Friday, November 6, 2015

Amy Catches One Bigger Than Her

We were on a big convention trip with anglers from all over the country. Most of them had never been fishing before and were happy to just be out on the boat. One angler, Amy, had different aspirations and was admit about catching something bigger than she was. There had been some sailfish around, so that seemed like the best shot at something big. Immediately upon reaching the edge, we found a nice size mahi. The fish traveled to the south at a high rate of speed as I followed it from my perch in the tower. Our crew readied a live bait and threw it in front of the traveling mahi. Moments after the frisky live bait hit the water, the hungry mahi raced over and devoured our offering. We were off to a good start. From there it was time to set up the fishing kites and wait for a big sailfish. Unfortunately that is exactly what  we did, waited and waited and waited! Trying as hard as we possibly could, luck was not on our side and the team could not buy a bite. It looked as if Amy was not going to get her wish. Time was running out on us. Finally I spotted a sailfish on the surface and maneuvered the L&H to the spot.  Seconds later, the right kite bait got very nervous, a sure sign that a hungry predator was close by.  Then the dark inky color of a big sail deep below the waters surface appeared. Right middle I shouted as the fish pounced on the bait. Somehow the fish ate the bait off the hook. Watch the other baits I ordered, as I knew the fish did not feel the sting of the hook and we could very well get another shot.  Seconds later the big sail reappeared on another bait and this time everything went our way! White water flew as the big angry sailfish tore up the surface of the cobalt blue water. Amy battled the fish relentlessly as I did everything in my power to get the L&H close to her quarry. After a long hard fight, the exhausted fish was alongside the boat. Amy had done it! Being around five foot tall she was dwarfed by the seven and a half foot sailfish! Exactly what she wanted, a fish bigger than her!  Everyone was happy for her and it was another great day of charter fishing aboard the L&H!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Busy Afternoon Half Day

It was a windy, fall, afternoon half day and our trip was only four hours. With some frisky live baits swimming happily in the large circulating bait well, I decided to head straight to the edge and get right to it. As the boat slowed down just past the edge of the reef, the baits went out and we were fishing in no time! Our guests for the afternoon were from the mid-west and were happy to catch anything.  Suddenly a decent sized mahi charged in and ate out long rigger bait. I made a turn to go back through the area and another good sized mahi mahi came racing in on my bridge rod. The fish swam behind the skipping bait for a few seconds before committing to it and we were on again. Happy with our quick start, we continued to work the area. This time when the rod bent over it was from the pull of a good sized kingfish. Customers, crew and captain alike were enjoying the immediate success as the L&H pounded the spot. Suddenly I saw a sailfish closing in on my bait dragging from the one rod I was fishing from the fly bridge. The fish tried the bait, but missed. Not to be deterred, the hungry sail came from behind with even more determination. When the sailfish grabbed the rigged, natural bait I dropped back for several seconds to make sure the feeding billfish had time to swallow the bait. Upon feeling the sting of our sharp hook, the beautiful sail took to the air and raced for the horizon. Everyone grabbed a rod and began clearing lines as fast as possible so we could begin to chase the fleeing billfish that was now several hundred yards away! After a tough battle we had the fish along side the boat for a few quick pictures and a healthy release. Quickly the lines were set back out and the hunt for gamefish resumed. Out in the deep, a frigate bird swooped down to the waters surface, a sure sign that a feeding gamefish was not far behind. When we reached the spot where the frigate was diving, I could see a couple sailfish chasing bait only a few feet below the waters surface. Maneuvering the L&H into position, and presenting a live bait was just what the doctor ordered and one of the hungry sailfish casually swam up and engulfed the hapless live bait. By now everyone knew the drill and quickly cleared the other lines so we could chase the fish down. Shortly thereafter we had our second sail of the day alongside the L&H for a quick release. With only a little time left, it was time to start working our way back in. Just before taking the lines out of the water and heading for the marina, I spotted yet another sailfish chasing bait on the surface. For the third time in only a few hours, we were hooked up to a brilliantly colored, majestic sailfish! This fish determined to get away, greyhounded at a feverish pace across the clear, blue water! The L&H performed that familiar reverse rumble as we backed down in hot pursuit. Finally after covering a lot of ground we caught up to the now exhausted sail and made another successful release. On the way home our home, our clients enjoyed the air conditioned salon as they reflected on another great day of sport fishing off Miami aboard the L&H!

