Sunday, May 10, 2009

This Is Why I Love My Job

Because it allows me to do this on the weekends:

Saturday I woke up at 4am and was in my kayak by 5am, leaving its hidden cove on the NW corner of Zamami. I paddled across to Yakabi and reached it just after the tide changed at 6:30am. On my seventh cast a Giant Trevally (my quarry) hit the lure hard. Really hard. It was a like a bullet was launched from somewhere under the water and it struck some dynamite on the surface. I got two good looks and estimated him in the same size class as my GT last year (22kg, 50lbs). He turned and zigzagged his way to the bottom, making a kayak fight extremely difficult. At one point he actually put slack in my line before slamming into it again and pulling the pole from my hands. Fortunately I caught it by the safety rope that attaches my pole to the kayak. Once at the bottom his sporadic fighting nearly claimed victory when he again caught me off guard with a huge burst of energy. My kayak tipped sideways until water was actually coming in, even while I leaned with all my weight in the opposite direction. After 1.5 minutes, as I was starting to wear him down, the lure just popped out and floated to the surface.

I waited a minute to collect myself before casting again. You couldn't have surprised me more if you'd told me I won the lottery (without playing), but another GT went after my lure. Twice. And missed it both times. As my lure retrieve neared the boat I could see two massive (30kg+) GTs following underneath. I am not bummed about this, though, because I have a feeling they'll be hanging out in that area for awhile (they're territorial). They haven't seen the last of me or my Sea Frog (the lure).

I continued on around Kerama chain, going to Kuba, then Ou, Geruma, Aka, and crossing back to Zamami in a 13-hour marathon day. No more fish, but I saw 10+ turtles, including two that were mating.

Today was marlin day. Up at 5:30am and one of the first boats out of the marina. We went south to the same place where I caught my huge marlin last year.

At 10:35am we hooked up. A smallish marlin hit our right lure, just barely. We played with him for a few minutes, trying to get him hooked. It was pretty awesome watching him actually come up and slap the lure around with his bill (this is how they catch fish, by stunning them). We lost track of him for a minute before the center pole hit and a [larger] marlin was hooked. He went airborne for a couple minutes as we brought in the other lines. It's pretty awesome watching a marlin jump.

Somehow everybody had decided I would take the first marlin, which was news to me. I'm not one to argue such things, though, so I put on the harness and clipped in. This marlin fought hard. One of the strongest I've been in on. He was very heavy and it took about 1:15 before he began loosening up. I got the leader to the boat (helped because the captain 'backed down' on him, instead of normally continuing at trolling speed trying to get him to swim with us) in 1:30, but it took another ten minutes to actually get him close enough for the spears.

[Two spears and a gaff]

This marlin got everybody pretty pumped up. We kept trolling until 2:30 when another marlin touched a lure. We were unsure what hit the lure, then we saw his tail break the surface 20m behind. The captain is really good at managing these situations, as I am learning. He's good at speeding up and trying to convince the marlin to commit. But this one wouldn't. We lost him for a couple minutes, then we all (those of us with polarized sunglasses) saw him re-emerge. A big black hulk behind the last lure. He swam around behind us for two minutes before trailing off. The captain circled back over the spot (GPS marked) then gave me a 'giving up' hand wave. Four seconds later the rod two feet from my head let loose. We brought in the empty rods as this marlin - bigger than the first - went airborne all over the place. He was spending more time jumping than swimming. Just as we got the last rod inside, he got off.

We fished until 4:30pm, 1:30 longer than planned. The captain already seems psyched to get out again next weekend, so hopefully the weather (and a lack of customers for his dive shop) will comply.

[3.1 meters, 138kg, 304 pounds - much lighter than we thought]

Fishing season is what I live for here. Teaching English to little kids is great, but it's a lot greater when my body is drained Sunday night because of such an awesome weekend.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hi hui here again. I am currently in singapore. Was surfing through a few JET teachers' websites and found yours along the way.

And man, that Marlin looks awesome! your sunday definitely looks alot more exciting than mine.