Wednesday, 11 July 2012 by Jonboy Kelmer
We've been in La Gomera for a week now getting the boat dialed in and fishing a handful of days. The fishing conditions here mirror Madeira in many ways. Where we are fishing is nearly slick calm and within a mile or so of land, which is nice. This place is known for having pretty good numbers of blue marlin with sizes ranging from small all the way to large fish at any given time. The first day we were able to go fishing we snuck out there around 11 in the morning and got lucky to get a big crash bite on the right short rigger where our large green-headed Polu Kai Instigator was holding down shop. After an initial run and some jumps the fish settled down and we were able to get her up to the boat in about 20 minutes. The blue was over 400 lbs by a bit and we were thankful to have her. After setting back out we raised and hooked a white marlin on a small jet out the back and finished up the day with no other bites.
Thursday, 14 June 2012 by Jonboy Kelmer
Its good to have the Grander boat back together and ready to fish this season. The boat is located on the island of La Gomera in the Canary Islands. We're all looking forward to a good season after engine problems shortened last year for us. La Gomera is known for good blue marlin fishing for the entire summer with slick calm conditions, loads of bait and bigeye tuna to boot. The weeks prior to my arrival seemed to have some decent fishing. Most boats were seeing 3 or 4 a day with a few fish being nice ones over 500 lbs and a few even larger. Of course, once I got there things shut off but I wasn't hurt too badly since I spent the week in the boatyard watching the new engine being installed and fixing the old girl up for another season on the rip. With any luck this season will be a productive one and I'll have plenty of good news and pics to share. Good Fishing to all. Capt. Jonboy
Thursday, 23 June 2011 by Captain Chris Sheeder
We seem to be finding our groove. Yesterday, our peaceful mid-morning troll was interrupted by a big blue explosion on the left short teaser. The 400 pound blue inhaled a Aloha Beauty (Aloha Lure) and then teased in to the second wave for an awesome switch. Ricardo proceeded to fight and subdue the fish after a 10 minute battle. By the way, Ricardo says if he has to fight any more fish here, he's coming back to Guatemala as the next Mike Tyson. We were eating lunch feeling pretty good about ourselves, when the day decided to get better. A 700 pound blue began cutting up our Polu Kai "Instigator" on the right long.
Friday, 3 June 2011 by Captain Chris Sheeder
Looks like the fish are showing up in Gomera. Seven boats went fishing today and nine fish were seen! We were eating lunch, of course, when ours showed up. The fish teased to the back of the boat as fast as we could wind, and for a second we had thought we lost him on the switch, but he was sitting there on the side of the boat waiting for me to put the bridge teaser back in the water. With a quick re-placement of the bait, the 200 pounder came completely out of the water to eat the mackeral! Cute little fish, but an awesome show. There were a few fish, over 500 seen today, but we were happy to start the season on the right foot. We'll be back out tomorrow, the action is too good!
Tuesday, 10 August 2010 by Jonboy Kelmer
Today started out with a bang and tapered off from there. Out to the west has been looking really good as of late and just yesterday the Tightline boat caught 2 fish right next to us. We had hoped to get a bite sometime then but it never happened for us. So today our fingers were crossed that it was our turn up to bat. On our first pass off the ledge I marked a fair bit of bait and just then I heard Bo yelling from the cockpit about the right short rigger. I turned around to see a fish around 600 lbs trying its very best to eat the Aloha Beauty. After pulling that lure down and missing it several times, the fish showed up behind the medium Polu Kai Instigator on the right long rigger. After just two attempts, the second of which pulled some line off the reel, she disappeared for what felt like hours. Just then there was an explosion on the left long rigger where the Marlin Magic Ruckus had taken up residence for the day, a proper bite and we were down and tight.
Thursday, 5 August 2010 by Jonboy Kelmer
After some days off we got back out today with big hopes to catch something whether it be a blue marlin or maybe a tuna. We started in front of the marina as we always do and worked to the west. There had been some blue marlin bites to the east in the last couple days but after hearing about Frothy on the Pesca Grossa missing a marlin to the west a day ago I decided to go that way. No one has really fished out there, mainly because the wind and current have made it tough to fish, but today it wasn't too awful bad. On our way there we had a blind stike out of something that we could only assume was a tuna due to the fact that it took no drag and never came back for a second try. After a couple circles we continued fishing west with hopes of some more action. Once we got out to the Point it looked really good as there were hundreds of birds flying low to the water. After a couple passes we had a fish pile on the small Polu Kai Bullet we pull on the stinger.
