September 7th 2021
Adrian, JP and I broke Moriches Inlet with our live-wells filled with peanut bunker. The plan was to head southeast looking for tuna. I pointed us in a direction of some lobster pots just in case we couldn't find any tuna. The ride out was awesome. However the ocean was lifeless. I started to get a little nervous. I couldn't find any lobster pots after our 50NM run. Thankfully I had my binoculars on board. In a panic I hustled to the bow. I started to scan the horizon. "Lobster pot dead ahead" I screamed out. It's September and it's been a great mahi season. There was no doubt in my mind that these pots were going to be covered in mahi. I explained to Adrian and JP that you need to gain the mahi's trust. Yes I know I sound like someone that has a screw loose. Before you put a hook in the water start throwing "freebies" in. As we start to throw a few baits into the water mahi start attacking from every direction. The speed of these fish is amazing. I give the nod to my crew to have at it. We are using light tackle. However I was out there looking for big mahi. So I rigged the rods with 40lb leader and 4/0 circle hooks. The peanut bunker that we are using are big enough to handle the leader and hook size. With zero wind and a flat ocean the scene that is unfolding in front of us is amazing! The second a peanut bunker hits the water it gets inhaled. At this point I'm not fishing. The joy that I get watching these guys bail really nice size mahi is all that I need. JP who has never caught a mahi is loving this. Adrian who has fished harder than anyone I know this year can't get enough of this type of fishing. After a few minutes we noticed a big bull swimming around. It was almost impossible to get a bait near him. He was lazy. However as Adrian and JP were both fighting fish I saw the bull all alone on the other side of the boat. I grabbed a rod, baited up and tossed it right in front of him. Three seconds later my reel begins to scream. Off in the distance the mahi jumps. It's game on this is a big fish! I'm not going to bore you. The fight lasted 40 minutes. He went deep and with his giant head there was no way to horse this fish to the surface. He was acting like a tuna instead of a mahi. Every time I tried to cup the spool I had to let go. I felt bad for the guys just hanging and watching. I know they were itching to get back to the buoy. However I knew that the mahi weren't going any where. As the fish started to move up the water column I can see JP starting to get nervous. He got the call to gaff this fish. I could only imagine what was going through his head. Losing the captain's biggest mahi is sure to make most nervous. Here we go...I spun the fish one last time. JP reaches down and you would have sworn he had down this a million times. It was only his second time gaffing a fish. The first time was earlier in the day. I couldn't believe my eyes. We went nuts. I couldn't wait to weigh it in. However our day had just begun. We continued to pot hop. Adrian caught his personal best which was 21lbs. JP first time mahi fishing landed himself a 16lb fish. We only took 10 fish home between the three of us. On the way home we picked up a YFT on a Sterling Tackle Chaos bar. We were all smiles on the way home. As we tied off at the dock I couldn't wait to get off the boat and grab the scale. Holy ---- the scale read 32lbs! It was a new boat record (sorry Roger). On top of that Adrian' s fish will also knock someone off the "wall of fame". It's so cool to look at the wall and see how the fish in the photos keep getting bigger. I will never forget this trip. JP and Adrian were truly excited for me. These are the type of people that you want to fish with. When you get on a boat to go and fish you are part of a team. If you surround yourself with team players I promise you your level of fishing will be taken to the next level.