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Cruz Family Comes From Orlando To Fish On The L&H

Our friends from the Cruz family have been following us on Instagram  (@LANDH_SPORTFISHING) and decided to come fish with us for the day! Driving down from Orlando, the family and friends passed hundreds of other charter boats so we wanted to do everything in our power to make sure the trip was worth it for them! Looking for action on the edge of the reef to start the day was the first order of business. Moments after the first lines were set, they were bit. Only minutes after getting started, the Cruz crew boated a nice kingfish. Continuing to work the area, bites kept coming and the family and friends enjoyed good action most of the morning with nice sized kings and smaller bonitos. Suddenly a frigate bird swooped down to the surface of the calm blue water. Up in the tower I could see the dark color of a feeding sailfish underneath the whirling frigate. Quickly, James presented a bait, but unfortunately the sail was not interested in what we had to offer and slowly sunk out. By now the action on the reef edge had slowed and it was time to head further offshore and begin our search for pelagic gamefish in the vast gulf stream. After a while, I spotted a big piece of floating debris off in the distance and was very optimistic about what might be lurking below! Much to our dismay, the possible "fish haven" was completely barren, void of any life, bait or gamefish. Seeing that, it was time to switch gears and try a different technique. Not far from an area where our crew had enjoyed some successful deep dropping, that seemed like a good spot to start. Conditions were fair as our baited hooks plummeted to the ocean floor far below. Bites came rather quickly, but we were having trouble hanging on to them. Finally the stout rod warped over and bounced violently from the tug of a nice sized fish over thirteen hundred feet below. The team worked the fish to the surface and much to the delight of even-one aboard it was a nice barrel fish! Things were looking up as we ran back to the spot to hopefully find another. This time as we waited for a bite on the bottom, the surface bait went off. One of the Cruz group set the hook and a beautiful mahi mahi took to the air! I quickly ascended the tower to get a better view of the situation, hoping to spot another fish! "More Fish!" I shouted down to the cockpit, and no sooner had the words left my mouth, more baits were presented!   All of the sudden we had a few nice mahis hooked up and our team worked together to avoid tangles and get the fish to the boat. Everything worked out the way we hoped and all of the colorful, tasty mahi mahi made their way to our variety filled fish box. With all the attention to the surface action the bottom rod was getting good bites, seemingly unnoticed! It was time to take it up and find out what was on there this time. From the strain on the reel it was obvious that we were tied into something good. This time a variety of great big rose fish and barrel fish. We made a couple more drops and added a couple more barrels for good measure before starting to fish our way home. By now the wind had really picked up and the seas were building. On the way back the Cruz's boated a couple small tunas for good measure. Even though we were faced with some adverse conditions, our friends made the best of it and ended up with a great variety of good eating fish. Back at the dock after a long day at sea, we took some pictures of the catch and filled the cooler with bags of fillets for the family to enjoy back home in Orlando!

Max Gets A Shot At A Big Mako

We had our friend Max out one sunny afternoon for a half day of charter fishing. The weather was gorgeous so the plan was to head offshore and see what we could find. About seven miles offshore, we had a double strike! Two rods bent over and started screaming! Moments later two big dolphin erupted from the calm, blue water of the gulf stream. Max had his hands full as he battled the first fish to gaff.  With the first end of our double header secure in the icy hold it was time to turn our attention to the second fish! Unfortunately, after long battle, the scrappy mahi shook its head and spit the hook just a few feet from the boat. Nevertheless we had secured dinner for Max and resumed our search. With promising conditions, I suggested we try some deep dropping. Arriving at a spot chosen some thirteen hundred feet above the ocean floor, the rig was sent to the bottom. The team  did not have to wait long for a bite! The rod bent over sharply from the pull of a nice fish almost a quarter mile below and the fight was on. One of the coolest things about deep dropping is the fact that one can never be sure what kind of fish will come up! As everyone peered down into the calm, clear, cobalt blue waters of the gulf stream there was something extremely large at the bottom of our rig. When it got closer, the shape all of us were looking at was a big mako shark eating the fish that was originally hooked. Without hesitation, we pulled what was left of the mangled bottom fish quickly into the boat. The angry mako circled around the boat looking for the rest of his meal. Immediately, the remainder of the fish went back over the side, except this time it was attached to a heavy duty shark rig! The brilliant blue, short fin mako shark circled the bait relentlessly, but refused to eat it. It seemed as if Mr. Mako could tell something was not right with the rest of its meal. For several minutes, we watched as the mako circled its prey, a truly amazing sight! It would go out and come back in then go out and come back in over and over again. Finally, the pointy nose mako shark could not help himself any more and swam casually over and engulfed what was left of the deep water bottom dweller. Line slowly came off the reel as Max free spooled to give the shark plenty of time to swallow the bait. When he engaged the reel to strike the fish, the big strong hooks dug in and the speedy, streamlined mako shark was off to the races! Line came off the reel at a blistering rate as the shark raced for the depths. The crew and I readied gaffs, a harpoon, and tail ropes fully aware that we could possibly be in for a boat side battle! Much to the dismay of everyone onboard, the clever shark rolled itself up in the leader and parted it off. Just like that the fish was gone. It was a tough break, but we were thankful to have seen the fish in its natural habitat. After regrouping, we ran back to the spot and caught several nice barrel fish. We managed several more nice mahi on the way home to finish out another exciting day of sport fishing on the L&H!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Ronnie And Richie Have A Great Day

