Marlin Fishing On The Joy Sea

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We decided to go to Santa Barbara Island to fish. Islands up north are going to be too windy. Did some trolling along the way. No luck at that. Gary saw a marlin that did some nice jumps in front of the boat. No fish today, just a few bat rays. We came in to anchor for the night and found friends of ours already anchored. Gary has tried to radio them to come on over for a drink, but they aren’t answering.

Santa Barbara Island

Santa Barbara Island

Aug 9

Spent the day going after marlin. We had 4 hookups and got one which was a catch and release (a marlin is counted as a catch once you have your hand on the leader line).  It’s really exciting when you see a marlin appear behind your boat and check out your lures.

We went back near the island to anchor for the night. A dive boat came in and divers were diving in the area. The current took one of them away from their boat and over by ours. He surfaced next to our boat. Derek asked him if he saw any yellowtail down there. He said no, but he saw several large halibut. Tomorrow we will try to catch them.

Derrick with lines out trolling

Derek with lines out trolling

Aug 10

Fishing for halibut didn’t last very long. I didn’t even get up out of bed before it was over. Gary decided that there was too much kelp.

Fishing for marlin turned into a long boat ride. We saw one come and check out the lure, but it didn’t bite. Back to Santa Barbara Island for the night. Tomorrow we will try an area where Gary saw marlin jumping that is on our way back home. Winds are forecasted to pick up so tomorrow is our go home day.

Flying our marlin and release flags.

Flying our marlin and release flags.

Aug 11
Day for going home. Trolled for marlin along the way.

Have to say I learned a lot. After seeing Derek battle a 250 lb marlin I see the difference between what I caught and this one. Trolling vs bait fishing makes the game a lot different.
I caught my first marlin last October when we were in Mexico. The marlin I caught was only about 125 lbs, and it was on a charter boat. We had four of us fishing, and two boat crew. They were set up with the fighting chair and it was something they did all the time. That marlin was caught from live bait. At that time, I had my foot in a cast and only a few weeks post-surgery. The crew in Mexico did help me pull the marlin in, even though I really wanted to do it myself. I wasn’t in the best of cardiovascular shape at the time because with the broken foot I had been laying in bed all day for almost a month.

With Derek’s marlin, it was trolling with lures.  Gary was up at the helm on the flybridge and Derek and I were below. While Derek battled the fish, and went around poles still out, Gary and I got the other lines in so that they didn’t get tangled up. Then Gary had to move the boat to help Derek to be able to bring the marlin in.  It really takes a lot of team work  to make it all happen.  Getting a big marlin in by yourself would be a feat.

After Derek caught his marlin Gary was saying that I could have the next one. Derek is a big guy, in his early 30’s with a lot more strength than I have. I’m really feeling the need to increase my endurance and my upper arm body strength. Gary said if I can’t pull the marlin in, I won’t be able to bring in the yellow fin tuna in March.

Then there’s the mental game. After seeing some of the marlin mishaps on-line (the guy with a bill through his leg and the other guy jumping out of the boat to avoid the fish) is a little spooky. You always have to respect mother nature. This was my first time seeing a marlin caught on the Joy Sea. With other types of fishing, Gary and I have gotten really good at being a team, and doing whatever it takes to get the fish on the boat.

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We’ll have five on our team for the Channel Islands Bill Fish tournament in September. Last year was my “first year”, but due to breaking my foot when I jumped off the boat at the bait dock, I didn’t make it out of the harbor. So really, this will be my first year. Looking forward to it, and glad to get a preview of what it will take to win.

Watch and like the catch video  (2 minutes) on my face book page (August 11th)