August 31, 2012
Australian anglers Johnno and Alex decided to spend one more day swordfishing before heading to Prince Edward Island and Bluefin tunas. We left the dock at 9:00 am this morning, a little late start, but that didn't matter.
We made two drops in 1900 feet of water, and once the baits hit the bottom, it took 90 minutes before we got the first bite. Alex stayed on the rod after hooking the fish, which turned out to be a 280 lb swordfish. Once the fish was at the surface we prepared to haul the fish aboard. I was ready with a harpoon in case of any mistakes, and sure enough the leader broke on the fish! I threw the harpoon and got him, but now the fish was fired up and swimming back down to the bottom. We only had 600 feet of harpoon line that was disappearing fast so Alex and I quickly started tying anchor ropes together. First was a 300 foot piece, then a 200 foot one, and then every other dock line on the boat!
The fish took everything we had and then Johnno and Alex jumped into the fray, putting their backs into it to stop the fish and start retrieving the line. It was a long battle but we finally got him and have video to prove it. The fish measured 78" and the girth was 44 ". This fight reminded of the battle in which Santiago, the aging fisherman from Hemingway's classic Old and the Sea, handlines in a giant marlin in the Gulf Stream. I think Johnno and Alex felt a little like Santiago after hand retrieving over 1,000 feet of line!
Once we had safely stowed this first fish we re-positioned the boat and made one last drop, around 1:45 pm. At around 3:20 pm the rod bent over and we had hooked another fish. Alex landed what turned out to be another broadbill swordfish 30 minutes later, though with much less excitement! This fish was smaller, with the short measurement at 57", and weighing in at 95 lbs. This is what daytime swordfishing is all about!
August 30, 2012
The great south Florida weather has returned and the boats in the Lady Pamela fleet were busy today. The Lady Pamela II sportfishing boat fished close to shore and caught some skipjack tunas and kingfish trolling the reef. The Lady Pamela IV fished further offshore and caught a nice hammerhead shark and a silky shark. Not bad fishing for a couple of four hour trips.
The Lady Pamela V had a daytime swordfish trip with Graham Johnston (Johnno), his son Alex, Captain Rob and me. Johnno, is president of the Cairns (Australia) Game Fishing Club ( HYPERLINK "http://www.cairnsgfc.com/" http://www.cairnsgfc.com/ ), and also owns and operates the Cock & Bull Hotel and Tavern ( HYPERLINK "http://www.cocknbull.net.au/" http://www.cocknbull.net.au/) dubbed the "best watering hole in the south Pacific". Johnno also a member of the Cairns Professional Game Fishing Association and he runs exclusive 4-8 day charters to the Great Barrier Reef aboard his sportfishermen "Broadbill" ( HYPERLINK "mailto:email@example.com" firstname.lastname@example.org ). If you are interested in landing a grander Black Marlin he is your go to guy in Cairns.
While Johnno is a well-known and accomplished sportsman, having hunted and fished throughout the world, 19-year old son Alex is no stranger to accomplishment himself. He holds over 15 fishing world junior records, including junior world records for tiger shark (1068 lb) and Black Marlin (1091 lb). These guys are perhaps the most accomplished anglers we've ever had on the Lady Pamela and we were determined to get them hooked up to a swordfish during their trip to Ft. Lauderdale. We had them out on three prior trips without a bite, and today the pressure was on to put a fish in the boat.
We left the dock around 8:00 am and 30 minutes later we were well offshore making our first drop. We soaked the first baits for nearly two hours without a bite, so we picked up and ran further south to make another drop. Still no bites, so we again ran south and made a third drop in 1850 feet of water. This was the sweet spot and we hooked a monster that we hoped would stay on. Thirty minutes later the fish was in the boat; a beautiful 300 lb broadbill swordfish! Look for upcoming video of the action to be posted on our Youtube channel, Lady Pamela II charter fishing.
The best of luck to Johnno and Alex, as they are heading to Canada's Prince Edward Island to fish for giant Bluefin tuna. Alex is hoping to add another "grander" fish to his already impressive résumé.
August 27, 2012
As you might expect, with Tropical Storm Isaac moving through our area, the weather was too rough to go out in the ocean. However, we were able to put together a nice inshore charter. The trip was a little wet because of rain bands blowing through, but we anchored up and got some dead baits out in a few snook and tarpon hot spots. We had no snook bites, but we jumped off three nice tarpon in the intracoastal waterway here in Fort Lauderdale. We even caught a nice 30 lb. tarpon right back at the dock!
The good news is that even if the weather is bad offshore there is still is a little bit of inshore fishing that can be done here in south Florida. Now that the storm has passed the offshore fishing should start to pick up over the next several days. Most important today though, is that our thoughts are with our fishing friends in the Florida panhandle, coastal Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana as they brace for Hurricane Isaac. We are hoping for the best for their safety and welfare.
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