Last Marlin of the year

  2001 was not a great year for Marlin. In fact '01 and '02 were the two worst years in the history of Southland fishing. But, of course, that one nice Bigeye in the Make-A-Wish Tuna Challenge Tournament paid off for us. Late in the season there were reports of Yellowfin Tuna showing in the area of the "390." Therefore, Ken, Geoff and I, with nothing better to do, headed off in that direction. While trolling around with nothing to show for our efforts we spotted what looked like a Marlin tail up ahead. Sure enough - a real sleeper. We cranked in the trolling lines and rather than startle the fish by casting and splashing a bait in front of him we slow trolled a couple sardines in his direction. Kenneth then proclaimed: "I think I'm bit!" The line peeled off, he set the hook and the fish put on a nice display of aerobatics. Of course, "bait fish don't jump!" (That was a story going way back.) But we got the fish - a "talent" fish (i.e. bait fish) - 180 pound fish on 20 pound tackle. And this proved to be not only the largest fish of the year on 20 pound tackle, but the last fish of the year for the Marlin Club.