BLUE MARLIN ON FLY! The next chapter begins at Casa Vieja at 3: p.m. We were getting ready for the long two hour ride back to the dock. Ken, Greg and George were sitting inside talking about the awesome day we had and I was in the cockpit with the mates when I heard Captain Mike of our boat, Intensity, yell, "MARLIN. BIG MARLIN!" I calmly picked up the TFO Bluewater HD fly rod with the Mako #9700 fly reel, rigged with a RIO Leviathan fly line, 20 pound tippet and a Cam Sigler Marlin Fly. With the drag set at one pound of pressure, I got the fly ready to cast. Ken moved the sailfish rod out of the way. I asked if he wanted to take a shot, but he said, "You show us how it is done." So, when the big blue marlin came in hot I made the cast.
The marlin swam around trying to eat the teasers, but did not take. I cast again and this time she swam under my fly and chased another teaser that Flaco had cast to get her to come back in toward the boat. On my third cast, this monster fish attacked my fly within 25 feet of the boat. Within 10 seconds that marlin was 200 yards out gray hounding away and then turned and came back at the boat. Much of the next 30 minutes is a blur to me. I just did what I have been teaching anglers to do for the last 25 years of my Billfish Schools, "Relax and let the rod and reel do the work. Don't squeeze the rod, loosen your grip, rod tip low. When the fish is going away then the angler should relax. Apply maximum pressure on the fish when she is facing you."
Over the next half hour I ate some ice cold pineapple, drank 2 bottles of water and worked through several Charlie horses in my legs. I did this all while applying pressure to this big marlin. Captain Mike Sheeder, who has caught 6 other blue marlin on fly with me as his angler, maneuvered Intensity perfectly. We circled that fish at least a dozen times as we tried to get an angle to bring her to the surface. At one point I was winding line in from behind the boat when she surfaced and jumped 3 times about 100 yards in front of the boat. Captain Mike swung the boat and I gained 250 feet of line and was finally on the fly line after an hour of battle.
One hour and 15 minutes into the battle I got within 20 feet of her. Then she ripped off 50 yards of backing and I thought, "Oh lord, this fish is so big and my boat is so small." She really looked big to me. I began to wonder just what this marlin was thinking? I began to feel the marlin finally begin to tire and heard cheering from Ken, Greg and George. I had been resting and now I felt strong. I was on the fly line again, 25 feet from the leader. I set the drag on my Mako reel to 6 pounds and she started to come up slowly. The clock said 4:23 when I got the leader through the rod tip and secured the technical release. She surged and I let her have 15 feet back before stopping her and lifting her close to the surface. At 4:27 Mike slipped Intensity into reverse one more time and I wound the fly rod tip all the way down to the class tippet, confirming that this was a really big female blue marlin. She was really thick, deep and was longer than the transom of Intensity is wide—about 11 feet, I think. I stated that she was the largest fish that I had ever caught or even seen caught on a fly. Captain Mike said he thought she was well over 400 pounds and the crew agreed. We finally pulled in after dark.
My 400 pound blue marlin was caught on 20 pound IGFA Class tippet aboard the good boat Intensity with Captain Mike Sheeder out of Casa Vieja Lodge. This was just a few days after my sailfish tournament had set all kinds of numbers records for fly fishing for billfish events made on January 17, 2011. This was by far the best fish and the best day in my life. Thank you all for allowing me to share my passion with you. I really love my job and you can expect more reports to follow.
Jake Jordan’s Fishing Adventures
Captain Jake Jordan
P.O. Box 309
Havelock, NC 28532
Phone: (252) 444-3308