The exotics just keep coming and have reached a new height. The warm water flow of El Nino has brought amazing fishing to the U.S. waters of Southern California. There continues to be encounters with fish not normally found in SoCal waters, such as slender sunfish and pilot fish. Yellowfin and bluefin tuna have made a showing of epic proportions. Throw in a few high-speed wahoo and you have the makings of first class fishing in your own backyard. With all of those fish around, it was only a matter of time before the tuna predators came calling.
Captain Clayton Dobbs, is no stranger to big game fishing and has a very distinguished list of marlin tournament wins including the Bisbee’s, Gold Cup, and the Catalina Classic. While fishing the Oceanside Anglers Marlin Tournament aboard the Reel Nice & Easy, Capt. Dobbs checked off another first. He was fishing one mile west of the 152 out of Oceanside, San Diego and had spotted skipjacks puddling.
Capt. Dobbs decided to put out a KK Pono, Skipjack-colored, jig on the “long-gone” behind a black and green bird. He was using a Penn Torque with 50-pound spectra and a 125-pound leader. Capt. Dobbs commented that he put the lure out because it looked like good conditions for a striped marlin.
After putting the lure out, Capt. Dobbs said:
I was studying its action through my gyro binos when something left a hole in the ocean where the lure used to be. I was looking right at it when it hit like a freight train.
Brent Thalisinos, son of the boat owner John Thalisinos grabbed the rod and settled in for a stand-up fight. Capt. Dobbs said, “The reel was still dumping line, when I looked out my starboard window and saw a big blue marlin greyhounding along side of us. I turned hard to port and we got cleaned up and backed down on the line until we got tight.”
They chased the marlin for the next five hours, dodging the tuna fleet as they went. During that time they got the leader in hand once, but the fish screamed off again. They backed down for 8.6 miles, with the cockpit full of water most of the time. When the leader came up the second time, the crew decided they were going to take the fish, but as the gaff came out, the leader parted and the marlin swam off to fight another day.
This release of a blue marlin off San Diego was not only rare, but it won the tournament for them. Capt. Dobbs commented, “In my thirty years of running boats and fishing this area, it was the first blue marlin I’ve seen in local waters.”
Congratulations to the crew of the Reel Nice & Easy on this epic and rare catch in California waters.