Monday, May 31, 2010

fishing tournament a week later part 1

8 am saturday 29th. A week ago at this hour i was skippering xtreme 12 miles north east of green island at the start of the 44th annual fishing tournament. Our crew and gear were very well prepared and we were ready to fight a big marlin. The day was rough and we experienced several very big squalls. Donovan our junior angler was hit by a big wave and completely saturated early in the day. Fairly early in the morning we had a marlin come and hit one of our lures. Infact, i think it hit two of our lures 1 after the other but didn't get hooked. When you're fishing in the deep waters off antigua with huge lures, most of the fish on the service are blue marlin. We found some flotsam some out there and wahoo were accumulating under it. We caught 1 and quickly left the area to avoid catching more. We were fishing for marlin after all. We fished and fished and fished and never saw another marlin until the last 5 minutes of the day when the top rod burst to life with a violent strike. It was for 4:25 pm and 5 minutes before lines were in unless you're fighting fish. I could see a huge bill thrashing around behind the boat before it took off with another astonishing run. The fish pulled off about 300 meters of brand new line in what seemed like seconds. The second run was stronger and faster and more violent than the first and as line was being rapidly stripped off the reel and rod in a north westerly direction we saw the fish jumping over to the south west........... and then it stopped. It stopped too abruptly and Big John and I knew the fish was no longer ours. There was still quite a bit of strain on the rod but that was just the weight of two thirds of the reels line stretching out behind the boat. It became slacker as it got closer until we understood that the fish hadn't spat the hook, but had bust the line. Our crew's feelings on other crew's stories of bust lines are not that sympathetic as it usually means a mistake was made. We couldn't figure out what mistake was made here. The line was brand new and we had scale tested the reels drag to make sure it wasnt too tight. Guilli had been on the rod and I though he had been getting pulled about quite a bit for only 27 lbs of drag. He and I were the only ones who had seen the fish jumping while the others cleared all the gear in preparation for a big fight. We both knew it was a big fish and Gil said it was the biggest he had ever seen. We all were upset about missing this big chance and drank beer on the way home to try to cheer up. Back at nelson's dockyard we found out that everyone had experienced a slow day.