Sailfish Tax Relief Day – 4/4 + Vertical Jigging for Amberjack

Tax day is a day of pain and regret for many Americans, but fortunately for Canadian salmon fisherman Guy Citrigno – this was a day of victory.  Bait was plentiful in the morning and we blacked out the wells before 8 a.m.  The bonitas were swarming, so just to get the skunk off the boat before heading offshore, we chummed up a big school of fat boneheads and pitched a bait into the havoc.  A 10lbr slammed the bait and began ripping line – giving Guy a glimpse of what was to come.  With winds from the southeast just hardly under 10 knots, we brought out the Bob Lewis ultralights for a few hours of solid sailfishing off Miami.

There had been some decent current off Brewster and Ledbury reef the past few days, so we planned to head south in the morning and gradually work our way back up towards Key Biscayne.  As we pushed past Fowey rocks, we decided to make a quick stopover at the county wrecks now that Amberjacks are spawning and stacking up.  We got bit on every drop.

Amberjack which took a vertical jig at the country wrecks

Guy goin to work on the Amberjacks

Another Amberjack which fell for our vertical jig

Vertical Jigging for Amberjack Miami

We left the amberjacks biting at the wreck and pressed south to the reef lines just below the wreck of the Sir Scott. The water was royal blue all the way into 120ft and we knew the bite was about to be hot.  Lines in and not long after the first sailfish of the day chomps a big pilchard on the long bait.

Guy goin to work on a sailfish!

Miami tailwalking sailfish

Miami Sailfish

All Lit up Miami Sailfish

Miami Sailfish Fishing Charters

Miami Sailfishing aboard the Marauder

Miami Sailfish on the leader

After releasing Guy’s first sailfish, we set back up in the same depth and were greeted by a double header hookup!  Carlos and Guy went to work on the fish while I cleared the spread. Carlos brought his fish to the boat fast while Guy’s fish pulled its way offshore.  A quick grab and pop of the leader for Carlos’s fish and we went on the move to catch Guy’s second sailfish of the day. We were now 3 for 3 on sailfish with two nice AJs on ice. The current was still cruising right around 3knts so we decided to motor back south a few hundred yards and set up once again in 125′.  This time we drifted from Ledbury all the way back to the north tip of Brewster before getting another sail bite!  This fish was particularly acrobatic and danced its way offshore before settling into the fight. Guy wrestled the fish back to the boat in about 15 minutes and was hoping to grab a quick release picture, bill in hand, but the fish was having no part of it!  This frisky sail saw us reaching for his nose and started doing backflips at the boat, smacking the hull twice before wrapping up in the leader and breaking free.

Sailfish leaping at the boat off Miami

Sailfish thrashing at the boat

Lit up sailfish at the boat - wrapped in the leader

The wind had just about died after releasing our fourth sailfish, so we decided to take a quick troll offshore for mahi mahi. We made a run out to 300ft, dropped the feathers back on the riggers and like clockwork got tight with a 8lb cow. Guy’s trolling experience with salmon paid off – he was quick to lock up the drag and get tight!  As the fish got closer to the boat we saw a nice bull tailing behind! We pitched a chummer but the fish just wouldn’t eat.  The remainder of the troll produced nothing, so we picked up and headed back in for some more kitefishing and jigging.  Our next few drifts on the kite produced two bonitas despite epic live chumming.  On the way back north, we stopped over at the pioneer for one more shot at AJs…they cooperated and I decided to get in on the fun a bit myself.

Capt. Charlie Ellis and Carlos De Fillipi with a big Miami Amberjack

Spring fishing is here and in full swing.  The next few weeks should continue to produce some decent sailfish days and the blackfin tuna shouldn’t be far behind. Our favorite month to fish in Miami is just 14 days away.  We’re stoked.   🙂






Capt. Charlie Ellis

Capt. Charlie Ellis

Captain at Miami Fishing Charters LLC
Capt. Charlie Ellis of Miami, FL has 25 years experience fishing for big game species like Bluefin Tuna, Sailfish, Swordfish, and Sharks. Capt. Charlie is also an avid scuba diver, world traveler, writer, and entrepreneur.
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