»Trolling for marlin with lures«
We planned our trip for a long time – a Blue Marlin in the Carribean Sea. Always interfered something. Once the vacation periods did not fit, other time we couldn´t get flights. Well, now for Eastern we went nonstop to Tobago.
The island received us winter-troubled guys with a wonderful face.
A marvelous landscape, super of beaches, pictorial bays and crystal-clear water. The outside temperature around 35°C, the water around 25°C, the ideal vacation island for sun-hungry water sportsmen. Of course, we knew that the boat prices are adapted to the US level here. But locally the prices were very high – it is Marlin high season. 500 to 800 $ per exit was too much. We had an idea. A German, which lives most time on Tobago, is owner of a Piroge.
The "Hey Jude" is 8.5 m long, equipped with two Outboarder each with 125 HP, and with tidy outrigger. With our experience and equipment it would have to be possible. The sea chart studied, GPS programmed and the adventure could begin.
The first days we had a very rough sea and high waves. So we had to stay inshore. Nevertheless, with dead flying fish and Baloas we caught six good Dorados to 41 lb and two Kingfish to 28 lb - with 30 lb line a tidy beginning. Finally, the wind leaves and we began with realising our goal. With a large Hawaii Lure on the 80's, small and large Ilandern on the 50's and 30's we left the beach into the deep water. Finally, in the morning - the first Marlin on the 80's - briefly hooked, some jumps and out of our dreams.
For the forthcoming Tournament the district is marked out and the "choice of the weapons" clearly During the registration to internationally the Big Game Fishing Tournament our boat is the smallest. A strange feeling, if one stands with high sea-yachts from 42' to 60' length in a row. There are still 28 further teams from the Carribean Ilands and the USA at the start. The large boats drag with up to 10 rods and two Teasern, we with four plus a rod over the Downrigger. Also a professional crew rides along in each case with the large boats. Our team IGFA Germany: Christa Rein, Albrecht Maier and I.
First Day: At 05.00 o'clock we take course 15° northeast. Our goal is appropriate for 18 miles far away. Lures out, speed of 8 to 10 knots, and faith, love, hope is our motto for the next three fishing days. 09,00 o'clock Strike - Ladies first, Christa catches a tidy Wahoo with scarcely 40 lb. Now we don´t finish the tournament without fish. Over radio up to noon: "... NO marlin strikes, 3 sails, 3 wahoos, 6 mahi mahis...". In the afternoon slam shut then nevertheless still another US and a Trinidad boat: "... 2 marlins tagged and released, 1 marlin died … ".
Second Day: We troll with full risk and all day long with large Lures. Against noon a doublestrike. Unfortunately the Lures are too large and the two Sails says good-bye after some acrobatic jumps.
Third Day: Yesterday, we drove off still the island and stored far away visible landmarks on the GPS. Today we can make therefore accurate bearing, find our catch area better and fish a larger area systematically. We drive beyond the 20-sm-Zone into the high sea. An strange feeling in such a small boat. Up to noon nothing at all - no fish contact. The wind leaves, the sea becomes calmer. Over radio then the message: "... 3 Boats are fighting, marlins are hooked...". We hold our course of a bird swarm. Dorado and a large Tunaswarm rob, the water "boil" and the tension rise.
Suddenly whistles the 30 lb reel …
Only a small Tuna at a much to large lure. Once again, the swarm still robs. After the fifth round suddenly the 80's tears violently from the outrigger, the role whistles, briefly loosely condemned... No five seconds later the 50's whistles with rapid speed. The fish pulls with his first escape approx.. 400m from the role and goes deep. Nobody observed the Strike. Christa transfers, she is the only one who still has a chance in the single valuation. The 6/0 role is nearly empty. We must drive backwards. No easy venture with an Outboarder and such waves. Finally, after a lot of alignings, we are about 200 m away from the fish. Christa has a hard fight, but the fish don´t gets tired - perhaps a large Yellowfintuna?
Now we want to see the fish and open our trick box. The boat has to drive in such a way that the line course works always laterally in the right angle to the fish.
The fish shows effect …
The line rises and rises … finally a marverloausly bright silver-blue fish breaks through the water surface. His blue stripes shines in the sun. Pictures that burned in forever in our memory. A Blue Marlin, there arises. Now everything goes very fast. The Marlin dips again off. Christa has to go to her physical border and fights very hard.
After one hour I can get the leader. Christa wants to release the Marlin. Unfortunately, he took the Ilander full and both hooks are too much for the fish. He dies. Thus, purely in the boat and to the cradle place. The spectators are very astonished, on the "Hey Jew" rise up a sword and a tail out of the ship.
The balance remains standing with 249 lb …
It is the first time in the Tobago Tournament history that a Piroge could catch a Marlin. At 50's the equipment and in addition still of a woman imprisoned, the Tobago Machos irritates totally. The report on the giant joy and the number of the cool Caribs I save. During the winner honour there is a further surprise. Christa won the "Wahoo valuation" with her Wahoo from the first day. But there are to 2000$, the Ladies Cup and beautiful special prices. The beginning of our "career" we had to try our luck shortage of money on small, cheap boats. There were no "slaves" along and we had everything to make - only a good team caught! Finally, it did not harm. Still today, if wind and waves permit, we gladly charter small boats and arise the good "old times" again.
With small boats everything is possible; my fishing friend Ernst Hanisch caught some years ago at Mauritius a Blue Marlin of 1100 lb.
The large disadvantage with small boats is, however the lack of “offshore-safety”. A fast weather-change and you already sit fully in the mess. Please have a look at the weather before every exit. And respect the advice of the natives. When they say you “not good”, go to the beach. A remark at the edge, a good team, a pleasant and solved tendency on board is the half way to success.