around mid day the kings stopped biting.  The sails continued tailing down sea and we kept hooking them.  Just after lunch time, Max released the fifteenth sailfish of the day!  We fished a three mile area all day and just kept running back to the same spot.  The ocean was alive  as I saw a giant bluefin tuna tailing and we had a 150 pound plus yellowfin tail by both short baits with out eating.  By early afternoon we had released twenty-three sailfish and were almost out of bait!  As we put out the last four baits we had I remembered the two buckets full of bait we gave away in the morning.  It was ok, as I was sure the guy on the small boat was happy and catching fish as well.  We soon hooked a double on our last set  and headed for home!  The L&H came backing into the slip with two riggers full of flags and a box full of kingfish and mahi's!   Max was so excited and I was happy for him.  He is a great friend and client and he was rewarded for his loyalty and persistence with his best day ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

David Kids Win Bob Lewis Tournament On L&H

I have fished nearly every Bob Lewis Tournament in the past ten years.  This year I was especially excited about the tournament because they made it a kids only format.  We worked hard getting ready and made sure everything was perfect, leaving nothing to chance.  Nearly every fish was worth some points, with a maximum of five fish per species and there was no limit on the number of lines you could fish.  With James, Laurel, and Christopher as the anglers for the day, our plan was to fish three kites as well as some flat lines and bottom lines.  This meant we would be fishing thirteen or fourteen baits and the kids would be very busy!  As soon as the tournament started the kids started hooking and fighting fish and that is how it went for the next six hours!  James and Laurel stayed very busy with kingfish, bonito, snapper, grouper, jacks and anything else that happened to swim by!  Both kids caught their limit of kings to over thirty pounds by noon so I decided to run south and try for a sail.  Down off triumph reef we found blue water and we set back up.  Within minutes a sail came up and ate the long bait on the center kite and Laurel was on!  Seconds later another sail crashed on the left short kite bait, but instead of getting the bait the sail got tangled in the leader.  From the tower I yelled to James that the fish was wrapped up and started backing down hard.  The L&H charged back toward the confused sailfish as James reeled quickly to gain line.  In a matter of seconds, Jim grabbed the leader and released the sail.  I spun the L&H hard and roared back on Laurels sailfish!  As usual, Laurel did an excellent job, and she had her fish alongside the boat for release minutes later!  I was Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo excited it was just what we needed since we had already limited out on other fish.  It seemed that no matter what we tried to do, it was working for us and I remembered what my friend Louis Isasis told me "When its for you, its for you!!!" and he couldn't be more right!  The kids continued to catch fish up until the very last second of the tournament and even baby Christopher Marlin added a small snapper and trigger fish to our tally!  As we ran toward the tournament weigh in everyone was very happy and satisfied with our catch, but there was no way to be sure how we ended up.  There were so many boats it was difficult to tell who caught what.  After weighing our catch and turning in the release forms we knew that our team had done very well!  It wasn't until the awards ceremony that we got the great news!  Christopher placed third in the under five year olds with his catch, his sister Laurel won first place for six to ten year olds, and big brother James won his division for eleven to sixteen year olds and was also named top angler in the entire tournament!  Last but not least, with all of their catches, our wonderful children propelled the L&H into first place, by a landslide!!!!  It was a wonderful day of fishing with my family and I was one very proud father!

Good Two Day Trip For Bazen Family

Our friends, the Bazen family came to fish with us for two days and we had a great time!  The first day was good action with the sails and we picked away at them throughout the day.  Mike fishes with his two boys, Sidney and Richard, along with his wife Sandra and her brother Kent.  These guys are very good fishermen, catching all kinds of fish in South Carolina!  They are all very good at kite fishing and hook the fish themselves.  We ended the first day with five sailfish releases and a nice size king.  The second day was a little slower, but we still continued to get action!  The boys did great and everyone worked hard at keeping the baits out and looking good.  As the afternoon of our second day wore on, our team had already released three sails, and we had a nice blackfin tuna in the box.  One of the boys was fighting a wahoo and all of the sudden, a big dark shape appeared under out fish!  It turned out to be a very big and hungry hammerhead shark!  In an amazing burst of speed, the hammerhead raced to the surface and ate the helpless wahoo in a matter of seconds!  The wahoo looked to be at least thirty pounds and the shark I couldn't even begin to guess.  It was an amazing sight to see and even though we would have like to catch that wahoo it was unbelievable to see such a big shark move so very quickly!  After that it was time to head back and let the Bazens begin the trip home.  As usual it was a fun trip fishing with our friends and we looking forward to the next time.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Good Day For Drew

