Dad's Memories

- 03 September 98 - 12 September 98

Fish Tales - Sailfish Galore (August 7, 1971)

Back at the Sailfish Marina, downstreet from our home on Palm Beach Shores, after a pleasant day "outside" on the ocean, I'd hosed down the boat and returned it to our spot in the "dry storage" area in the boatyard. We stayed to watch Capt. Frank Ardine back his Sail Ahoy charter boat into "Slip #1" (Capt Frank, was the senior boat capt at the Marina, owner of his boat - one of the first of the renowned Rybovitch sportfishing boats in the area) and see what goodies he might unload for his days party.

Guy Hill and his recent bride Patty were at the marina to check out the charter boats catch. Guy, a young lawyer, and son of a neighbor, said that tho he was native born on the "Shores" he'd never caught a Sailfish. We invited them along for the next Saturdays outing.

Saturday morn - Guy & Patty on hand early, Guy with his reel fresh loaded with new Monofilament. To tempt those Sails, I had a dozen frozen Ballyhoo, and six nice fresh mullet, de-boned as the friendly Charter Capts had showed me "how to", so they'd swim nicely behind the boat. Nice day, clear, smooth swells outside - we were under way even before the Charter Boats.

I Let Guy pilot us out the inlet, while I rigged our four lines, got the outriggers set, and deployed them as soon as we cleared the inlet. Two fresh Mullet on the outriggers, two Ballyhoo on the "flat-lines" off the transom. The girls were admiring the crystal clear Gulf water - on this day right onshore, clear enuff to see bottom in at least 30 ft of water.

Not yet 300/400 yds out the inlet, one outrigger popped off with a strike -Guy still piloting- I set the hook, saw it was a Sail, and gave the rod to Patty. And the other outrigger announced action, Guys rod on that line, set the hook, ANOTHER SAIL!! Gave the rod to Guy, who promptly went upfront to play his fish. Started to reel in the two flat-lines, get them out of the way, had one almost in when the other rod bent in the rodholder. Hokey Pokey -- THREE SAILS, jumping and splashing all at once !!! We already had a ring of other boats, coming out the inlet, giving us room but intent on watching the rare show -- including some of them there "expensive Charters" -- stopping to watch this little outboard, with an unheard of - three sailfish hooked at once.

I tried to "horse" mine in, it shook the hook out on a jump and now we had two on the line. The girls had decided to take turns as each tired, and when they had the sail close by I grabbed the bill - gloves on for this - hauled it into the cockpit, clubbed in a hurry to quiet the thrashing about, and laid it aside in the cockpit.

Meanwhile Guy was standing up front, we'd almost fogotten him in the excitement of the two girls struggling to bring "their" fish to the boat. Now we heard a plaintive call from Guy -----"El, I'm almost out of line, can you start the motor and go after this fish ?" Guy's sail had ceased jumping, and was headed off to other places, so we went that way, and Guy gradually retook his yards of line.

Finally with Guy's sail reeled in, not much fight left in this one, we saw that it was no longer "hooked" but lassoed around the tail !!! In one of its frantic jumps, it must have thrown the hook, caught the line to form a noose that slipped down and closed in front of the tail section. No wonder Guy was having fits up on the front deck. So we got out the flags, two white ones denoting a sail "on board" - one red flag denoting a "released sail" (fishermans liberty here) hoisted the flags up on the outriggers, and returned triumphantly to Sailfish Marina -- all in about 45 minutes on the water.

Guy had jokingly remarked that he'd like to get, "maybe two sails, one to mount on my office wall, and one to have smoked (?) for hors d'euvers". Facetiously optimistic, but it happened-- Patty had to phone her folks in Maryland, ecstatic about this new experience. Guy called a taxidermist to have one fish mounted, and arranged to have the other smoked. All this - and not yet 10 AM.... After all this, we returned to that great ocean full of fishes. No more Sails, thank goodness, we drifted, bottom fished, had lunch, recounted the mornings excitement, caught a few bottom fish -- anti climactic -- and called it a day around 2PM. Happy day !

When we moved from the "shores", Guy handled the details, we had "inherited" an 8ft mounted sail with the house, mounted on a wall of the large Florida Room. With no room in the Condo Apt we were moving to, we gave that to Guy to put up in his home -- one in the office, one at home.

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