Our friends Ronnie and Richie have been fishing with us several times in the past few months.  We really appreciate the fact that they keep coming back to fish with us so we wanted to do everything in our power to insure they had a great time!  The day before the trip, our crew caught bait and worked on all the gear to make sure everything was in good order. The L&H got an early start and headed straight to the fishing grounds. Lines were set as the sun was coming up, but unfortunately no early bite today.  After pounding the edge for a while it was time to work our way farther offshore. Finally we got a good bite on the long rigger and Ronnie went to work. From the way the fish was acting I was pretty sure it was a tuna. Not long after, Ronnie had a nice blackfin tuna to gaff! Continuing offshore, it wasn't long before I spotted a big weed line on the horizon! The area looked great as the crew began to pick away at smaller size mahi. Traveling south and into the current the conditions kept getting better and better. Birds, bait and game fish all cruised the weed line and it wasn't long before bigger and bigger mahi began to show up. Richie and Ronnie battled the hungry mahi and the action was nonstop!  The fish were all ten to twenty pounds and these scrappy fish put up a great fight on light spinning gear! For a couple hours, the team was having a mahi mahi free for all! It was so much fun, everyone was having a ball! I knew we were getting close to the limit so I had everyone take a break and cool off in the air conditioned salon! A final count revealed we were one fish shy of the limit! Ronnie quickly added another fish to our tally and it was time to try something else. We headed back inshore to try some deep dropping! Conditions were less than favorable, as the current was very strong! Nevertheless we decided to give it a try anyway. It was nearly impossible to fish, but somehow we were still rewarded with a few rosefish for our efforts. By now it was early afternoon and with a box full of fish everyone agreed it was a good day to head in a little bit early. The guys relaxed inside the cabin on the way home after another great day of Miami charter fishing on the L&H!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

An L&H Type Of Day For Gus And His Guys

Gus and a couple friends booked the L&H for a full day of Miami charter fishing!  The South Florida weather was beautiful as we steamed offshore at sunrise.  Our plan was to try the edge first then work our way from there later in the day. As soon as the L&H crossed over the edge, the lines were set and they got bit immediately! This was a great start to the day as the sun was barely up over the horizon and our anglers were tied into hard fighting fish. The first fish to come in were feisty bonita. The action continued as the morning wore on much to the delight of the captain and crew! When the dust settled, the quick stop on the reef, netted us several bonitos and a few nice sized kingfish! Now it was time to head offshore to the gulf stream and try our luck further out. Only a few miles from the reef edge, the left short went off and we were once again hooked up! This time a nice wahoo was at the end of the line and after a nice fight, the fish was gaffed and put in the fish box!  Time to get going again and see what else the day had to offer. From my perch in the tuna tower I could see a big weed line off in the distance! Excitement and anticipation were the feelings I had as we headed for the weed line! It looked so good, there had to be some hungry mahi in our near future. All the conditions were right and it did not take long to spot the first mahi! A frisky live bait was presented to the colorful mahi as it cruised under the sea weed looking for an easy meal. The mahi raced over and engulfed the hapless bait fish and we were once again hooked up! Then up from the depths more and more fish started showing up.  Soon Gus and the gang were all busy hooking, fighting and eventually landing nice sized mahi mahi!  The weed line was full of fish and we had it all to ourselves! I slowly cruised the L&H down the line finding fish almost at will! All of the fish we were seeing were nice sized and every once in a while a big fish would come into the mix! The crew was working together like a well oiled machine! With perfect conditions for sight fishing it was almost too easy! After a couple hours I was sure we were close to the limit and decided to stop the boat and count the fish to make sure we did not have too many! We pulled all of the mahi out of our icy hold and just as we expected we had our limit of ten fish per person! Now it was time to try for something else! Since we were in twelve hundred feet of water, some deep dropping was the perfect tactic to try next! The crew quickly shifted gears and got out our deep drop rigs. By the time everything was set up we reached the first spot! As our anglers relaxed in the air conditioned cabin, the lines were sent down. Today was one of those days where everything that we tried seemed to work and the deep water bottom fishing proved to be no different. Immediately after the baits it the bottom we started getting bites. This time it would be the brightly colored rose fish that would fall victim to our baited hooks. Several drops were made and in short order the team added nearly fifty rosies to our nearly full fish box! By now it was starting to get late and time to head home.  As I steered towards home, a big school of blackjacks caught my eye. Why not have some fun with light tackle, I thought to myself, as I maneuvered into position. The guys broke out the little rods and artificial lures and put a hurting on the scrappy fish. We use these fish for a variety of things and even though we caught a bunch of them very quickly, none would go to waste! With the box full and our anglers exhausted it was yet another awesome day of charter fishing off Miami aboard the L&H!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Fun Morning With The Lee Marks Family