Tuesday, 27 July 2010 by Jonboy Kelmer
Today was a good day on the Grander. We have been fishing with Bo's wife, Lisa, for the last couple days and were able to catch her first atlantic blue marlin. The fish was probably about 550 lbs. Our first bite of the day was a fish a 700 pounder on the left short rigger, large Polu Kai Instigator, that pulled off after just a minute in the chair. As we were clearing that lure and turning around on the spot, another fish showed up on the right long rigger which happened to be a medium Polu Kai Instigator. This fish tried the lure a couple times and eventually got hooked. We already had on lure cleared and started backing after the fish as Bo cleared the rest of the lines. We were able to get to the fish quickly and had a terrific jumping show at the back of the boat but due to the fact that there were only 3 of us onboard we couldn't get any pics. Bo grabbed the leader several times and after just 20 minutes we had it alongside to get the hooks out and let her go.
Wednesday, 14 July 2010 by Jonboy Kelmer
I have to say that, overall, marlin fishing this year in Madeira has been on the slow side. There have, however, been a number of bigeyes caught in the blind this year. By 'in the blind' I mean that there have not been many fish feeding on the surface that you can drive over to and get a bite, but instead guys have been getting a number of bites by surprise while trolling around normally. On the 7th of the month we were able to make contact with a couple bigeye tunas that turned into a 150 pounder caught by Leslie Watkins and a 180 pounder caught by Gary Primm. The 150 lb. fish was caught on the new Shimano Talica 25II Reel and Shimano Terez TZC66XH Rod. One fish ate a Polu Kai Bullet and the other ate a medium Polu Kai Instigator. Until that point it had been awhile since our last trolling bite but there have been a few marlins caught throughout the fleet. On the 13th we finally had another trolling bite from a blue marlin.
Friday, 2 July 2010 by Jonboy Kelmer
Overall the fishing this month in Madeira has been on the slow side. After a good sign of fish in late May there was a current change and some cooler green water moved in which took a week or so to get pushed out. On the 17th of June we caught our first fish which was 800 lbs and before that there were only a couple fish caught for the fleet. After that day there were a couple caught every other day or so. There was a pretty good bigeye tuna bite for a couple weeks mid month where some nice fish up to 300 lbs were caught. As the end of the month approached we were able to scratch out a second blue about 350 lbs and other boats were catching their second and third fish of the season. All of the conditions look good for fish to be here but we're all waiting for the big rush to show up. In just the last week of the month there were couple days where there was 4 or 5 fish caught in the fleet. Enjoy the few pics I've got so far and I hope to have more coming next month.
Sunday, 30 May 2010 by Jonboy Kelmer
Well, I'm finished in the boatyard and starting to get things dialed in for fishing. My crew, Bo Jenyns, will be arriving this coming friday then its off to the races for us. The latest reports coming in from the boats that are fishing right now are sounding really good. Yesterday, the 29th, sounded like the best sign of fish to date. Of the 6 boats i heard from there were at least seven fish seen or hooked. The sizes seem to be average for the fish around here which is about 600 lbs. I haven't heard of any real big girls yet but there's a real good chance they are here too. After looking at my log books for the last 3 seasons i have no record of this good of fishing this early in the year. The water temperature is hovering around 70 degrees but there have been some fluctuations of several degrees along the coastline which may be the effect of the current working and some upwellings on the ledges. Rumor has it that fishing can be really good after a winter of bad weather.
Saturday, 22 May 2010 by Jonboy Kelmer
Things are beginning to look promising around here. While grinding away in the boatyard yesterday I heard some good reports of the boats that were fishing. Of the 5 boats out fishing, 4 saw blue marlins and 1 boat was lucky enough to catch and release one. The only fish I heard the size of was the one that was caught by a local boat, Hawk Eye, which they estimated to be between 650 and 700 pounds. All of us in the boatyard are pretty optimistic at this point and as the days in the yard diminish, we can hardly wait to have something of our own the contribute to the report. It sounds like there are some fish in La Gomera as well which is only 300 miles south of Madeira. Once the water warms just a bit it could be biting like last year or maybe even the heydays of the '90s. I'll keep the reports coming as I hear them.
