Report from Klaus
Cape Verde 2-8 May, 2008 – Blue Marlin Fishing from Amelia
Thomas and I were looking forward to fishing from Amelia the first week of May. Reports from the previous week were very promising and expectations were high.
Unfortunately we missed the first days of fishing due to changed flights but on the 3 May we left the Harbor of Mindelo at 6.00 AM – the adventure had begun.
His first blue marlin
We were supposed to switch and bait - marlins are teased by lures without hooks in them and once the fish is close to the boat you pitch for that particular marlin (or marlins as sometimes there are two or even three) with your natural bait.
Less than an hour after we arrived at the fishing spots Zak (the captain) yelled "Marlin on the left". Martin (one of the two experienced mates) dropped one of our baits in the water behind the boat and suddenly a blue marlin came up as a missile of the water and took the bait. Free spool for 5-10 seconds - the brake into strike position and the fish was hooked.
Martin handed over the rod to Thomas who began an exiting fight with his first blue marlin. It was tough but after 15 minutes was tired, and the Xi (the other mate) was able to quickly tag and release the fish (250 pounds). It swam away and clearly it had not suffered any irreparable harm.
About an hour later the next blue marlin attacked our teasers. Now that we had seen Martin practice "bait and switch" we both dropped our baits in the water. A few seconds later a blue marlin snapped my bait – the spool of the 50 pound Tiagra reel whirled like crazy. Martin told me to hook up the fish - the brake was moved in to strike position – and again the fish was perfectly hooked. The rod was secured in my harnish and the fight could begin. It is quite tough but very exiting to fight such a big fish on stand-up gear. It took me about 15 minutes to bring the marlin close enough to the boat for Martin to reach the wire. The fish was not to happy being pulled to the side of the boat but Martin knows what he is doing and again the fish (350 pounds) was released very quickly.
We had been fishing for less than two hours and we had both got a blue marlin – the entire tour was a success.
The following two hours gave us another 2 blue marlin (300 and 400 pounds) and in the afternoon we got yet another 3 blue marlin (350, 250 and 300 pounds) – all bait and switch on stand-up gear. 7 blue marlin on the first day was more than we ever hoped for. A fantastic start and back in the Marina we celebrated our achievement by a few cold beers.
The following days
The next day the sea was more rough so we used traditional lures fights took place in the chair using 80 pound equipment. We got another 4 blue marlin (200, 300, 400 and 500 pounds), and just before we stopped fishing for the day a beautiful yellow fin tuna (100 pounds).
On the fourth day it was very windy (wind exceeding 30 knots). We agreed to give it a try and managed to catch 1 blue marlin (300 pounds) before Zak decided to home back for the harbor. We were back in the harbor at about 10 AM., and went to a café close by for a cup of coffee and some breakfast. The sun was shining and the temperature (23 C) very pleasant.
The fifth day the wind was still very strong and we decided to stay on shore. We hired a cab and made a very nice around the island of Sao Vicente. Apart from the city of Mindelo there is not much to see but we enjoyed a good lunch in the small city at the north coast.
On the sixth day the wind had lowered a bit and again we left the harbor at 6.00 am. We decided to try bait and switch on stand up gear again which was so successful on the first day. Again Zak managed to locate the fish and we got two blue marlins in the morning and another two in the early afternoon. Especially the last fish (550 pounds) was a fantastic experience. The fish drew lots of line off the reel and went completely out of the water several times (see separate video clip). It took me about 25 minutes to bring the fish in to the boat where it was quickly released by Xi. I was completely exhausted but also very pleased with the situation.
The last day we got another two blue marlin. Thomas got a very strong fighting and beautiful 600 pounder on stand up gear.
Back in harbor we realized that we have caught 18 blue marlins and 1 yellow fin tuna in just 4½ days of fishing. A truly amazing result and no doubt we will both be back marlin fishing at Ameila again.