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Old 08-24-2012, 10:00 PM   #1
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Default A quest becomes a reality

I had been a fresh water fisherman since about the age of 3 when my Dad and Pop pop taught me how to fish for sunfish, bass and catfish in the creek next to my Pop pop’s summer cottage. When I moved to Miami in 1972, I wanted to catch a sailfish, a tarpon and a 10 pound bass. I started to fish the everglades canals and several headboats around Miami. In 1974, I caught the saltwater fishing bug real hard and joined the Miami Sportfishing Club. I learned many, many techniques and the art of sportfishing came to life in my mind. While participating in the club competitions, I became proficient in light tackle angling, using spin, plug and fly rods, and many aspects of fishing for larger game using kites and trolling. Over the course of several years, I won every division within the Club specifications, and lacked only a blue marlin to complete my endeavor of being designated a “Supreme Angler,” the highest anglers badge awarded by the club. Thus started my quest for a blue marlin.

Thru this quest, I met and fished with Lenny and Marsha Bierman, who started and developed the stand-up technique for fighting big fish without the use of a fighting chair. I met and over the course of ten or so years, fished regularly with Capt Sam Casey, a marlin Captain who maintained a private boat in Key West and Marathon, who taught me how to troll lures with heavy tackle and use tag lines. I cannot recall the number of days we spent on Woods Wall, the Ups and Downs and Humps in these areas. I also fished Bimini regularly, as well as other areas of the Bahamas. Walkers Cay, Chub Cay and the nearby “Pocket,” Spanish Wells, Andros Island, Long Island, and Cat Cay were all areas of my quest. During these many years, I, or I should say we, as I learned, marlin fishing is a team event, raised several marlin and even hooked one or two, but never got good hard bite or hook-up.

I got so frustrated, I claimed I would settle for any specie of marlin, blue, black, white or Stripped, it didn’t matter. I was even known to say I would take one even if it involved the use of hand grenades, as long as one came to the boat! I started a long range quest, but was limited by my budget. I managed trips to hot spots like Costa Rica, Cabo San Lucas and East Cape, Mexico, all with no luck.

During these many years, my son Corey, caught the fishing bug from me and even he caught a blue marlin. Through the Dade County Youth Fair and Exposition, he had won a trip with George Poveromo. We went sailfishing with George and while drifting along, a spinning rod went off. I looked out and saw a black shape where the bait had been, picked up the rod and handed it to my son, saying, “Here Corey, catch this sailfish.” He closed the bail, the line came tight and a 200# blue erupted from the sea. I guess due to the light 20# line, the fish didn’t realize it was hooked and stayed on the surface. I cleared the other rods while George followed the fish with Corey in the bow. Once the lines were cleared, George put on some gloves and I took over the helm. We ran the boat up to the fish and George grabbed the leader. Caught fish!

Well Corey grew up and became a boat captain, and I moved out of the South Florida area with it’s easy access to marlin territory, to the Tampa area where marlin are a long way out in the Gulf, too far a run for my 23’ open fisherman.

Then one day in late July, Corey called and said, “Hey Dad. Can you meet me in San Juan and help bring the boat back to Jupiter. We might just find you a marlin while in route.” He had spent the summer fishing in the British Virgin Islands and was bringing the boat home. I quickly found a flight to Puerto Rico and met him and his 65’ Jim Smith sportfisher at Club Nautico de San Juan, where I was introduced to the rest of the team, mates Scotty and Carson. Over the previous weeks I had been reading on-line posts from another friend, Kitt Toomy and his Captain, Quinton Dieterle and a hot marlin bite off of Cap Cana, Dominican Republic they were experiencing. Knowing we had to travel past this area to get from San Juan to Jupiter, I obtained some GPS positions from Kitt and told Corey about them. He too had been getting reports from this area and decided this was where we would spend the first day fishing.

We left San Juan at 7:30 am and arrived in the area at 11:30 and put the lines out. We were trolling two baited lines on the long outriggers and 4 teasers. Corey and Scotty explained we would use the teaser lines for a bait and switch technique which I had heard and read about, but never used. Scotty had me practice the release several times, holding the rod perpendicular to the line of travel and dropping the line and swinging the rod back to give the fish plenty of free spooled line, then coming tight and slowly raising the rod, not jerking, as we were using circle hooks.

Suddenly, Corey shouted from the bridge, “Short Left.” I picked up the “pitch rod” and got the bait in the correct position while Scotty pulled the teaser closer. As he jerked the teaser out of the way, we all saw the fish, come out of the water with it’s head and shoulders and jump all over my bait as I freespooled line off the reel. I’m told I exclaimed “Holy S***” as the fish hit, but truly do not recall this utterance. After about a count of 5 or so, I brought the lever to the strike position and the 200# fish quickly ran off 250 yards of line against the 15 pounds of drag set on the stand-up tackle. It circled left and jumped clear of the water, doing a summersault, and then thrashed about the surface for a minute. She then dove as I was reeling in the slack created by her trip down and back under the boat, but stopped short and was easily pumped back up. The one scary part of the fight was toward the end, there was about 15 feet of line covered with grass, adding a lot more stress on the line than I wanted, but the wind on leader soon appeared on the boat side of the grass where Carson grabbed it. Caught Fish!!!! A 38 year quest had come to an end. The best part of it, at least to me, was it was concluded with my son driving the boat as it ended. He was off the bridge and hugging and high-fiving me before the fish was leadered up.

P.S. Remember when I moved to South Florida I wanted to catch a sailfish, tarpon and a 10 pound bass. Well I found the sails and tarpon easy, but have yet to get the 10 pound bass.

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Old 08-24-2012, 10:06 PM   #2
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Great read. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:07 PM   #3
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Great story Jack. Congratulations!
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:12 PM   #4
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:36 PM   #5
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And I've never caught a mooneye, but we ain't dead yet, are we Jack?

Great read, and congratulations!
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:37 PM   #6
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Good read, you are blessed.
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Old 08-25-2012, 12:30 AM   #7
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That was awesome. God job.
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Old 08-25-2012, 12:56 AM   #8
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Great read thanks
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:24 AM   #9
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Great story enjoyed the read.
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Old 08-25-2012, 10:12 AM   #10
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Loved it! That was awesome!!
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