Monday, 17 May 2010 by Jonboy Kelmer
Well folks, the summer of 2010 is upon us and its time to dust off the 130's and get to work. I've just arrived over here in Madeira to get the Grander boat ready for what we're hoping will be another productive big blue marlin season. As many of you will recall we had a good season last year and ended up catching 28 blues from 47 bites and raised a total of 60 fish in 57 days of fishing. 22 of the 28 fish that we caught were over 500 pounds with 6 being over 700 pounds. The largest fish we caught and released last season was around 950 pounds. The first blue marlin of the season has already been caught by one of the local charter boats at an estimated 700 pounds. I talked to a couple other guys who told me that there has been a pretty good sign of bigeyes tunas around as well. I'll be taking the boat to the yard for some annual maintenance in preparation for our season which should begin around the first of June.
Saturday, 29 August 2009 by Jonboy Kelmer
My parents came over to visit us from Hatteras, NC this week. We decided to fish a few days while they were in town as well as some sigthseeing around Madeira. We fished this afternoon to try and get my dad a nice blue or maybe a tuna for the grill. There have been some bigeye tunas around and a number of blues caught in the last few days. I talked to a few other boats who had seen the tunas busting on bait in and around the area so hopes were up for a tuna strike. We switched the two long lures out for some tuna jets to give ourselves a better chance of catching either, or. Come 5 pm the area became pretty clouded over and the birds were acting as if something good was getting ready to happen and it did just that. Jess spotted the tunas busting about a mile away so off we went. All the other boats had left the area so we had it all to ourselves. I chased the birds and busting tunas for nearly an hour when we finally got a tuna bite on the Polu Kai Rocket Man Jet in the long left position.
Friday, 28 August 2009 by Jonboy Kelmer
Today was a bit of a milestone on the Grander boat. Our second crew, Jessica, caught her tenth blue marlin of the season. We decided to fish to the west where most of action has been lately. After a couple hours of trolling and marking bait up and down the ledge I finally ran over a hungry fish that exploded on the Large Polu Kai Tube in the short left position. While clearing the other lines and Jess getting to the chair the fish popped up 50 yds away from the boat with a few lunges. No need to turn and chase at this point so the backing up began and the fight was on. We were on the fish in less than 3 minutes when we got the first grab on the leader. After another 2 minutes we had the fish alongside. Jess hopped out of the chair to throw the snooter on its bill, out came the hooks and off swam her tenth of the season. Not a big fish, maybe 300 lbs, but a fish none the less.
Monday, 17 August 2009 by Tracy Epstein
Some great footage of a hatchet marlin that came up behind a Large Polu Kai Rocket Man Jet today.
Tuesday, 11 August 2009 by Tracy Epstein
Left the Calheta harbor and made a right turn. With the sun in our eyes, I could barely make out the dorsal of another hungry white marlin coming in on our Polu Kai Rocket Man. The fish made a few passes and Jonboy managed to get her hooked. We got all the lines clear and I had Jessica put her gloves on to take another go on the leader. The white put on a great show as we chased it all over the ocean. I snapped a ton of pictures of the photogenic fish as it jumped from one side of the transom to the other. Jess grabbed the leader and the white immediately started jumping. She did a great job taking good wraps as I'd shown her. She got the 70lb white marlin settled down along the side. We pulled the fish aboard for a few release pictures before sending it on it's way. A great way to start the day but unfortunately we wouldn't see another fish all day, guess there's always tomorrow.
Tuesday, 4 August 2009 by Jonboy Kelmer
Today, August 4th, involved us just going to fish an afternoon with Keith and Josie before they headed back to the states on the 5th. Sambo Peters, Release Marine, and his buddy Clayton Smith headed out this morning after having a great couple days of fishing. We had the highest of hopes after the day we had yesterday so i headed back to the same locale to find the bait and maybe the fish. Things didn't look quite as good as the day before and the fishing told the tale. I heard of only 2 fish seen today and a couple tuna sightings but none of them involved us. We only fished 5 hrs and on our final approach to the harbor, there was a quick zip on my bridge rod with the Polu Kai Bullet on it. I cranked it up a couple turns and in flagged what could have been a white marlin or a large spearfish. After letting it hook itself, which seems to work best for me, it went off jumping and Tracy snapped some quick pics. We cleared all lines and focused on catching this fish for Josie.
