Even though it's the dead of winter, things are starting to heat up here in Florida fishing-wise. Winter is sailfish season on Florida's east coast, and anglers from West Palm Beach to Key West are out chasing sails. With each passing cold front, a new wave of targets move into our waters and local teams are taking advantage of the pods of feeding fish. Most notably, the boys on Reely Tight, with mate Fly Navarro and Capt. Eddie Herbert, managed to catch 58 sails out of 85 bites off Boynton Beach on January 12.
Figiel, the other mate on board, says that the team released the fish by reeling every leader through the rod tip and/or taking a wrap on the leader. They didn't cast to a single fish - all of them came up on the flat line or kite baits. "We took 48 goggle eyes, 60 threadfin, two blue runners and butterfish for bait," Figiel says. "The last four baits in the water turned into a successful quad to end our day."
"If you think the hookup ratio was less than favorable, it was. But try to imagine five guys trying to fight sometimes seven to nine fish all at one time. There's just some fish that won't get caught," Figiel said. The next day, the team headed back out and went 20 for 22 in four hours before the bite shut down. That's the kind of fishing worth heading down to Florida for, so I expect to see a lot of northerners ditching the cold and picking up on our hot bite.
The End of an Era
The March issue marks Charlie Levine's last issue of Marlin magazine; he's taken a position with another company and is moving on. I can't tell you how much Charlie has meant to Marlin over the last eight years - only three other editors have worked on the title longer. Charlie's dedication to the job and his tremendous organizational skills have saved my butt time and time again. He worked tirelessly with our contributors to make sure that Marlin had the best of the best photography and stories in our pages. He always strived to make Marlin - and myself - better, which is a testament to his character. Hopefully, we might be able to get his name back into the book with some feature articles or Travel Briefs sometime going forward. He's going to be one hard guy to replace.
I'm sure that Charlie will be successful in any and all of his chosen endeavors and we wish him nothing but luck and goodwill in the future. I'm going to miss him.