Soon he was within casting range. "Now!" shouted the skipper, signaling to me to cast the fly.
This is the moment where timing is critical. As the sailfish excitedly pursues one of the baits (in this case, a fresh mullet), the crew yanks that bait out of the water, and my task is to cast my fly as close as possible to the spot where the mullet just was, just as the sailfish is looking for the missing mullet.
In this case the timing worked like clockwork. The hungry sailfish turned to my fly, decided it was the next best thing to a fresh mullet, and inhaled it. As the 100-lb. fish swam away from the boat, I held tight onto the line and leaned in the opposite direction from the one he was swimming.
The sailfish took off like a rocket, leaping clear of the sea in a series of majestic jumps. Line tore off my fishing reel as the fish continued on his blistering initial run. Gradually, his pace slowed and I began to regain line.
Some 20 minutes later, the crew carefully brought the fish aboard for a brief photo opportunity, and then released him again, taking care to ensure he was swimming properly. Off he swam.