Monday, 3 August 2009 by Tracy Epstein
There wasn't a single fish seen yesterday for the entire fleet, so our expectations for today weren't exactly through the roof. We headed out of the harbor around 10:30 this morning with the Chunda right behind us. We tacked straight off shore while they took a more westerly direction. Within 5 minutes of leaving the marina the Chunda was in hard reverse. They ended up releasing a 400 pound blue right next to us. We stayed in the area for a bit with no luck so we wandered our way up to the west end. On our first pass up the ledge a fish piles on the Marlin Magic Large Tube I had just put out. She takes out maybe 20 yards of line, windshield wipering her way out of the pattern. Everyone on the boat is cringing their teeth hoping we can stay connected but unfortunately she was able to get herself free. Frustrated but happy to see a fish, we continued up the ledge. We starting marking big piles of mackerel all up and down the ledge but mostly in tight around 80 fathoms.
Saturday, 1 August 2009 by Jonboy Kelmer
After catching a fish at the end of the day yesterday, I felt pretty good about going back to the same area hoping for another bite or two. The day dragged on with no action for us but I had heard of one fish caught and I had witnessed another one caught so hopes began to rise. We hadn't started the day until 11 am so our plan was to stay a little later, maybe till 7 pm. The bait was on the 100 fathom edge and I continued practicing my M's and W's on the plotter when my mate, Tracy, perked up like a pointer and spotted a big spot about to eat the XL Polu Kai Tube on the left short. She didn't eat as you would want but she was persistent none the less. After popping the lure out of the tag line and chasing it back to the boat, she ate and came unglued really quick. We thought that might be the last we'd see of her but she swam back into the spread after the right long where the Polu Kai Lil' Stubby held up residence. On her second attempt she was hooked and off and jumping.
Friday, 31 July 2009 by Tracy Epstein
A few of Tracy's friends had just flown in for a couple days but Sam Peters from Release Marine had his flight delayed and wasn't arriving until 4:00 in the afternoon. The Marina we fish out of is about a 40 minute drive from the airport so we opted to pick Sam up in Funchal's marina after fishing. We trolled the day out never seeing or hearing of any fish being caught. Sam finally arrived so we hurried in to fetch him from the dock. He hopped on the boat and we headed back out making our way towards Cabo Girao. Upon reaching the big cliff, we came across birds and mammals wearing out huge balls of mackerel. On our first pass across the same ledge we had been trolling all day a blue piles on my Large Polu Kai Instigator on the long rigger. She takes the top shot off the reel before we know it. Jonboy got us going into a quick turn and chase to slow the fish down. She never jumped and as soon as we got the top shot back on the reel she was straight up and down.
Friday, 24 July 2009 by Jonboy Kelmer
We decided to repay the pizza guys by taking them offshore and trying to show them what we've been talking about all season by "a pizza and a blue". Strange enough we didn't have a pizza onboard but things still worked out. The fellas that own the pizza place are both named Joe, so that makes things easy for us. We headed out just after 2 pm for a couple hours just to show the Joes what we do all day. Thankfully we were able to find a blue marlin so they didn't see us sitting around all that much. About 30 minutes out of the harbor Tracy spotted something behind the right long rigger and sure enough it was a smaller type blue marlin. After the second attempt at eating the bait she was hooked and off and jumping. Jess got the rod to the chair and away we went after the fish. In short order Tracy had the leader and up came a 300 lb blue alongside with the Marlin Magic Large Tube stuck to its face. We released that one and continued on with hopes of bringing up another but it never did happen.
Monday, 20 July 2009 by Tracy Epstein
Alright so this was our plan: head out of the harbor around 10 go catch Jessica her 7th blue of the season and get back in time to make the 4:00 showing of "The Hangover". So we wake up a little later than we wanted and don't leave the harbor till around 10:30. Jess and I set out our Polu Kai pattern while Jonboy trolls us up the line towards the point. First pass on the point the wind line is already screaming in so we tack down the ledge. Shortly after starting the tack a blue pops up behind the XL Polu Kai Tubulation on the long corner. She tries it a few times unsuccessfully, until switching across the pattern to the Large Polu Kai Instigator on the short bait. One swipe and she knocks it out of the rigger. She disappears for a few seconds and shows up on the Large Polu Kai Instigator on the short rigger. This time she engulfs the lure and starts screaming off line. Jess hops in the chair as jonboy turns us into a chase down sea.
