I wrapped up business here in CR a day early and was able to get one more day on the water. With no one sharing the boat, I invited the crew to bring along their family, hopefully finding those tuna again, but while we were looking, I was going to try and catch what came up on the teasers with my fly rod.....hopefully a marlin.
I had my 14 wt rigged up with a larger fly than we might normally use for sails. On the short baits, we even rigged them up without hooks, hoping to get a shot with the fly before they faded back and ate one of the long rigger baits or shotgun that did have hooks.
We were on a nice color change and found a big log, loading the live-bait tubes with bonito which are like tuna candy......if we can find them. After a little live baiting around the log and no luck, we continued down the edge and it wasn't long before a nice blue marlin piled on one of those hook-less swimming ballyhoo. Unfortunately, even without hooks, this fish got bill wrapped and gave us a great show until finally pulling off.
Back on the troll a lazy sail swats at a teaser, then fades back and eats a bait. Congrats to Glenda, Berto's wife, caught the first billfish of the day and proved that she was no "gato negro". A few minutes later we had another sail up, but would not eat the fly, so we pitched a ballyhoo and caught Berto's son his first sailfish. Then it was our lawyer's turn with a sail that ate the shotgun.
With that many billfish around, I thought for sure that my shot was coming up. I slipped up to the bridge and was chatting at James, checking out the spread and noticed that Berto still had a couple of live bonito bridled up to circle hooks and waiting in the tuna tubes for their opportunity to go swimming. Live bonito are not only candy for tunas, but marlin love them also.
I was just commenting to James that I better go back downstairs and cut those bonito off the hooks because if we raise a marlin, Berto would probably "forget" that I wanted to try one on the fly and would toss the live bait before I got my chance with the long rod.
James agreed that I was probably right, but no faster than the words get out of his mouth were they followed by "Marlin, left short teaser". I scrambled down stairs grabbed the fly rod and had the fly in the water at about the same time that damn bonito of Berto's hit the water.
I can assure you that my freshly tied fly and leader was a lot less attractive than that live bonito and the perfect-sized 120 pound blue marlin agreed, instantly inhaling it. Berto was trying to hand me the rod with the reel in freespool and the look that I gave him said it all. "You catch the damn thing".
As his nephew is catching his first marlin, I am disassembling the fly rod, making the point that there is no reason to have it rigged and ready if I am not going to get a chance to use it.
As we are backing down on the little blue.....did I mention that he was the perfect size to catch on a fly.....one of the other 2 boats fishing out of Los Suenos called us about a school of spinner dolphins and tunas about 7 miles away. They were looking for marlin and we were looking for tunas, so we exchanged GPS positions. After releasing the blue, we left the billfish bite and started steaming towards the tunas, passing the other boat about halfway there.
They ended up catching a marlin and missing another one on our numbers and I took out my frustrations by standing on the bow and casting my popper/fighting tuna until I was absolutely spent and could cast no more. They were all cookie-cutter sized 40-45 pounders and great fun on spinning tackle........wonder how much fun that little blue marlin would have been on the fly......maybe next time, I've just got to tie Berto's shoelaces together to slow him down and give me a shot.
Pictures to follow.....