12/26/11

Wife Bests Husband in Marlin Fishing Standoff

How about this big fish story: a married couple fishing aboard the 35' Bad Medicine in Cabo San Lucas spotted the dorsal fins of two striped marlin breaking the surface. Patricia and Edward Araujo of Chula Vista, California tossed baits to the pair of billfish, and within moments the husband and wife team found themselves hooked up to a pair of javelin-nosed jumpers greyhounding for the horizon.
The married duo strapped on their fighting belts and shouted with glee as the fishing line peeled off their reels in bursts. Patricia's fish headed west and Edward's went east, pinning the anglers in opposite corners of the boat. I grabbed my wide angle lens, raced to the bridge, and snapped away. As a fishing photographer and travel writer, I have plenty of stock fishing pictures, but photos of married couples hooked up at the same time to huge fish are hard to come by!
The Araujos are experienced anglers and spend a lot of time fishing in Baja, but they'd ever enjoyed a simultaneous double marlin hookup together. I couldn't decide what to photograph next!
I wanted to get jumping shots of their fish, but I also wanted to swim with the striped marlin, take underwater photographs, and then take photos from the water looking up at them and their fish. After some thought I decided to put my telephoto lens on and see if their fish wouldn't put on an aerial show closer to the boat. Fortunately they did!
As soon as I got these jumping shots, I readied my underwater camera gear and donned my mask and fins. I'm walking around the boat with the fins on getting in everyone's way and looking like a complete clown. Someone had to decide which spouse would reel their fish in first. Edward's fish was a bit closer so the Captain Bernabe "Bernie" Ruiz told him to bring his fish in. If everything went according to plan, I'd document the release of this fish from the water while Patricia continued the fight with her marlin.
In the meantime I snorkeled off the boat's stern and got shots of the two anglers hooked up.
Fortunately the plan unfolded smoothly and I was able to get some pretty awesome photos of Edward and his fish. The mate inserted the tag into the fish. 
If the fish is again caught, the capture and tag information will be reported to organizations like The Billfish Foundation, which can determine the length of travel between travel and marlin migration patterns, etc. The Billfish Foundation helps promote the conservation of marlin, sailfish, and related species worldwide.
Here is a cool shot of Edward and his fish while wife Patricia is battles her own marlin in the background:
Deckhand Alberto “Beto” CeseƱa released the first fish; now it was time for everyone to concentrate on Patricia, who fought along gamely as her fish dove for the bottom.
When the marlin resurfaced near me, it became evident that her fish was the bigger of the two. I gave it plenty of space until Beto grabbed hold of the leader, and then took some shots of her posing with her fish. Patricia backed off and the Beto took over. This was one big striped marlin!
The Marinero expertly insertied the tag into the fish and deftly sent it on its way. 

This wasn't the crew's first time at the rodeo; in fact, they'd won the 2011 Bisbee's Black and Blue Marlin Tournament. Sensing another cool photo op, I snapped away the entire time and got some neat shots of the entire marlin release sequence. I put together a composite that I will be using in future articles on the subject of how to release marlin. Here it is: (click to enlarge photo)
Ironically Patricia almost didn't make the trip; the couple had a wedding to attend the same night and she almost stayed home to get ready for the occasion. I know my wife would have. As it was, she only had a couple of hours between landing at Cabo San Lucas Marina and the start of the wedding. That's what I call a dedicated angler! Turns out that I have a lot in common with the couple; Patricia and I both teach elementary school in San Diego and our students might become online pen pals. On the way back Patricia filled out the Tag Report that Bad Medicine Sportfishing will send to The Billfish Foundation.
I use fishing and technology to engage my students so you can bet as soon as I get back in the classroom after winter break, I'll be telling the kids this cool fishing tale.
I have a marlin mount in my car right now and the day before school starts back up I'm going to put it up on the wall. When the students come in, we'll do the dramatic unveiling! It will lead to more fish science in our room. I'll be sharing our marlin and marine science work with The Billfish Foundation to aid in their billfish conservation efforts.
Stay tuned as I will be writing another article featuring other photos and stories from this trip to Cabo. Here's a preview:
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Cheers and tight lines,
Jon Schwartz

UPDATE:
This story was picked up by the San Diego Union Tribune!
Outdoors writer and SD Tribune columnist Ed Zieralski did a writeup and you can see it here San Diego Union Tribune: Couple has Marlin Adventure in Cabo San Lucas.

1 comment:

Carp Fishing said...

Yes! Amazing picture all the picture looking so beautiful. And your blog is fabulous for a people who love fish or fishing like me I really enjoy your posts keep it up and I am waiting for more pictures keep it up and thanks for sharing.