Marty's Return - August 19, 2004

As most of you are are aware that there have been none of the traditional Wednesday Fishing Reports from yours truly. Unfortunately (but needed), I encountered a Bard Parker blade wielded by an agressive Cardio-Vascular surgeon on 5-11-04. (Bard Parker is the company that makes the scalpel blades used in most surgical procedures.) The procedure is rather generously known as "cracking the chest" - i.e. a splitting of the sternum (aka breast bone) - and rearranging the coronary artery blood vessels that keep the old pump going. Bypass this, bypass that, move a large artery from the chest wall into the system and off you go. Well, no driving for one month, no heavy lifting (or pulling) for three months and if you want to give a report mention your blood pressure, insomnia, various other medical problems, but DON"'T GO FISHING!!!! No fishing - no reports on Wednesday - not any day. Of course, we did give you an "Not quite Wednesday" report re: Kenneth's trip with a Make-A-Wish kid.

And now we find that a large herd of Marlin had moved up to just south of the Coronados and it was WFO last Saturday. But then, as so often happens, the herd gradually dispersed and fish began moving out and up. Slowly, fish were being seen (and taken) on the 9 mile bank and then off La Jolla. For example, on Tuesday, the Christina Lynn had 3 marlin up in the jigs up there above the top of the "9" off La Jolla and there were reports of a fish here, a fish there. Also, as most of you are aware, the fish seem to prefer plastic vs the real thing and jig strikes are the name of the game with only an occasional fish taking the drop-backs. Few sleepers, scattered feeders, occasional jumpers, and rare tailers were and are being seen.

And brings us to Wednesday. Unfortunately, that is currently reserved for cardiac rehab and - no fishing - no Wednesday report.
 Undaunted, not having been out on the high seas in about 5 months, with prospects of nice weather, "they" twisted my arm and got me out on the boat - ye olde (31 years olde) "Ken-Dan." Long time (fishing) companion Geoff Halpern drove down from LA and we asked Dennis Albert, webmaster for the Marlin Club, to come along. Dennis had yet to catch a Marlin in local waters, but has a 600 pd. Blue (Kona) to his credit.

Without much information we headed out towards the 178 (further up past the "top of the 9"). Shortly after passing the spot we almost ran over a sleeper which kicked and sank out before we could react. So we slow trolled baits for a while - for naught. Also, early in the AM came a report from Mike "The Beak" Hurt seeing a sleeper further up the line, just outside the La Jolla canyon. Several northern boats including the "Pescador," Stan on the "Hooker," Tom Shanahan ("Shano") of the "Wait-N-Sea," among others were working in the general area more-or-less heading in the area of "the Beak's" report. First "Shano" got one, then, at noon on the slack tide, "Pescador" got bit and got theirs, and the "Hooker" got the first of several bites during the day, but managed to get only 1 fish. There were other boats out of San Diego working the area and 2 fish were weighed at the Marlin Club. One of these, however, may have come from the bottom of the "9" at the Coronado canyon.

In the past three (or was it four?) years we had managed a grand total of 1 Marlin, taken (and released) last year and was the 1st Release of the Year at the Marlin Club. But at 1:14 a fish came up and grabbed out pink and yellow Collector lure and, as Geoff dropped a bait back, Dennis took over. 24 minutes later we "billed" the fish (estimated 115 pounds), retrieved the lure with chain-gang hooks, tagged the fish and sent it on its way. Congratulations to Dennis for his 1st fish in local waters.









Back went the lures in the water and at 2:24 another fish popped up chasing a Black & Purple Collector lure (with chain gang) and ignored the electronic "beeper" lure. Several of the bites reported by the other boats were on the "beepers." As I tried the drop-back routine Geoff took over. It soon became obvious that this fish was significantly larger than the 1st and with minimal jumping we feared a possible bill-wrapped fish. But the hooks held on and Geoffrey did a wonderful job working the fish (with yours truly at the helm on both), but the fish did not want to participate in this tagging and releasing process. He (she?) dogged it and it took 1 hour and 46 minutes before Geoff was able to lift the leader out of the water. Dennis held on and "billed" the fish, we retrieved the lure and hooks, planted a tag, and off it went. As far as we know all the fish were on jigs and most caught in the area released.



Both fish were taken on 20 pd line. Thus, in just a few hours, we were able to out-do our efforts over the past three (or was it four?) years. And, get ready for this, we are scheduled to go albacoring next Wednesday and, hopefully, a real (reel) Wednesday report will follow. Stay tuned. Marty