Mike & Andrew catch their first Big Black Marlin

Posted on Posted in 2017, Captains Log, FishBazaruto

Mike & Andrew catch their first Big Black Marlin

This past few days we had Mike Goch and Andrew Walker from SA, who after years of fishing where still on the quest for their first Marlin. Although we had a terrible hookup ratio the boys did catch their first Big Black Marlin with Mike releasing a #700 and Andrew a #550. For their 3 ½ fishing days they raise a total of 12 Marlin, with 10 bites, four conversions and two releases, they were really unlucky to have lost another #700-pound fish late afternoon on their last fishing day with the double a couple of meters from the transom.

It´s amazing how it goes, the previous week we had an amazing hookup ratio releasing 9 out of 11 bites and the week after it goes 2 for 10!!! Anyway, it´s been great out there and seems the big ladies have finally arrived in good numbers and the last few days as been wild, more like normal Bazaruto style, with loads of game fish around.

Here´s a small report and some pics from their trip!!!

The first day, the 7th of October was a pearl, as it´s been for two weeks now we had calm flat seas with a very light breeze from the NE. We headed up north seeing the water color down south as not been the best and we had some pretty bad reports from a couple boats fishing there. Up at lighthouse the water looked superb around the 25c as we put the lures out early morning. We tacked all the way from lighthouse to just north of sailfish Bay and picked three wahoo and a dorado. Then mid-morning a very good fish looking in excess of 700 crash bites the long left but misses it all together and does not come back for more. We work the area for a good while hard but do not pick her up again. We then work further south but the water started to change color and as I turn back we have a small fish around 250 take a long, peel 50 meters of line and come undone…nose job!

Back at lighthouse in the afternoon we picked some game fish and then decide to live bait a bonnie and for almost 2 hours and into 35 meters of water but amazingly not even a wahoo or shark took the bait!

We head back up north the next day, this time only with Mike aboard and the plan was to catch some bait in the morning and live bait back to the area we saw the fish the previous day north of sailfish.

LOVE IT WHEN A PLAN COMES TOGETHER…

Put the bait sticks out and straight away pick up a couple nice king mackerel for the table and a bonnie straight away. We go deeper put out the bait and within 20 minutes, literally on our first tack we get a bite, the drop back goes to plan, Mike comes up on the drag and line peels out as a 350 pounder starts to jump, Perfect! Mike gets in the chair and the fish come off…looking at the #550 leader it was never really hooked but had it wrapped around the bill. Go back to the bait spot and within 45 mins catch another one and back at it. This time it was not so quick as we tacked south to get to the spot where we saw the big fish yesterday. Well, 2h20 later and half a mile south from that exact bite we get another bite but no one sees the pick up as the bait was deep. Mike does a perfect drop again and we hookup, but with a slow and deep run everyone´s got Shark in their head.

But, just then it picks up the pace ad starts moving up and although the fish never jumped at that stage myself and Alberto grin to each other, knowing it to be very unlikely for a Shark to be this fast. As I turn to start picking line she comes out the water, all 700 pounds of it.

 

Cheers all around, Mike starts picking up line as this girl now screams all over the ocean and then changes direction completely. We get on top of her, I tell Mike to come up to well over the button and within 35 minutes or so we got her by the boat, on the snotter for a couple pics. Beautiful fish, pity she did not carry girth all the way to the back as the shoulders where just absolutely massive and an easy 700 pounds.

Not bad for a first Marlin…

We got a third bait which was sharked and then put out a skip/swim bait ad decide to go south and check conditions there which were absolutely terrible with green water. But with a stiff NE breeze we decide to press further and make a shorter day out of it.

 

Nice big black marlin by Captain Duarte Rato and crew off Bazaruto.
Nice big black marlin by Captain Duarte Rato and crew off Bazaruto.

On the 9th we had a hard ENE in the morning which made for a tuff ride out but again all it took us was 5 minutes to get a bait, put it out and 15 minutes later again we have a bite from a 300 pounder but the fish just grabs the bait and immediately jumps and spits it out! Hard to say what went wrong. We go back get another bonnie and work it south, but the very small bait eventually died.

We had told the girls we would meet them at Paradise Island for a barbecue so we put the lures and head north, just before coming in at10h30 we get a fish around 200 come on one of the long´s but not convert.

Paradise was just awesome with some delicious rump, huge tiger prawns, very chilled sauvignon Blanc and serious cold one´s…life´s tough!

Their last day, the 10th of October was a day they will hardly ever forget.

We raised 6 for the day, had 5 bites, hooked 3…releasing a 500 out of a double hookup and lost a 700 plus right by the boat.

Exactly like the previous two days it took us less than 5 minutes to get a bait and this time 5 minutes to get a bite. Exactly like the previous two days we missed the fish +-300 that just picked at the bait. Went back to the bait spot and all it took was 5 minutes and we had another bait but this one was chopped by a wahoo 20 minutes later. Back at the bait spot, another bonnie but this one was sharked after 10 minutes. I decided to put the lures out and head for another bait spot, this one deeper. It took us about 20 minutes but as we got to the southern edge we get a bite on one of the bait rods with a Halco Laser Pro and a 200-pound Black starts jumping, opening the small trebles on the second jump. Straight after we pick up two bonnies and I start tacking deeper.

08h32am on the clock, good showing on the sounder and a fish at 50 meters. Slow turn to get the baits deep and then we get a blind bite on the long bait and hookup, but a slow sustained run. As this is happening a second fish, about 350 pounds come shoulders out the water and takes our other bait a mere 12 meters from the transom. After the short drop we also hookup and both start running in different directions. Strangely after a couple minutes the 350 comes off. We start chasing the first fish which has still not jumped. Eventually she does and it’s a good girl as Andrew picks line on his first ever Marlin. After a second jump, she goes deep and I sense she tail wrapped. Sunset it and Andrew got the hard task of inching her in as I help. We managed to get the girl still alive and kicking to the boat, placed a tag, took a quick photo, drag her slowly to get her going, color back, flick of the tail and she´s gone.

Well done to Andrew on his first fish…

 

We set the lures and go wondering looking for more bait and although there was plenty with a couple schools of skipjack and YFT it was impossible to get them. The sharks around the schools was crazy and every time one hook´s up a Zambezi would just pounce on it within 5 seconds.

Back to lure fishing and just past noon we get a fish come on the short right Wrigler by Pulsator, peel 80 meters but not finding steel….

Then for the first time during the day we have a break from chaos and relax, sit back and enjoy…

The outgoing tide had pushed green water to the deep bait area but just before 3pm I move there and manage to get a YFT. We put it out and I tack to where we picked the double header earlier. I am still not there when 15 minutes later we get a bite, perfect transition and we hookup. Once again, the fish never jumps but we know it’s a good one and when she eventually does it´s a good one, every bit of 700. Mike looks like a pro on the chair and you can see he is enjoying this. He does a perfect job, we get on top of her in about 20 minutes, she´s still strong but Alberto stretches to pick up the leader when the double breaks the surface, the fish changes direction and all goes limp and the fish comes off! As good as getting the fish anyway and smiling we put the lures and make ourselves home enjoying a Scotch…

Strong SE today (the 11th October) so the boys decided to have a break. We get Ian Du Plessis and the guys arriving and will start with themtomorrow for the next week. They had a great trip last year and we got a bunch of fish and had a day where we had 8….biggest we caught was 600 so hopefully we can get a better one this week.

 

Cheers & tight lines,

 

Duarte

 

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