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December 21, late report, Marathn Hump + mahi/wahoo action

Calm seas greeted us early Thursday morning as we headed from KCB south-south east to the Marathon Hump. Myself, my wife Tania, Tom Alferes and his nephew Stephen Alferes were the crew. About 1.5 miles from the Hump my evil-eye wife yells STOP, there is a big board over there. Any sure enough there it was. About a 20' 4x4 heavily encrusted with barnacles. So out go the lures and ballyhoo. Bang...bang, two rods go down on the first pass. Two slammers are hooked up. All goes well and we repeat several more times catching a total of 5 mahi and 2 smaller wahoo. We are looking good now.

When we get to the Hump there are maybe a total of four boats working. No birds are visible. We troll our small dark lures around the SW corner of the Hump which normally produces the most fish for us. Nothing after several passes. Bummer, so we switch to dropping knife jigs letting them fall for 1-1.5 minutes. Nothing again. With frustration we go back to trolling. Now we see surface disturbance in the SW center of the hump. Small tuna are busting all over. we get our lures into the mix of them and we hook up on 3 of 4 rods. I had heard that the sharks were taking many of the hooked fish out there. Even my winding as fast as we could we would lose 3/4 of what we hooked up.

Our landing rate improved by backing down hard as soon as we would get hooked up. Anglers on each rod reeled like there was no tomorrow. This worked. Only once did we lose a tuna boatside to a shark. The shark was huge, maybe 10' and he ate just a few feet from the boat. With patience we landed 18 of the football size tuna. Several hookups felt much larger, but the sharks got every one of the bigger strikes.

If you go, take many extra lures. These should be small, 3-4" dark lures with long 40-50# floro leaders. We would trolled pretty fast, say 8-10 kts. The lures were set- way-way-way back. 125yds and more.
Happiness is the journey, not the destination.

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