La Gomera

Marlin on your Doorstep

Marlin on your Doorstep

This trip was mainly planned because it was the only chance to get away in the next few months. We had Wanda’s wedding on the 30th May and 1st week in June I had to have an op on my left leg (Varicose Veins) which meant there could be no flying for the next few months.
I wanted to go somewhere close and Gomera in the Canaries fitted very well. I contacted my old friend Jason Pipe (we had fished together in Ascension in 2003) and he told me May was a brilliant time for Tuna, Big Eye, Yellowfin and even Blue Fin to over 200lbs, especially as Gomera was part of the Common Market, if one was boated some could be taken home. I persuaded my darling wife Rose to go with me. Rose was beginning to take the attitude that if you can’t beat them, join them and agreed to go.
Journey was a bit tedious as we had to leave Devon at 1’o’clock in the morning, because the flight was at 7’o’clock in the morning. The good thing was the flight was short and we caught the ferry to Gomera. We stayed in a lovely apartment looking out on the harbour. We met Jason in one of the Harbour Square bars and had a few drinks. Imagine my surprise when Charles Perry, reputed to be the most famous wireman in the world, turned up. The last time I met Charles was at one of the Marlin World Cups many years ago, a jolly time was had while we reminisced.
Ten o’clock the next day we were off. 130’s, hopefully for Marlin, I use 130’s to shorten the fight and release the Marlin quickly, 80’s and 50’s for Tuna, whenever I fish a competition I only use 50’s in the case of the Marlin World Cup or 30’s as in the IGFA Big Game Offshore Championships.
A couple of hours later and a few “one to the sea and one to Zyggy” the right rigger screamed away and as I picked up the rod and made my way to the fighting chair, I saw the Marlin greyhounding and leaping skywards many times. I could see it was a good fish, I fought it for about 15-20 minutes until we had her by the boat where she was tagged and released, a beautiful Marlin of about 600lbs. We were after Tuna, but Marlin are better, lots of celebratory drinks on shore.
Next day, nothing much happened but Rose caught what I identified as a Pompano Dorado, Jason disagreed but I sent the photos to Tim Simpson, editor of Bluewater magazine and the Natural History museum in London and they confirmed it as a Pompano Dorado, which is quite a rare fish, Rose was pleased. The boat started having propeller shaft problems and we limped back to port.
The next day was a rest day with Jason and his crew fixing the boat and assuring us it would be ready. When we arrived the next day, we were dismayed that the boat was still out of action, but overjoyed when Jose (one of the IGFA trustees) offered to take us on his boat “Arin” which was a real super duper 57 foot luxury boat, not that Jason’s boat wasn’t nice, but this one was in another league. The usual “one to the sea and one to Zyggy” after the rods were set up we sat down and waited, before long another Marlin strike and this time, within 20 minutes, I had a beautiful Marlin at the boat, wired by the famous Charles Perry, tagged and released, this one was the right side of 300 kilos so you are looking at a 700lb Marlin.
Rose and I were hoping Jason’s boat would not be ready and we would be invited back on Jose’s boat, but Jason got his boat ready and off we went on the last day. True to form, another Marlin well over 500lbs was tagged and released.
What a trip, we actually came to catch Tuna but ended up with 3 Blue Marlin over 500lbs and not a single Tuna, but I can live with that. The food in the restaurants was excellent; especially the pork chops and the quality Marlin are what most Big Game anglers would die for. I was very pleased but am still searching for my first Marlin Grandeur – obviously on the next trip.
I would recommend going with Jason a professional skipper who runs Team Boccinegro with his father Tony who wires the fish and Lewis the other crewmember. They do an excellent job.