Historic Sailfish Bite off Florida Keys

The incredible fishing in the Florida Keys just keeps on a-comin’!

Catch22.Sails.Tightening Drag

Catch22.Sails.Tightening Drag

The incredible fishing in the Florida Keys just keeps on a-comin’!

Just a couple weeks after we reported about the massive tiger sharks being caught and released out of Islamorada's Bud N' Mary's Marina by Capt. Nick Stanczyk, his uncle, Capt. Scott Stanczyk, tapped into an epic sailfish bite yesterday.

Stanczyk, skippering the legendary Catch 22, released 47 sails, the best single-boat day out of Bud N' Mary's since 1944.

It was one of those days where everything lined up just right, the marina posted on its website.

“Usually every year for a few days we get “tailing” conditions off Islamorada, where the sailfish and cobia tail down the waves, surfing into the current," they wrote. "Today just so happened to be the greatest day of sailfishing out of Bud N Mary’s since 1944!”

Indeed, the former marina record of 24 released fish was obliterated. Other boats got into the action too — Reel McCoy released 22 and young Nick Stanczyk turned loose 18 fish aboard the B n' M and also nabbed three nice cobia.

But the wild bite hasn’t been restricted to Islamorada. Hardly.

The World Sailfish Championship generated record-smashing results last week out of Key West.

And Andy Newman, who handles public relations for the Keys, tells Sport Fishing that on Tuesday, April 24, Capt. B.J. Meyer — who finished sixth in the championship — led his party to an amazing 50 sailfish releases off Marathon on his Sea Vee, Silent Hunter. It is one of the biggest single-day tallies in recent memory in all of Florida.

The bite's been so good, Newman himself managed to slip out for a day, treating his just-turned 90-year-old father, Stuart Newman, to a birthday bash replete with jumping sails out of Bud N' Mary's on the Catch 22.

What a week!

As for yours truly, it’s been five long years since my last trip to the area. That particular outing produced 11 daytime swordfish in two days.

I think it’s about time for another visit!

—Andy Newman contributed to this report. Photos courtesy Bud N' Mary's Marina, Andy Newman and Chris Johnson


Team Silent Hunter, led by Capt. B.J. Meyer, caught and released 50 sailfish off Marathon in the Florida Keys, Tuesday, April 24, 2012. Meyer and his five-man team left the dock at about 12:45 in the afternoon. They quickly caught 35 mullet and headed out looking for tailers. They went offshore of Sombrero Light on the color change in 130 feet of water and immediately found two sailfish tailing. They pitched a bait for a rapid double hookup, and the action never let up. By 4:30, they had caught and released 50 sailfish on 20-pound spin tackle. Photo by Chris Johnson.