We spent a few days fishing with Steffen and Silmara from Munich, Germany. This was there third trip to fish with us and we always seem to have a good time and catch some nice fish.
The husband and wife duo met us at the dock along with brisk ENE winds. We unleashed The BEAST for day 1. As we headed out through the channel toward the bay we reminisced about the past 2 trips. I powered up and made way for the bait patches.
We arrived after our brisk run and set out the chum to begin the bait catching process. The bait was ravenous. I’ve never seen them act like a pack of Jack Crevalle. All we had to do was move the bait about 18 inches and a half dozen would charge to eat it. Needless to say we had our bait quickly and made our way offshore. As we arrived on the “edge” we were greeted with 2-4′ seas and some bigger. This is not a problem for The BEAST or this seasoned couple. We set out our normal spread.
The waters were a bit dirty and more green than blue. In minutes we began getting bit on the down rod. The only problem with this is that they are “snake” kingfish that seem to expertly miss both hooks in the bait. We suffered through those misses and connected with a nice 12 pound Kingfish, and then another. We boxed these fish and the next player was a nice little chubby Dolphin(fish) on the top line. We worked the area over pretty good and caught 2 Barracuda and another 12 pound Kingfish. The radio was buzzing about some Dolphin coming down the edge and we managed to get a double on these chubby “schoolies”.
The bite slowed down considerably and we debated on doing some bottom fishing but since Steffen wanted to catch his first Atlantic Sailfish, we decided to keep at it since we were also fishing the next day. We had a strong bite on the down rod again and when Steffen worked the fish to the boat we were pleasantly greeted by a nice 20# Kingfish.
With the day winding down and a limit of Kingfish we decided to pull the downrigger and work the top baits only. Of course we are almost always working a speed jig. Steffen is working a small 1 oz jig on 12# spinning gear and connects with a small Bonito. As the day is drawing to an end he hooks up something big on the light speed jig gear. About 10 minutes later we see this very large ‘Cuda surface. That was an awesome catch considering the light tackle, 40# mono leader and the teeth on that fish.
We called it a day and headed for the barn. There is always tomorrow and Steffen asks if we are available to extend another day as well. Sure!
Day 2 was a little bit calmer as the Husband wife team show up at the dock. They told us that they took 2 dolphin filets to the restaurant cook and had them cooked for their dinner. They prepared them 3 different ways and both agreed that they were delicious. With the morning pleasantries out of the way we headed out speaking of yet another beautiful promising day. Devon remarked that we very seldom go 2 days without a Sailfish. I told him to bite his tongue.
The bait patch was somewhat tougher that day and we had to work a bit harder to catch the bait. It was perfect when they bunched up real nice and I tossed my 10′ Calusa net over top of them. Now we had a couple dozen baits to top off the hookers in the wells. We pulled the chum and headed out for the blue water.
This second day saw better conditions with clean blue water, ESE winds, and a ripping current! “This looks good!” I told Steffen. Within minutes of putting out our spread we hooked up a nice little “gaffer” Dolphin. This Cow gave us a show with aerial leaps and a good tug for Steffen. We dispatched the fish to the fish box.
For some reason the down rod was stagnant and we had little action on it, only a few cut off or hacked up baits. Then at 11:45 a Sailfish comes up on the left long. Crap, we missed it! Suddenly another appears on the left short and this one eats heartily and he feels the sting of the hook. Off to the races! Steffen is so excited, you can see it in his reactions to the fighting fish. Devon tries to calm him down a bit and he then expertly works the fish. After a very short fight, we have the fish boatside for his tag and Steffen’s photo op. One snapshot and Devon puts the fish over the side. He is still sort of green so reviving was not an issue. As Devon released his bill he kicked his tail twice and was gone to the depths, sporting his orange TBF tag.
We continued working the top for another hour and then decide to do some bottom fishing. I arrived at our spot and Devon dropped 2 lines with 2 different baits. Several high speed drifts (ripping north current) over the spot resulted in a 30# Amberjack, a Barracuda, a beautiful African Pompano specimen complete with long fin trailers, and a pair of Mutton Snapper.
We finished the day working the edge but it was uneventful (I hate daylight savings time 3 weeks early). We cleaned up the Mutton Snapper for Steffen and Silmara to try, for dinner at the restaurant.
Day 3 arrived and we met at the dock. Silmara let us know that she thought our Dolphin was much tastier than the Mutton Snapper. Devon and I agree! We turned The BEAST out for this last day of the Steffen-Silmara sea safari! We made the run to the bait patch and it seemed much shorter for some reason. Upon arrival the seas were calm and the bait was finicky as can be. We could watch them swim up and nudge the bait and then simply swim off. We pecked away at them for some time until we had enough for the day. Ugh!
Arriving on the edge we were less than optimistic. Calm seas, light current, and blue/green water. Oh boy! We worked the water for some time and only caught one small Kingfish which was quickly released. I wanted to change up and try trolling deeper for some of the Dolphin that had been in the area. Being a day before the full moon we put 2 rods down for Wahoo too. Finding a barnacled bucket floating in the water, we made a pass. A small Tripletail, a Filefish, and a school of 3″ hardtails, but nothing doing. I made another pass taking the bucket on the other side. Nothing! I ventured another 300 yards and found a large piece of rope covered up with small Bar Jacks. 3 passes on that and we score the big 0! One more pass on the bucket and Nada! Enough already! Pull ’em! we’re headed for some bottom fishing.
Arriving on our spot we made our drops and even this was hard. We managed to dredged up a decent Almaco Jack, a 7# Mutton, and Bonito, for all our efforts.
As the day is winding down I am trying my best to salvage a hard day as we worked the edge for a while. Once small Cero Mackerel was all we could pull out of the water until quitting time.
I decided to give it a bit longer (another hour) before throwing in the towel. Lo and behold the right rigger gets 3 big crashes but the fish doesn’t get the bait. Crapola! Wait? another pass? Fish on! A strong fish staying deep and Steffen is put to work. After a good fight the fish starts doing the death circles and we realize we have a Blackfin Tuna coming up. We put the small steel to the fish and prepare him for the fish box.
Alright, we packed up and headed for home. Man, what a tough day. We needed to be magicians more than fisherman. Devon cleaned the Blackie for their dinner. We discussed their next return trip in November during our lengthy farewell. They are great people, with no unrealistic expectations. Devon and I truly enjoy fishing with this couple, each and every time.