|Kathy Baxley and Carolo Reynolds Cannon in 2013|
In May, pelagic fish species are embarking on a spring migration from South to North and anglers can almost set their watches by Mother Nature’s annual timetable. May offers just the right mix of mahi mahi, renowned for their appealing table fare, plus the splash of a big game chase for a mighty marlin.
“A typical fish day for us begins with leaving the dock at 5 a.m.,” said Baxley. “After an almost three-hour run offshore, we will stop at the ledge in 180-feet of water and troll for a wahoo. We stop to break up the monotony of the ride, and to see if we can get a mixed bag for our fishbox. With the dolphin out a little deeper, it won’t be long until we will push into 300 to 500-feet of water and look for a weedline.”
Depending on the morning’s action the decision to switch over to billfishing might come by 11 a.m. or around noon. The boat will move offshore of any weedlines and begin trolling in deeper waters at 8.5-knots. “You just never know what size marlin you might encounter, but each one of them can challenge the entire crew to clear the lines as quickly as possible so that the Captain can back down on the fish before too much fishing line goes out creating unwanted drag and friction. Keeping close to any hooked marlin is always a good idea,” said Baxley.
|Todd Baxley leaders a blue marlin|
Since then Baxley has competed in the Hawaiin Invitational Billfish Tourney in Kona, fishing on the Marlin Magic II run by Capt. Marlin Parker. Baxley served as gaff man during that tourney, and is pro staff for an offshore apparel company from California called Pelagic Gear.
“To catch both mahi and marlin you’ve got to the right water at the right time,” said Baxley. “We identify the right spot by watching for temperature breaks using electronics, this is where warm waters from the Gulf Stream break off and form eddies. Also, simple water color variations like a change from deep blue to cobalt blue can signal anglers that it’s time to fish.”
Those fun fishing days of May create memories that can be long lasting because there are just too few opportunities to hear a fishing reel scream into overdrive while the mate yells FISH ON!
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