I had been watching the weather and had a feeling that there would be Wahoo around Vidal the next day, so with a quick phone call to my mates in St. Lucia, Alfredo and Mark, we had agreed to go before you could even say “Wahoo.”
Having dived in Zululand for most of my life, I knew I would have to go past the Dive Factory for some extra spears and other essentials. I took off like an F1 car at the starting line on Wednesday afternoon and I was soon leaving Durban behind and was on the open road to St. Lucia, dreaming of huge Wahoo coming in on my flasher. We reached St. Lucia on Wednesday night and packed the boat immediately. We had a lot of stories and high hopes for the next day and we tried to go to bed early so that the next day would hurry up. I woke up an hour before my alarm – a small indication of just how excited I was!
The day had finally arrived and we were sitting ever so patiently waiting for the Vidal gate to open. We tried to convince the gatekeepers to open a bit early, but to no avail. When we finally reached the launch site, we saw that the ever present westerly was blowing and the ocean was dead flat. We quickly had the 16ft Kosicat in the bay and we were looking at the calm, but slightly green sea. We waited for a gap and were soon beyond the point.
We decided to warm up by trying for a Snoek or two while we waited for the Wahoo to arrive a little later in the day. This didn’t end up being our best plan ever, as we didn’t catch even a glimpse of a Snoek. So, we went straight out till we hit the 20m mark and dropped the flashers to see if there was anything cruising around. As we jumped in, we could see this was NOT water for Wahoo. We decided to stay anyway, with the hope that a lonely croc Couta would come past. Instead, a shoal of Queenies appeared and after having one tear off, our faithful skipper managed to land a nice 10kg specimen on drop shot. With nothing else happening, we decided to go even deeper to hopefully find cleaner water.
Our next stop was Deep Oscars. In about 47m of water, one look told us that if we wanted cleaner water, we would have to beach and go to Mozambique. With that not being a option, we opted to fish drop shot instead. With Mark landing one of the biggest Kawakawas (Bonnie) I have ever seen and losing a few fish, I decided to jump in by myself and hope that a lone Wahoo or Saily would make an appearance in the not so inviting water. Alfredo and Mark were both fishing and getting pulls on the lures, so I stuck close to the boat hoping a fish would come up and inspect my fl asher. Alfredo almost had Tuna up to the surface, but got burnt off on my fl asher and a after being told to swim to shore, I moved away from the boat to shut the fishermen up. Literally a few minutes later, this huge shape rushed in towards my fl asher. I thought it was a shark that was high on speed or something. After shitting myself, I saw its fi ns lit up in an electric blue glow in the murky water below and I realised it was a Marlin. I dived down, trying my best to keep calm and aim for a kill shot. I ended up aiming for the closest spot that I knew would hold and hopefully hurt the fish at the same time. I let rip and the spear entered a thick piece of the body close to the spine, but unfortunately did not go right through.
“I thought it was a class shot and I expected the fish to roll over and float to the surface.” That was very short lived, because as the spear hit, the Marlin took off almost to prove a point, like why I would even attempt to shoot at him…
Screaming before I even hit the surface, I breached like a Great White chasing seals, screaming at Mark and Alfredo “I shot a Marlin, I shot a Marlin, I shot a ^(*$%) Marlin!” Mark could hear the panic in my voice and he realised how serious I was. He started the boat, but before I could tell them that I thought they would need to follow me, I was being dragged towards the horizon. I was confident in the gear I was using, (a Rob Allen 1300 Carbon, single 20mm rubber, 30m bungee rope and a 11 litre float). Knowing the shot would hold, I decided I would hang on and enjoy the ride, which to me felt better than a night in Paris. Having never seen a Marlin of that size before, I was unsure of how big mine actually was. I estimated it at 40kg at first, which was short lived once Mark told me that he had dragged me for over a kilometre already. At one point it got spooked by a pod of whales and had me screaming for a second line and extra float as it started dragging me under.