WILBUR got his camera. While he was aggravated that he was
not the angler, he knew how rare it was to see one marlin caught,
much less two on side-by-side boats.
The Dawn Lee’s captain yelled at the El Conquistador to move
away. Luis steered with the fish that Roger was fighting, and
yelled back for the Dawn Lee to yield.
Below the ocean’s surface a life-and-death struggle played out.
The female marlin was over 14 feet long and weighed more than 1,000 pounds.
The male was about 10 feet and a little less than 700. While sport fishermen and
scientists are puzzled about marlin mating and family habits, it is quite simple. They
hunt together. They protect each other. They procreated. Now apparently, they
would die together.
The big female sensed the male was nearby. She swam hard. She jumped, she
tail-walked, she shook her head trying to dislodge the hook. She emitted a panicked
signal to her mate.
He was trying to close the gap between them too. He charged through the water
and rocketed upward, spinning, rolling and flipping. Then he dove deep as did the
female, some instinct taking them down into the dark cold depths.
The Dawn Lee and El Conquistador were no more than 25 yards apart now. Both
lines were straight down. The chaos of a few minutes before seemed to take a break.
“Think we got us a pair! They will try to get close to each other. They do and we
lose ‘em!” the Dawn Lee’s captain yelled.
The mate of El Conquistador agreed. He had heard tales of a pair being hooked by
one boat on two lines but being hooked by side-by-side boats was a new one.
“What ‘cha got in mind, captain?” Luis yelled.
“You turn south, I’ll go north. Try to force ‘em apart before they wrap our lines.”
Luis nodded and his captain turned the wheel. The El Conquistador slowly moved
south. The Dawn Lee turned north. The boats now were stern to stern, still only
about 25 or 30 yards apart.
50 august 2022