We had one helluva sport fishing trip out of Fort Lauderdale the other day. There have been some big fish showing up, so we were expecting just about anything that day. As we headed out the inlet to fishing grounds, I noticed a gorgeous current edge in about 350′ of water. There was a rather strong breeze that day, so I set out 2 of our heavy wind kites and suspended some fresh live goggle eyes from them. There have been some gigantic sharks around, so we thought it a good idea to send a rigged bloody tuna down to the bottom. With our baits set we sat back, kept watch and waited patiently for a big game fish to show himself.
An hour went by and still not a bite. The water looked just too perfect for us to not have caught anything by now. Joey was in the cockpit and yelled up, “Let’s try something else, Cap’n.” I shouted back, “Let’s give it a few more minutes. He’ll jump on there.” Not a half second past by when I saw the fish. I screamed, “Left Long!! There he is!!” It was a giant mahi-mahi, a bull. The bull ate the goggle eye and swam towards one of the others. Off the right rigger I caught sight of another dolphin fish eating the right short bait. “Another on the right short!”, I said. Joey and the anglers reacted quickly and hooked into both dolphins. The bigger dolphin looked unusually large.
We had been fighting both fish for 35 minutes when the cow came within gaffing range. Joey reached out and struck the cow dolphin with the boat gaff. As he pulled the fish over the gunwale of the Big Game, the fish went crazy and put on quite a scuffle in the cockpit. A few whacks with the fish bat solved that right quick. Our other angler was still engaged with the bull, which had taken some long runs and by now a good way from the boat. With only one fish to contend with now, we could go after the fish with the boat a bit better.
Backing down hard with the Big Game, we finally got into range of the big bull. Looking down from the boat, into the water, we could tell this was a monster game fish. The big mahi used his tall, narrow head as if it were a keel and stayed obstinately parallel and a steady distance from the boat. The power of this fish was amazing.
By this point, the fish was spent and so was the fisherman who was fighting the brute. The fish came within gaff range and Joey reached out and stuck him. We were heroes. It was an exceptional day of fishing. One that will not be forgot. Thanks for reading my fish story.
-Written by Capt. Rod Roydhouse