28 Apr 2008

Fiji Grander Blue Marlin

Its not common but occasionally I have the pleasure of taking a guest marlin fishing who's aim is not so much to catch a marlin, but to catch a BIG marlin. Some guests have been marlin fishing all around the world and are more interested in achieving a catch of note, rather than just another notch on the tag stick. To exclusively target that fish of a lifetime and by-pass all others takes dedication and an appreciation of all aspects of going out big game fishing, from planning and preparation to just plain enjoying being out at sea searching for that elusive monster.

I have yet to clap eyes on a grander in my spread though a colleague of mine of great experience tagged a blue last year in Kadavu waters. To quote him directly ' It was the biggest blue I have ever seen. Frightened the ******* life out of the crew when they saw her size. I recon she went 900lbs at least'. She was tagged and released. On a trip to the Kadavu seamount in November last year we saw an angry blue jump that would have easily gone 700lbs and a couple of years ago a colleague of mine tagged and released a black marlin on the Kadavu seamount that was estimated by the then editor of BlueWater magazine as being just shy of a grander. The Fiji All Tackle National Record for blue marlin is 447kg (983lbs) which was caught in 1997 on 80lb class gear.

It is clear that Fiji's elusive grander is out there but with very few charter boats with good quality heavy gear out looking for her, the landmark Fiji grander has yet to be caught.

When we do get that rare opportunity to exclusively target a monster, these are the lures we most commonly use:Top ' BFG ' 22 inch - MBT Lures
Left to right
Mouldcraft - Wide Range ' 12 inch
Marlin Magic - Mirror Big Dog ' 14 inch
John Lau - Linda ' 14inch - John Lau
John Lau - GoodHead ' 14 inch
Pakula - Smokin' Joe ' 14 inch

These are our main 'go to' lures for targeting the super-sized marlin. I should add that aboard Bite Me, we have a selection of some 40 odd lures of 12 inches or more. Guests sometimes ask us to run a full spread of Pakula lures such as the big Smokin Joe, Sprocket, Wombat etc or we sometimes run a full spread of 14 inch John Lau lures. A couple of other lures should get a mention. We often reach for the smaller but extremely effective Joe Yee Apollo but this does draw strikes from all sizes of marlin and worringly, a fair few wahoo as well. The big Top Gun ball bearing Nightmare has accounted for a number of large fish in other countries including an 800lb blue off Bimini in the Bahamas in 1999. The John Lau 12 inch Talibung in black / red / yellow is also very effective and has accounted for a number of very large blue marlin in Hawaii.

I have mixed feelings about targeting a trophy marlin. I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to try, but know that I will be saddened if we ever have to weigh such a magnificent fish. One of my guests will catch that grander of a lifetime, set the Fiji National Record and I'll leave it at that. Having done so, I will be firmly back in the tag & release corner. Until that day, I intend on thoroughly enjoying seeing my anglers tag and releas all those 'nearly the one's.....


Fishing Web Design said...

Whoah, those are the reel deal. It's nice to hear that some folks are still interested in quality over quantity. Kudos to you both.