When you head offshore you listen to a lot of chatter the previous week. Message boards along the Atlantic coast light up with information about who is heading out-where-for what-what day (weekend warriors). When I get the privilege to go, I read every bit of it. Most of all I try to be on top of weather. Going out in a 23′ cc to the canyons is not for the weak of heart. It’s more of a mental prep then a fishing prep. When I first started fishing “Offshore” I really did not think about it until reading countless website threads about going out in CC’s. Now it’s all I have ever known.
On most of the trips I try to get as many lessons in that I can. One that I was working on over the entire fishing season was taking over the wheel when the Capt get’s a fish on/is prepping/etc. With only two people on the boat, staying absolutely focused and knowing what your doing is essential.
Our day starts with arrival at the boat in the dark of the night. The Capt prepares the electronics and I carry down all of the equipment, rod, reels, bait, food, gaff, etc… then pack it in its rightful spot. Usually while prepping the boat we’ll throw in a few nets and keep checking them for any extra bait fish at the dock.
Soon we are about ready to go with much anticipation. Every trip out last summer/fall provided me with a virtual display of visual delights. I love “that place” … the place on the ocean where you can truly appreciate how insignificant we really are.
It gives me a lot of strength and a sense of accomplishment on return. But it’s the way out when your flying, spray occasionally kisses your cheek and once again… you feel alive. If you fish you can appreciate that moment deep inside of you. I believe it’s the feeling that beats in the heart of some and sends commercial fishermen to sea.
There was no plan… except for the hope of BFT, but they would allude us this year. Something much more exciting was waiting to capture our attention and cause a bit of chaos.
We left the dock on a beautiful fall morning around 6am. It was late for us to go out so far, but just perfect day for a cc to get out offshore. False Dawn wakes up your soul and ignites those hopes and dreams of big fish.
We started off with a nice weed line about 7 miles west of the trunk. It was in cold 66 degree water, saw some triggers under there and nothing else so continued to make our way out. Captain gave me the job of de-tangling a huge mass of line, I worked on it for a solid hour while heading out. When I handed it back to him he told me he was joking, never thought I’d untangle it. <nice-lol>
We arrived to calm seas at the Trunk Area. It was there we Trolled the entire trunk area. Saw some turtles but not a lot of other life. We then trolled down the trunk east of the tea cup and had some warmer 72-74 degree water.
We continued on out to the tip of the Baltimore. Upon our arrival we immediately had 74-76 degree Blue Water in the tip and some flying fish.
At this point we decided a spread of naked small/medium ballyhoo and some smaller islander/ballyhoo combos may be just the trick. Within 20 minutes had a knockdown and from the fight and water break, there he was… one of the kings of the sea a magnificent White Marlin . We then redeployed the spread and trolled the tip area for another 40 minutes.Then BAM, had a nice hit on a small bw/islander combo that stuck. The captain immediately took the rod and the fight was on.
As I cleared the lines, and deck I soon found myself again at the wheel, maneuvering the boat to bring this turbo charged marlin close enough to touch the leader. The fish went airborne at least 15 times, and it was quite a show. At the same time I was trying to capture every minute photographing the airshow. The whole experience went on for a solid 45 minute fight. Captain was able to get the fish close enough and I put my hand on the leader for an official catch. We didn’t get a tape to the fish but estimating from leader length it was in the higher class!
Once again another life dream realized as I never thought I would see a white marlin let alone be blessed with such and awesome show. Congrats’ to the Captain on a job well done and thank you for your patience and giving me the chance to witness such a magnificent fish.