Four Day Sailfish Bite Crushes Florida Records

The Git Lit flies 36 sailfish release flags on the first day of the 75th Annual Silver Sailfish Derby out of West Palm Beach, Florida.

Afteran unseasonably warm start to the South Florida winter a cold front pushed itsway into the state the first week of 2012, and that dramatic drop in air andwater temperatures ushered in one of the most memorable sailfish bites everrecorded. Record setting release numbers topped two historic East CentralFlorida sailfish tournaments last week, as the Pelican Yacht Club Invitationalout of Fort Pierce and the Silver Sailfish Derby out of Palm Beach each crushedrecords for most fish caught in a single day and during the entire event.

Theaction started on with a hint of what was to come during the first day of the 32ndPelican Yacht Club Billfish Invitational on Wednesday, January 4. This is adead bait billfish tournament, so anglers many only troll rigged dead baitssuch as ballyhoo, bonito strips or rigged mullet.

Twelveof the 29 boats fishing the Pelican Yacht Club Billfish Invitational took theirlay day (boats may fish any three of the four day event) on the first day offishing, but the 17 boats that fished found a nice concentration of sailfishnorth of Fort Pierce in 160 feet of water along a patch of beautiful bluewater. Seven of the 12 boats caught and released double digit sailfish numbers,including the top boat for the day Boneshakerwith Capt. Scott Fawcett of Jensen Beach, Florida, which released 13 fish.

Withlight north winds forecast throughout the event (optimal sailfishing winds),the entire fleet of 29 boats fished Thursday, January 5 and Friday January 6,with the twelve boats that took Wednesday January 4 as their lay day fishingthe final day of the tournament on Saturday, January 7. Once again, Boneshaker seized the top boat award forthe day releasing 21 sailfish on
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