Conor and I are not natural fisherman (as per our fishing article), but given the right conditions (ie: a speed boat with professional fishermen perched on a fly bridge trolling with 5 lines) and we are excellent!
Bob on SV Tres Jolie graciously invited us to join his family on a fishing charter Friday, February 17th. 5:30am came very early that morning as we spent the previous night at a farewell dinner for SV Dejala with plenty of wine to go around. Plied with coffee and snacks, we pulled away from the dock on board Aries II by 6:30am and found ourselves heading towards the open ocean. We are heading for the water temperature break about 30 miles from shore. This is where we will hunt for marlin. And hunt is indeed the accurate word for this kind of fishing. Mimo is the Captain and Carlos is his crew. Carlos sets up 5 poles for trolling.
5 trolling lines set up
We stand on the fly bridge, eyes peeled, scanning the surface of the water for marlin fins.
There is no “Here Fishie Fishie Fishie” method to this type of fishing.
There’s one! There’s one! Carlos excitedly announces. Captain Mimo moves the boat in to position as Carlos grabs one of the poles and violently jerks the line to attract the marlin.
Carlos works his magic
The marlin is hooked and jumps clear out of the water in an attempt to break free from the hook. And he succeeds. Carlos pulls in the line and replaces it with another lure with fresh bait.
huge lures with fresh bait
We get to know our new friends who are from Alaska and Montana and have sailed their Catalina 36 down from San Diego.
I move to a fighting chair (there is a place to secure the base of the pole while you reel in the large fish) and watch the lures skip on the top of the water behind us at 7 knots. I see a set of fins following a lure beneath the water and then I see the fins jerk up and out of the water.
FISH ON! FISH ON! I yell.
Carlos quickly instructs everyone to help pull in the other 4 lines. Carlos grabs the live reel and since I’m the closest he gives me the rod. I’m so excited to be pulling in a marlin!
The next 10 minutes feel like a workout. My right arm is aching. Reeling a 125lb fish in is a lot more work than I had planned for even with Carlos helping me. I pull the rod back, then move it forward and quickly reel in the slack over and over.
Bob! I yell. Take over! Bob encourages me and says to keep going. I try to palm off the responsibility of working the reel for the next 5 minutes and I finally yell, SOMEBODY please take over!
Conor knows this tone of voice from me. He jumps in and takes over my spot on the fighting chair and finishes the job.
What a beautiful fish
Carlos and Captain Mimo pull the marlin on board and hit it with a bill club. Lonnie and I cringe.
Sorry, Carlos says.
The marlin lays against the transom flopping it’s head and tail for 5 more minutes and I feel bad for it. The bright blue stripes on its side quickly fade away.
Time for the next one. We put all 5 lines out again but decide to release the next one. About one hour later we hook another.
This time Dave grabs the fishing rod. This marlin is a fighter. Three times in a row he gets the fish close and then Mr. Marlin decides he does not wish to join the company of Aries II and runs away from the boat again. Dave works pretty darn hard for this marlin and all we want to do is release him! Finally Mr. Marlin gets tired and finally comes in. Unfortunately we cannot release him as he has completely swallowed the hook so he comes on board with us.
Carlos casts all 5 lines out again and we get a couple bites but don’t catch a third fish. We had 10 bites in all that day. Finally it is time to return to the harbor and we head east. It is a wet ride on the fly bride as we are heading in to the waves and they are washing up over the bow. We get soaked but are loving the ride. We see a pod of about 100 dolphins move across the bow, turtles, humpback whales, and sting rays.
Back on the dock. And soaked!
Posing by our catch. Lonnie, Lanea, Conor, Bob, Dave
We asked Carlos and Captain Mimo to pose for us.
Our marlins weighed in just slightly less than a 1213lb marlin caught in Cabo in September 2011! http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor/blog/30401/monster%20blue%20marlin%20caught%20after%2028-hour%20battle%20off%20cabo%20san%20lucas/
Back at the dock Carlos cuts a couple of pieces for us and they offer to donate the rest to a local orphanage. We are thankful of this option and accept as there is no way we could possibly eat this much fish! At the end of the day we had a great experience, great company, and did a good deed.