Sunday, June 05, 2011
Antigua Sportfishing Tournament this weekend want to come?
I started Aventure Antigua for many reasons, and one of the main ones was that with my boats I would always be able to go fishing on my days off if I wanted to. Adventure Antigua has put more boats in Antigua's fishing tournaments than any other individual or company and we will continue that trend this coming weekend when we will have at least one boat fishing.
Xtreme will be the boat that I am on with one or two of our old Team Xtreme crew. This year the rest of the crew happens to be off island and for a change we are going to be taking paying guests who want a chance at catching a Blue Marlin.
As some of you may know, we have finished in the top three of the Marlin Division several times and each year we are are among the main contenders for the top prize. We are extremely serious about the equipment we use and prepare it going over every aspect each year weeks before the competition starts.
Fishing for marlin is unlike fishing for most other fish as the fish are just so big and powerful. Its not like catching a mahi mahi where once the fish is hooked well you will bring it to the boat. Blue Marlin are capable of stripping all the line (900 meters) from a reel that has a nearly 30 lbs of drag on the reel. We have fought marlin for over two hours several times following the fish sometimes at speeds of up to 14 knots. Many people say marlin fishing is boring as the hookup rate is slower than it is for many of the other smaller fish, but when you do get a fish on the line the level of excitement is higher than you can imagine. The raw power of the fish is something to behold and if you are the one who's suited up in the harness and holding the rod, you better be ready for the fight of your life.
Our boat is rigged for stand up tackle and we don't have a fighting chair. This means you need to be fit and your fitness will be tested without a doubt.
Even though we use the boat to chase the fish the fight is never easy when you have a large marlin on the line. Antigua has never had a "grander" come back to the scales but many of us have seen or fought them. We have had two fish over the past 6 years come and take one of our lures that could have been over a thousand pounds, but each time they "spat the hook". We have released over thirty marlin and brought two back to the scales. One was 589 lbs and the other was just under the minimum weight of 300lbs.
We made a mistake on that one and until our tournament is a catch and release tournament similar mistakes will be made when no fish has been brought back to the scales. This year we have more methods at our disposal to make sure our fish are over the 300 lb minimum and if we are not sure they will be released like the majority of the others.
Someone was saying that most marlin released end up perishing because of exhaustion, but we know that not to be true now after many recent tagging studies have shown. As you will read on this site (click here), almost all blue marlin tagged with satellite transmitters after being caught on rod and reel survived after being released. This makes us feel way better about fishing for them and we spend extra time and effort making sure they are released with as little stress as possible and with reviving if colour is missing from them. This video
was taken two weekends ago and is of our only marlin warm up this year. Notice how the second marlin took more than half of the line off the reel. We will go out one more time to warm up this friday and come in to Nelson's Dockyard for the registration. The official tournament is on Saturday and Sunday and then on Monday there is an optional day of fishing for Marlin only. That's up to three days of Marlin Fishing, but there are costs associated with all of this and this year we are looking at taking paid guests on each day. If you are interested or know of someone that could be interested in being a guest and getting a chance to fight a Blue Marlin please contact me ASAP. We will take a maximum of two guests per day. The cost will be reasonable compared to regular full day marlin charters on other boats. My mobile number is +1 268 725 7263.
Call soon as spots are limited. The weather forecast is looking great too so I am very excited about this coming weekend! If you are on island pick up a copy of the latest issue of Enjoy magazine as there is a cool article in there about marlin fishing.