Monday, August 26, 2013

Marlin in July off Durban

Had a 12hr Tuna trip on Friday.

We launched at 05h00 and headed 90km north of Durban, we  ran about 30km till 06h30 before we dropped lines at Dawns crack. It was  overcast with pockets of rain and was a cold day at sea, the NE was already  pumping and the sea was not pleasant and worsened as the day continued ending in  a 30knot NE with swells almost 4m. Water temp was 21.6deg mostly and crystal  clear and blue. I had decided to fish with 30’s as I was not expecting any big  fish.

That morning the birds were wild and we must have had at  least 200 birds around us at any given time during the day, we had 5 species of  Albatross, Skua's, Gannets, Petrels, Terns and a few others, there was also  lots and lots of whale activity about.

The finder also was showing plenty activity in the 1st  20m of water and I also noticed some big fish on the bottom.

As we set our spread the 1st line out is always the  shotgun, and before we even had a chance to get the second line out we heard  the rigger pop and we had our 1st Yellowfin on. By 07h00 we had 3 Yellowfin  landed and in the next hour we landed another 9.

Just after 08h00 we had 4 lines go and as we got everyone  into fighting their fish and I slowed the boat down we had a whale jump behind  the boat and tangle all 4 lines, and if you think that’s bad things got worse.

So there we are trying to untangle these 4 lines all with  a Yellowfin attached to them, the boat idling along at 2-3knots, one of the 3  remaining lines still in the water pops of the rigger and the rod gets a  serious bend as the reel starts to scream, I see a flash out of the corner of  my eye and shout Sailfish, but it was a small Black Marlin of 50-60Kg, this guy  was bouncing around behind the boat left, right and towards us without taking  much line and I had to accelerate the boat several times. Once the angler had  settled into the fight I grabbed all 4 tangled lines and hand-lined the 4  Yellowfin to the boat (not an easy task in anyway).

Once I had the 4 Yellowfin on board I went up to the  bridge and it was then that one of the saddest days of my life began to unfold  before my eyes. The remaining 2 lures that were still out each had been taken  by an Albatross and with all the chaos that had happened I had not noticed and  most likely when I accelerated the boat all those time with the Marlin they  must have been dragged under the water. I stopped the boat and my deck hand and  I each brought in a line.
We then brought the 2 bodies on board and I began to give  CPR and mouth to mouth to the 2 birds. I gave my best efforts and managed to  revive the one bird, but the one did not make it.
I must say at that specific point I wanted to give up  fishing I felt so guilty and I even hated myself (You know how I love birds), I  cried like a baby and even prayed for the bird but eventually gave up the CPR  and put the saved bird in the cabin. We all had a moments silence for the dead  bird before we laid him over board and it was heart breaking to see his  lifeless body floating in the water.

The Marlin fight was still on and so I engaged the boat  again and we continued fishing, the guys were all excited but for me my day was  ruined and we still had 9hrs to go.

As I was not expecting big fish we where fishing light  with small lures, and the lure that the Marlin had taken was a small Black/Purple  Sailfish catcher rigged with 1mm line and a 6/0 hook.
Whilst I was leadering the fish he took a massive jump  past the corner of the boat and the hook broke. I still can’t believe a Marlin  in mid July off Durban, crazy stuff.

I am happy to report that the saved Albatross is doing  well and I will be releasing him this coming Friday

No comments:

Post a Comment