Follow Christopher Collins as he chronicles his week-long trip to the breath-taking waters of Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Many Florida Sportsman members know Chris from his posts as NoSlack on the Florida Sportsman forums or may have seen his name pop up in the magazine. The journey starts on February 14 and lasts until February 20, when he flies home to Southeast Florida. During his trip to Mexico, he will experience its exceptional sailfishing. Chris hopes to highlight his trip by fishing the “baitballs,” a unique scenario when sailfish packs actively corral baitfish into a tight ball and take turns picking off the stragglers.
Day 6: February 19
Isla Mujeres: Swimming with Sailfish
Sitting here on the Outlaw eating a fresh egg and bacon croissant, loading a short clip to YouTube, which will hopefully be done by the time I’m done writing this.
So, yesterday, I had the amazing opportunity to jump in on a bait ball. Quite possibly one the coolest things I have ever done. The weather was perfect in the morning, so we loaded up the snorkel gear hoping to find some birds.
We found the frigates circling in the green water, with sails breaking the surface of the waves. Before we decided to put lines in, the masks and snorkels were put on, camera turned on, and we hopped in. Talk about an amazing experience. The bait ball was tight and darted and weaved as about a dozen sailfish took their turns earning a meal. The whole experience was very calm, very organized. The colors were amazing. No better way to see the true meaning of the term “lit up.” The video and pictures I captured really do not do the experience justice. We stayed in the water for about an hour, I could have stayed in all day.
After swimming with them, it was time to catch them. As soon as we pulled ourselves in the transom door and took it all in, lines were out. As soon as lines were out, we were tight. Right off the bat we nailed a triple, followed by a quad. Sick fishing, within 15 or so minutes we caught and released 13 sailfish. Most likely the most intense 15 minutes of sailfishing I have ever seen!
We finished the day out with 17 releases, and headed back a little early for some grub. I have lots of pictures from the last couple days but the internet is not allowing me to post the higher quality images from my Canon. Here is some video capture from swimming with the sailfish for the time being:
*Seems I’m having some issues uploading, the internet is pretty weak here. Will keep trying. I’m off to capture some images of the island and enjoy a day of relaxation!