Captain’s Blog May 2015

“The magnificent Blue Marlin ” subject of Earnest Hemmingway’s novels and fishermens dreams worldwide . Even those with no interest in fishing know the name of this remarkable billfish . yes ; its a rich mans game and the sport of Kings but everyone has the opportunity to pit their wits and skills in fighting this “Bison of the seas ” since they start to arrive in Turks and Caicos during May through to November in substantial numbers .
Although a hooked marlin will fight for between 1 and 4 hrs it isn’t necessarily a “macho ” sport and many world records are held by women and youngsters and everyone marvels as these turbocharged monsters , leap , shake , dive and “greyhound ” across the surface . Therefore first class tackle , boat and crew are essential .

Marlin can run to over 1500 lbs although the ideal size for sports fishing is 150 lb to 500 lbs this is the typical size we catch in the Turks and Caicos islands each year as they travel into the northern Caribbean on their migration from Brazil .

Marlin follow and feed on another monster of the deep the Yellowfin Tuna which are also abundant in our waters from May onwards . Frequent catches of 60 to 120 lb fish are caught and often in multiple hook ups where up to 8 lines can hook up simultaneously causing chaos and excitement on board . Tuna fight like thugs and dive deep providing a real workout for the angler , getting a big tuna to the boat before it is ravaged by large sharks calls for strength skill and true teamwork all around .

The Marlin and Tuna are part of a vertical food chain tuna chase sardines to the surface where gulls frequently go crazy , the surface of the ocean boils as bait fish are devoured by Tuna , the Tuna are in turn swallowed whole by Marlin and further down below are the Tiger and Bull sharks who feed on the stragglers and unfortunately the hooked fish if not boated quickly .

May, June and July provides big game fishing at its best ; and nowhere is better than the Turks and Caicos islands when the fish are running . Even non-anglers will thrill at the experience and most trips have guests who merely want to spectate or take photos .

Action of another type is inshore sports fishing , here we troll slowly inside of the battier reef usually in flat seas and catch sports fish such as Barracuda , Mackerel, kingfish , horse eye jacks and grouper .this is fun for the whole family and a beautiful way to see our islands at the same time .

Bottom fishing  takes on both our inner and outer reefs . Here the boat lies at anchor and lines are dropped between 50to100 ft to the reefs below . Everyone takes a rod and bites are fast and furious , its great fun not only catching fish for dinner but seeing so many varied tropical and exotic fish ( many of which are delicious too give them a try ! ) . In just a half day trip you can be confident of various types of Grouper , red snapper , yellowtail snapper ,mutton snapper , triggerfish , parrotfish , and many more including reef sharks .

Shark Fishing too is becoming ever more popular and an ideal way to overcome needless fear of these rarely seen creatures . Fighting a shark is a lifetime memory especially for children , it is perfectly safe and after some photo opportunities the sharks will be released unharmed .

Billfish and Sharks are purely catch and release to preserve our sport . grand slam charters are the official IAGFA weigh station for the Turks and Caicos islands .