Capt. Tris Fishing Report
Inshore Offshore Fort Pierce, Florida
While visiting his parents Rock and Kathy Tonkel in Vero Beach last week, Jeff Tonkel and his son Will, both from Palm Harbor, Fla. chartered the Last Mango out of Ft. Pierce City Marina in hopes of catching a November sailfish. The weather and sea conditions were 'optimal' (not something you could claim for most of Oct or on into November!), and we struck out to the southeast where there had been a good sail bite the day before. Also on board was Larry White, a good friend of the Tonkel family.
The sail bite has been off and on of late but we had good "intel" from the day before and hoped to capitalize on it! We put our lines out just north of the '43190' line where the water cleared up in 200 feet and trolled southeast toward a fleet of boats off of St. Lucie Inlet that evidently had the same "intel" we did.
(Can't win em all.!)
Minutes later we had one in the spread and a 'freejumper' sighting a hundred yards off the starboard bow. Although we worked the area for some time, this fish seemed only mildly interested in our 'elaborate double dredge" and squid chains and never took an offered bait.
But wait!...... as I straightened out our course and the Mango headed south toward the fleet, that same fish piled on our left teaser and with a perfect presentation by my trusty mate T-Bone, the sail swerved off of our squid chain and ate a ballyhoo.
"We got him on Cap" ...came up from the cockpit and the rod was quickly handed off to young Will , age 9.
An avid angler himself (mostly river fish), Will handled this sail with skill and finesse beyond his years. In a minimal amount of time our 'bimini twist' passed thru the rod tip and we had our first official sail of the day and... "Will's first Sailfish" ever!. The sail, of course,
was released and would go on to fight another day.
With lots of action all morning and another sail release going to friend Larry, an experienced angler with several fishing trips to Costa Rica under his belt, we worked our way back north (with the help of a 3 knot Gulf Stream current) . Several more sails in the spread and some freejumpers in the distance at times kept things lively throughout the afternoon and the sighting of a good sized 'Wright Whale' just off our bow was a spectacular opportunity for the naturalist in all of us to revel in the glory of our surroundings.
Mahi mahi (caught by Will's dad Jeff) made for an end to a perfect day, and fish for the dinner table that night.
Note: Although reports have it that this particular body of sails moved on down to the Palm Beach area the very next day, word of a good sail bite off of Sebastian on Sunday signals 'more action to come'! The winter migration of sails headed our way make Ft. Pierce, Fl.
a veritable Sailfish Mecca and 'the' place to fish throughout the year.
Our sailfish season peaks in January, so there will be many more sailfish accounts from the cockpit of the 'Last Mango' throughout the winter.
Don't miss your chance to be onboard.