Thursday, July 24, 2014

Jake Martin catches his 1st White Marlin!

Jake Martin and his dad wanted to do some Charter Fishing so they booked Miami’s Best Charter Boat!  My son James was the mate for the day and our plan was to head offshore to the gulfstream.   A few miles offshore we put out the lines and began trolling.   About fifteen minutes later I saw a billfish behind the right long outrigger and I went to yell down to James.  When I looked down, James was ready with the rod already in his hand.  The fish rolled on the bait and James made a perfect drop back and we were on.  Everyone quickly cleared the rest of the lines so we could start to chase the fish!  When we got everything clear the fish had a lot of line out and it was time to chase it down. Jake began to get line as the L&H backed down in hot pursuit! James did a great job coaching our young angler as he battled the feisty billfish! The fish was still on the surface so we backed down hard to get close. As we charged back I could see the leader and then … I could see the fish, it was a beautiful white marlin!! White marlin are very rare and this was the first one we have caught in a while. The marlin faught hard and would go down deep for a little bit and then come up jumping! We took our time and the young angler did great. After a tough fight we were able to get the marlin by the bill. James was able to pull it in the boat for some quick photos before releasing our white marlin back to the sea unharmed!! What a thrill!!! It was so exciting, but now it was time to move on and find something else. A few miles further out I saw a big mahi on the surface and James made a perfect cast to the fish. The mahi raced over, inhaled the bait and took off jumping. Again, we started backing up and as the L&H performed that familiar reverse rumble it quickly closed the distance between the big dolphin and the end of the gaff! Moments later, James reached way out, made a perfect shot and hauled the big mahi over the rail! We resumed the hunt and started finding nice sized mahi more and more frequently! Our team was working like a well oiled machine as more fish found their way to our icy hold! As the day wore on, our catch continued to grow as we steadily picked at fish all day. Near the end of the trip the team added a few bigger dolphin to finish off what was already an outstanding day of charter fishing on the L&H!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

UCA Dolphin Tournament, Ocean Reef

I have been fishing with the Bradley family on the L&H for the past twenty years!  The Bradley children have grown up in front of my eyes.  They booked us to fish the UCA Dolphin Tournament out of Ocean Reef. It was a lot of work to get ready. We had to catch bait a head of time and run down in the dark, but we were happy to put forth the extra effort. After a very early start we made it to Ocean Reef (before light), picked up the Bradleys and headed offshore. The day started out with us catching a few fish in shallow, but since we were ahead of most of the other boats I decided to keep going out.  After spending a good while way offshore, in the deep, without much to show for ourselves, I decided to come in closer.  Around noon things started picking up as we started catching fish. At first mostly schoolies, with a few nicer fish mixed in. Dave got us on the board with the first qualifier and that would get us headed in the right direction. Shortly after catching a few more small fish, we spotted a nice piece of debris. As I maneuvered closer to the debris we could see a big dolphin laying close to it.   The mahi was sporting a shiny lure on one side of its mouth as it had been hooked and lost by someone else!  Nonetheless when we threw our bait out there and it was happy to see it!!!  The unlucky dolphin chased the bait all over, but was having great difficulty catching its meal.  I feared our bait might become tangled in the leader already hanging from the dolphins mouth and pull off. Our angler hooked the fish, but I was not sure where or how good so I instructed him to use light drag! I hoped we could get the fish quick, before it realized what happened. We backed around chasing the big dolphin and had it only feet away from gaff several times. The fish finally went down, but after some strong persuasion came back he to the surface. That is where we raced back and gaffed our prize!!!! Everyone went crazy!!! We knew this fish would be hard to beat! It was a great feeling! On the way home the crew got a few more fish but it was at the weigh in that we found our dolphin would turn out to be the tournament winner!