In my last article, I said I would report how we did. The boat caught about 22 Pacific Sailfish with an average size of 8-10 feet and 20-40 pounds. These were caught on trolled baits as well as on a fly rod. If they had trolled natural baits, ballyhoo, mullet strips of live bait, it would have caught a lot more, but they fished by trying to get the fish in close up to the back of the boat by teasing and dropping the baits. When you fish this way, half of your baits will not even have a hook in the bait. You tease the fish into 30, 40 or 50 feet, then you cast a fly 4-10” in size and try to get the sailfish from a stopped boat to bite the fly. Yes, it’s a lot harder to present and get the sail to bite and then catch them on a light tackle fly rod.
The other thing that happened was a 300-pound black marlin swam up behind the boat and would not eat the fly, so the mates dropped a whole fresh rigged bonito back and the marlin swam up and ate the 3-5 pound baitfish. After about one hour of this fish on a 50-pound stand-up rod, they caught and released the beautiful black marlin to fight another day.
One thing about true sport fishermen, we travel thousands of miles, spend a lot of money, time and expenses, and 99% of the fish caught are always catch and release. Very seldom do we ever, as in the old days, take fish back to the docks to hang up for pictures. We all practice catch and release and we teach that today to our kids, friends and family.
But it’s almost a must to share some fresh fish with the other fishermen in the camp or resort. A big old fresh yellowfin tuna, a dolphin, wahoo; these fish can all be shared with the other boats in the marinas, and that way everyone has a better chance of enjoying a great day of fishing and eating a variety of fresh fish almost every day.
All I am saying is we are so lucky today right here in South Florida. We get many thousands of tourists a day or week to come to our backyards and our local ocean to fish. They spend a lot of money on these trips, lots of money. But if we want a different type of and larger sizes, at times we travel all over the world to catch what we can catch right here along our Gold Coast in some of the greatest fishing spots in the world, sleep in our own beds, entertain our friends and enjoy ourselves. We are very, very, lucky just to live here in South Florida.
Tight lines and good fishing.