While I’m no saltwater expert, whenever I’ve been near the ocean I’ll usually try to get out for a day and if some fish are caught, great. There have been several trips in the past where I have been on a boat trolling for big fish but there has never been much luck. I almost feel like I’m cursed when it comes to big fish on the ocean.
This past week a group of us from Canada were in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for a wedding so we had to try fishing for a day. Cabo is known as one of the top saltwater fishing destinations, especially for marlin, a large billfish. For myself and others in the group, we’d been on trips before where we were told we could catch a marlin but it had never worked out.
Trying to get a group of eight together to go fishing at six in the morning while staying at an all-inclusive resort is not easy. Everybody is on vacation and there aren’t many early nights. While a couple of the guys ended up being a few minutes late, we got our group together and made our way to the boat, a short walk from where we were staying.
We arrived at the boat to be welcomed with breakfast, coffee and a cooler full of cold drinks. It was a good start to the day. The boat departed and we were soon trolling on the Pacific Ocean. It didn’t take long and we were hooked up with a bonito, a smaller member of the tuna family. Shortly after, a dorado hammered one of the trolling lines and was brought aboard after a good fight. The saltwater fish fight so much harder than freshwater fish. There is never any disappointment there.
Dorado are also known as mahi mahi, a popular fish on the menu at many seafood restaurants. We were able to keep the fish that we caught to bring back to our resort, where they would prepare it for us to have for dinner. With dinner secure in the boat, our guides thought we should try to catch a marlin.
Some of the baits were switched out for bigger ones and we made a move to a different area. The trolling resumed and after an hour or so, one of the fishing rods doubled over in the rod holder. Jamie Bruce just happened to be closest to the rod so he grabbed it and sat down in the fish fighting chair. Behind the boat a marlin started jumping and fighting in the blue water. They do exist!
After a good fight, the marlin was finally captured. There was a good round of high fives between everybody on the boat, including the guides and we got to admire this beautiful fish. The plan was to release it but it was injured while fighting near the boat so the guides decided to keep it, telling us that it too would be great to eat. The took care of all of the fish for us when we returned to the dock and dinner was amazing.
One of the best parts of the trip happened on the way back in to the marina harbour when a 600 pound sea lion just hopped up on the back of the boat. This happened while we were trolling in, not while we were parked. It was very impressive. It was looking for something to eat and obviously it knew that a fishing boat was a good place to find something to eat. While we were mostly trolling with lures, the guides did have some bait onboard and a few pieces were given to the sea lion before it rolled back into the ocean.
Wherever I travel, I always try to get in a day of fishing and I’m always glad when I do. Getting to see different fish and fishing techniques is fun and who doesn’t love getting to see different wildlife species? That day on the Pacific Ocean was a great time with friends and we finally got to see the elusive marlin!