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Old 06-11-2018, 12:14 AM   #1
Tuna Can
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Introduction and Baja Report, Part 2

The following day was uneventful, other than bringing back some reef fish and small amberjack for ceviche and sashimi. Wednesday found us far from shore in some pretty good conditions, although the visibility was not very good. Bait fish were everywhere. It seemed like it was going to be a good day. After the pangero dropped each of us off, we started throwing flashers. Not too long after, I heard Pat yell, "Wahoo!" and saw the panga heading toward him. In a few minutes, Pat had landed a 57 pounder.

About an hour later, in a different area, we were drifting again and throwing flashers. Suddenly I heard Pat yell something and saw the panga turn toward him. It seemed that my dive buddy was going to have a good day. Pat Jr and I, on the other hand, hadn't seen a single game fish. Before long, the panga raced to me and told me that my friend needed help with his fish. After arriving I jumped in and saw Pat winching something really heavy up with his Floatline Clutch. Out of breath, he told me he had speared a Marlin, stoning it with the shot. Since one of his carbon fiber fins had snapped in two during the process of lifting the fish, he asked me to drop down and put a second spear in the fish, just in case it woke up.

As soon as I swam down past the plankton cloud I immediately saw the largest Black Marlin I had ever seen hanging from Pat's spear. It was breathing slowly, but was not moving at all. I hesitated for a second, thinking, "If I wake this thing with this shot, I'm screwed," then sent my spear into his lateral line. It didn't flinch. Pat used both floats to move the fish up to the bungies. Swimming the Marlin to the surface, we flipped it right-side up, and as I held the tail (which was very wide), Pat pierced the brain and cut the gills.

Loading such a huge beast onto the panga was really, really difficult. Pangero Cama did most of the upward lift (he is an animal), helped by Pat Jr, who was in the water, as Pat and I pulled horizontally, toward the bow. After securing the fish we made our way to Palapas. We were all astonished at the sheer size of this monster. Even Cama was grinning and hooting, shaking his head in amazement as we went.

Arriving at Palapas, we were met by a couple of pangeros and a backhoe. To see the length of the Marlin hanging from the backhoe's bucket was something to behold. Eventually, we tried to weigh the fish, but the only scale available had a limit of 400 lbs. So, in order to find out how much weight we were looking at, we employed a mathematical formula for estimating a Marlin's weight that we located via the internet. This formula was confirmed by certain very experienced spearfishermen who will go unnamed in this post. The formula:

(Girth x girth x length), divided by 800 = weight. All lengths are in inches, and the length of the fish was to be measured from the fork in the tail to the tip of the nose. The length of the bill was not to be included in the calculation. We also found a formula specific to Black Marlin that employed the same operation, except that it is divided by 700 instead of 800.

This Marlin was 113 inches long, from its nose to the fork in its tail. That's only 7" shy of 10 feet! By the way, it had no bill, but appeared to be very well fed, healthy and robust. This was a battle hardened veteran that had probably lost the bill in a fight. It appeared that a very short bill was beginning to grow back (probably an inch or two long). It had also suffered a severe injury at one time to its right pectoral fin. Over time this fin regrew, but the damage still showed. The girth, taken in front of the dorsal fin, was 70" (almost 6 ft around!). Its tail was 47.5" wide. What a fish!

The results were 692 lbs for the generic Marlin calculation, and 791 lbs for the Black Marlin-specific calculation. Either weight made us all feel very grateful, and very humble, that we had been involved in this ordeal. Pat has opted to choose the smaller number as his Marlin's weight. Now, the current IUSA spearfishing record for a Black Marlin is 467 lbs (2007). Pat's Marlin weighed 225 lbs more! (If the Black Marlin calculation is followed, it was 324 lbs heavier.) Since we had no official IGFA scale, and because I had deployed the second spear, this Marlin is not a candidate for a world record.

The hospitality of the guides and other staff members of Palapas Ventana was fantastic. The fish we took, including the Marlin, Pargo and Wahoo, were served every day to us and the other guests in sashimi, ceviche or cooked form. This, coupled with the best salsa, guacamole and chips I have ever eaten, and a few beers, made for one great, momentous week for each of us, one that we will never, ever forget.

Dana
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:19 AM   #2
Castor
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Re: Introduction and Baja Report, Part 2

Holy Cow!!!!! What a monster. It must have looked like a freight train in the water. I don't think Id have the guts to sink a shaft into that beast.

Congrats.
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Old 06-11-2018, 03:05 PM   #3
Halfcan
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Re: Introduction and Baja Report, Part 2

Holy F@*K! That thing is massive.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:40 PM   #4
HEX
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Re: Introduction and Baja Report, Part 2

Monster fish!! I can only imagine how it looked under water.
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:16 PM   #5
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Re: Introduction and Baja Report, Part 2

Nice catch.congratulation.
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:04 PM   #6
Tuna Can
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Re: Introduction and Baja Report, Part 2

Thank you. Fantastic experience!
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:19 PM   #7
Hatter
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Re: Introduction and Baja Report, Part 2

Epic!
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:28 PM   #8
Tuna Can
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Re: Introduction and Baja Report, Part 2

Thanks.
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