The Sailfish fishing we usually expect in January is finally arriving here in Fort Lauderdale. Cooler weather, north winds and some sea swell has improved the bite. There are plenty of fish still north of us waiting to come through our area but recent weather has started the migration south.
Our morning trip today came from DOT Foods. Light winds kept us from flying the kites so trolling was used waiting for the winds to increase. A strong bite right out of the gate had us hopeful but the fish released himself 30? from the boat. I have never had a problem losing a fish, it?s part of the game. But losing a fish before you know what it was? That is something I?ve never accepted well. The fish never jumped so that pretty much eliminates Mahi and Sail. The fish had no teeth so Wahoo, King and Barracuda doesn?t work. Tuna, maybe a big Bonito? We?ll never know.
Trolling was doing little after that for us and with the wind now doing what the weather service promised, we launched our fishing kites and immediately boated a Mahi. Shortly after that, a large Barracuda stripped us of 3 baits. This fish we saw jump. Then came our shot, a Sail appeared on a kite bait closest to the boat. He ate and began jumping right away. It always nice when we get to see the action and that?s what the kite does for us. But this fish escaped, we never got tight.
Another Sail appeared on the long bait and he too was jumping quickly but was hooked none the less. Jeffery was called upon for the task of the fight and after 20 minutes or so, we had him at the boat for pictures and measurement before releasing him back to the sea.
Our afternoon went much the way of the morning trip. Not much on the troll except a small Blackfin Tuna. Once we got the kites up, a Mahi appeared and dinner was covered but something big was wanted. The glare from the clouds and late afternoon sun made seeing the baits difficult, a task usually left to Chris on the deck. I wonder sometimes how he has any retinas left. But he has a touch, the feel of the line, and called to me something was going on with the long right bait.
His touch was correct and we soon had another Sail jumping as we hooked him. This battle took a bit longer, the fish was quite acrobatic as well as a bit bigger than the morning?s fish. It took Tore, one of the marine group from RCL, Scanship and Nordicmade, quite some time to get control of things. If you haven?t caught one of these fish before, you find that while all fishing is pretty much the same, the speed and agility of these fish will surprise you. They can achieve speeds over 45 mph and turn in an instant. The line must be kept tight at all times, including when the fish is in the air.
After almost 45 minutes, we again had our prize boatside for pictures and measurements. Check out those sunglasses on Tore?
The Sailfish fishing here in Fort Lauderdale is improving. There?s more to come as well as with other fish. We?ll keep you posted.
Captain Steve Souther
Fort Lauderdale Fishing Off Shore