Nobody expected a fish of this size to show up at the dock yesterday, the Captain didn’t even tell us until he had it on board and we thought perhaps there was some exaggeration going on, but then again Julio Gonzalez aboard the 32 foot Cabo “Bill Collector” is one of the best captains at Pisces.
They were trolling about one mile from Golden Gate, when they saw the something feeding in the distance, about half a mile from where they were. At first they thought it was a whale or a very big porpoise, so they raced over to see what it was. They realized as they got close that it was a marlin and that it was eating a 20 lb dorado.
The deckhand started to prepare one of the dorado that they had caught earlier in the day, to use as bait, as they thought with a fish this size, they needed something big to attract its attention. They got as close as six feet while the deckhand was still preparing the bait, but they had lures in the water, they started to circle the fish, going around while they were still preparing the bait. They continued circling the fish; she was oblivious to the boat concentrating on the tasty dorado that she was eating. Captain Julio suddenly dropped the speed of the boat to 6 knots and one of the lures was very close to the fish, they saw when she opened her mouth, the widest they had ever seen and took the lure it was like everything was happening in slow motion. It was Martha Chisholm’s turn in the chair, she is from Singer Island, Florida, despite being in her later season in life, she is very strong and an avid fisherwoman. The fish jumped twice and then started to go down. The tackle was a Shimano Tiagra 80 reel with 100 lb line, 300 lb leader and the lure a 5.5 Zuker, they types used for striped marlin, green, with a white underside. The fish had finished her meal and thought that this lure was another dorado.
They started to work the fish, though it wasn’t that active. They put as much pressure on the fish as they dared but one hour into the fight, the saw that line was going out very slowly, just with the current, and they were down to half the reel; Captain Julio realized the fish was dead and between all of them, taking turns on the reel they pumped the fish to the surface. It was not tail-wrapped and they assumed that it had died of a heart attack.
This was such a shame as the angler and crew had planned on releasing it. They had to remove the fighting chair to get it into the boat and after 30 minutes of struggling, it was wave that helped them out working in their favor to push it into the boat. Back at the dock it took a dozen guys to hoist the fish up, but even then, they couldn’t clear the bill off of the floor as the fish was so long, to truly let it hang free and get the accurate weight. Nevertheless the fish showed as 865 lbs according to the dock scale, which is not that accurate.