Adventure on the Water: This. Really. Happened.
That morning's paddle out was like any other. I hoped to get something to bite. With deep, crystal clear blue waters so close to the shore here in Hawaii, I never know what will take my bait. It could be a ono, tuna, mahi-mahi, shark or a billfish on any given day.
I wasn’t out targeting billfish, but that morning as I was slow trolling a bait from my Ocean Kayak Trident 15 I was blessed with a perfect sized black marlin. It jumped, and the hair on the back of my neck tingled, the air was sucked from my lungs and my heart skipped a few beats. “I’m on to a marlin!” I shouted to my friends.
The fight was super intense and insane, 25 minutes of battle with a hot, angry fish no farther than a hundred feet away from my 'yak. It swam in circles, flying airborne a couple dozen times and coming uncomfortably close to Andy Cho.
Fortunately I had an advantage, the right gear for large pelagic fish. I was using a PENN 16VS International reel spooled with 800 yards of 80-pound SpiderWire braid and a topshot of 130-pound Berkley Big Game monofilament leader. This powerful reel was strapped to a PENN 50-100 pound BlueWater Carnage boat rod. I was able to tame the beast and bring him in fast and safely.
I feel very blessed to have safely landed a black marlin from my 'yak and also help to feed my family and others with its bountiful meat. I will never forget this frantic battle and its hair-raising excitement. Capturing it on video and sharing the experience was priceless.