BILLFISH: Wow what great fishing we are experiencing right now. As always, when the weather hots up so does the fishing. We have been experiencing high temperatures and even a sprinkling of rain and it was on this day that we had our catch of the week, an impressive 650 lb blue marlin aboard “Cabolero” caught by Andrew and Steven Wigger (father and son) from Nashville, Tennessee, just three miles off of Land’s End on a black and yellow lure, taking them 55 minutes to bring to the boat on 80 lb test, not only did they catch his huge fish but a striped marlin also, released by Katie Wigger- what an incredible family memory for this group! We have not seen such a big blue so early in the year for many years. This was an enviable catch but others were not left out with some great catches of striped marlin and even a sailfish. We were thrilled for the guy that caught the sailfish as he had traveled all the way from Redcar, England. Alec Connell visiting with wife Dot to celebrate their anniversary, told me “I have to catch a marlin, I have been trying for years” – being the kind chap that he is, he shared his boat with two people he met and it turned out that THEY caught a marlin each, while Alec sat by watching, aboard the “Tracy Ann”, though he did get a sailfish. His good deed was rewarded though, a few days later when he went out on the “Rebecca” on July 5th, a day before going home, when he released three striped marlin and caught twelve tuna. “Shambala” did really well this week, releasing six striped marlin in the “Stars and Stripes” charity event on June 24th as well as catching four tuna for John Modjeski and friends close to the 95 spot. On July 2nd this same boat released four striped marlin twelve miles off of Land’s End for Mark Miller from Houston, Texas. “Adriana” did well to release three marlin, just five miles off of La Playita, all on live bait, for Steve Gray from Bauxite, Arkansas & Karen Webb from Hernando, Mississippi. Catches were not so close for Audrey and Steven Sowada from Cottage Grove, Minnesota who went forty eight miles out from the lighthouse to catch and release two striped marlin, one dorado and seven tuna aboard “Tracy Ann”. Forty nine percent of charters caught marlin with most catches one or two fish, though as shown above, others did a little better. Pisces total billfish catch was 74, breaking down into 72 striped marlin, 1 blue marlin and 1 sailfish; all but three fish were released.
OTHER SPECIES: Tuna were the mainstay of fishing this week with sixty percent of boats catching from one to twenty fish, generally of the football class, 20 to 30 lbs, though as usual there were some exceptions such as “Adriana” who had a 200 lb fish caught 18 miles off of the Old Lighthouse for Ryan Simon and Frankie Lusma from Crowley, Louisiana – they also caught four other regular tuna and a dorado. Most of the tuna catches were off of Land’s End to the Old Lighthouse varying from three to twenty miles out. Our total tuna count was a very respectable 463 fish. Dorado catches were slower with just twenty eight percent with the catches usually one or two fish and every now and then three. There are some good size dorado, such as a 50 lb’er caught on “La Brisa” outside the 95 spot on a pink and blue lure by Gee Bezuidenhout, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and a 48 lb fish caught on “Adriana” 18 miles of the Old Lighthouse by Ryan Patton, from Troy Missouri. Other fish caught were bonitas and roosterfish inshore and a solitary 30 lb wahoo as well as a silky shark, that was released.
LOCATION: Three to fifty miles out from Lands End and the Lighthouse, 95 spot, Palmilla, Punta Gorda,
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Hot, sunny, seas calm, one day light rain.
AVERAGE WATER TEMP: 81 F
BEST LURES: live bait, cedar plugs, green combinations.
Based on the catches of Pisces by Tracy Ehrenberg