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Tuesday
Jul252006

Marlin Strikes Back

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Zane Grey with record 1040lb Blue Marlin caught Tahiti 1930
Oh man...I love this! Finally the fish fight back. "HAMILTON, Bermuda - A fisherman was recovering from surgery after he was speared in the chest and knocked into the Atlantic Ocean by a blue marlin during a fishing competition off Bermuda's coast.

Ian Card, 32, was in stable condition at King Edward VII Hospital in the British Island territory from a wound that his doctor said could have been fatal.

"He was very lucky," said Dr. Christian Wilmsmeier. "It was a very serious injury."

Card and his father, Alan, both operators of a charter fishing boat and experienced marlin fishermen, had just hooked the fish Saturday when it suddenly leapt out of the water, impaled Ian Card just below his collar bone and knocked him into the ocean.

"The fish all of a sudden changed direction and jumped. The fish made a leap and Ian just happened to be in the way," Alan Card said.

The younger fisherman managed to struggle free while his father cut the line and helped his son get back into their boat, the Challenger.

They managed to make it back to shore in about 40 minutes for emergency medical treatment.

The fishermen estimated the marlin at about 800 pounds (363 kilograms) and about 14 feet (4.3 meters) in length."

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Blue Marlin
Quite a sizeable marlin. I've been skipper aboard a game-boat on a couple of occasions when marlin were landed and I never want to see it again. The first marlin was only young and smallish - 65kgs but was slaughtered anyway as it was the fisheman's first marlin. WTF??The deck was absolutely covered in buckets of red blood and I'll never forget the sight of the poor bloody marlin staring at me with its big round eye and then all the beautiful reds and greens and blue and silver fading from its body as the spike was rammed through its brain. Brutal shit. All for a small trophy head.

And what is it about grown men and fishing? Why do they go so tribal...so bloodthirsty? I've seen meek and mild-mannered bankers, accountants and advertising types become absolutely full-monty, banshee-screaming, wild-eyed savages once the cry "Strike" is heard on a game-boat. The beer doesn't help but even so there's something really anal about fishing and especially game-fishing - it seems the bigger the fish the bigger the blood-lust.

The second marlin I saw landed was a bit bigger (and they were both Striped Marlin in New South Wales, Australia) and was "tagged and released" but it still seemed to go through trauma. BTW they stand on their tails to try and spit the lure out and they sometimes succeed. It's a spectacular show. But why can't we just leave them alone? Tuna are almost as exciting to catch and taste a lot better than marlin - which I thought rather bland and rubbery.

"Males grow much more slowly than females and do not generally exceed 136 kilograms, and the species' average weight is closer to 180 kilograms; all trophy fish are females.

The fish's body is cobalt blue on top, with a silvery white belly, and the upper jaw is famously elongated like a spear. The tail is high and crescent-shaped. The dorsal fin is pointed at the front end, and the body is covered in embedded scales which end in one or two sharp points. The lateral line is reticulated, or interwoven like a net, but this characteristic is difficult to see in large specimens. Maturity is reached at about 80 cm in males (40 kg) and 50 cm in females (55 kg).

A highly migratory species, the Blue marlin is usually found offshore in deep blue tropical or temperate waters. It is known to make regular seasonal migrations, moving toward the equator in winter and away again in summer, and some migrations may span the entire Atlantic. Some scientists recognize Makaira mazara and Makaira nigricans as two different species based on differences in the lateral line. Many, however, lump the two together as a single species occurring in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans.

The Blue marlin's prey includes octopuses, squid and pelagic fishes such as blackfin tuna and frigate mackerel. Feeding takes place during the daytime, and the fish rarely gather in schools, preferring to hunt alone. Blue marlin have been reported to use their long, sharp bill to slice or stun prey. Ha ha.

A very popular sport fish due to its challenging size and strength — it is one of the world's fastest fish — the Blue marlin is also marketed for human consumption fresh or frozen. It is apparently not a threatened species, yet."

Don't know about you, but I'm rooting for the fish.

For more Fishy Tales read my Short Story "Adventures in Paradise" about tuna-fishing in Tahiti.

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Reader Comments (2)

I'm with you on that one brother. You can't tell me that any animal that can live for 70 or more years has no sentience.

Apart from that its just cruel.

If you hooked up a dog and dragged it around behind your car for an hour or more they'd lock you up - but do it to a fish and its sport. I don't get it.
July 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Davies
Yeh, you gotta love these "animal justice" stories: my favorite involves a wild turkey shot by a hunter, then locked in his boot with an unsecured gun; as he drove off, the turkey (shot, but not quite dead) jolted around with the gun, so that, when he went to open the boot, the turkey managed to set off the unsecured gun, with the result that the hunter got shot in turn, in the leg, through the boot lid! lol

However, we cannot feel the same way about the stingray having a go at Steve Irwin, since his only 'crime' may have been inadvertently swimming a bit too close to it, and accidentally 'spooking' it!

And as for those morons who now carry out "revenge attacks" on stingrays in far north Queensland, cutting off their tails... well, we all know that the collective IQ of far north Queensland probably adds up to less than a stingray's, anyway! Steve Irwin would probably turn in his grave, as we speak! ;-P
September 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterClaire Pedersen

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