It was one of those days on the west, a rare day like this for that time of the year. Where the wind was no where to be seen and the sun was shining. The sun is always shining in the west though, but the fact there was no wind is an occurance that is quite uncommon that time of the year as the trade winds are constantly blowing.
We were living in our bus froth at the time at the lighthouse caravan park. The young salty Bailey showed up bright and early to take us out in his 4.5m tinny. We had previously planned to head for a dive and a little fish on the outside of gnarloo reef. Hopefully catching a macky or two. My eyes lit up when he delivered the question of
"Wanna catch a Marlin..." Silly question sir.
With the boat in the water we started heading out the channel to the outside of the reef. We made our way out to the water depth of 200m to 300m. Set our lures and begun trawling around. The little tinny rolled over the swell lines as we putted along waiting for that magic noise of the reels fizzing.
With the marine radio getting active with other boats hooking onto fish, we knew it was only a matter of time before we were on. We patiently motored along listening to the hoots and screams over the radio when we nearly ran over a sailfish that was sunning itself on the surface. We cut a few laps oin the area hoping for a hook up, but it was long gone. We continued on in our patch, working the contour line on the charts around 300m deep. Dolphins came and went and the beers were starting to taste good. The sun remained relentless and the day was hot and dead calm.
After a few hours and still no hook up, all the hooting on the radio got us a little frustrated. The skipper asked a quick question on the radio,
"What water depth are you working?"
A quick response of "900m" was announced. We looked at each other briefly and both exclaimed, "I'm keen"
We picked up our lines and headed out to sea in The little 4.5m tinny. The land dissappeared on the horizon and game fishing boats appeared in front of us. The lines went straight back in the water and with a sense of over excitement, we begun trawling once more.
The skipper stood up on the stern to 'drain the lizard' as they say, when as I was watching the lures a stomping blue marlin appeared right on the stern and took the lure. "OOOOh shit, we are on"
The skipper tried his hardest to keep his bal;ance and not fall into the drink, whilst tuckinng junior away. The reel fizzed and fizzed and we knew we were onto something bbig! The mad rush of getting the other three lines in and out the way before the fish took all the line that remained on the reel.
The fish launched out of the water twice, giving us an amazing spectacle. Trying to get everything away and the harness out, all at the same time, we were ready for the challenge that lied ahead.
Pump and wind, pump and wind. The challenge was on. I managed to gain three quarters of the line back onto the reel when the line was hanging straight down. The fish must have dove deep. We had to try to raise him by driving the boat forward. All that line I gained, went fizzing back off the reel as we motored along trying to raise him from the depths.
Pump and wind, pump and wind. Motor forward and let the reel fizz.
Pump and wind, pump and wind... After an hour went by we could make out the beast through the sparkling clear water. My arms were burning, my legs were burning, but my smile was cheek to cheek. Bonita did her best at hydrating me by pouring water down my open mouth and dipping my hat into the ocean to help keep me cool. 'Nearly there' I thought as i went into battle mode once more.
Throughout the battle a well known charter boat continued to make passes of our vessel and offered to take some photos once we had the fish on the trace.
The next 20 minutes was a game of cat and mouse, trying to get the fish next to the boat so we could remove the hook and let him go. Mission success. We got a few photos taken and proceeded to swim the beast as to keep the water moving through his gills.
Holding firmly onto the bill of the 150kg Blue Marlin, we slowly cruised along. I wasnt sure as to know when to let him go and watch him swim off when the skipper exclaimed to put my fingers into his mouth. The 150kg marlin chomped down with such a force i was glad i had gloves on! "Yep, think he is ready"
I let go of the marlin and Bonita and I jumped overboard with him. We watched as he gracefully glided away into the depths, disappearing into the deep blue 30m down.
Climbing back in with cheek to cheek smiles, some of the biggest high fives and man hugs went down. A quick frothy in celebration and the skipper was barking orders once more to get all the lines in the water once again.
Twenty minutes later, that noise of the reel fizzing begun ance again. "Yeeew" We holored, ready for round two. The skipper was telling me to get a hold of the rod but i was too tired from my previous 80 minute battle, "its your turn captain"
Thirty minutes later we had a second Blue Marlin on the trace and swimming next to the boat. This time a 120kg fish. Both extatic about our catches, we took our time in having a frothie this time around. Now getting late in the day, we decided we had better take the tinny closer to land, just in case the wind blew up.
Back at the boat ramp, waiting in line, some other fisherman in their 7m centre console 100k boat, sparked a conversation about the days fishing.
"We did pretty good, two from two" I said when asked. "How about you?"
"SAme, two from two."
"How big?" Bailey, the captain of the tinny asked.
"About 80kg & 100kg, how about you?"
"150kg and 120kg" pronounced Bailey.
"Really" the richer fisherman exclaimed. "How deep a water, 100m?"
"Na mate" The captain replied, "900m" he said as he turned and walked up to the carpark to retrieve the car.
The story does not end there though. The professional charter boat that took this photo, also writes an article for blue water fishing magazine. A world wide fishing book renown for bill big bill fish. This photo was in that magazine!