We started 2008 with a some good fishing and as many as 30 sailfish releases a day. The sailfishing stayed pretty steady, slowing a little for a week towards the end of the month, although the blue marlin showed up behind the "Decisive" to keep anglers happy and with great weather and good seas, a good time was had by all.
January 5th saw us back on the water with Michael Viljoen releasing 30 sailfish from 41 bites, staying very busy as our single handed angler for the day. Don Butler and Joe O'Brien joined us the next day on the fly rods going 4 from 11 on some finicky sailfish. Their averages improved the following day going 5 from 8, with 5 on the fly and 5 on the spinning gear the next day. Don rounded their third day off with a really big black marlin we called in the 600 to 700lb class on the 50lb standup gear and what is going to be one of our highlights for the year. What a fish!! The duo finished their trip with 6 on fly, 2 on spin with over 35 fish in the pattern on their forth day.
Miguel and Maria-Gisela Ricart of the Dominican Republic made a quick return after their fantastic December trip to go 15 from 20 on the sails on the 10th. Miguel tried his had on the fly the next day releasing 2 on the long wand and 3 on the baits.
Bill and Vikki Childs along with their friends Bill and Kate Chambers joined us the 12th and 13th for a very enjoyable trip for them, releasing 24 and then 18 sailfish on their respective days.
Things slowed on the 14th as we released 3 sails, missing a blue and raising another.
Bob and Corrie Verde were with us over the next three days, mixing it up with the fly and some lighter conventional tackle for Corrie. They averaged 6 sailfish on the fly and 3 or 4 on bait each day including a bunch of yellowfin keeping the Verde's most happy.
Larry Deddy and Jimmy Stanger came to see how we do the fly thing on the 'Decisive' and were treated to some good fishing releasing 8 on fly and 6 on spin on the 20th. They followed that up with 5 on fly and 4 on spin the next and then 9 on fly, 4 on spin the next with a 300lb blue marlin for Larry on the bait to top off a great trip for the Miami flyfishermen.
Dale Schroeder and his son Dean, both of Texas, joined us the 23rd starting off with some good fishing, going 15 from 22 on the baits. Things unfortunately slowed for them the next two days releasing 6 and then a single sail their last day, as some greener water moved in on us.
Craig Ziegler and sons, Chuck, Bobby and Michael joined us for 4 days on the baits the 26th through 29th. Things started slowly with a couple releases a day building to 6 releases on their penultimate day but we rounded it off in fine style releasing a 300lb blue for Bobby on 20lb tackle on the last day for his first blue marlin, only to follow it up minutes later with a 175lb blue for Michael, to see the boys off in fine style.
The friendly couple of Larry and Laura Nash made the trip to Guatemala to see first-hand what they had been hearing from family and friends. The couple averaged 3 to 5 sails a day along with a blue marlin release each of their three days on the water, giving Larry his first 2 blue marlin and Laura her first ever, to make for a very enjoyable billfishing trip which they followed up with a romantic night at Casa Santo Domingo in Antigua Guatemala on their way out.
All in all it was another great month and finishing it off with 5 blue marlin releases in the last 4 days ended it in style. The water is clearing and with the signs of some bait showing up, it looks like February is going to produce some good numbers of sailfish.
Until the next report, tight lines, circle hooks, healthy releases and hope to see you at the boat show in Miami.
Capt. Brad Philipps