Marlin Fishing… By Kayak

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I don’t post much about hunting and fishing here. I think both are perfectly good outdoor activities, they just don’t tend to be especially interesting to me. But this story, over at Paddling Life, did catch my eye, as it tells the tale of what happens when an angler gets the bright idea to go fishing for a fish that weighs more than he does and is bigger than the boat he’s in.

It seems Jim Sammons accidently got his hook into a Marlin back in 1998 while fishing for Yellowtale off the coast of California. Two and half hour later he finally managed to reel the fish in, but not before it towed him 8 miles out to sea. At the time, it was the only Marlin after caught in a kayak, and it was 6 years later before he could replicate the feat. Since the, he says, it’s become an addiction, and he’s had far more success.

He discusses his “obsession” with Paddling LIfe and talks about his various encounters at sea with these amazingly fast and powerful creatures. Sammons recalls a recent trip in which a Blue Marlin drug his kayak around for 15+ miles and for 5 1/2 hours before the line broke and it got away. He also talks about the boat he uses, what it’s like to square off against a fish like this, and the feeling of being drug around the water by a creature that can make his kayak go faster than he could ever row it. Something he calls the “Baja sleigh ride”.

Animal lovers can rest easy by the way. Sammons is an advocate of the “catch and release” philosophy, and says that he does what ever he can to set the fish free without injury after he had reeled them in.

Pretty cool story, but also a little scary too. I’ve been in my kayak plenty of times on lakes and rivers, and I’ve been “bumped” by something beneath me in the water, which can be a bit unnerving to say the least. I can’t even imagine something like this 300 pound Marlin. While reading the story, all I kept thinking about was Roy Schedier in Jaws. “I think we’re going to need a bigger boat!” *gulp*

Kraig Becker

3 thoughts on “Marlin Fishing… By Kayak”

  1. Just discovered your blog while searching for images of Lynn Hill on the Nose. Awesome site. You actually diverted me from my purpose for a good half hour before I got back on task, and I could read through here for days.

    You definitely stay true to the title of your blog. It’s good to see someone who takes an all-around approach to adventure. Keep it up!

  2. Thanks Mickey! Glad you like the blog, and I appreciate your kind words. I’m glad I could divert your attention for a bit! 🙂

  3. As if I needed another reminder to always carry a knife in my kayak! I got trapped for a second during a failed roll, and had a little bit of trouble pulling the spray skirt off the boat ( it got hooked in the back ). I don’t fish, but the idea of being towed by something angry, powerful, and bigger than my boat, is another reason to want to be able to cut the line in an emergency!

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