The Lady Pamela II Sportfishing Team has kicked off the 2012 South Florida billfish tournament season with a first place in the inaugural Coconut Grove “No Rule's Sailfish Tournament”. My crew and I had made a last minute decision to fish this tournament on Thursday, so we spent all day Friday, the day before the tournament, fishing for bait. We loaded the bait wells with 20 dozen threadfin herring and 10 dozen goggleyes then ran from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami BeachMarina, where we spent the night. I was manning the helm, with my dad Peter, Bill, Kevin C, Kevin S, Adam, and John as my crew members. Professional photographer Russell Satterthwaite (http://russellsatterthwaitephotography.com) was also onboard as our cameraman.
At 6:30 am on Saturday morning we loaded the bait from temporary holding pens back into in the boat and made our way to the 7:30 am “Bimini Start” point off the south end of Key Biscayne. The “Bimini” start got its’ name from tournaments held in the early days of tournament fishing in Bimini, in the Bahamas. Nearly a hundred big sportfishing boats would line up, right off the beach in North Bimini, and when the gun was fired it was a mad dash to the fishing grounds! I remember seeing some of these starts as a young kid and they were impressive!
The “No Rules” Bimini start was not as impressive, as our 36’ Invincible, with triple 300hp Mercury Verado engines, left everyone else behind. We ran straight southeast to offshore ofFowey Light and put up the kites. There was practically no wind so used helium balloons on the kites to keep them aloft. Within ten minutes we saw a flopper Sailfish. I floored the boat in reverse and we started to pitch baited spinning rods everywhere. Before long we had hooked upsix Sailfish, eventually catching three out of the six. Not a bad way to start the tournament! Everymove we made on this day we got bites, and we ended up catching 10 Sailfish and having over 20 bites. All this on a flat calm day, with the winds 5 mph or less!
Special thanks go out to our sponsors Mercury Marine, Sufix fishing line, VMC hooks, Preferred Marine Group, and Carl’s bait and Tackle. You guys definitely helped us fish and win this tournament on our new boat. As I said before, what a great way to start the tournament season!
Captain David Ide
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