Almost lest than perfect conditions had been the norm. for the last few days, yet finally the forecast called for 15 knots, which was going to be somewhat of a break from the consistent 20+ knots of gusty winds in the last few weeks. The beginning of the trip for our Ohio crew started with some reef fishing, but first we needed to catch some bait. Within a half hour or so and a couple throws of the cast net, we had a well full of live ballyhoo. The reef has many visitors through ought the winter, most of whom rely on the ballyhoo for a substantial food source. Fish like Mackerels, Grouper, Kingfish, Jacks, and Barracuda all feed on them, but the one fish that seems to be a true sucker for for a ballyhoo is the Mutton Snapper. The reef had met us with crystal clear water which gives most fish an advantage of better eyesight, thus making for some very weary fish, yet the live bait prevailed. The fish were hungry, let’s just say that every bait that went out, was a bite. Now, with some nice fish in the ice box, and many others released, we set out to deeper water in hopes of a Sailfish.
Kite fishing for Sailfish can be one of the most visually exciting techniques of fishing for bluewater species. By holding the bait on the surface of the water, just deep enough for the bait to create a wake, this method of fishing brings in all sorts of bluewater predators, who attack the bait on the top of the water for everyone to see. However, when there is nobody who wants to eat our pilchards or ballyhoo we switched gears and moved.
After just a few minutes of putting lines back in we were hooked up to two Blackfin Tuna, then again, and again. We were in the tuna pretty good. These little 10-20 pound balls of muscle are always a fun fight! A few more went into the ice, and our crew decided to call it a day. Once back at the dock, and the fish filleted, the Boathouse, as always prepared the catch perfectly. Literally, just steps away from the boat and minutes after it left the cleaning table, a beautiful presentation of fried Mutton Snapper and seared blackened Tuna was set before our crew. Now thats what I call great end to a good day!