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Posted by MaryJo from ( on martes, marzo 18, 2003 at 17:03:58 :

We originally thought a panga would be OK for us, but after inspection on the dock, decided we'd be more comfortable with Hipolito Hernandez on his "Don Gordo". All six of us came along. Once the sun was up and the lines were set, it only took a minute for the first bonita strike. Bruce reeled in a 5 pounder, too big for bait, too small for dinner. Mary Jo took in the next bonita, this time bait sized. And 73 year young Mom reeled in the last bonita, also bait sized. Barely into blue water, the next strike proved to be THE one. A huge Black Marlin, estimated at 500 pounds, took the bonita bait, and the fight was on.

I can't begin to stress the kind of physical stamina this sport requires! Five of us took turns (not so much turns as much as relief) to try and reel the big boy in. I personally let out more line than I took in! First Mate Naty (I'm assuming that is is name, it was on his hat) was amazing, reeling and reeling and reeling. When the rest of us couldn't reel anymore, even Hipolito came down and relieved us. Close to the boat, Naty nailed him on the third try with the grappling hook. But this fish had other ideas. The tail slapped one way and then the other. And next thing you knew, we were reeling in a broken grappling hook!
Did I mention the strength of our catch??
Two more tries with the hook, and the next thing you knew, you were reeling in an EMPTY fishing line. THREE AND A HALF HOURS for nothing.
I gained a whole new appreciation for fishermen, for big-game fish. And I am truly awe-struck by the strength and endurance of both. We certainly experienced the agony of defeat, but I can tell you, there was NOTHING like the exhillaration we felt when the fish first took bait, and it WILL bring us back for another try.
Thanks to Hipolito for the highlight of our trip! (and maybe use a bigger Stainless Steel hook in the future!)

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