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Stuart Sailfish and Cobia

Report Date: February 28, 2004

Both the weather and the fishing have been challenging the last few days. It appears to me that we are nearing the end of the Sailfish season. One day we will find a few fish and the next day it is like they have disappeared with only a random fish reported here and there. We experience this type of fishing each year about this time. If it is a normal year we will have one more flurry of Sailfish activity sometime during the first week or two in March. This winter we have experienced the best Sailfish action I can remember and I am sure that will translate to good Sailfish action during the balance of the year. We have a large year-round resident population of Sailfish that enable us to catch Sails any time of the year. At times during the summer months we have a Sail bite that rivals what we experience during the winter. Catching a Sailfish is always a good possibility when fishing in Stuart.

On a trip a couple of days ago we fished several areas that had been productive during the preceding days. After fishing most of the morning without success I decided to moved to an area several miles northeast of the inlet where I had heard a couple of Sails had been seen. Shortly after getting our baits in the water we had the first Sailfish in our spread and we had the good fortune of being able to catch and release him. We continued to work in the same area and managed to catch and release a second fish. Not outstanding action but enough to keep us interested. The action slowed and I move offshore into 200? feet of water where an edge was forming. Finally after what seemed like most of the afternoon we found a large pod of Sails that attacked all of our baits. After mass chaos we were able to keep the hooks in two of the fish that we managed to catch and release. Not a spectacular day of Sailfishing but given the limited action that everyone was reporting that day we felt we had been very lucky.

Spring Cobia Action

Anytime now we will start seeing the migration of large manta rays (we call them ?BATS?) offshore that signals the start of the spring Cobia action. This type of fishing includes hunting for the BATS then casting either jigs or live bait under the BAT which nearly always results in a COBIA attacking whatever you have thrown. These fish are usually between 30 and 80 pounds and on 20# spin tackle it is a challenge. When the migration of the BATS slows we then fish for COBIA on the wrecks and other areas where they seem to hold year after year. Not only are they exciting to catch they provide some great table fare.

The good thing about fishing here in Stuart there are always species of fish that are available for us to catch. When the action for one of our target species slows there is always another to take its place.

Good luck and remember you can?t catch?em at the dock.

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