Day 1 got off to a flyer when Tim hooked into a Sailfish less than 5 minutes after setting the lines. The fish came off after a few jumps and although we were disappointed, we were hopeful that there were more fish in the area. Not long passed & a Blue Marlin came up behind the left teaser before switching to the right short bait rigged with a Hawaiian, Ballyhoo/Island Express combo. The fish engulfed the bait and we got the hook up only for it to throw the hook after a couple of seconds. It had been a great start but the fish got the better of us on both occasions!
We then hit some Offshore reefs and did some Jigging in 130-200' of water and big Amberjacks on our mind. We fished speed Jigs & slow Jigs and Tim had some good success with a nice African Pompano and a 19lb Silky Snapper, which is a good sized fish for this species. We added a Mackerel Tuna to the tally before heading back to the trolling to see if we could get some redemption on the Billfish. No sooner had we set the lines then another Blue Marlin was in the spread behind the left short rigged with a Hawaiian. Again we got the hookup and a 200lb plus Blue Marlin was jumping behind the boat with Tim on the rod when clear as daylight, the hook pulled, the lure was thrown into the air and the fish was gone. Billfish 3 - GOOD DAY 0! Just when we thought our opportunities for the day were gone, we raised a 3rd Blue Marlin which had a go at one of the baits but would not commit properly and we did not get the hookup. We check our hooks carefully and made sure no one had brought bananas on board, as we had certainly had some bad luck on the Billfish today with 3 lost/missed Marlin and 1 lost Sailfish. Fishing is not always about the catching and just to be able to witness a Marlin up close is an experience in itself and i am glad that the guys got to see this.
After some lengthy discussion we decided that we would mix things up a bit for our second day Offshore. Tim loved the idea of pitch baiting a Billfish on his Spinning rod & Sam Wadman had a huge bucket list item to tick off his list, a Billfish on the Fly. So the stage was set, we would alternate Angler after each fish was raised, Tim on the pitch bait with his Spinning rod and Sam on the Fly.
We raised 4 Sailfish and 2 Dorado on our hookless teasers and our job was to get them into range so that the guys could cast a Fly or pitch a bait to them. We raised 3 Sailfish for Sam but 2 of them came up on the long teaser and would not tease within casting range. One Sailfish teased exactly how we wanted him to and Sam made the perfect cast. It felt like everything had come together, this was the moment for Sam's first Fly caught Billfish. The fish popped up behind Sam's Fly and was inches away from it before it become clear that this fish was not as hot as we would have liked him and he would just not eat the Fly despite best efforts to entice him and soon faded off back into the depths. Close but no cigar!
It was Tim's turn and not for the first time this week he seemed to have the midas touch and within a couple of minutes another Sailfish popped up behind the teaser. This was the super hot fish we had been looking for, the Sailfish teased perfectly, Tim made the pitch and got the perfect eat right behind the back of the boat, fish on!!
The Sailfish put on lots of jumps close to the boat after hook up and as the fight processed and Tim was delighted to catch such a Fish on his own Spinning tackle. Sam got no luck on the Fly this day but put in a sterling effort.
We ended the day 1 for 4 on Sailfish and 0 for 2 on Dorado.
In closing out the two days Offshore we had raised 3 Marlin, 5 Sailfish and 2 Dorado. There are easier ways to catch these fish but kudos to the guys for taking a more difficult approach to catching them to add to their list of Angling achievements.
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