After a year of failure, we finally landed a beautiful mahi mahi while trolling with a ballyhoo in the gulf stream. On our two day passage from Nassau to Marathon, we decided that if we couldn’t sail then we would turn it into a fishing trip. The forecast was for winds under 10 knots for the entire voyage, and we got that. Two days of motoring turned into two beautiful days at sea and some excellent luck on the rod and reel.
About 2 hours into our trip, we were comfortably underway and decided it was about time to put a line in the water. We were just 20 miles off Chub Cay and everything was going perfectly. I unpacked the rigged ballyhoo tied it on the line and into the water it went. About 5 minutes later I turned my attention towards the bait and saw a giant blue streak tearing towards it. This is it! BAM! The monster fish nailed the ballyhoo and took off into the depths. I wrestled the rod and reel out the holder as Gillian throttled down and turned Stella Blue to chase the fish. He had pulled out nearly 3/4 of the line by the time I was able to get situated. For the next 45 minutes Gillian steered as I fought the behemoth. Muscles burning, back aching, I sat down to rest for a minute so I could continue fighting. The fish was within visual range, but it was unclear as to what it was. All of a sudden he made a last ditch effort to free himself, and as the rod bowed towards him the hook popped out of his mouth. He was gone. Needless to say, we were really bummed about the loss, but determined to continue fishing.
No luck for the rest of the evening, but as soon as the sun came up the lure was back in the water. For the next few hours we were on the banks and the baracudars were ferocious. We pulled in three nice sized ones before we got off the banks. Once we exited the banks we put the ballyhoo back in action and immediately had three strikes. All stolen baits. What a bummer! Our last full ballyhoo got put on (we still had 2 halves left) and we continue trolling for the next 6 hours. Not so much as a piece of sargasso. We were hoping to have some mahi burgers for dinner but alas not today. It was canned ravioli for the crew. Not a bad alternative to freshly caught fish, right? Just after I shoveled the last tasty morsel of flimsy processed pasta into my gullet the line began stripping furiously off the line. We had just hit the middle of the stream and the fishing was on! A short 15 minute fight began and the beautiful green and yellow fish couldn’t contain himself. He was turning flips and flopping all over the place trying desperately to free himself. This time we prevailed. The gulf stream which has been such a grievance for us in the past had finally shown some mercy. Not only were we riding in a comfortable calm but she gave us this beautiful gift of fish.
Once we recovered from the excitement I began to filet the fish after we put the line back in the water. About ten minutes later, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz again! Fish on! This time we were greeted by a little baby mahi. He was picked up, unhooked, photographed, and returned to the stream. What an excellent end to a magnificent day.
We’re back in the United States of America after 6 months abroad. It feels really good to be back, and we are so excited to be back in the land of access. Anything anytime, baby!
We will spend a few days hanging out in one of our favorite spots and then continue on to Fort Meyers Beach and then on to Port Charlotte later this week. So many good things on the horizon, but there’s plenty of time to discuss that later.