Our friend Lee Marks booked the L&H for a half day of Miami charter fishing.  Lee, his three boys, and his wife came aboard one nice summer morning! We have known the Marks family for a long time and they have always been good to us so it was important to make sure his family was well taken care of! It was a short trip to the bait spot and the Marks boys sprung into action. The boys were obviously accomplished bait fishermen and had plenty of frisky live baits in our circulating bait well in short order. It did not take long for the L&H to reach the gulf stream and start searching for pelagic game fish! As we worked our way further offshore, the conditions continued to improve. "Left rigger!"  Someone shouted as the line came out of the clip and we were hooked up just like that. A nice mahi danced on the end of our Bullbuster fishing line as young Stefano battled the fish to boat side. With dinner in the fish box, we resumed our hunt and soon found another mahi for the boys. The patches of sea weed were teeming with life. Consistent action with good sized mahi kept smiles on every ones faces! A few hours into our trip, Hunter found himself hooked into a big rainbow runner. This fish was a strong fighter, but its excellent table fare would make the fight worth it. With the rainbow and a bunch of nice mahi in our icy hold, it was time to start making our way closer in. Then out of nowhere, I spotted a big mahi on the surface and had the boys get a live bait to the fish. The bait hit the water and immediately raced for cover in a piece of sea weed. Not to be deterred, the big, hungry mahi charged over and crashed into the weed trying to get the hapless bait fish. It was a beautiful sight to watch as the mahi made several attempts at the bait before finally plucking it from the sea weed. As soon as the fish felt hook it went airborne in an attempt to throw the hook. Then another big fish showed up, and was quickly hooked. Just like that, we had two big fish on and the both went in separate directions. The two boys battled the fish and after a little while, Hunter had his fish almost to gaff range. Just feet from gaff,  the big mahi made one last jump and threw the hook. Unfortunately after a tough fight, the other mahi got away as well. Thats fishing, you win some and you lose some! The boys did not seem to mind and were happy to know that these fish would be waiting for them next time! We had a great ride back to the marina, where our crew took pictures of the catch and cut up a bunch of tasty filets for Lee and his family! It was a fun day and we look forward to fishing with these guys again soon!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Great Day For Leo And His Crew

Our friend Leo chartered us for a full day with some of his friends and we were excited about the possibilities!  Leo likes to get an early start so we were the first boat out!  The weather was beautiful as we ran to the bait spot.  Being the first boat to the bait patch is always nice and in short order we had what we needed for the day.  With a baitwell full of frisky live baits the L&H headed offshore to the gulf stream, armed and dangerous!  Just a couple miles inshore, of the spot we were planning on starting at, I spotted some birds on the horizon!   As we got closer, I could see a frigate and a few terns working over some fish!  "This is convenient" I thought to myself as I climbed the tuna tower to get a better look!  As the boat slowed down, I could see a nice school of hungry mahi swimming on the surface!  The crew sprang into action and soon there were colorful mahi being hooked up left and right!  As more and more fish showed up, it seemed like the perfect time for Leo to try his luck with the fly rod.  Leo made a great cast and within seconds a nice size mahi raced in and devoured the fly!  After some great angling by Leo, and a lot of maneuvering around other hooked fish, he brought his mahi to gaff!  We stayed in the school for a while and boated a bunch of mahi including several on fly!  With most of the other boats still scrambling for bait, we were in the meat and off to a great start!  Our team continued to pick away at mahi all morning as the L&H worked to the south.  Just before noon I spotted a piece of debris off in the distance.  As we got closer, I could see plenty of mahi and a cobia swimming by the floater.  Leo quickly hooked the cobia and shortly thereafter boated a nice triple tail!  Leo and the crew stayed busy with mahi and also caught a bunch of black jacks for good measure!  With a bunch of mahi and black jacks in our icy hold, it was time to switch gears and do some bottom fishing.  The boys got the rigs ready and when we made it to the spot, the lines went out immediately.  As soon as they hit the bottom, we were bit immediately!  Soon, the brilliantly colored rose fish were coming over the rail at a feverish pace!  The crew worked hard to keep the rigs going in and out and in no time at all there were several dozen rosefish in the box!  With a bunch of fish to clean and pictures to take, everyone agreed it would be a good idea to head in a little early!  It was a great day for Leo and his crew aboard the L&H and everyone went home a little sore from catching fish as well as big bags of fillets for dinner!