Pat Sanders, Randy Kerst, Scott Collins Sr., Mal Thomas, Scott Collins Jr., Grant Collins and Tom Harkenrider (from left to right) Note: The fish was gut hooks and could not be released.
Ever experience the thrill of catching a big fish here at Buenavista Beach Resort? Or maybe it was your first roosterfish or having the rare opportunity of diving in the preserve at Cabo Pulmo? Baja’s Secret Miracle
Here’s what Randy Kerst wrote us about his day – what’s your story? Send your photos and stories to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll share them, too!
We were on the last day of our trip and were a bit rushed to make our plane flight so we needed to be back by 12. We went out on one of the smallest pangas with Captain Miguel. We had caught a few fish by the lighthouse and saw something big hooked up and lost the day before so we got bait and headed straight there. Our boat decided to play rock paper scissors to determine who would get the rod first. My dad won, I got second honors and our friend Pat was up third.
“We started right next to the point and quickly hooked up a very small skipjack for my dad which meant his turn was over and I was up next. We trolled and started going further from the shore and saw a marlin at the surface, but it went underwater before we were able to throw a live bait at it. We continued to troll out further with two jigs on trolling rods, one Rapala for wahoo and a frozen ballyhoo with a sinker weight on it. We got about 3/4 of a mile to a mile out and then had a very strong strike on the frozen ballyhoo and set the hook on it. Unfortunately for me, the marlin hit the trolling setup that we were hoping to catch a dorado on and we hooked the fish on 40-lb. test.
The marlin took most of the line off the reel very quickly and it seemed that the drag may have been too loose (it turned out that it wasn’t too loose, just that the marlin was really strong). Near the end of the spool the marlin turned and I was able to gain some line back. He took another really good run and then I got some line back again. I fought the fish for about 20 minutes without a belt and put a good bruise on my leg before we were able to find a belt. I was glad we did because I my hip and leg were starting to get pretty sore. After the marlin kept taking line the captain instructed me to tighten the drag. We needed to get the fish in quickly because we had to catch a flight and the fish didn’t seem to be tiring. After about 30 minutes I tightened the drag and could hear the line pinging and extremely close to breaking. In my experience fishing I have never heard a line sound like that without my line breaking. I wanted to loosen the drag, but we needed to bring the fish in and the captain said that it was set ok. The fish still took line whenever he wanted to run, but I was able to start getting line back. After letting him run a few more times we got him close to the boat.
The marlin was still too strong to bring aboard so we gave him some more time to tire out. The captain joked that we still had at least another 30 minutes of fighting on our hands. He was taking me from one side of the boat to the other and made a handful of big runs, but we were able to get him back close each time. We had a couple of scares when the line went toward the prop, but thanks to some good driving by Miguel we were able to keep him from breaking the line. It was especially tough in the panga because the fish moves the whole boat when he pulls and I had to stay near the middle of the boat to keep the boat from leaning and from losing my balance. Finally after about 30 minutes like Miguel said, we got the fish fairly tired. I was able to get enough line to get close to the weight and leader line. Once the fish seemed to be cooperating Miguel grabbed the weight and the leader line to pull the fish in. That is when the fun started.
The ballyhoo and the hook were swallowed very deeply, but the fish was still extremely strong at that point. Miguel pulled the fish close and was able to get a gaff in him. He then passed the gaff to Pat and grabbed the bill to control the fish. The fish was still fairly lively and thrashing his head so Miguel was not able to club him effectively. My dad needed to go over to club him, but the small panga which is very narrow was already tipping with two people and the fish on the side. I jumped up on the opposite rail on the other side of the boat and then my dad grabbed the club from Miguel to finally knock out the fish so we could bring it into the boat. My dad, Pat and Miguel were all on one side with the fish and I was straight across them on the other side of the boat tilted in the air. They were able to drag the fish into the boat and our trip changed from one of our slowest to our best trip down to Hotel Buenavista yet.
I had some blisters and good bruises from the fight and Miguel our captain cut his finger and thinks that he may have also broken his finger trying to bring the lively fish into the boat, but we got it. Miguel did a great job through the entire process and there is no doubt that we only landed him because of his great driving. We quickly headed back to the hotel to process the fish and jumped back on a plane to Orange County. It was by far the biggest fish and the toughest fight I have experienced and it made our trip. We are thankful to all the staff at the hotel and all the captains who always do a great job.
- Catch Time: Slightly over an Hour
- Setup: 40 lb. test, Frozen Ballyhoo with a sinker weight
- Fish Weight: No Scale, but a 200 lb. estimate.
- Date: 11/10/14
- Time Hooked: 8:45 AM
- Captain: Miguel
- Boat: small blue panga
- Angler: Scott Collins Jr.
Others on Boat: Scott Collins Sr., Pat Sanders
P.S. After we hooked up, another blue marlin jumped out of water about 6 times about 100 meters from the boat.