Sunday, 19 July 2009 by Tracy Epstein
All the lures that we chose to pull on board the Grander are our own personal preferences. There are so many good lure makers out there and most of them happen to come from Hawai'i, so when it comes to picking the right lures for blue marlin, I rely on past experience and personal use. When we first started the season here in Madeira I had chosen to run Polu Kai Lures because thats what Kevin Nakamaru and I mostly run in Kona aboard the Northern Lights. I've never gotten a Polu Kai Lure that wouldn't run right. The lures have performed well for us in Hawai'i and so far they've been unstoppable in Madeira. We're also running a few Marlin Magic Lures just to spice up the pattern once in awhile. The XXL Marlin Magic Ruckus that's been on the short teaser has had over 6 short bites since it's been in the water. That's saying a lot considering that lure is run only 20 feet away from the transom of the boat. My lure pattern consists of four rods and two teasers.
Saturday, 18 July 2009 by Jonboy Kelmer
Today was another pizza and blue experiment with a twist. I let Tracy take the wheel so I could be on the deck for a day. We rolled out around 1 pm to give an afternoon to try and get Jess' numbers up. Heading out to the west end we found some uncomfortable seas but some bait as well. Tracy spent about 4 hrs working bait pile after bait pile in hopes of a bite. Around 5 o'clock, he started a tack back in the direction of the barn when he saw a few busts under the birds that looked like tunas. Upon arrival I looked back at the short left and there was a 500 lb. blue inhaling the XL Polu Kai Instigator. The fish didn't go anywhere and gave me time to get everything clear and after it Tracy went. Just then, the fish decided to start jumping all over the ocean and it was then we realized it didn't have a bill. I mean it had a bill but it didn't stretch but about 6 inches past the bottom jaw. Jess had the fish to leader in short order and up the side I was able to get her without much trouble.
Monday, 13 July 2009 by Tracy Epstein
Left late today, around 1:00. Got a couple pizzas and headed out. It was Jess's turn in the chair today and she was looking to get one up on Melton's four blues he caught while he was here. A few fish were caught this morning so we were hoping for a late afternoon bite. As soon as we got down in front of Tabua, a blue climbed on the short XL Polu Kai tube. She pulled free and before anyone could hit the deck she was already all over the short Marlin Magic XXL Ruckus teaser. Jonboy managed to get the teaser away from the blue as she disappeared in the white wash. Next thing we know she's trying to eat the teaser on the other side. This fish was all over us like a rash. After chasing that teaser all the way to the transom she made a U turn and climbed on the Long corner Polu Kai Instigator, finally getting herself stuck. Jess got the rod to the chair and Jonboy got us going in hot pursuit. 15 quick minutes and Jess had the estimated 500 pound blue to the boat. Took some pics and let her swim on her way.
Sunday, 12 July 2009 by Jonboy Kelmer
After the day we had yesterday with 4 bites and catching 1, we couldn't wait to get on the water to see what might happen and happen it did. The first fish we raised was a 450 that piled on the short rigger bait which happened to be a large Polukai Instigator skirted in green vinyl. After the initial bite, the fish decided to get away from us as fast as possible and we were into the backing before we knew it. A quick turn and chase the line was on the reel and we got the fish in short order and made a clean release after a 20 minute battle. That action was before lunch so we had a good reason to chow down for bit. The day continued on uneventfully until about 4 pm when, after marking some bait on the ledge, I made a circle and what looked like a 747 showed up behind the right long and just inhaled the Polukai Tubulation with blue vinyl. The line however never came tight. The angler made it to the chair but the line still wasn't tight.
Saturday, 11 July 2009 by Tracy Epstein
We started the day as usual, putting the lures in the water right outside of the harbor. We made a couple tacks around out front and started to make our way to the the east when we raised a spearfish on our little Shimano Torium jigging set up that we have been running off the bridge. We only have a 7 inch Polu Kai bullet with a single 9/0 Mustad in the lure. The Spear made a few attempts before taking off. Not 15 minutes later there was a huge boil on the same little lure. This time it looked nothing like a spearfish. Realizing there was a 600 pound blue trying to suck down the little bullet, I quickly grabbed the rod and reeled the lure away from the hot fish right on its tail. As soon as I passed the long rigger bait, the blue quickly switched off of my lure and launched herself onto the large Polu Kai tube. She took out maybe 20 yards before coming off. We tried hard to raise her again but she wouldn't come back to the spread.
Friday, 10 July 2009 by Jonboy Kelmer
Out of the harbor at 9:30, we started right out in front of the it due to the fact that there had been a several fish caught there in the past few days. Natural tendency makes you want to at least get the boat out at least a bit further before starting to fish but here it's usually unnecessary because you're passing over who knows how many fish. We fished for about 4 hours before we raised a blue about 400 lbs on the right long rigger but only for a minute then he was gone. We were happy to see one but disappointed for no bite. We continued on after that and ended up marking alot of bait along the 100 fathom ledge and spent the rest of the time practicing M's and W's on the plotter. Around 4 pm we started to see Shearwater starting to spin around like they knew something we didn't but we were in the right spot to see the bigeyes pop up nearby. I chose to turn left and 300 yds behind us up they popped in full force chasing the bait.
