A few years back we posted a story written by TSPS member Jerry Brady about an afternoon he spent aboard Francis and Masayo Wertheimber’s sport-fishing boat Diva. Jerry details the battle he fought to reel in and then release a large blue marlin and the roles played by the other three people aboard. It was a clearly a team effort.
Word came to us last weekend that another TSPS member had hauled in a marlin, but on this occasion he did it with no one else on board to help control and position the boat. Vassili Ermakov’s short tale of his battle with a Striped Marlin as told in an email message to Francis brings to mind the Hemingway novel, The Old Man And The Sea. With Vassili’s approval, we publish the story below:
[dropcap]I [/dropcap]was a bit overwhelmed from fighting that fish for an hour or so alone, Francis, so I didn’t really ask you how you were doing when we met on the docks. In reply to your question if I pulled the fish in using the autopilot, I can tell you it was not that simple. Instead of winching it in, I used the boat to pull it around and wear it down in the same way as if I were winching it in. The only difference was that it got mortally tired away from the boat. When I felt that it had finally settled down I winched it in.
That’s the gist of it, but God, do I wish it were that simple! Despite its moderate size the fish put up quite a fight. It was a touch and go situation for a considerable time. The fifty-pound line was on the verge of breaking down several times. Luckily, however, I’d already been in a similar situation and I recognized the sound of a line about to break, so I simply backed up the reel to loosen the strain. To complicate the matter, the whole fight took place in the middle of a current with very choppy seas. I thought Mary Jane would roll over several times as huge waves hit the side of the boat.
All in all it was a great learning experience. I will probably change the lines to eighty-pound on both of my fifty-pound rods.
After originally posting this story, Vassili sent me a note saying that the striped marlin had provided lunch for five days for ten people working in in his office. It’s good to hear nothing was wasted. Congratulations, Vassili. And if you’re looking for crew to help land your next big fish, let us know!