How to catch sailfish – Sun

Former bass fishermen Daryl Deka and Mark Lamb have become quite good at catching saltwater fish.

Over the past five years, they’ve gone from winning bass tournaments on Lake Okeechobee to winning fun fish and sailfish tournaments.

Their most recent victory was the Jupiter Billfish Tournament, where their Team Hard Way Doing It All caught a two-day total of 39 sailfish.

During a recent trip out of Lake Worth Inlet, they talked about how their approach to bass fishing has helped them enjoy success in offshore tournaments.

The biggest thing they do is pay attention. When bass fishing, they took note of who was winning tournaments and how they were catching their fish. After they mastered those techniques, Deka and Lamb became the anglers to beat on the Big O.

Eventually, Deka and Lamb looked for a new challenge. They found it in saltwater fishing.

“All we wanted to do was catch fish at the beginning,” said Deka, of Wellington, who used his bass tournament winnings to buy a center console.

“I don’t think anybody’s screwed up more than us when we started out. Our first sailfish tournament, we couldn’t get the baits in the water. They were popping off every time we put them out, and there were sailfish swimming around the boat. We blamed the circle hooks, but they’re the same hooks we use today. It was us.”

Deka, who owns a landscaping company, and Lamb, who owns a roofing company, started asking successful anglers about rigs, tackle and tactics.

They took the tidbits they received, along with the quality information they got from Capt. Skip Dana, who fishes tournaments in his boat Pop A Top, and quickly enjoyed success of their own.

“Daryl and I talked about it,” said Lamb, of West Palm Beach. “We could probably go to Alaska and watch the guys who do well and catch fish.

“You want to do what they do your way.”

For Deka and Lamb, who fish with Rick Burton and Capt. Alex Burgess, that means giving each team member specific responsibilities. Burgess ties all the rigs, which makes for consistency, and he and Deka put out the fishing kites and kite lines. Burton is known as the helper.

Lamb runs Deka’s 32-foot Contender from a short Bluewater tower. That elevated vantage point allows him to see what the fish are doing and help his anglers land them faster.

After a fish bites, Deka asks Lamb for the water depth so they can go back to the area after the fish is landed. They also keep track of the water temperature, the speed of their drift and the wind direction.

On this blustery day, a sailfish slammed a bait off Riviera Beach and Burgess handed the 20-pound outfit to my father, Lloyd, who landed the sail in a few minutes.

When nothing happened as we drifted north, Deka said we needed to go back to the south.

Soon after deploying four kite lines, Lamb saw a sailfish circling one of the baits. Deka picked up the fishing rod and could feel the sailfish hitting the bait with its bill.

After the sail finally swam off with the bait, Deka reeled the line tight and had the fish to the boat in less than five minutes.

swaters@tribune.com or 954-356-4648

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