Hooked up with a legendary billfish enroute to Bequia. We were sailing 3 miles off St Vincent when our fishing line started to zing. Earlier Phill had rigged up several ballyhoo in hopes of catching a wahoo. We slowed the boat as yards of line peeled off, and Phill set the hook.
With the first jump, we realized we had a sailfish on the line. Leaping wildly out of the water with silvery flashes, the fun was just about to begin. It got pretty exciting aboard Izula as he threw his head and giant bill back and forth several times to try and throw the hook. After about ½ hour, the fish swam parallel to the boat, and Phill realized he was resting. That’s when we turned the boat to put pressure back on the line in an attempt to wear him out even further.
After a truly epic fish fight complete with impressive speeds, Olympic jumping tactics and some pretty interesting boat maneuvering, Phill finally got this big guy to the back of the boat. Both Phill and fish were totally worn out. We managed to get this 6+ foot billfish onboard the back deck of Izula. And he was simply magical.
Tristan says the eye was the first thing he noticed because it seemed to glow with electric colors around his face. This sailfish stared at us as we all marveled at him. A deep blue top line with bright shiny copper colors below flashed magnificently in the afternoon sun as he lay on deck. He allowed us to stretch out his black dorsal fin and see his full sail close up. Bodin was mesmerized. Phill held the black, sandpaper textured bill to keep him steady.
And here we started to question our intentions… Should we catch or release?
In this part of the world, people enjoy eating sailfish. In fact, we grilled some in Grenanda. It was just okay, not our favorite. And, this guy is massive. We’ll end up giving most of the flesh away.
So we decide his fate, and choose to return him to the sea. He had very little fight left in him, so Phill carefully held the big sailfish alongside the boat to let the water filter through his gills. This basically resuscitated him. After about 10 or so minutes, he moved his tail fin back and forth. Phill stretched out the full sail dorsal fin. This seemed to re-energize the big guy. And with a splash and a dive the sailfish was free again in the deep blue sea.