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Old 06-27-2016, 01:21 PM   #1
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Default Trip of a Lifetime!!!

With a forecast too good to pass up, we made a plan to spend 2 nights out in the blue. By 4 pm Friday we were headed south. Our destination was the rip that was reported to be near the Steps. We made it a few miles SE of the Steps by sunset.

The plan was to fish for swordfish Friday night. Shortly after having the light in the water, the sea life started gathering around the boat. Using the bait net, we boated our first billfish of the trip…a juvenile sailfish! We also were able to net a couple juvenile mahi. It was pretty cool to see those baby fish, but our focus returned to swordfish. The decision was made to run SE until the water cleaned up, which was found in the middle of the Dumping Grounds.






Once the clean water was found, the sword gear was in the water. Shortly after the moon pierced the horizon, the rod started to bounce, then the drag started to scream. The hooked swordfish came swimming through the light. Once it had a good look at the boat the fish decided it had enough and bolted straight down. After about 30 minutes Chris was able to start gaining line. Around the 45 minute mark we almost had the fish to color when the hook pulled. Although it would have been nice to get the fish to the boat, we were not as bummed as one would expect.



After sleeping for about an hour we were waken by the sound of the drag…another fish on! Although we didn’t get a glimpse of this fish, we could tell it had some size. The fight went on for a while, again with Chris on the reel. As the fish began to appear we saw that it was big, but not what we were hoping to catch. What we had on the line was an 8-10’ hammerhead! We soon had it leadered again and the line cut at the hook for a good release.

To get away from the shark before setting out the gear, we ran a few miles to the Southwest. With the sword gear back in the water, it was time for more sleep. After a couple hours, we were awoken by the sound of drag again. This time was different. The fish was bolting straight down. I was immediately thinking it was a big tuna. The drag was bumped up to the stops…we had to give it everything to slow this fish down. Chris was finally able to get it turned and worked back up to surface. My hopes of a big tuna quickly faded as the fish appeared. That same hammerhead had found the bait again. With only an hour or so before daylight, we decided to sleep for a bit. Before dozing off, we hashed out a game plan for sunrise. We had to find the rip.

Our short rest was greeted by a beautiful sunrise. After the horizon released our gaze, we realized we would not need to run far to find the rip. The boat was literally straddling the rip. Half the boat was in pretty blue water, while the other half was in the dirty side. Seriously, how does this happen?





The lines were soon in the water. It didn’t take long before the first knockdown. It wasn’t a long fight. The hook pulled on this UFO…can’t say for sure what it was, but in my head I’m convinced it was a tuna. A bit more trolling and we get a second knockdown. I grab the rod and start horsing in a small wahoo. It started surfing on the surface of the water as I was reeling. With a quick shake of it’s head, that fish was also gone with the hook pulled free. Oh well…it was still early.

After trolling for a while longer the line was becoming congested with some big battle wagons. Not to be intimidated, we continued on down the line. It wasn’t long before I shouted “MAHI”! There was a nice sized mahi busting the surface in front of us. The second time the fish jumped we realized that rather than jumping, the fish was being tossed out of the water by a big marlin! With no luck, we continued to work that area with hopes of hooking that big fish.


It’s been a great trip so far. Despite pulling the hook on a few fish, we’ve seen some spectacular sights. There’s an appreciation beyond just catching fish. Our plans all along were to find a weed line or something holding fish where we could get in the water and do some spear fishing. We had marked several spots along the line where there was lots of bait. It was time to pull in the spread and work our way back to those spots.

Soon we found a couple of mahi cruising the line near one of the spots we had marked. Chris was quickly geared up and in the water. Just as quick as he was geared up, he was back at the boat with a mahi on the the spear. The second mahi had bolted, so we continued the search. It wasn’t long before the second fish was spotted and Chris was back in the water. I hopped up on the top of the boat to get a better vantage point. I quickly spotted a big fish chasing the mahi! At first I wasn’t sure what it was…big mahi chasing a small one? Nope, it was a nice white marlin all lit up coming right towards Chris! The smaller mahi peels off to the left and the marlin goes to Chris’s right, pausing about 10’ away to try to figure out what exactly was in the water. Unfreaking believable! Who gets a chance to swim face to face with a marlin? I have to admit I was jealous that I wasn’t the one in the water. The marlin slowly swam away with both of us in disbelief.

