Holiday Sailfish Tale

‘Twas the night before the first tournament of the year when all through the docks, the old salts were stirring and checking their clocks. The rods were rigged and baits penned with care, in hopes the sails tail and we catch our fair share. The crew went to bed as the wind started to chatter, dreaming of sailfish making their precious sardines scatter.


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The owner was out like a light and I was on watch, making last preparations so everything was top notch. At 3:30 a.m. my alarm clock went off, marking yet another sailfish season kickoff. The crew awoke to a hot Columbian brew, while I couldn’t stop thinking of the waves we’d push through.

With white caps on the horizon and winds blowing a gale, it was all in the name of the almighty sail. Clearing the inlet with the rest of the fleet, the crew prepared for a long day of rough seas and wet feet. High in the bridge I peered down the edge, waiting for something to pop up on the dredge.

The hours passed by as we stared at the sea, hoping we would soon be shouting with glee. All of a sudden the kite started veering, signaling it was time that we started clearing. As we moved down sea and reset the spread, we were still waiting for a bite from an oceanic thoroughbred. Out of nowhere the kid yells “I’m bit,” and I turn my head just in time to see the hook spit.

With nothing to show and the tide about to turn, I spotted a sail rising up to the stern. The fish was lit up as it raced to the left short, but knew something was up and turned off as a last resort. I screamed out in joy with a pair of fish approaching, but knew that catching a double would take lots of coaching.

The anglers played it right and we got tight to the double, but in a split second we found ourselves in deep trouble. As the majestic fish crossed lines and took to the air, I yelled out to the anglers go light and beware. As luck would have it both lines parted, and just like that we were right back to where it all started.

The fish didn’t want to cooperate but I didn’t care, I was comfortable sitting in my plush captain’s chair. While steaming home I couldn’t help but think, it’s just about time for a nice stiff drink. After an uneventful day sitting in the tower, I was really going to enjoy this evening’s happy hour. Without a single sailfish caught on day one of the event, the entire fleet was quite discontent.

Back at the dock we were going crazy over the slow conditions, but we vowed to do what we do best and stick with our initial suspicions. The sailfish would be feeding along the edge in more than a hundred feet, and we would be there with an arsenal of live bait ready to greet. Thinking back it’s amazing we didn’t get a single bite, but tomorrow is a new day so I’ll see you at first light!