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11/23 - PBI, When the North Winds Blow, you GOTTA Go! Good fishing today

Just so happened that this cold front happened right when it was time to run the Bertram. So, I chipped the ice off the deck and fired them up. This is the kind of weather that the old 51' Bertram LOVES!

Ran up to Juno and put her on the drift with one kite up and a couple flat lines. Except for the lack of current it all looked good. Flyers everywhere, dolphin chasing bait, weed patches on the rip (I don't know why there was a rip, no current on either side!), frigates scattered around.

It wasn't long before the dolphin found me. Caught two pretty quickly then, when I got to the "rip" the sharks found me too. I caught 4-5 of them and pulled baits away from a couple, including a big hammer and a bull. Moving off the rip as I drifted south in the 20+ knot wind I got fewer sharks but saw less life too. An occasional dolphin bite kept me occupied though.

Down off the condos a color change appeared and I worked it as well. More dolphin. Caught 3 of 4 in one attack then pushed in shallower to try my darndest to get a sail. From about the end of the condos down I kept a bait on the bottom too and was picking away at muttons and short red groupers.

Finally at 12:45 I whined to a friend on the radio that I really wanted a sail but I had to go in around 1pm. I should have cried sooner. 4 minutes later a sail attacked my lone flat line. I flew off the bridge and somehow managed to get a hook in him before he jumped off. Struggled to get him under control but about 30' from the boat he headed toward the bow. Knowing I needed to run to the bridge and spin the boat, I glanced over at the bottom rod to see if I needed to move it - uh oh. It's doubled over and taking drag! Quick decision.... Back off the drag on the sail and let him run, put it in the rod holder and across the pit to the bottom rod. A little pressure and I stop him quickly. Make quick work of him and swing him over the rail - Mutton - 8 lbs. Nice!

Back to the job at hand. Now 130 yds away upwind! Of course. Grab the rod, run to the bridge, spin the boat and back down. Somehow I managed to keep from losing the kite (a challenge when the wind is 20-25+ now) and get him alongside. Then I see he has a tag in him. Ha. This is where it got funny. Me trying to coax a sailfish in the tuna door in 3-6' seas and howling winds with nobody to help. I had him half in once, but eventually I broke the leader when the boat went up as he went down. Oh well. I wanted the tag, but at least I got the fish.

In the end I caught 1 sail, six dolphin (kept 5) out of 9 or ten, 4 muttons 15", 19" 20" and 24 1/2", a couple short red grouper and 6-8 small sharks. I burned through probably two dozen + baits and spent 4 hours cleaning up.


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