Fishing Reports in South Florida

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Catching Sailfish with No GPS

Published May 12th, 2012

Had a private job on a 36' Contender for a morning half day, but the boat had no electronics. Catching sailfish is no straightforward matter, but catching sailfish with no GPS or depth finder is not an easy task. Sailfish are so in tune with depth that not knowing the areas contours can drastically affect your results for the day. The owner made the call to purchase some bait and we headed out. The electronics had just been replaced and the sounder had not been hooked up. In addition we had one electric reel and one manual reel for the day. Fortunately, we still managed to catch a few fish even though the depth remained a mystery and an Okuma 50 wide on a full length rod served as our makeshift kite reel on the north side... We set up just south of Fowey in ??? feet. We were shallower than most other boats but i knew we weren't too tight on the reef and the conditions looked right. Lots of bait around... We missed one mystery fish then had two cut offs. We drifted into heavy weed and pulled the spread before resetting further south. We hooked a bonehead on the right short and while I was leadering the bonito a sail inhaled the right mid. He was stuck pretty well and the fight was on. We were still fishing the entire south side of the spread and the right long during our bonito/sail double header. Right after I released the bonehead we hooked into a second sail on the left long and we officially had a double. We got the first fish to the boat and popped him off. After a few more minutes we got the second fish to the boat. We were now 2/2.

We ran south and reset following the same track on the GPS. It didn't take very long before we had another fish in the spread. We dropped and hooked into this one who wasn't very pleased. He greyhounded in a full circle around the boat and we got a clean release after an interesting fight (this fish was a bit bigger)We were now 3/3...

We moved south and reset again because the previous fish decided to make us drag all the baits until they died. It didn't take long until a 4th fish came up and inspected the right short then destroyed the left mid where he missed the hook. We couldn't complain because after bumping out a bit further another sail found our spread. This time we dropped to him accordingly and hooked up. This fish cooperated a bit better and we got him to the boat pretty quickly.

We had baits in at 9:30 and out by 12:45... We had a few variables working against us but still finished 4/5.

Final tally- 4/5 on sails and 2 bonito...


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