The holiday season is upon us, and I am reminded of Linda Cruz and her family. Last year, Linda contacted me wanting to give the gift of Christmas to her son and husband. A gift of fishing Bimini for blue marlin, wahoo, yellowfin tuna, dolphin, and all other fish swimming during April, in the game rich waters off Bimini, Bahamas.
This dream became a reality during a calm stretch of weather last year in early spring, with warm gentle southeast winds. Linda’s son and her husband, Ralph, left Miami with us early one morning and headed to Bimini, 50 miles off the Florida coast. After checking in with customs and into The Bimini Big Game Club, we had lines in the water well before noon.
The day was spectacular, as catching a few wahoo and raising blues was not an issue. Getting the blues to bite, however, was. After a couple of raises with no bites at our lures, we trolled the same area with live bait.
Within 30 minutes, we had a blue on the line. I remember the faces of my two anglers overjoyed at the sight and sounds of a greyhounding marlin and the screaming clicker on the reel. Imagine the mayhem in the cockpit of clearing teasers and the other lines while keeping tight on our quarry.
After an hour or so, the beautiful lit up blue was boatside. A quick release, and it was back to the cobalt blue waters she called home. The high fives and exhilaration were cut short when I witnessed a big free jumper not more than 300 yards away.
A quick deployment of our large live bait, and we were on the hunt again. I kept busy in the tower, combing the blue water for signs of the fish and occasionally glancing at the staggered baits.
After a few figure eights, it appeared the ocean was devoid of the fish. Instead, my hunch was to head to a current rip 200 yards away. Upon straightening our lines, the blue hit with a fierce snap at the long rigger bait.
Crossing into all the other lines as we desperately tried to reel them in, the blue dove deep, rather than jumped. Once the lines cleared, we began the chase with the 50 wide dumping line.
“I’m gettin’ spooled! I’m gettin’ spooled!” called Ralph. As I throttled towards the beast, the characteristic “bang” of the line breaking on the reel shot in our ears.
Ralph said, “That was a huge fish!” as I concurred with, “At least 700; haven’t seen a fish this size here for years!” and, “Wouldn’t you know it! It hits the 50 vs the 80W!”
The afternoon sun gave way to dusk, and we motored home to fight another day.
The next day, we left way before light to hit the schools of tuna reported up in the Passage. At daybreak, we spotted a group of birds on the horizon and headed for them. As we made wide berths around the school, we picked up a few medium sized yellowfin.
Witnessing the school moving in a northeast direction, we picked up all lines, made a wide circle around them, and started chunking well in advance of them. As the birds drew closer, we had two big tunas on well ahead of the school.
Ralph said, “How in the hell did you know where to drop?” His question was answered by my smile.
After reeling for quite a while, the father and son duo pulled boatside two tunas nearing 100 pounds, as well as over dozens of other big fish during their week with us. Happy Holidays to all, Jorge
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