5/31 Offshore report

Left Ripley Light Marina around 5:00 a.m. Headed towards 226 Hole, in search of Dolphin. Were met with calm seas, and rode out as fast as 45mph, at times. Looked like we were dragging the rest of the fleet behind us, but they mostly dispersed, the farther we went.

Got to 226 Hole searching for a weed line. Nothing, not even scattered. So we kept pushing deeper. In around 700’ we found a few “bunches” of Sargassum, but to call it a mat, or a weed line, would be an overstatement!

Captain makes the decision to head back to shallower water, and try to find some weeds. We got back to 600’ and found a “patch” of scattered weeds, with some small Flying Fish, and deployed our spread. A couple of bird chains, a chugger, and an Islander.

As the Captain made a short turn to stay clear the clumps of weeds, one of the bird chains became fouled with the chugger, so I reeled it in, untangled the mess and redeployed the lures.

While I was watching to get the birds aligned in the spread I catch a glimpse of a bill coming from port, like a rocket.

I yelled out Sailfish in the spread.
And as everyone turned to see, the ocean exploded. I grab the rod, and the fish is hooked, but ripping drag.

Not a Sailfish, but, a, big, Blue Marlin!!

While I’m quite familiar with both star, and lever drag systems, the Captain starts yelling out “drag” “drag”!!! I yell back more, or less??? I wasn’t sure just what to do?

As the guys are trying to put a fighting belt around my waist the Captain heads back, and I pass off the rod.

The fish sounded as I tried to correct course, with the boat,and gain back some line.

Captain tried to tweek the drag, to slow the fish down, before being spooled, and the rod goes flat.

Damnit!!! He’s coming back to the boat???

No, the line had broken. Our hearts sank!!

As we all looked at each other in amazement of the event that had just unfolded, I peer back over the transom in disbelief.

Guess who was back in our spread? Yep, our Marlin!!!

He never made an attempt at any of the other lures. I guess he was just telling us goodbye, by that look in his eye.

Captain estimated the fish at 600#s.

Caught a bunch of Vermillion, and Triggers, and headed back to the hill, in sloppy conditions.

That short run in with that Marlin is a snapshot in time that will be seared in my memory forever…


Probably would have got him in if you kept the rod.


Great story

B-liners eat better than marlin anyway, and thats a fact.

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In my experience, b-liners eat better than ARS too…

This was a magnificent adventure!

Never thought in my wildest dreams I would ever tangle with a Blue Marlin!

He won…

But, I have the hook now!

I’ll be back!

What a rush!!

Man I enjoyed reading that! Awesome story!!

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Cool story despite the ending, crazy that he came back into the spread afterwards!

I need to dig up Bug Catcher’s recipe for trigger burgers, all those trimmings make a MEAN sammy

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