No YF Tuna, but a HUGE Consolation Prize
Its that time of the year again where Mr. and Mrs. Shoeless load the boat and head East to the Bahamas. Since we sold our Pursuit 2470 for a larger boat, we purchased a 2003 Hydrasports 2800 Vector WA. I have been getting it rigged over the last year and learning the ins and outs of this wonderful boat.
Being this was the first time across the Gulf Stream, we opted to just go to West End and stretch her legs a bit. The goal of this trip, and the goal for getting this boat, was to chase YF Tuna.
We started out with some relaxing deep dropping and shallow reef fishing while we settled into the routine of camping out on the boat. The first day of chasing tuna started out at 6:00 rigging baits and looking at the weather and conditions. I wanted to fish off the corner, but decided to run to the canyons to avoid the storms. The new Garmin Radar operated perfectly and we had no issues marking birds 3-3.5 miles out. Unfortunately, the first day resulted in no tuna and a lot of burned fuel. Although, we did learn the routine of trolling for tuna and got into a rhythm.
Over the next day or so, we relaxed with more deep dropping and reef fishing and made plans to run for tuna one more time on this trip. Same setup, wake up early, rig baits, turn on the radar and get to work. About mid morning, I’m working a pack of birds, watching my approach and turns on the birds, and the left long line goes off. I look back and see a BILL FISH running with my bait in its mouth. Sure enough, I’m tight, and he starts SCREAMING drag off. The wife and I clear lines, harness me up, and settle into an hour-long fight. Lana ran the boat EXPERTLY, keeping me and the fish positioned where we needed to be. All the fishing gods shined down on us and we landed this estimated 300 lb. Blue Marlin!!!! After a release and health fish running off in the distance, it was all I could do to stand up, high five the wife, and fall back on the bean bag. What an AMAZING experience!!! I couldn’t believe that my 80 lb leader held up to all that thrashing, I’m still blown away.
We closed our trip with some shallow reef fishing and diving for conch one last day. We found a sweet spot for the conch and got our limit in short order. While Lana was diving, 2 Dolphin decided to come up and check her out. Video of this is a little shaky, I forgot my GoPro pole adaptor, but I still got video of it.
This trip will go do as one for the memory books!!!!!