Chasing Stick Fish (Part One) – The story… (Story by Vicki Lear. Images by Chris Cleaver)

We were all very determined to go and catch a marlin from the 17ft Edgewater Boat.  So Chris Cleaver, Scott Lear and myself headed out.  It was the only day we were all available and the conditions were not great.  Given we all had a lot of experience on the water, it was something we could handle to meet our goal.

First stop was the bait grounds to gather our Slimy Mackerel.   This took longer than expected and the local sharks didn’t help either but finally we had enough to head out to Bandit Reef.

On the Saturday we had heard that the fish were sitting off the south pinnacle so this is where we concentrated in trolling our live baits past.  It was clear as we past the pinnacle that the Lowrance Sounder was showing a good school of baitfish.  The first bait down became all panicked and line tightened but this didn’t turn into anything.  We kept trolling our live baits and watched boat after boat hook up; we saw Marlin free swimming through the sets of swell, it had to be our turn next.

False alarms, when we had a seal take one of the live baits on the Stella outfit, this equalled another live bait stolen.  With our next passing past the pinnacle it wasn’t long before we had a strike on the Tiagra Reel, if you have ever had the chance to hear a strike on one of these reels you would have to agree that it roars like a lion.  This time it was a Marlin.  We could have sat and watched it for hours as it danced gracefully over the ocean but we had a job to do.  Scott started with short pump and winds and Cleaver took the helm. Thirty-five minutes passed and it was now coming to the side of the boat.  Ready to trace I was keeping an eye out for the double to come out of the water.  Just out of arms reach the fish had a burst of energy and decided to charge to the front of the boat.  I had to dive out of the way and let Scott follow it around to the front of the boat.  By the time I scrambled to my feet the trace was there and waiting to be grabbed.  A few happy snaps with the fish still in the water and it were time for it to be released.  It was a Blue Marlin estimated weight 100+kg.

This was the first for the day but certainly not the last.

With a quick look at the Lowrance GPS we had realised the fish had taken us South, so we charged back up into the swell to the reef.  With live baits now in the water we started the same trolling pattern.

An hour and half had passed then right on cue past the southern pinnacle it was on.  Every fish is different, this fish screamed south and didn’t jump as much.  It wanted to hold out in the current.  I took the helm and Scott helped Cleaver get the harness on.  Every time we got the fish close to the boat it would take off again and hold in the current, after over an hour of this same stalemate, we had to change its routine.

This time when we got the fish close we changed the boat angle before the fish had a chance to change angle on us, this seemed to have confused the fish and brought it to the surface giving Scott a chance to grab the trace.  It was a solid Black Marlin approx 100+kg.

After a successful release of the fish we all glanced at each other.  We were a fair way south and were debating whether to chase Marlin number three. The live bait answered this for us, as we looked in the tank and it was already dead.  So we headed for home.

Vicki Lear is a self confessed fish-a-holic and works as a real estate agent to support her habit. Far from being a “one trick pony” she excels at many diverse styles of fishing from land based game fishing to offshore gamefishing. As well, she kicks most guys butts at Bream and Bass fishing.

Read more of Vicki’s stories here

3 responses to “Chasing Stick Fish (Part One) – The story… (Story by Vicki Lear. Images by Chris Cleaver)

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