While we may target Sailfish on our fishing charters here in Fort Lauderdale, it is seldom that we exclusively fish solely for just Sailfish. We like to keep our options open just in case something else happens by. With our first cold blast of this year’s winter season, we headed out on a grey, cool and windy day with Mark and his wife, Debbie, with Sailfish on our minds. With temperatures in the 50’s it wasn’t exactly comfortable unless you were from Wisconsin, which they just happened to be.
Getting the kites set in the heavy winds was a challenge and with this strong wind from the north and a chop on the sea, these conditions were perfect Sailfish weather. Once that was done, we tried a little bottom fishing to pass the time as we waited for what we hoped would be our prize.
But fishing was slow today, even the bottom was difficult to fish as the winds blew us along at quite a rapid rate. We managed a couple of reef fish that were not anything great and then caught a nice sized Mutton Snapper. Another bite on the bottom produced a small Cobia, too small to keep but still a nice battle. But our kites and baits had produced not a hit and time was running short.
Then I saw what I thought was a small shark zipping around the short right bait. Many times when we see action, our perception of what is biting is based on the action and attack of the fish on the bait. A fin zipping around, moving in on the bait, striking it and then running away at a high rate of speed is many times how small sharks eat.
But small sharks don’t jump when they are hooked and the Sailfish that had bitten our bait was now jumping… Debbie was in the chair and the battle began as the fish took huge amounts of line off the reel in mere seconds. Debbie followed Adam’s directions to a T and after about 15 minutes, we were at a stalemate. The fish was down deep and staying there. Only by lifting the rod slowly and then winding down, gaining valuable inches each time were we able to get the fish up near the surface. A 40 minute fight and Debbie never wavered.
I did mention about 10 minutes before the battle was over that we were out of time and we’d have to cut the fish loose. While I was kidding of course, the look I got from Debbie was one I so wish I could have captured… LOL