There we were, in front of the boat that we were going to be on for the next 8 hours deep sea fishing in El Salvador. I was extremely excited for this. It was the first day of our week long vacation. I was completely wide awake, even though it was early in the morning. The boat was pretty big, it was two levels of white deck and had some couches and chairs on the inside. We started to take off and I was even more excited sitting in the front with the wind in my face, hoping to catch a bigger fish than the Thoman record which is 62 lbs. I had no idea how lucky I would get.
It started with the mahi mahi. The boat was trolling 7 lures and I was designated to bring in the first fish. We were about 1 hour into the voyage and I heard a loud zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!!!!!!!!!! noise and I knew we had one. They strapped me into the fighting chair and gave me a pole, with a reel as big as my face. I started cranking and I was surprised how easy it was. Then I saw the fish come out of the water. It had a giant flat yellow face and was the biggest fish I had ever caught by far. Captain Lucio, Captain Beto and John all yelled at once the Spanish name for the fish…..DORADO!!! Beto gaffed the fish and brought it safely into the boat and I got a few pictures with my new personal record. John estimated this fish to be about 30 lbs!
Not too long after we put my fish into the boat freezer I heard the familiar zzzzzzzzzzzz! My brother Michael had one! This one was gonna be bigger than mine the second I saw it come out of the water. It was a mahi mahi as well and as soon as they saw it, the guys yelled…Dorado But unlike with my fish, Beto did not gaff it right and the big guy got away. Michael was sad but quickly got over it when we heard the line zip again and this time it was my dad’s turn, our third mahi mahi! This time we actually got it in and I was amazed, this thing was easily twice the size of mine and it weighed in at about 70 lbs this was starting to become a very good day!
The more we went out to sea, the more that we were amazed with this country. The water was completely calm with hardly any waves at all. You don’t even find this level of calm water in a small lake back home in Indiana. The other thing that amazed me was the sea turtles. They just sat there with no worries at all. I spotted them one by one and as we were sailing out, I counted 80 or so. But sea turtles were not the only animals out on the sea, there were dolphins, and In gigantic quantities. Hundreds of dolphins and I am not exaggerating at all. They were swimming all around the boat and we just could not get enough of them, we watched them and got lots of pictures for at least an hour, they were on all sides of the boat It was I sight that I will never forget.
The dolphins came and went all of the time. But about 6 hours into the trip we saw huge numbers of the, not your typical bottle nosed dolphin but the rare spinner dolphins. They are amazing not only because they are a sure sign of big fish, but that they do a corkscrew motion as they fly spinning into the air, this technique is used to corral all of the little fish into one area, but where there are little fish, there are also AMARILLO!!!!
It was amazing, I didn’t know what I was in for when I caught a yellow finned tuna on the line this little sucker fought. Beto and Lucio and John shouted Amarillo….. and then to my surprise my dad had one too it was a double header with Johns’s favorite fish in the sea!! Yellow finned tuna. After I got this one in, everyone was extremely excited. but before we had time to put our heads down my dad had another one, and he was a fighter.
No one knew what kind of fish that this would be, but when this giant pointed nose came out of the water followed by a sail, we had a pretty good guess. It was a sailfish, and a big one at that. This definitely topped the Thoman record and maybe even doubled it. It fought for a while and could barely get on the boat. It took two grown men to lift it up so we could get a picture with this monster. It was 150lbs. after that, we dicided that we should head back, we were already late, but then we heard the sound again zzzzzzzzzzz ! It was Michael’s last fish and we could somehow tell that it was going to be big. We knew that because Michael couldn’t reel the wild thing in fact it looked like the reel was stuck in place. He could not get it to budge. It seemed to be stuck in place. But when the fish wanted to it could take off and go forever if it wanted.
Michael couldn’t reel it in so I tried. I used two hands on the reel and got it to budge a little, inch by inch. Just when it was about to break the water, it went off again like a speeding bullet. Eventually we saw it go to the surface and realized that it’s head must have been the sizr of the entire sailfish. It was a Marlin! The guys shouted Marliiin!!!!!! And the kids were kicked off of the deck. With a wild animal like this, you had to be careful. MY dad took the chair.
It had to have been the longest fight that I have ever seen. My dad was in a constant struggle with this thing. He would pull way up and then lean down and reel it in. it must have taken 20 minutes when we finally got it close to the boat. It was 400 lbs which is at least 5 times bigger then the old Thoman record. I doubt we will ever catch a fish that big ever again. When John tried to grab this thing, it speared his arm and his arm was covered in blood. We got about 100 pictures of it and then let it go.
Later on we found that we had been gone2 extra hours. It was the best day ever. I told my dad, ”if our vacation had stopped here, this would be the best trip ever.” Total we caught 2 mahi mahi 2 yellow finned tuna, 1sailfish and one giant marlin. I counted 126 sea turtles and tried to count the dolphins but there were just too many. This definitely was the best day of the trip of my whole life.
Congrats Paul on being the FinTalk.com Angler of the Month!