Drew came with us on the L&H with just one request...he wanted to make sure his guest had a good time.  Drew usually is lucky and today was no different.  We got bait quickly and with a nice east wind blowing, I decided to go straight to kite fishing.  Soon after getting set up we got a bite on the left long kite bait, then a sailfish on the right middle kite bait and finally the deep line bent over from the pull of a nice fish some one hundred feet below.  With only two anglers, it was touch and go at times, but we quickly released the sail to make life a little easier!  All of the sudden the fish on the deep line came to the surface and I could see that it was a nice cobia.  Jim had the angler back the drag off on the kite rod (the first fish we hooked) and we went for the cobia while it was still on the surface.  I maneuvered the L&H close and Jim made a great gaff shot.  Time to concentrate on the last one of the triple.  After a tough battle, I looked down deep into the clear, blue water and could hardly believe my eyes!  We had been fighting a big african pompano!  Normally these fish are caught close to the bottom, but this one came all the way to the surface to eat one of our live baits dangling from the kite.  Jim did a great job with the scrappy fish, on the leader, and put our prize in the boat.  Again, we reset and again we had more action!  This time a double of sails for Drew and his fishing companion.  Both fish were released to fight another day!  After making a quick loop offshore our team put the kites out one last time.  We saw another sailfish and got a nice mahi for Drew to take for dinner.  It was a great half day trip, and yes, both Drew and Kevin had a good time!

Andrew Gets Sailfish/Swordfish Double Header

I have been fishing with Andrew for a long time.  He has never caught a swordfish and wanted to do so very much.  On the day we planned to go sword fishing, the winds had picked up to over twenty knots.  Normally a trip out to the sword grounds would be out of the question, but Andrew was determined to get out there so off we went.  After a long, rough ride offshore we reached our destination.  The seas were eight to ten feet and it made it very difficult to fish.   Shortly after we got the sword line set, the boys put out some baits on the surface (just in case).  As everyone tried to hold on and stay comfortable a sailfish came up and ate one of the baits we had just put out.  Normally we fish for sailfish from ninety to one hundred eighty feet of water, but this one took the bait in eighteen hundred feet!  It goes to show that a fish can be anywhere, at anytime, and it pays to be ready.  As the sailfish took line from the big fin-nor spinning reel, the sword rod bent over with the weight of a fish nearly a half mile away!  Now we had a double header!  It was very challenging for me to hold the boat in position to fight the sword up from the depths as well as keep the L&H from being rocked too bad from the big waves.  Twenty minutes later, Andrew had his first swordfish in the boat.  It was now time to chase his fishing partners sail that now had over four hundred yards of line out!  I spun the L&H to chase the fish bow first through the big waves.  Backing down was not an option, it was simply too rough!  After a very tough forty-five minute fight we had the sailfish in the boat!  It was a great accomplishment to catch two different billfish at one time, something that very few boats in our area have ever done!  After taking a few photos, we iced down the sword and made the long rough trip back to port!  It was a great catch and I was very happy for our friend Andrew.  It also proves that when you go fishing on the L&H, one can never be sure of what might happen!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Girls Get 11 Sails

