5th Day lands two sails before noon

Tina Harbuck

DESTIN — Some people are lucky to catch one, but to catch two sailfish in one day is impressive.

“This is the first time I’ve caught two in one day in my 15 years of doing this … I’m ecstatic,” said Capt. Brandy Miles-Kitchens, who could hardly contain her excitement as she stepped off her charter boat 5th Day on Wednesday.

Capt. Brandy had taken a group from Missouri out mackerel fishing last week about a mile off the beach when they snagged the first sailfish.

“It pretty much showed up out of nowhere,” she said.

“At first we didn’t know what it was,” said Lynn Sullivan, one of the anglers from Missouri. “Then we saw it come up out of the water and we weren’t sure that was what was on the hook or not.”

Captain explained that the fish was in one direction and the line was in another.

She soon found out the fish was foul hooked right behind the gills.

“It jumped about 15 times,” she said.

Tanner Dillon was the angler on the rod.

“It’s the fish of a lifetime … the biggest one I’ve ever caught. It’s an awesome feeling,” Dillon said.

It took the crew a bit longer to get the sailfish to the boat because it was foul hooked. The fish died as it was being reeled in.

“We tried to revive him for a good 30 minutes … to the point that I told them that I’ll give you extra time, because I want this fish to live, but couldn’t make it work,” captain said.

They finally put the sailfish in the box and moved to another spot.

Capt. Brandy said they were fishing just inshore of the broken bottom and caught a couple of mackerel before moving over to a wad of bait.

On the first cast in the bait, they hooked another sailfish.

“It came up and bit (first mate Jesse Vonderosten's) bait, then spit the hook,” captain said.

They brought it back in and pitched out another bait. The sailfish made half a lap and then came up out of the water and was greyhounding on the bait.

Miles-Kitchens missed the fish, and then started twitching the bait and it finally took it.

“I looked at it right next to the boat and watched him eat my bait … he was all lit up, bright blue. I literally just watched him eat … it was like I hand fed it to him,” she said.

At that point they handed the rod off to 26-year-old Nate Sullivan.

“It was a good fight,” Nate said.

Halfway through, he thought he might have to hand the rod off, but he hung tough.

“He about spooled us twice,” captain said.

When this sailfish, which was hooked in the lip, came out of the water it “looked like a monster” it was so big, Brandy said.

“Every time it jumped … it was like a back flip … it was so cool. I’m still excited,” she said.

It took Nate about 30 minutes to get the sailfish to the boat. After a few photos they were able to release it to swim another day.

The first sailfish measured 63 inches from the fork of the tail to the jaw and was 81 inches in total length.

As for the second one, she said it was much fatter and about five inches longer.

“It was priceless,” said Lynn Sullivan. “Very seldom that you catch these kind of fish … it was well worth it.”

These were the seventh and eighth sailfish for Capt. Brandy, her third and fourth this season.

“That’s a mighty fine season,” she said.

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