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Blue Marlin Hunt – the recap


This post was imported into WordPress from my old Black Marlin Fishing Blog website without any accompanying photos. If you’d like to see the original post, with the accompanying photographs, go to the original Black Marlin Fishing Blog site and navigate to the post using the archive navigation links on the right-hand-side.

Although American, Gary Carter now calls Costa Rica home. A seasoned Marlin fisherman, he is also lucky enough to be able to spend most of the year fishing in some of the best destinations in the World. Costa Rica itself is well-known for Sail-fishing and Gary told us about his most recent trip before coming to Aus, where he released in the three figures (ie. 150+) in just one week’s fishing prior to this trip. In addition to this plentiful home ground, he also travels abroad to destinations such as Pinas Bay in Panama – a Blue/Black/Sailfish hotspot (he caught a potential world record Dolphin Fish at Pinas Bay earlier this year – 26.39kg on 1kg) – as well as Hawaii (where he got a Spearfish record), Vanuatu, NZ and of course Australia. And, he’ll be back to Aus again later in 2007 for the heavy tackle Black Marlin season up North with Capt. Luke. Joining Capt. Luke on board Kekoa – Gary’s first trip on the newly launched O’Brien though he has fished with Capt. Luke for four years – were Dave Cassar and Jim “Jimbo” Bladen as crew. The plan was to catch a Blue Marlin World Record on 6, 8 and/or 12lb. Though it sounded pretty straight forward in theory – we all know that even the greatest of plans have a way of going askew. The 2007 Blue Marlin season off SE QLD had slowed from the relatively hot bite of March/April and so the team put in the miles in search of the fish. In the entire 18 days (a whopping 300 engine hours), they covered close to 1000 miles between Fraser Island in the North and Ballina in the South – most of the time spent in the waters off the Sunshine Coast where there were still fish to be found. Catching Blue Marlin on such light tackle is hard. Very hard. And, Blues are particularly known for having a ‘brain snap’ (terminology by Capt. Luke) once hooked and are able to use all their strength and speed in the fight, unlike other Marlin species, to get away and get away fast. On one particular day, the team managed to hook two World Record-sized fish in quick succession on 8 & 12lbs, and both fish managed to do all that and more – as Capt. Luke says, he’s never hooked fish that have smoked them so quickly and surely as these two. Remembering that all fish were switch-baited so they were hooked literally at the transom, it was amazing to see just how quickly they could get 500 metres on the boat. They got very close to one of these fish and the leader was coming out of the water merely feet from Dave’s grasp. At the same time, Capt. Luke was giving Kekoa all it had in reverse. All were amazed how only seconds later, with Gary in total free-spool in an attempt to stop the line from breaking, the fish was already 500 metres away. Soon followed by that familiar slack as the line broke. Because the fish are capable of such speed, when they jump out of the water free of the water’s drag, the in-air acceleration causes a belly in the line behind them (where they were just seconds ago) and this belly is enough to break the light tackle.Despite the sought after Blue Marlin record never eventuating, the team enjoyed some highlights including:**Fighting potential records almost every day of the trip**Two potential Australian Records being a 19.3 Yellowfin Tuna on 3kg and a Wahoo on 2kg**A mammoth 9 hour fight on 2kg on a Black Marlin which highlighted Gary’s talent and endurance**Breaking off on the leader after a 2 hour fight on a good sized Blue on 6kg**Raising 3 blues around 500lb on one day, switching one, and Capt. Luke getting stitched up by one of the others on his teaser, losing he share of skin to the pancake teaser**Glamour weather for the whole close to 3 weeks – cannot be understated how wonderful it was!

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