I can still remember the first day I went deep blue fishing in the Atlantic Ocean with my Hobie Quest. Rolling over the gentle waves of a northeast swell was a strange feeling for an inshore fisherman. As I paddled out to the depths and the sun rose over the horizon, I officially began a new chapter in my kayak fish career.
Kayak Fishing in 2011
After a year of learning artificial lure tactics, I wanted something more. I needed a sailfish. At the time, sailfish were not really being caught from a kayak and it was a big deal to catch one in the state of Florida. Also at the time, using live bait in the kayak was not a technique I felt comfortable with. So, I set out multiple times with dead sardines and had no luck. Months went by and still had yet to get my hands on a sailfish.
March 16, 2011, I decided to try again. I went to kayak fish at dawn straight out of the Palm Beach Inlet with a fresh box of frozen sardines. The wind was blowing well with a stiff 10-15mph northeast breeze. I made my way out 130 feet, set out two flat line sardines on triple J hooks and started drifting. Thirty minutes went by with nothing to show, but then it happened. In the distance, I see a sailfish jumping.
I quickly looked back at my lines and saw nothing was happening. Confused and disappointed I sat and waited. One minute later, I hear that fateful noise of my drag peeling. I grabbed the rod, slightly tightened up the drag and there she was in all her glory, breaking the surface. I steadied myself and prepared for the fight as she greyhounded into the distance.
To my rear, I hear people cheering me on from a boat. I had the biggest grin on my face, but all I could think about was to keep tight. Nearing the midpoint of the fight and taking 3 foot waves over the bow, I felt I had a good chance to land this fish. The last half of the fight was within 5-10 feet of my kayak. She kept swimming like she had energy for days. I finally made the decision to put on the pressure or I would never get her within reach. After thirty minutes, I got her to start circling and I finally attempted to grab her bill. Once I grabbed her, she gave a good little fight in my grasp and finally settled down in order for me to snap a few pictures. After examining this beautiful creature for a few minutes, I gave her a good revival and off to the deep blue fishing depths she swam.