The daytime swordfish bite has been off the hook! Three past "Hook the Future" anglers have caught fish over 250lbs this week. 280, 520, and two over 600 pounds! It's time to drop everything, change every important plan, call my good friend Capt Bill Dobbelaer, and talk him into doing the same. Bill is one of the best fishermen I know and specializes in swords. But I really call Bill 'cause his son Kobe is one of the best Swordfish anglers I know. Better get my Salt Life tee and hit the water!
We leave Jacksonville Wednesday night, swing through New Symrna to pick up our A-Camera man, Conrad and make it to the hotel in Lauderdale around 12:30 AM. Alarm at 4:30 , a quick breakfast and head to the boat. If we don't get 'em today, it won't be because of the crew! With Bill on the helm, Kobe on the Reel and fellow Sword addict Capt. Mike Johnson, taking a day off from his boat to come chase fish with us.
An unexpected squall is moving through, delaying our departure and stirring up the seas, but that doesn't detour our determined crew. We plowed out and finally began our first drop. Even with a 12 pound weight it takes a while to hit bottom in 1650 foot of water. Swords don't seem to be so picky as far as bait is concerned. Bonita or mahi bellies, eels... to tell you the truth it doesn't seem to matter. On the other end a Dolphin Elect reel. You just gotta' have one! The right tool for the job makes all the diffidence! You can use the hand crank or go electric at anytime. Let me tell you, if you've ever reeled up from 1650 foot to check the bait with a hand cranking, you'll with you had a Dolphin elect reel!
First drop, second drop, third drop... no luck... One soft bite, but didn't come back for it. Bill uses the new C chirp technology through his Airmar transducer to mark big schools of squid on the bottom and actually marking the swords feeding. At over 1500 feet... that's pretty impressive!
The day rolls on, stories abound, but no fish. It's after 5, we have to drive back to Jax, no bites... keep dropping. Finally on the last drop, a hit! The line comes tight and we're on! Kobe works the reel like a pro, Bill keeps the boat in position and Capt Mike is ready to leader, and cameras are rolling! Finally, what we came for! After a good fight, Kobe manages to pull the fish to the surface, just a pup, but we got one! One line, one bait, in over 1600 foot of water.... sometimes not such an easy task. After a quick release(check out the video), and Slimy 5's all around, we loaded up and headed for the house.
Even though fishing wasn't as epic as we had hoped today, to spend time on the water with good friends, doing what I love..... I would drop everything again in a heartbeat to come back.... and we will! Livin' the Salt Life... everyday!