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1/24 - PBI Sails, not much else

I fished last week during the "winter doldrums" flat calm weather and trolled five hours without a bite (boss didn't want sails so we didn't live bait). That left me Jonesing for a good cold front.

Bring on the hard wind of Monday and Tuesday and I got fired up. Loaded the bait wells with gogs, dragged "Tango" onboard with me and headed out early. A screaming north current greeted us and I really got fired up.

Started early into the giant swell and sniffed out the coming wind so we put up our two kites and settled in. The radio was dead quiet (except for complaints) so when the first bite came we were almost asleep. Tango grabbed the rod, fed him like a champ and set up with the Talica in hand. A quick battle and he was alongside (Tango took a few pics but I was busy). Reset and got ready..............

More than two hours later, the tide was now down to a trickle, a second chance finally came. The hard west wind had us powering toward shore almost all day and I don't usually fish a balloon bait while powering. I was bored so I put one out. It wasn't out a half hour when I watched the balloon suddenly tug down. I quickly freespooled and watched as the sail chased the gog around, finally inhaling him 40' from the boat. My heart raced as the fish sat still and did the windshield wiper for a solid twenty seconds (because of the balloon he felt the hook). When he stopped and began to swim off I came tight. A small fish, maybe twenty pounds. I got ten feet from the leader in seconds, then he ran. Darn thing had me sweating as he kept getting close and peeling off. I finally got the leader as he ran to the boat, then he ran around the back, turned and took off. The hook pulled during that run. Phew! Got him just in time.

Now 2 for 2 we were feeling pretty good about ourselves considering only one other boat had more than one and that was part of a double. We ran back down for another drift, not going too far because of the slowed current. Minutes after we started the current picked up again. That was weird.

Another two hours and all the boats around us (there weren't too many out to begin with) began to run south looking for bluer pastures. I said to Tango "I think we're going to see more. In fact, I think we're going to get a double." It was wishful thinking I know, but hey, if we weren't optimists we wouldn't fish.

Twenty minutes later a sail appears under the left short kite bait. We race for the rod, Tango beats me (tough to do) but before he can get set up the fish is in the air and the bait flying from his mouth. At the same moment the balloon bait gets attacked. I dive for the rod. It's a cool bite as the sail chases the gog, eats with his fin partially up and goes under. Like the earlier bite he shakes his bill back and forth a few seconds, but unlike his predecessor he leaps in the air. I watch in disbelief as the bait launches free. We had our double... and LOST IT!!:banghead I reel my bait to see the hook turned into the gog's head, no point exposed. Crap!

Aside from a remora who bugged us a while until I hooked him and left him hanging for an hour we managed only one other bite another double- wrong species, a shark and a jumbo bonita until we were winding in our kites and a giant king (40?) crashed a bait on the way in. We made a futile attempt at him with our mono rigs, losing two hooks and another bait before surrendering.

All in all, we couldn't complain. 2/4 sails on a day when maybe 10-15 were caught in the whole fleet is nothing to sneeze at. Yet we were somehow disappointed. That said, it was a gorgeous day. Bright sunshine, comfortable temps and the quiet hum of a 4-stroke all day. Sure beat waxing or cleaning the engine room on the big boats!


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