Just my marlin luck, I got to fish first this morning but it was absolutely freezing out. I’ll guess it was in the upper 50ºs or low 60ºs at the most. It definitely wasn’t the norm for Baja and by no means good conditions to raise striped marlin into fly casting range.
We hit the water early regardless of cool temps. The good news was the sun was rising and the forecast was for the 80ºs. We drove an hour to exactly where Sammy got his marlin yesterday and slow drifted live bait beneath the boat. The first couple hours were slow except for a cruising dorado that Grant teased into range. I nailed him and although I’m normally a catch and release man, this mahi got whacked for dinner tonight.
I stood at the back of the boat for another two hours but not another fish showed up let alone a striped marlin. Sammy, Grant and even the crew started teasing me about having a marlin curse. They might be right. This is getting ridiculous. Just to prove to myself it’s not a curse, I handed things over to Sammy at 1 PM. Sammy sat motionless with 14-weight in hand for another three “marlinless” hours.
At 4 PM we packed it in. It was a depressing day. At least we didn’t get skunked we joked. Then as we were approaching the lighthouse near Cabo several frigatebirds began to dive for fleeing bait. We had us a marlin!
Alex sped to the diving birds and cut the engines. Grant launched the hookless live bait and in seconds the marlin took it. Grant and the marlin played tug of war but then bad luck – the marlin stole the hookless baitfish and left the scene. Damn!
Grant frantically attached another live bait. By the time he was rigged the frigates were diving again. Our marlin was back. We sped recklessly to the spot, cut the engines and launched the tease. As if the marlin was waiting for us he mashed the bait. This time Grant teased him in range. I landed my fly on the tip of the marlins bill as Grant yanked the live bait. All of us figured an eat was a guarantee but the marlin took a close look at my offering and turned away. Can you say nightmare?! This photo by Grant Hartman.
The best part of the day came late. When we returned to Sammy’s condo I filleted the dorado I caught in the morning. Then Sammy and I went to the famous Hotel California Restaurant in Todos Santos and had them cook it up for us. We stuffed ourselves on dorado sashimi followed by more grilled up pieces. Thanks goodness we had enough beer to wash it all down. . . .
One more day to make it happen!