The Hamann family, Curt, Beth, and their son Stenson recently experienced an incredible day – one they were not likely to ever forget. Fishing aboard their Boston Whaler Outrage 37’ “Volador” with Captain Tony and deckhand Justo, along with Lou Sommerhalter a dentist colleague and Dan Nahom, Hamann’s CFO at SmartPractice from Phoenix; Allen Schlinsog Hamann’s Product Liability Defense Attorney who was on his first fishing trip, along with his wife, Ellie Schlinsog from Milwaukee, Wisconsin; plus Keith Simpson (Hamman’s high school buddy who had just retired as a captain at Delta Airlines flying the 777). The group departed from Marina Puerto Escondido, owned by the Hamann Family, the newest full-service marina on the east coast of the Baja Peninsula near Loreto.
Although hoping for a striped marlin that morning as they trolled between Catalana Island and Santa Cruz Island inside the Bahía de Loreto National Park, they would have settled for dorado, or maybe yellowfin tuna.
They were in high spirits when their laughter and chatter was interrupted by the sudden piercing howl of the clicker on an Accurate 50 reel.
They watched in awe as a huge blue marlin frantically tried to shake loose their heavy black and red, foot-long marlin lure from where the hook was implanted firmly in the corner of the giant’s jaw as it tail-walked its way toward the horizon.
With the “Volador” in hot pursuit, Lou snatched the rod out of the holder and reeled as fast as he could, trying desperately to regain line. The boat plowed through the choppy sea and the 60-pound line disappeared from the Accurate’s spool.
The five men took turns reeling and fighting the monster blue for a couple of hours, keeping the drag as tight as it could be. However, when the boat rose with the swell, the line was taken out, and try as they might, they couldn’t make up the amount of line that was lost when they were going into the trough.
Over two hours and fifteen minutes later, Captain Tony announced that he believed the fish had died, and the only way to land it would be to plane it up. Slowly using one engine at a time, they recovered the line, literally one crank at a time. By the time the huge fish popped to the surface, two-hours and forty minutes had gone by.
The anglers were disappointed as they all heaved and pulled to get the monster into the cockpit. They had planned to release the fish.
On the way back in, Tony explained the phenomenon that happens when the big blue marlin have heart attacks. In this case, the water was 88 degrees F, and it had been his experience, sometimes, the big fish fight to exhaustion (hypoxia), have a heart attack, and die.
Later, back at the scale at the marina, the group had photos taken with the 377-pound blue marlin that would memorialize this day and it would be their collective fish tale to tell for years to come. It was an unforgettable catch in a spectacular area in the Sea of Cortez.