Annie and Laurel were back at it again.  This time they enlisted the help of Laurels big brother James!  Catching eleven sailfish in one day is an accomplishment for even the most seasoned of pro teams but for a ten, fourteen, and eighteen year old crew it is something to be proud of.  On this day the weather was windy and rough but the fishing more than made up for it!  The morning started off great with a few nice mahi's.  Soon after the mahi's were resting comfortably in the box, a sail grabbed the right long and we were off to the races.  Annie did her usual stellar job and just like that we had the fish released and the baits back out.  I felt confident that we were going to keep seeing fish as the conditions were great (aside from it being very rough)!  As the L&H continued to drift north, sailfish continued to come to the kite baits and Annie continued to make it look easy catching them!  By early afternoon our young anglers had released seven sailfish, all of them singles.  If we were to reach double digit releases it was paramount that we would find a multiple.  With only a little bit of fishing time left in the day I scanned the water, looking for anything that would give us that extra little boost we needed.  Then, offshore of us I saw a group of three sailfish tailing to the south.  It would be nearly impossible to get the kite baits to these fish so I quickly maneuvered the L&H into position for our team to cast to the fish with spinning rods.  Like a well oiled machine, the crew got three baits out to the three fish.  I'M ON! I'M ON! I'M ON! echoed up to the tuna tower from the fishermen down in the cockpit.  All three sailfish took to the air and went strait offshore melting line off the light spinning outfits.  I started backing offshore and water poored over the transom as Laurel got her fish first.  James had his fish under control and seconds later Jim grabbed the leader and released our nineth sail of the day.  By now Annie was getting low on line so I had to turn and chase her fish to avoid backing into the rough sea.  Annie gained some much needed line back as we continued to chased the fish down this time going forward.  I was able to get upsea of the angry sail and spun the maneuverable, L&H  hard so we would be able to coast down the big waves.  The fish came up jumping again and this time Jim was able to grab the leader on a nice sail for the tenth time of the day!  We put the baits out once more and right away we were hooked up!  Annie made quick work of this fish, the eleventh one for the L&H!  It made me very happy to see our young anglers fish like pros today!  A day I will not soon forget:)

Andy Greenfield Stays Busy On A Half Day

I have been fishing with Andy Greenfield, on the L&H for a long time!  Andy always takes a full day, but this time, the day Andy wanted to go, only the morning was available.  I knew we would have to fish fast with the time we had.  I stopped on the way home, the day before, to catch bait and it would prove to help out a lot.  Andy was at the boat with his guests bright and early so off we went.  A quick stop at the marker to net some pilchards and we headed out!  The kites were up only minutes after sun rise and we started getting some nice sized kingfish immediately!  Then from the tower I saw a big spray of flying fish and did my best to get lined up with whatever was chasing them!  "Be Ready" I yelled down to the cockpit, as I knew that any second, whatever was chasing those flying fish would be on us.  Then it happened, mahi mahi started eating everyhting we had out.  Everyone worked great together and our team soon had a dozen nice mahi's in our icy hold.  The kingfish continued to bite and soon we had six nice sized ones in the fishbox with the mahi's.  One of the guys had a big shark on the deep line for a while but it was jsut too big and eventually broke off.  The youngest angler of the group had his heart set on a sailfish, so I moved out a little deeper for the rest of the trip.  Just before it was time to head back in, the sail we were after came to the left long kite bait.  The young boy was now hooked to his first sailfish and it was jumping all over the place.  He battled the sailfish like a pro and had the fish at boatside in short order.  We took a few photos and set the tired sail free.  We headed for the dock, where we cut filets for the hungry fishermen!  It was a great trip for Andy and everyone else on the L&H that day!!!!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Jim Lidell Gets 20 Sailfish

