The New Year is finally here and all signs are pointing toward the 2021 season being a little later, and a cracker at that. The Black Marlin have been running a little bigger this season – it’s early to predict, however they have been averaging at around 400 to 450lb, which is definitely on the large side for average size range. We have been consistently hooking the Blacks close to the Lodge on the Zane Grey Reef and in the surrounding area. Further offshore, the Sailfish bite has slowed somewhat (which is to be expected) and the Blue Marlin numbers, which started off strong at the beginning of the month, declined as the Black Marlin became more numerous. Dorado are breaking that 50lb mark everyday on the dock, gifting us with some incredible eating. Tuna bite has slowed down, with only a few being caught. The schools have still been seen but are moving at an incredible pace.
At the beginning of January, the winds were still blowing strong from the south meaning the season had not quite changed yet. We are still getting the odd downpour some afternoons, leaving our waters somewhat inconsistent on the inside. That means that boats have had to run a little further to find that beautiful blue water for the Blue Marlin, but being so close to the fish means that we are still running a whole lot closer than most. The Blacks, on the other hand, really don’t mind a little off-colored water. As soon as that northerly wind came through and made things a little choppier, the Black Marlin came up hungry and the bite was on. The water temperature stuck to a constant 83 to 85 degrees all through January, and conditions are looking amazing for very fishy February. With the rains still here into January, we anticipate that March should also be a cracker month for the Blacks – an occurrence that is always welcomed.
Michael and Candy Stuart have been fishing together for many years and this January was their first time visiting Tropic Star Lodge. Michael started the long road of achieving his Royal slam in 1989 out of Chub Key in the Bahamas. Candy started her journey in 2008 off Stuart Florida, and this week they both got to finish the lifetime achievement of releasing all nine Billfish of the world! On their second day of fishing with Capt. Jose, Candy managed to release her Pacific Sailfish and a Black Marlin of 450lb. There were tears of joy on the boat and the dock, and the whole lodge joined in with excitement to celebrate the achievement of something so special. The next day, Michael got to release his first Black Marlin of around 450lb. This was a truly momentous occasion – the couple completed their Royal Slams just days apart. During their trip, the Stuarts released another Black Marlin, more Sails and impressive amounts of Dorado. We can all agree that completing their Royal Slams made this such a special trip. We can’t wait to have them back in just a few weeks.
Father and son team, Mark and Preston Wagner, have traveled together extensively, and love the outdoors and adventure. On their latest adventure, they joined us at Tropic Star for some fishing action on board the Pollyanna with Capt. Fidel. The gentlemen were both new to offshore fishing, so both got to walk the plank for releasing their first Sailfish catches, respectively. They got stuck into some amazing Dorado fishing during their stay and both got to show off some incredible trophy Dorado. Preston also got the release on an awesome Blue Marlin that put on a show for the guys.
Drew, JD and Mike Messler joined us too, fishing on Australia with captain Candelo and mate Ricardo. They were back for their fifth visit all the way from New Jersey. The group were undoubtedly here for Black Marlin, and that is just what they were delivered. The Black in question hit a live bait and dropped it, but Mike was quick to get another dead skip bait back to the fish and got to feed a beauty of a Black Marlin. The fish was called at 280lb. Our Videographer, Kesh, was out with them and got some awesome footage of their majestic Black jumping behind the boat. The guys are very experienced anglers and it showed when Mike released his first Black Marlin.
Guests Gary and Melissa Jones love the outdoors, fishing and embarking on adventures together. While down at the lodge, they fished with Capt. Fidel on Pollyanna. The couple had to work for their fish, but fish they got! Both Gary and Melissa released first-time Black Marlin. It was an insane day, with a Sailfish having been caught too. They were only a Blue Marlin away from a Grand Slam. While trolling around the Zane Grey Reef, there is always an opportunity for those giant Cubera Snappers that lurk deep beneath the surface. Both Gary and Melissa were lucky enough to release monster-sized Cubera Snappers, a bucket-list catch for most.
January has been a wild month with giant Dorado, big Marlin and incredible action from the Sailfish. The weather has certainly kept us on our toes, but it’s all part of the sport. The team and I have enjoyed seeing familiar faces. Sharing in these incredible memories is always so much fun, and the camaraderie is what makes the fishing experience at Tropic Star Lodge so special. We look forward to seeing you all down here soon for your fishing adventure and hope you enjoy the photos.