Late in March of this year, Tom Eiseman had invited fellow islander and fishing friend, Bob Bowe, to join with him while Alex Garland of Say What Charter run Eisman’s boat for him for a day out on the water.
They had initially headed out from Marco to a “special spot” which Captain Garland had thought would put the two onto some Grouper or Cobia for the day.
Normally, Garland would set up some lighter gear, but on this day, he also set up two heavier rods in addition to the lighter gear. According to Bowe, it was either pure dumb luck or just fate, but it was not long after setting the anchor and casting one of the heavier rods out that one of those bigger rods suddenly received a heavy hit and began to unwind. No one aboard had any idea what they had at the end of the line, at least not until it broke the water and leaped into the air.
“I think our eyes got as big as silver dollars when we heard Alex yell it was a sailfish,” Eiseman stated.
“Alex immediately grabbed a fighting belt and hooked me up and told me to go for it,” added Bowe.
Alex explained to both men it was a rarity to see this species, never mind catch one anywhere near Marco. Sailfish seem to prefer the deep blue waters of the Gulfstream.
Bowe battled the magnificent creature for close to an hour. “I think we were both getting pretty tired towards the end,” Bowe explained as he nodded his head.
Alex pulled the anchor and began the careful process to back down towards the fish. This allowed them to land the fish and take some pictures for posterity.
After the photos, the three men carefully released the magnificent fish and made sure the catch of their lifetime was able to swim away as they watched it kick tail before disappearing into the depths of the water below.
According to Bowe, it took almost an hour for his arms to finally stop quivering as he said during the interview, “This was one of the greatest experiences of my life, and I have Tom to thank for inviting me along, and Alex for being such a knowledgeable Captain.”