Jim Lidell and his son Darrin have been fishing with me for the past few years and we have had many great trips including a nice blue marlin, but nothing could compare to the day we were about to have.  Unfortunately today Darrin was unable to make it, so Jim was joined by his wife and another couple.  I had fished the day before with Louis Isasis, owner of the beautiful 68 foot "Jichi"  and we saw more sailfish that I have seen all season so I knew right where they were.  We got bait and headed for the area where we had seen the fish the day before.  The conditions looked great and I just knew it was going to be a big day.  Jim and Trav put the kites up and set out the baits.  Before they had everything out we got attacked by a hungry pack of sailfish.  Within seconds we had five sails on and jumping all over the place!  Unfortunately we were very unlucky with the "five bagger" and were only able to release one of them, losing the other four for a variety of reasons.  Not worrying to much about our "bad luck" I raced the L&H to get back in front of the pack of hungry sails.  As soon as the first bait went out we were on!  Our team continued to get sailfish bites the entire morning catching some and losing some.  Double and triple headers were the norm for the day, not the exception!  By noon time we had released eleven sailfish out of twenty bites!  With a strong current we were now several miles from our original starting point and I decided to run back and reset at the same place we had started our day.  As I rode the tower looking for more fish, Jim came up and said "Eleven sails on our first pass, were off to a great start cap!!!!!" and he was right.  When the L&H  reached the area where we started the morning, we were greeted with a triple header only minutes after baits went out.  As the afternoon wore on, we continued catching and catching and catching sailfish.  By late afternoon our talley was nineteen sailfish releases out of thirty-four bites!  I desperately wanted to get number twenty!  As I scanned the horizon for just one more fish I saw what I was looking for.  A sailfish was free jumping over a half mile away, but the only problem was that there was another boat between us and the free jumper.  Fearing this was our last shot I decided to make a very bold move!  "REEL EM IN THE AIR"  I ordered the crew and turned the L&H with the wind and punched it!  This was very dangerous because there was a good chance the kites could fall in the water and break and we could possibly ruin hundreds of dollars worth of gear.  I pushed the throttles hard and the big motors roared to life!  I had to maneuver around the other boat, get in position to bait the free jumping sail, keep the kites up while going with the wind, and do all this before the baits died from hanging in the air.  Somehow everything worked and I got to the spot where I thought the sailfish would be!  "Drop the baits in the water" I yelled from the tower!  The guys dropped the baits and the Instant the left long hit the water, the sailfish was all over it.  "I'm getting a bite"  Jim shouted with enthusiasm!  The sail took the the air and I was in hot pursuit.  We backed down fast and less than a minute Travis grabbed the leader and released the Twentieth sailfish of the day unharmed!  It was such a great feeling and down in the cockpit everyone was going bananas!  It was another wonderful day for Jim Lidell and the L&H!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Max Has Great Day

Our friend Max Puyanic joined us for another great day of fishing on the L&H!  The weather was very nice and conditions were starting to improve so we decided to try for a sailfish.  Max loves to catch sailfish more than anything so we spend a lot of time doing it when he is with us!  After we got some bait we started fishing right out front.  After about forty minutes we had a nice sail come to the kite bait.  The fish circled the bait with it's sail up and then ate the goggle eye!  As he has done so many times before, Max did everything right and had the sail at boatside for a few photos and a good release!  Soon after we added a couple snappers on the deep line and our day was off to a good start!  Just before lunch time, Max hooked another sailfish on the kite and just like the first one everything went according to plan.  About an hour later the third sailfish of the day came racing up to the short kite bait!  The fish gobbled the bait and was off to the races.  This sail was determined not to let us get close, but after a tough battle we were able to get the leader and release the tired sail.  The conditions for cobia fishing were good so we pulled in the lines and headed over to look for them.  We had not been looking for very long when I rode by something that looked promising.  As I turned around to investigate further, the cobias came up from the bottom and they were all nice ones!  Cobia are muscular brutes and they do not give up without a fight.  Every fish we boated was over forty pounds and boy do they fight.  We stayed with the school until we had our limit and let the rest swim off.  Max was very tired and very excited about the catch!  We decided to head in a little early and everyone went home with big smiles and big bags of fillets. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Annie Gets The Cobias

