Sunday, November 8, 2015

FISH ON!!! Striped Marlin

The first billfish has been caught and boarded on the Liahona!  We left Agua Verde at first light this morning to make the 44 miles down to the little fishing town of Evaristo along the Baja coast just north of La Paz by about 5 hours.  We have had 3 days of strong north winds, a norther, and it has left the seas a bit lumpy.  We sailed early in the day for the first 4 or 5 hours then the wind began to die down around 11am.  So we left a headsail up and cranked up the diesel burner to get enough speed to get into Evaristo before dark.  Just after lunch I went down below to get a snack and Marne started yelling that we had a fish on.  Then she yelled "it's a big one, and it's jumping"!  I came running up top to see a billfish dancing on it's tail about 80 yards behind the boat.

We scrambled to get the reacher in, shutdown the motor and get in the other lines so we could battle our fish.  He was jumping like crazy and dancing across the water shaking his head violently trying to rid himself of the hook.  He was spooling line like crazy!  By the time the boat lost most of her speed and the fish had tired some, he was probably 300-400 yards behind the boat and we could barely see him.  He hit on the lighter pole with the smaller reel so I was worried about losing him.  As I barked out instructions, Marne handled the boat like a master and positioned us perfectly so we had the fish off the port beam, although a LONG ways out there.  After about 40 minutes or so we had him beside the boat and then started trying to figure out how to handle him.  After some pro videography, Marne grabbed the rod and muscled him up next to the side of the boat so I could get the gaff into him.  

BAM!  A perfect gaff and he was ours!  We hauled him on deck, threw a tail rope on him, cut his gills and cleated him off the stern.  We are so pumped right now!  It is a blue striped marlin about 7' long and maybe 60-70 lbs.  After all of the excitement we called in to Evaristo, talked with the little restaurant on the beach and they are going to cook him up for whomever wants to join the party.  I can't say how perfectly everything went and how much of a BOSS Marne is!  She did everything perfectly.  Catching and landing a billfish on a sailboat does not happen very often.  If we would have been sailing at 4 knots, he wouldn't even have been interested. Or if we were sailing faster we would never have been able to get sail down in time to actually reel him in.  He would have completely spooled the reel.  

As you all know, I could go on for pages and pages but suffice it to say that we are super excited and looking forward to a great dinner on the beach tonight with friends and anyone else that wants to join.  On a closing note, the last billfish caught on a Liahona was in 1980 aboard my dad's original Liahona.  This one's for you pops!

Until next time...gone fishin'!

SV Liahona 
Bret and Marne

No comments:

Post a Comment