5.27.2011

Mahi Mahi | Bimini | Bahamas

At last we caught the big one!!

At the beginning of our passage from Nassau to Bimini we customarily and eagerly threw out our fishing lines to begin our fishing quest. It wasn’t long before the pole began playing its wonderful song…the Captain leaps up and yells, “FISH ON!!” Within a few minutes we had detained a 3-4 foot Mahi fish. He put up a grand struggle but we swiftly landed him in Mary Rose. This fish may have been average size but he was tenacious and was not going down without a zealous battle. We attempted to squirt rubbing alcohol into his gills to stun him so he would stop thrashing us with his powerful tail but he wasn’t going to have any of that, our next strategy in this battle of fish against man was to throw a wet towel over his face to disorient him, but he wasn’t going to cooperate with this line of attack either. I guess this fish decided in his tiny little mind that he was not going to be anyone’s lunch today so in one quick motion, although it appeared to be in slow motion to the Captain and myself, he did a back flip over the bull work, right between the stainless steel rail perfectly executing his escape, landing in the water where he shot off like a bullet! As our meal raced off into the deep blue, the Captain and I stood bewildered as we looked down into the water, speechless! It was a bit discouraging but we didn’t give up instead we put positive energy out into the universe and immediately re-baited our lure and threw the line back into the water; maybe today will be our lucky day!

I must admit that I felt defeated by the previous fish so this time I made sure that I had everything prepared just in case it was going to be our lucky day, wet towel within reach, gaff handy, alcohol squirt bottle full and in place, OK I was ready! The hours slipped by slowly with not even a hit, we were running out of time quickly since we would soon reach the banks and would need to pull in our lines.

(Note: We only fish in 200+ feet of water whereas our chances of catching a Barracuda diminish greatly.)

During the last mile or so from the banks the Captain requested that I start to bring in the lines. I reluctantly pulled the hand line in while I attempted to convince the Captain to allow me to wait a little longer before bringing the pole line in, to shut me up he finally agreed under the condition that if we caught a Barracuda I would be the one to would remove the hook and release it. I eagerly agreed! When we reached the banks the chart plotter read a water depth of 600+ feet and diminishing swiftly, time was slipping away and there was nothing I could do to stop it! I would go to sleep tonight knowing that I remain defeated by a fish! Just as that thought scampered through my brain the fishing reel began playing its wonderful song…once again the Captain scurried up and yells, “FISH ON!!” I fretfully stand in the back ground chanting a quick prayer, “Please don’t be a barracuda! Please, please, please!” The Captain seizes the fishing rod; all of a sudden I notice a look on his face that was a mix of trepidation and exhilaration, he bellows, “What ever it is, it is BIG! I can barely hold on to the pole! ” I looked down at the chart plotter and notice that Mary Rose was zipping along at 6.0 knots; I depowered her by dousing sails. Slowly Mary began slowing down, 5.5, 5.3 and finally stopping at 4.2 knots. I look up at the Captain as he battles with the fish, it continues to strip out the line, the Captain had his strong massive hands gripped tight around the rod as he tried his best to gain control of the situation and I continue to chant, “Please don’t be a barracuda! Please, please, please!” I start to think out loud, “Just my luck, I hound the Captain to allow me to leave the pole out and agreed to the Barracuda nonsense and now we have caught the biggest Barracuda in history! Just my luck! Please don’t be a barracuda! Please, please, please!” At last the fish is close enough to the boat that we can see it speeding through the water, propelling back and forth, cutting through the water with extreme precision, recklessly trying to find a release, an escape. I uncontrollably yell out, “IT IS NOT A BARACUDA!!” The fish continued frantically to wage a battle against the Captain, fatigue was setting in on both sides of the war. At last, 40 minutes later, blistered fingers, aching muscles the war is over, I have the gaff firmly placed in the fish’s side and wrestle with all strength to pull him on board, with a loud thump the fish hits the teak deck, but he wasn’t finished, he re-gained his strength and was ready to wage another campaign, the flopping of his massive body and tail resulted in copious amounts of blood to be tossed, covering the cabin top, in through the port holes splattered on our clothes the cushions inside the boat, it was visually clear that a battle had been waged.

When all was over, we found ourselves blessed with a 5 foot long Mahi Mahi with a guesstimate weight of 50+ pounds.



Thank you Mahi Mahi for your tremendous spirit.

2 comments:

tony schultz said...

Geat fish story and nice pic. Caught some Mahi in Gutamala and the mate lassoed the tail then hog tied the fish for 20 minutes. it did not get away. They eat as good as anything in the ocean.

Tony Schultz

CaptainDon said...

Good to hear from you! We are eating the last of the Mahi Mahi tonight!
Captain Don