Our friend Annie Holcombe was back for another day of fishing with us on the L&H.  Annie is an accomplished angler who has caught nearly everything that swims from Miami to New York.  My daughter Laurel always joins Annie when she fishes on the L&H and this time my wife Debbi came along as well.  The day started off kind of slow with very little action on the surface, so we decided to head south and try some bottom fishing.  At the first spot we began to get some bites and before long Annie boated a couple of big amberjacks.  We hit a few more spots, catching more jacks and a nice snapper.  At one of the wrecks the girls landed two nice size blackfin tunas on baits that were fished closer to the surface.  As the day wore on the conditions for sight fishing (clear water and good sun light) continued to improve.  I mentioned to Annie that I thought we should spend the remainder of the day looking for cobia and she was happy to do it.  We searched the clear, calm waters for a while without any success and I told Jim and Deb who were in the tower with me that we would give one more pass before heading home.  As I steered the L&H toward the channel leading to our marina, Jim tapped me on the shoulder and very calmly said "MOTHER LOAD"!
Looking almost directly into the sun, Jim had spotted a big school of very big cobia several hundred yards out.  I backed the L&H down hard after the fish and it seemed to take forever to catch up with them, but when we did it was open season!  Our team began to catch these big, strong fish one after another.  Laurel and Annie were both hooked up on the bow as we followed the school in reverse.  After a half hour I could see Annie's fish and knew it was a good one, over sixty pounds.  When I saw Laurels fish I could not believe my eyes.  The fish she bad been batteling for nearly a half hour was no more than twenty pounds (or so I thought).  How could such a small fish give my daughter (who holds four IGFA world records) such a difficult time?  As I peered deep into the water I found the answer I was looking for.  Somehow she had two cobias on the same line, the twenty pounder that I saw first and thirty feet away, swimming just off the bottom was a much larger fish of over fifty pounds.  My daughter Laurel had been fighting two cobias, totaling over seventy pounds, on a twenty pound spinning outfit!!!!!  As usual, Jim came through for us and was able to untangle and release the smaller cobia.  Laurel made quick work of the tired fifty-two pound fish and Annie subdued hers (a sixty-two pounder) a short time later.  After that we headed for home with our limit of cobias and a very happy and tired fishing team!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Tom Crushes Em...Again

Tom Kuljus is one of the luckiest fishermen I know.  It seems that no matter what has been going on he always ends up having a  big day and today was no exception.  The surface bite had been slow as of late so we decided to go right to the bottom.  We loaded up on bait and made our way to the south.  The very first bait we sent down at the very first spot got eaten right away and that would be a sign of things to come.  Right off the bat Tom nailed a sixty pound amberjack followed by another and another.  Soon we had our limit of these fish and it was time to move on and try for something else.  With a bunch of fish in our icy hold I decided to try a very small spot that very few people ever hit.  Seconds after our lucky fisherman sent his bait to the bottom he was on!  This fish was fighting different than the jacks we already caught and we all looked down into the depths to see what Tom had on.  When we were able to see what he had, everyone went into celebration mode!  It was a giant red snapper of over twenty-five pounds, one of the biggest to ever come over the rail of the L&H!  After adding a few almacos to the box, Tom asked if I knew where to catch a golden tile fish, a species he had never caught before.  I told him that I had some spots and we decided to give it a try.  These fish are taken in very deep water and we use a special rig to catch them.  As soon as our rig got down there we started getting bites.  After a little bit, Tom took the rig up and not only did he get his first golden tile he got his first three!  We quickly made a couple more drops and had our limit of tilefish!   While I sat on the fly-bridge contemplating our next move, I got a text message from my friend captain Paul Ross in the FL Keys.  It simply said "Cobias" and along with it was a photo of a nice school he had found.  That made the decision for me!  We would spend the rest of our already successful day looking for cobia!  I headed the L&H toward the cobia area and Jim, Trav and I climbed the tuna tower and began to search.  After only a few minutes all three of us saw one of the most beautiful sights, a bunch of big cobias laying all over the surface!  We could not believe our eyes!  It was one of those days where everything we tried, worked perfectly!  The boys raced down the tower and sprung into action.  Within seconds rods were bending, reels were screaming, and fish were flying (into the nearly full fish box of the L&H)!!!!  As it had been all day long, everything went smooth with the cobia school and in short order we had our limit and released several others until Tom and his crew were to tired to catch another fish!  I simply took the L&H out of gear, let the school swim away and went down to congratulate our team!  It was another great day for Tom and the boys on the L&H!