May 1, 2008, 1:34 PM
Post #1 of 1
This story took place almost a week ago and I am still wearing the same stupid grin I had on when I stepped off the boat at 2am.
A great day....
My brother Mike, my fishing buddy DJ and myself chartered the Lady Pamela 2 out of Fort Lauderdale on Saturday April 26th for a combo day / night charter. We arrived at the boat at about 12:30pm. I noticed right away that the captain and mate were excited about the trip. As they loaded the boat I saw the load carefully cut strip baits and the freshly tied rigs. It didn't seem like another day at the office which is the norm with charters in my experience. Like us, these guys loved to fish and it showed. The weather was cooperating and we were on our way.
We left the slip at 12 noon and started trolling a few miles out of the inlet. As experienced northeast offshore fishermen the 3 of us settled into the waiting game. After about an hour of trolling Paul the captain noticed a large black shadow in the trolling spread. With a little convincing from Chuck the mate and the captain the big blue marlin hit and headed off to the horizon. As luck would have it the fish hit the 30lb outfit in lieu of the heavy stuff. My brother Mike jumped in the chair and the fight was on. Even on 30lb tackle Mike was starting to tire a bit until the captain called from above with the most motivating one liner I ever heard on a boat, "Mike, if you land this fish you have the rest of your life to rest". Well after all that we lost the fish a good distance from the boat. The captain said we were hunting elephants with a BB gun. Weíre not sure how big the fish was but according to my brother its gets 100lbs bigger everyday he tells the story.
Next we tried our luck with wreck fishing. Paul backed the boat over a wreck and Chuck dropped down a fresh live bait. Nobody was home and we moved on to the next wreck. These guys were persistent. The next wreck we hooked into something heavy and it was DJ's tern in the chair. We were using heavy tackle to make sure we could get the fish away from the wreck. After a few minutes we landed and released a 53" amberjack. A great fish Paul estimated at about 60lbs. Back to trolling....
Things were quiet and by about 5pm I headed inside for a nap. I was shortly awakened by 4 guys yelling for me to get in the chair and a screaming reel. The first thing I saw was a huge splash about 100yds behind the boat. I looked like someone dropped a depth charge in the water. The next hour seemed like forever. We had hooked a huge mahi (again on the 30lb long rod). The fish jumped out of the water at least 20 times as we prayed for the hook to stay put. Paul maneuvered the boat perfectly and Chuck calmly coached me every step of the way. We had the fish within 20 feet of the boat for 20 minutes but he wouldn't budge. Chuck had an idea to change course down sea to give us a slight edge. This was the advantage we needed, the big bull presented a shot, and Chuck took it home with the gaff. The fish hit the deck and the celebration was on. Paul the captain ran down from the bridge and we all jumped around for a good 5 minutes. Again, these guys loved to fish. We (definitely a team effort) landed a 61" roughly 60lb mahi on 30 test. Not bad.
At this point we were behind schedule on getting to sword fish land about 15 miles off Miami. Chuck quickly cleared the lines and we steamed out away from the setting sun. We all helped set the gear at dusk and began waiting. We worked the baits for the rest of the night and continued to wait. At this point Mike, DJ, and I were laying in the cabin killing time by breaking each otherís chops (DJ you still can't come to the picnic). By 11pm we were shot and I gave Paul the go ahead to head for the barn. It was a good day and we were satisfied. By the time I changed out of my bib pants and boots Paul and Chuck noticed one of the lines was heavy. The fight was on. My brother Mike went toe to toe with one of the toughest pelagics BY HAND. He was hand lining a broadbill sword fish over eight feet long. This time around Paul was in the cockpit and Chuck was at the helm. After a relatively short battle the fish was at the boat and Paul sunk the gaff home. The fish hit the deck and this time Chuck got to run from the bridge to celebrate with the team. For Mike, DJ, and me this was the first broadbill we landed. Unbelievable.
In the organized chaos that ensued no one noticed that we had another heavy line. We boated another smaller broadbill while the first one was still flopping around on the deck! Not as impressive as the first but still a great fish. Had enough yet? DJ landed and released an 8 foot long hammer head on the last line out.
We finally arrived at the slip at 2am. The mahi was off to the taxidermist and we all hung out at the slip for about an hour gloating over our success. For 3 lifelong fishermen who have had their share of both personal and private trips either blown out or struck out this was one great day. Thanks to Paul (the captain), Chuck (the mate), and Dave (the owner) from the Lady Pamela 2 for a very memorable trip. Sorry for the long winded story and don't forget to tip the crew.
Tight lines, Lou