Tuesday, 30 June 2009 by Tracy Epstein
Finally woke up to nice weather this morning. We got an earlier start then the first couple days and ran up to the area where we'd been seeing most of our fish. We set out and trolled the point with a few other boats marking some bait here and there around the ledge waiting for our turn. We saw one boat hook a fish so we hung around them to shoot some pictures. It was a beautiful day but the fishing was a bit slow only one blue caught and the Chunda released a spearfish. We trolled the point for a few more hours until we finally raised a nice fish on the short rigger Polu Kai Instigator. This is the same bait thats been producing consistently for the last month. The blue which looked 800 plus came in from the middle of the pattern and tried the lure three times before finally getting stuck. She ripped out a hundred yards of line in what seemed like a few seconds, than came flying out of the water in a series of spectacular jumps. Jonboy drove us ahead to get out of her way as Tracy wound the line tight.
Sunday, 28 June 2009 by Tracy Epstein
The weather was complete trash yesterday. Who says the water in Madeira is always flat? Yesterday was probably the worst day we've seen yet. We wandered out of the harbor for a few hours before calling it quits, theres way too many nice days to force it. We knew the forecast was improving for today so we set our sights on a 10 am departure. It rained all morning so we ate pizza at our favorite restaurant just up from the boat. Two large pizzas later we headed out of the harbor around noon. The seas had diminished quite a bit and the wind had dropped to almost nothing. We had heard of a few spearfish being caught so Jonboy had this bright idea to put a little Polu Kai bullet on a 20lb Shimano Torium jigging outfit in hopes of something small. Not 30 minutes later we spotted some birds swarming and white water erupting. As we approached the area we quickly identified the splashes as big eye tunas and before we knew it our small spearfish outfit was ripping line.
Friday, 26 June 2009 by Jonboy Kelmer
Tracy Melton and his father arrived at 1:30 this afternoon with hopes of getting an afternoon of fishing in on the first day. After collecting luggage and making the journey to the marina, we hopped onboard and headed offshore. There had been a few bites right out front of the marina so the game plan was to make a few passes and then try for the pargos. Not quite an hour into the voyage Tracy Epstein got everyone's attention pointed toward the long rigger where there was a nice blue trying to eat the Medium Polukai Tube. After 3 tries she was able to pull the lure down and get stuck, and off the races we went. I turned and chased so melton could pick up the 600 yds the fish had ripped off. I wish the view from the cockpit was as good as mine as I watched the fish jump around on its side for about 30 consecutive times making an area of whitewater the size of 4 Grander boats. After getting most of the line back, we turned to back after her and were up and down for the next 15 minutes, gaining steadily.
Thursday, 25 June 2009 by Tracy Epstein
Yesterday the fishing was a little bit slow for us though some boats still managed to catch some fish. Today was a different story and we hooked Jessica into another nice blue. We were fishing the same area that we've been going to the last few days and around 12 noon a blue showed up behind our long corner XL Polu Kai tube. After four attempts to eat the lure she swithed over to the short bait an XL Polu Kai Instigator which she finally managed to eat. After a blistering first run, Jonboy had chased her down in under 10 minutes to within reach of the double. We noticed the leader was under her belly again and in an attempt to roll her out of the wraps we tighted the drag. After a few minutes of tug of war the blue started to pull her way down. After finally stopping the fish with over 50 pounds of drag we started to plane her from the deep.
Tuesday, 23 June 2009 by Tracy Epstein
The Melton team is all smiles after today. We had heard the fishing was pretty good but we didn't think we would end the day by catching two blues over 500 pounds. Any day that you can catch two blue marlin no matter the size is a great day, but two fish over 500, unbelievable. The fish have moved west from where most of the bites had been the last few weeks. Coming out of the harbor this morning we made a bee line for the western end of the island. We trolled through some small roaming piles of skipjacks in the morning but we weren't able to locate any fish. We trolled further west off Ponta da Pargo and followed along the 200 fathom ledge looking for bait. Jonboy had gone down stairs and left me with the wheel. Just before reaching the 100 fathom curve a nice blue charged up behind the long corner and knocked it out of the outrigger. Jonboy and I quickly traded positions and I jumped to the deck to tease the fish in for another bite.
Monday, 22 June 2009 by Tracy Epstein
Here is the video of a beautiful Blue Marlin that was released off Madeira, Portugal on the Melton Tackle boat, Grander. Caught by Melton Tackle customer and friend, Chip Wagner.
Friday, 19 June 2009 by Jonboy Kelmer
Today we were pumped to get back out and see if we could keep the hooks in one after the last 4 unfortunate losses. Believe it or not, the gods were smiling on us. The wind was up out of the southeast which made for another uncomfortable day of trolling. We tacked off the east to get as far down as possible so the troll home would be in our favor. Come 2 pm no one had any hookups but shortly afterward i heard the Katherine B call in a hook up to east of where i was by a few miles, so spirits were lifted once again. Just short of 3 in the afternoon my phone rang but before i could turn to answer it there she was on the right rigger. A big bite and down tight on the Polukai Instigator. The fish sat in one spot and shook her head as we cleared the other lines. Once she settled, I turned to the same side and chased until we had the belly of line out and she popped up behind us in one giant explosion. Our angler did a great job picking up the slack and coming tight to the larger type blue marlin.
