Lesa, first offshore fishing trip

I took Jeff and Lesa offshore in search of Mahi. They are from Wisconsin and while Jeff has fished with me before Lesa had never been offshore fishing. We could not have picked a better day. Sunny with light breezes and almost flat seas. We started out and as usual, dropped the lines in about 300 feet and headed south. We had gone a good distance when a friend called me an told be that they had found fish on weeds at “the wall”.

The Wall is a nickname for the continental shelf and lies about 25 miles south of our dock. The water at the wall is about 900 feet deep and then drops off rapidly to thousands of feet as you continue south into the Florida Straights.

We pulled in our spread and headed out and set up on scattered lines and large rafts of weeds. It did not take long before we had our first Mahi in the box. It was a single so we continued to troll and shortly another fish hit a short bait and a small school followed it in. I grabbed the spinning rods and pitched a bait out into the school and instant hookup. Handed the rod to Lesa, baited and pitched another bait out and another hook up! Handed that one to Lesa also and told her to hang on to them while I got Jeff’s fish in the boat.

So there is Lesa, a rod attached to a jumping fighting dolphin in each hand and a big smile on her face! She now has her first and second offshore fish in one shot.

We put a few in the box from that school, let a few really small ones go and moved on when the school disappeared. We continued to troll around all the action seemed to have stopped for a while. Then we trolled past a large raft of weeds and could see Dolphin swimming out to our baits but not biting. We stopped, brought in the trolling gear, grabbed the pitch rods and backed the boat up near the weed raft. We pitched a few baits near the edge of the weeds, the Mahi came swarming out and it was game on again. These were all small fish but we had a great time with catch and release managing to keep one or two more for transport back to Wisconsin.

Time to go with a 26 mile run back in. Now you might be expecting the standard “holding the fish” photo but no, not this time. Since they were leaving the next day for home we filleted the fish, were getting ready to vacuum bag it and she said this was the picture she wanted, Lesa with her fillets..

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