All Hope Was Not Lost
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.
Jess takes her first wraps on a nice blue.
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. Unfortunately, after the initial run the hook pulled and back to zeros we went. The tunas continued to show so all hope was not lost.
Ten minutes later I made a tack toward some more birds when the XL Polukai Tube on the short right was inhaled by a big blue marlin. In a split second the fish tried to do the same thing to the Marlin Magic Grander Ruckus on the short left. Thankfully, she didn't get hooked on the second lure and Jess was able to take the rod to the chair where my dad was waiting to clip himself in and do battle with his first Madeiran blue.
Nice blue marlin alongside the Grander.
Jonboy's Pop with his nice blue!
The fish didn't go anywhere right away and we were able to get things cleared and back quickly to get the line back on the reel. My pops had caught fish before but nothing of this size using heavy tackle, so we had to take a little time to let him get comfortable in the chair. Twenty minutes into the fight Jess was able to get her first grab on the leader but had to let loose when the fish made a quick turn away from the boat. In another ten minutes Jess got the leader again and was able to work her way toward the fish without too much trouble.
In a minute, Jess had the fish alongside and we put the snooter on the bill to control the 650 blue. Everyone on board was ecstatic, not only had my dad caught the biggest marlin of his life but Jess had just wired her first blue marlin. After releasing the fish we packed up and ran back to the harbor in order to properly celebrate the occasion with a couple cold ones at our favorite hangout. This fish was a terrific addition to an already great season for us onboard the Grander.
As happy as can be!
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