Thursday, 18 June 2009 by Tracy Epstein
Finally woke up to a beautiful morning today. The sun was shinning and the wind had backed off to pretty much nothing. We headed out of the harbor this morning with high hopes. Yesterday's rain and wind had turned the ocean into a giant mess and the fishing suffered from it. Today we headed into the deep hoping to find some clean water and maybe figure out where the blues had swam off to. 12 miles out we came across a commercial tuna boat and they too were in search of fish. Some noise came from the radio and it sounded like the fish had come back to the inside, as two boats were hooked up in the same area. After hearing the news, we changed course and made our way towards shore. Within an hour of trolling in tight off Cabo Girao we raised a nice size blueon our short left XXL Ruckus teaser, this is the third fish in 4 days to try to eat this bait.
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 by Jonboy Kelmer
Leaving the harbor today, the hopes were to possibly repeat the catch from the day before which was to catch a blue marlin. With the way the bite has been going, one fish would be great, little did we know we would have 3 chances to repeat yesterday. The wind had subsided but the seas were still up. A late start got us to the grounds just after noon but it wasn't very long before our first shot at a blue on a Marlin Magic Ruckus (lava series) on the long rigger. After the knockdown the lure was pulled back into position where it was immediately inhaled by a hungry 600 pounder. Everything was going good, lines were cleared, drag was screaming, then as sometimes happens, we came unglued. After almost a minute the hook pulled and we were 0 - 1. A few hours later while on the phone with the boss an explosion on the large Polu Kai Tubulation on the long corner quickly redirected my attention to the cockpit. Big hole bent pole is how it should happen.
Tuesday, 16 June 2009 by Jonboy Kelmer
We decided to try some bottom fishing this morning before heading to the deep to marlin fish. We've ben told so many different stories about the Pargo fishing, it's hard to really pinpoint what and where to go. The first depth we were told to fish in was 130 meters, which translates to about 360 feet. We've made a few attempts at these depths in a few different areas with no luck. We've been using single hook 200g Shimano Butterfly Jigs to get to the bottom. We're using a shimano Trevala Jigging Rod with a Shimano Torium 20 Reel. After no luck the first few days we decided to use a different technique and follow the 150 foot ledge, looking for schools of sardines. We weren't planning on spending all day jigging but within a quarter of a mile from the harbor entrance we came across a massive school of sardines. We made a few drops into the school and within mintues Tracy was hooked up. Unfortunately, his fish pulled free but soon after Jessica was hooked up.
Monday, 15 June 2009 by Jonboy Kelmer
Today was a good day to be in Madeira. Not so much for the weather, but for the fishingindeed. This morning we woke up to unseasonably windy conditions for June in Madeira. Although the wind and seas were up, we still went looking for a blue due to the recent abundance of activity in that department for the fleet. In the last 4 days there have been on the average, 8 fish seen for the fleet. Now 8 may not sound like many, but when the average size is 700 lbs. it's worth going every day you can. Leaving the harbor the wind was blowing 15 to 20 kts from the NW so off to the east we went. Setting out in 100 fathoms we realized that 4 lines were all we could troll for fear of tangles on the turns due to the windy conditions. After a few hours of trolling the wind had increased but already there had been one fish caught and another lost so things weren't looking so bad, a few tacks later on the way down sea we got our shot.
Saturday, 13 June 2009 by Jonboy Kelmer
Myself, Tracy and Jessica took the Grander out for a day of fishing today. The weather has been funky for the past 3 or 4 days with the wind coming out of the west which makes trolling very uncomfortable. The wind backed out a bit so we gave it a go this morning. Around noon we heard of a few fish being seen but nothing caught yet. With the day passing pretty uneventfully we headed our way back up to Calheta. I took a swing out around a thousand fathoms and trolled our way back up the line. Almost directly offshore of the house we're staying in, we raised a blue on our Long corner Polukai Instigator. Tracy spotted the blue swimming up the middle of the prop wash towards the lure. Before both him and Jess could even make it to the deck the blue had already engulfed the lure and was on its way out of the pattern. Jess Grabbed the 130 Shimano out of the holder and took it to the chair while Tracy started clearing the lures.
Thursday, 4 June 2009 by Jonboy Kelmer
No fishing for us today, but our friends from Italy had a good early season trip by catching 1 blue around 800 lbs in 2 1/2 days of fishing. We're getting back on the water tomorrow to give it another go. It'll be just myself and my 2 crew so somebody (probably Jessica "Peaches" Kelmer) will get the chance to crank on a nice one, if all goes according to plan. We've moved into a house up on the hill for the summer with a million dollar view. Plenty of space for BBQs and evening festivities. In the last 4 days I've heard of 7 blues caught and another 6 or 7 seen. All of the fish have been over 500 lbs with biggest being 850. Traffic jams don't exist with only 5 or 6 boats fishing and the flat seas leave little to complain about. Sitting on the bridge watching Polu Kai and Marlin Magic lures chug away is a good way to spend the day. Hope to have caught one by the next time I write. Good fishing to all! Jonboy
Tuesday, 2 June 2009 by Jonboy Kelmer
Bon dia or good day as they say in Madeira, Jonboy Kelmer captian of the Grander writing in for the day. Today was our first full day we've put in while here in Madeira. Four close friends of Tracy Melton flew in from Italy to join us for a few days of fishing. We headed out of Calheta Marina at 9:30 am for a solid day of trolling. We hooked into a Dorado or dolphinfish early in the morning. After boating the Dorado we continued trolling down to an area called Cabo Girao. While on our way there, we overheard some chatter on the radio about a boat being hooked to a fish. The Katherine B a boat out of Funchal was fighting what would be the first Madeirian blue caught this year. We could see them spining cirles out in front of us as we approached the cliffs of Cabo Girao. They would eventually release a fish in the 500 pound range. We continued to troll the area along with a few other boats and within an hour the same boat was hooked up again.