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Clearlake II - Day 14 - Marlin Catch!

03 December 2011


Current position "17:23.5N 47:29.4W”. A good afternoon yesterday was capped off somewhat dramatically. As Byron pronounced that we weren’t going to catch anything today, so let’s bring in the reels, Graham’s reel suddenly sprung into life. As we scrambled to slow the boat down and get the rod in the right position to haul in the fish it became clear this was a big one. After about 20 minutes of reeling, the fish surfaced some 500 metres away – it was a marlin! If not before we knew we had a fight on our hands now. Reeling was incredibly tough so it took to both Byron and Graham working it, with Byron and Graham hanging on, for dear life at times, Byron hauling on the rod, and Graham reeling in. As the marlin got close he went nuts, towing this way and that around the boat, and then diving deep, deep deep. At this point we were hanging on for all we could – trying to keep the rod, and ourselves, on the boat while the marlin sapped strength. It wasn’t clear who was going to run out of energy first! With the marlin diving deep below us our rod was bent a full 90 degrees. The fight took some 45 minutes before he was mostly out of energy, and we had him relatively docile at the back of the boat. What a beauty! We reckoned his total length to be about 6 feet and weighing perhaps 100 lbs. You can see him up close after he’d slowed down and surfaced behind the boat.
 
So now we were left with a decision what to do next. No doubt this size of fish would stock us in excellent marlin steaks for weeks to come, but could we do justice to it (and did we have enough space in the freezer)? More seriously, we worried about the fight that would take place if we sought to land him in the boat’s small confines, and the dangers to the individuals (us) of a huge fish with a big spike fighting for its existence. We decided to let him fight another day and cut him loose – he went deep straight away. Hopefully he’ll recover well, but we certainly have been left with a memory of a lifetime – bringing in a marlin!
 
Otherwise we continue with fair winds and good progress, generally over 7 knots. We’re heading more south at present – the winds remain favourable towards the north until about Wednesday when they disappear with a ridge – so we’re driving south with good winds with the aim to dip under that lull in wind as we approach St Lucia. Current target for St Lucia arrival is Thursday afternoon, but lots can happen in the meantime...

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