Setting Sails

Setting Sails

Sooo here we go again! This time we decided to leave the dive gear at home and pick up some rods in hopes of a few sailfish. Luckily a very nice one found its way to our baits. After a long night out, we didn’t make it out as early as planned. Well I didn’t anyway.

Saturday night I hit up Rodbenders Bar with Warren, Brandon, and Ryan. We decided the conditions were right to put Warren and Ryan out on their first sail. With a few drinks, Brandon and I decided it was a good idea to head out to a local bonfire to meet some friends afterwards. Brandon headed out at about 3 AM, but I stuck around a little longer and didn’t make it home until after 5. Needless to say, my sleepiness caught up with me and when I didn’t show up on time, the guys decided to leave me behind and hop on Brandon’s boat. Luckily for me, Brandon’s boat began overheating right after they caught a live well full of bait and I got a call from Ryan to get my boat ready and meet them at Black Point Marina.

After pulling up to the ramp and waiting for about half an hour, Brandon and the boys pulled up right behind their towboat. Warren and I moved all the live bait over to my boat while Ryan and Brandon scrambled to get Brandon’s boat loaded up and trailer it back to his house a few minutes away. 20 minutes later, they showed up and we were back at it.

At this point it was already 3 PM. So off we went shooting out of Lewis cut and ran north about 3-4 miles where we found a nice current rip in 220 feet of water. After about 15 minutes of live bait chumming with pilchards we had some tuna roll up on us. They blew up on our free lined ballyhoo but never found the hook. We changed out all of our hoo’s and threw out more pilchards. This time, we had a dolphin come strip another hoo off the hook.

Meantime, we were keeping an eye on a huge storm rolling in off of Miami Beach. We knew we only had about an hour, if that, to hook up. Thankfully, the flat line about 50 yards out from the back of the boat started blowing up. Brandon grabs the rod, and reels tight. The fish drops the bait all of a sudden and runs to the dolphin rod we had setup. It inhaled the ballyhoo and took off. The fight of a lifetime had just begun.

We cleared all the lines just in time.  I grabbed the wheel and Brandon grabbed the camera as he went to town on getting some great photos. After about 20 minutes the fish looked like he was beat. He was right by the boat but we knew the fish wasn’t ready to come in. “I think he has one run left” Brandon told us. The motor was off and our gloves were on, waiting for the fish to ease up. Just as predicted, the fish went on one last run, using the last bit of energy he had to dart off.

By this time that storm was getting pretty close. We knew that we were losing sunlight quick and the rain was about to start coming down on us, so we had to rush to bring the fish in. Warren started gaining on him. Turning him right to the boat, Brandon and I quickly reached for the bill and got an easy grab on him. With a little head shake we had him in the boat. Warren and everyone had great relief knowing it was picture time. We hurried to release her healthy.

As Warren held her in the water by her bill, she started to gain strength back and make her way back to the depths. As it swam down, I tossed Warren in the water in celebration of his first sailfish. I’ve never seen someone so thrilled about being thrown in to the water.

I will never forget how happy Warren was catching and releasing his first sail. After we cleaned the deck up and situated all the rods we had just enough time to out run the nasty part of the rain storms.


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