A Sunday to remember, one of our club members, Mike Clarkson of ‘Reef Magic’ had tagged a 180 kg. Blue Marlin on Saturday and after describing the conditions out wide the excitement and expectations of the day ahead were hard to contain, even after all these years.
We started out having a jig on one of the inshore reefs and after losing a couple of jigs managed a couple of nice Kings going 70-80 cm. But now it was time to get out and chase our prime target, I was after a Yellowfin and if a Blue got in the way on the way out we would take that too.
There was radio talk of a ’50 kg. fin taken further South as we headed off. The water was surprisingly warm being 23C on the shelf increasing to 24C at 200 fathoms and remaining there until 500 where we had a Marlin strike but unfortunately didn’t connect and surprisingly didn’t come back for another shot.
Finally the temperature started to drop and at the break there were huge numbers of flying fish as well as Dolphins and Pilot Whales moving about in the area – It looked like a good area to start cubing.
The drift was over 4 knots due to wind and current so I was most surprised when one of the guys hooked up just before sunset, excitement was high and after the first half hour was even higher as we realised this was no small fish and the tackle was having very little effect on it.
The ‘fin had taken a pilchard drifted down on one of the Kingfish jigging rigs unfortunately as we found out later the rod didn’t have enough spine to lift under the pressure. After an hour and a half using the tackle and with the fish circling about 6 metres down as a glowing golden ball the leader gave way, there was deadly quiet on board.
The ‘fin had effectively beaten all the anglers as each one had given it their best shot. Now we had a 35 mile run home, plenty of time for recriminations and what we should have or could have done and maybe even a beer or two…