TROLLING FOR BIG BLUE MARLIN

I’ve got a confession…

 

This has never happened to me before, ever! Last weekend I was in Port Stephens covering the 2014 Cabo Hatteras Billfish Shootout for Trade-a-Boat Magazine. I was fishing on the continental shelf and I started feeling a little strange – my stomach was churning like a washing machine on a spin cycle. I managed to fight it off for a while, but the strange feeling wouldn’t go away. Finally, it revealed itself in the form of explosive vomiting out of my nostrils – I was seasick, but luckily it was a good omen for the fishing…

 

The 2014 Cabo Hatteras Billfish Shootout

 

As we hit the 2000m mark, I wasn’t feeling any better. We hadn’t had a bite all day and the sloppy seas were rolling the 1988 Bertram around like a rubber duck in a kid’s bathtub. I was with the team from Game and Leisure Boats; there was Graham, Ben, Mark, Bluey and Steve as well as Laura - who came along with me for the ride. The crew’s objective was to win the prize for the largest fish captured, so they aimed their efforts at trolling for trophy sized blue marlin.

 

The tools of the trade.

 

Choose your drag setting wisely...

 

Half the crew were asleep, I was still as sick as a dog, Laura was kicking back and the rest boys were having a yarn when short rigger went off. The rod buckled and the reel started howling like a wolf to the full moon. The fish grabbed the lure and shook its head for 30 seconds before taking that big first run that blues are famous for - we were on like Donkey Kong! After a great fight with plenty of jumps and lots of whitewater, the fish bobbed up boat-side. We noticed that in the heat of battle it had actually ripped the whole skirt from the head of the lure – geez they must hit hard! When we finally arrived back at the weigh station, the crew was disappointed to hear a bigger fish had unfortunately been caught – damn!

 

Hooked up.

 

Mark wields the tag pole like a warrior with a spear.

 

Blue, boat-side.
 

If you ever needed proof that blue marlin hit hard – here it is…

 

Bluey struggled to erect the flag – but blamed it on the fact that he doesn’t get enough practice because Graham never catches any fish!

 

149.6kg of blue marlin.

 

  

The winners, Smartbill and Casey.

 

Although I’ll probably never live the seasickness down, it was still great to watch the team in action – make sure you grab issue 451 of Trade-a-Boat Magazine and read all about it.

 

Read the full story in issue 451 of Trade-a-Boat Magazine.

 

 

Is there a fish you want me to attempt to catch? A location I should fish? A photographic challenge? You tell me. Either email fishfingers18@yahoo.com or leave a comment below.

 

Until next week.

 

Jack Murphy

 

© JackMurphy Fishing and Photography

 

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