Thursday, 9 July 2009 by Tracy Epstein
The fishing has been slow the last few days. We actually put out the small jigging rod in hopes of a spearfish and this time we actually caught one, it just happened to be the smallest long nose spearfish ever. We took a couple pictures and let it go, but that would be the only bite we would have. Today we took the day off and went up into the mountains to hike around the levadas (manmade irrigation ditches). The weather was nice for the hike, kinda hot but when we reached the water fall the freezing water felt great. Start fishing again tomorrow hopefully the blues will wake up and start biting. Tracy Epstein
Tuesday, 7 July 2009 by Jonboy Kelmer
The wind had dropped off to pretty much nothing so we had the option to go west out towards the end of the island but we'd also heard the current had changed to a different direction than it had been the previous week. Figuring the current might not be right for the western end, we headed east to maybe get lucky around Cabo Girao. We made some tacks in the morning outside the marina and raised what looked like a white marlin on the short Marlin Magic XXL Ruckus teaser. Jonboy pulled the teaser out of the water and the fish wheeled around and lined up right behind the XL Polu Kai tube on the short bait. The fish took one quick pass at the lure and pulled it out of the rigger taking about 20 yards of line before coming off. Neither Jonboy or myself could for sure I.D what type of billfish we had just raised. It was either a huge White marlin or one of the smallest blues to ever make its way to Madeira. We trolled our way down the ledge towards Ponta do Sol where we started marking big schools of bait.
Friday, 3 July 2009 by Jonboy Kelmer
The last two days have been a bit frustrating for the fact that we wanted to catch a big one or two but we would rather save it for the 4th. Yesterday, Thursday, we went out feeling pretty good after having a great trip with Tracy and his dad only to see one lazy blue that wasn't interested enough to eat the long rigger. All she did was get us all pumped up for the big let down and that was the only looker we had all day. There were another dozen fish seen by the fleet and a few nice ones caught but none for us. Needless to say i was worried. I started feeling vibrations and thinking plenty of bad thoughts, of course for no real reason, but i just wanted to stay on a roll as every fisherman wants, so we got out there today with high hopes again and the wind had decided to wrap around the end of the island and make the spot we've fished for the last week unreachable for the swell and chop. Now i felt all out of sorts trying to decide where to go.
Wednesday, 1 July 2009 by Tracy Epstein
Today was Tracy and Bob's last day in Madeira so we got an early start around 9:30. In Madeira the blues never really seem to bite before 10 in the morning. One of Jonboy's friends Terry Brennan flew in for a couple days to fish the World Cup with us. He had just finished a two month season in Cape Verde where they caught 134 blues in about 60 days of fishing. Terry came along to help out and in the event we would need a gaff man. We hung a hard right out of the harbor and ran up towards the point where we had been fishing the last few days. Today was Bob's day to finally get in the chair and only two hours into the troll a blue exploded on my same hot lure a Polu Kai Instigator on the short rigger. The blue stayed on the surface as jonboy chased it down in reverse. Within ten minutes we were right on top of the fish. As we snuck up behind her she squirted out for a nice series of jumps. Jonboy stay right on top of her and managed to get me the leader.
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.
Wednesday, 27 May 2009 by Jonboy Kelmer
Greetings from Madiera, Portugal. Capt. Jonboy here with the latest Grander Update. The Grander boat is in Madeira and getting ready for what has the potential to be a great season. The crew is getting geared up as we speak for some big fish action. First crew Tracy Epstein, from Hawaii, is busy skirting some of the new Polu Kai Instigators and Tubulations as well as Marlin Magic Super Dogs, Ruckus and Medium Tubes. As second crew, Jessica Kelmer is ready to catch a quick pic of the action as well as back Tracy up on the deck with clearing rods and throwing the snooter on these Madeiran marlins. Madeira is notorious for calm waters and big blue marlins so consequently we like to pull very light lures that leave a big footprint. After you see the first 700 lber pounce on one of these lures like a dog on a ham biscuit, you'll understand why we pull what we pull. We also have a huge assortment of Polu Kai Rocketman Jets and Melton Cherry Jets on board just in case the Big Eye Tunas show their faces.