After shaking the adrenaline from that encounter, we found ourselves working our way down the line to the East. Slowly moving along, a couple other boats were trolling our direction. We hopped over to the dirty side of the line to accommodate their path. As the first boat drew close, the water between us exploded. I was quickly on the radio with the approaching boat. From their elevated position, they could easily see that it was a big blue marlin! As the boat trolls by, we hop back over to the clean side of the line where we were greeted by a big fish swimming under the boat. I saw a big gray form and yelled “Shark?”. Chris quickly corrected me, “It’s a marlin!”. I grabbed the Gopro as Chris put on his mask and fins. In the water he goes to swim a second time in one day with a marlin. Bastard! The fish meanders around Chris on the dirty side of the line for a couple minutes before slowly swimming off into the blue.
https://www.youtube.com/embed/E8UXo9dM3q8

Who gets to swim with marlin twice in one day? The spot where the marlin was encountered was also the very spot on the line where the most bait had been seen. There was a school of large 2’ hardtails loafing about, along with all sorts of other pelagic creatures. It was likely that the marlin saw the large hardtails as a dinner buffet. With all the bait hanging around, we decided this would be a good spot to kill some time. After an hour or so of swimming we decided to see what else was further down the line. We soon found ourselves ~70 miles offshore with little company on the horizon sitting in some of the prettiest blue water to be seen. The line was investigated to the East, with not much to capture our attention. There were no other spots holding bait, so we decided to head back west.

When we approached the spot holding all the baitfish, we were greeted with another gigantic explosion of water. We knew immediately the big marlin was back! In a second I had the Gopro and hopped in the water. As soon as I stuck my head in the water I saw the marlin was immediately behind the boat! I will always remember catching my first marlin…but I will never be able to describe in words how amazing it was to see that big marlin in the water. As the marlin comes in to check me out, I’m wondering what thoughts are going through its head. I know that with one flick of its tail it could be lights out for me. A bit unsettling, but amazing at the same time. After gulping down a mullet Chris had tossed in the water, the fish swam off never to be seen again.

http://youtu.be/1gu6A9BzWSw

Three times in one day we had the opportunity to swim with marlin. Unfreaking believable! We wrap up the day catching a bull mahi on a spinning rod before begging to troll for the last couple hours of daylight.

We shut down for the night Southwest of the Spur. We planned the location such that as we were fishing for swords we would drift to the Spur by daylight. With the swordfish gear in the water, we were exhausted and quickly settle in for some rest. We managed to sleep for several hours with no action from the swordfish. After a quick bait check we were back asleep. Daylight Sunday morning found us about 3 miles East of the Spur with not a single bite all night.

There was 50 gallons of gas remaining in the tank…plenty for the journey home. The decision was made to run North searching for some signs of life. Quickly finding ourselves in green water, we put out the spread after seeing some fish busting the water. It was an uneventful troll North. There was a ton of bonita busting the surface, but that was all we saw. Uninspired by the green water, we pulled in the lines a few miles south of the Edge to make the run back home. We reached the ramp around 12:30 Sunday afternoon with 10 gallons of gas remaining and a boat full of memories. The last pic is our GPS track:
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Last edited by Chasin' Tales; 06-27-2016 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 06-27-2016, 02:17 PM   #2
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Great pics and video. What was that that that the marlin munched on in the 2nd video at 1:09? Did you toss some chum over?
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Old 06-27-2016, 02:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanaka View Post
Great pics and video. What was that that that the marlin munched on in the 2nd video at 1:09? Did you toss some chum over?
That was about a 10" mullet that was tossed in the water to try to entice the marlin to hang around.
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Old 06-27-2016, 04:05 PM   #4
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Old 06-27-2016, 06:28 PM   #5
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Man that was fricken AWESOME!!!! Swimming around w/ that marlin was a blast I'm sure! That baby sword is SWEET!
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Old 06-27-2016, 07:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chasin' Tales View Post
That was about a 10" mullet that was tossed in the water to try to entice the marlin to hang around.
Duh!!! Didn't connect the dots between reading about the encounter and seeing it.
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Old 06-28-2016, 12:26 PM   #7
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Wow. We lost a large sword Friday night and trolled that rip for 40-50 miles between Friday pm and sat at noon and had no fish to show for it either. Saw the bait at certain spots on the rip (a blue-green drum, piece of bamboo, etc) but never saw much in the way of pelagics besides some small mahi and one boat releasing a sailfish. Congrats on getting to swim with a marlin, twice. definitely would soften the blow of not returning to the dock with anything to clean. great report, thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-28-2016, 10:03 PM   #8
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Are you people Nat Geo photographers or fisherman? How could you not have still K a hook in that mullet before youngster it in? ?
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Old 06-29-2016, 09:00 AM   #9
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Awesome!
Cool post, looks like a great trip.
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Old 06-30-2016, 12:02 AM   #10
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Great read and awesome videos!
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