Sunday, May 27, 2012

My [1st] 2012 Marlin

As a tune-up for next weekend's big Sam's Cup billfish tournament, we went out both Saturday and Sunday this weekend.  On Saturday we caught a couple of mahi in the morning and had a touch by a marlin mid-morning.  At 2:50pm we had a strong hit and he started jumping.  Our team worked well and we got me on the line quickly.  The marlin didn't run far (comparatively) and he came back relatively quickly, as well.  Too quickly, seemingly.  At about 40m to go (in only 10 minutes of fighting) he saw the boat and started jumping again and threw the hook. So that was that.  The plus side was the marlin hit a lure that I bought as a present to the captain.  A few years ago I came back from America with a half-dozen lures but we've never caught anything on them.

Today we tried a different location and had terrible luck all day, only picking up one mahi.  At 3pm when everybody had given up and were looking forward and talking, I was still facing the direction of the lures and keeping a close eye behind.  I saw a big swoosh through the water behind the lure I bought and I shouted out "LEFT, LEFT, LEFT!!"(in Japanese) then just as quickly said it was a marlin.  He missed the lure twice but hit it about the time everybody else was comprehending what was happening.  I jumped down stairs and started reeling in the center/shotgun lure (to get it out of the way of the jumping marlin so he didn't cut the line). Everybody else knew exactly what to do and we worked better than I've ever seen a team work.  In less than two minutes all four loose lines were in and I was harnessed in with the marlin in the fighting chair.

The fight went pretty well, but then again I'm pretty strong so the marlin struggle against me.  After taking out a lot of line he jumped a lot more, which makes us nervous because this is when marlin often get off the line.  But he was hooked pretty well, apparently.  After 20-ish minutes he got close enough to the boat that I changed out with my friend, Aya.  She would reel in the last few meters of line while I would take over the handlining [of the 10m leader]. Once I got the fish up to the boat the captain would spear him.

The marlin was still plenty energetic, though, and fought back against me, taking line out making me give up and try again a minute later.  The second time I prevailed and muscled him up behind the boat.  The captain speared him, handed me the rope with the spear tip attached, then speared him once more and hooked him with the gaff.

[the marlin came alive again just as this picture was being taking - see motion blur in the tail and the look on my face]

[I went nuts with lure experimentation; usually we'll use 6-7 lures in a day - today we used 14]

[99kg, 218 pounds, my ~9th marlin(?) and maybe my last?]


Dad said...

Nice job Dave, I hope you didn't use up all of your luck on that one. Good luck this weekend.

Mom said...

Good job to you and your team - beautiful fish! Good luck at the next tournament.

Anonymous said...

Oh, what a big marlin you catch!
Very nice!
I really want to go to south to catch a big marlin like yours.
Wow, yummy!!!