Fisherman makes uncommon near-shore catch off Sanibel

Posted at 12:54 PM, Jul 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-29 12:54:27-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- A fisherman visiting from Missouri made an unlikely catch this week on a charter fishing trip near Sanibel Island.

Captain Noah Stewart says he took Todd Richleau out for a day on the water and was fishing about 4 miles south of Sanibel when a 7-foot sailfish took his live bait.

Rochleau fought the fish on 30-pound-test for about 30 minutes before landing the fish.  The two posed for a quick photo with the fish before releasing it back into the Gulf.

“Catching a sailfish this large and this close to shore is unusual,” stated Captain Noah. “I was as excited and happy as my client!” 

Sailfish are a pelagic species that generally patrol the surface of deeper offshore waters, and rarely venture into shallow waters.