Record 65 Sailfish Releases in One Day!

Two Florida Keys charter boats set single-day Keys sailfish records on May 23 with 61 and 65 sails released

Record 61 Sailfish Releases in One Day
We're going to need a bigger boat — just to accommodate the release flags! This is what 65 flags looks like, shown here on the Silent Hunter after their record-setting day.Courtesy the Silent Hunter

Proponents of Florida Keys fishing claim it’s among the best in the world, and two captains working out of Marathon on May 23 proved that’s not just hyperbole when each set amazing records for sailfish releases.

"The Florida Keys sailfish-release record was broken twice in one day by two different boats," Capt. Barry Meyer (Magic Charters) tells Sport Fishing.

Record 61 Sailfish Releases in One Day
Also a record-breaking day for Capt. Marty Lewis and his anglers, with 61 release flags hoisted.Courtesy the Main Attraction

The day proved windy, rainy — and "every sailfish enthusiast's sight-casting dream come true!" Barry says. And Capt. Marty Lewis on the charter Main Attraction took full advantage of that. His anglers — Digger and Samantha Rodamer, Thomas Torres, Jimmy David and Lauren Parker — went to work, and when the dust had settled at day's end, the boat had 61 release flags flying. That broke the standing Keys record of 57 releases in a single day, Barry says.

Record 61 Sailfish Releases in One Day
When sails are schooling offshore, no place in the world offers better action than the Florida Keys.Andy Hahn / Sport Fishing magazine

At the same time, anglers aboard the 39 SeaVee Silent Hunter with Capt. BJ Meyer (who specializes in sight-fishing blue water) were releasing sails hand-over-fist. Anglers Cody Carbie, Kevin McKeon, Mike Taute, Anthony Mora and James Keane finished the day with 65 sailfish releases, now standing as the new Keys record, according to Barry.

The apparent single-day sailfish-release record statewide is 83 caught on Feb. 3, 1980, off Palm Beach by the boat Elbo 7 according to West Palm Beach Fishing Club archives.